“Comfort Zone”-A A +A
Talk to Me
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
“GUMATANG kayu ti pasalubung,” an old man carrying a box of tupig boards the bus right after the engine comes to a full stop at the Sison stop over. Young passengers in the front row ignore him as they hurry down to stretch their legs and puff a cigarette or two. “Ma’am, bili po kayo ng pasalubong,” he offers a middle-aged woman sitting three rows from you. She sits back and closes her eyes without making a simple gesture to him that she is not interested. “Sir, tupig,” he pushes his box in front of a male teenager who looks out the window instead. Noticing that you have been observing him, he walks toward you. “Bili na kayo ng tupig,” he offers. You make a polite gesture that you are not going to buy. As he passes by your seat, you shift toward the window, hoping that he will not bother you again.
Have you ever tried to stop and look around?
Outside the window, you see another bus. A middle-aged man also quietly sits while looking out the window. As you observe him, a box of tupig emerges between your two buses. Looking down, you see a little boy holding up almost the same box of tupig on top of his head. You can see the little boy mouth the words, “Tupig sir. Bili na kayo…”
Most of the yuppies that I have talked to these days worry about love and relationships. Their concerns range from unrequited love to third party complications. Some of them have thick wallets and fat pockets – no money troubles but little or no love in their lives. Most of the time when you think that you already live a perfectly happy life, you zero in on what you lack and you tend to sensationalize it. The small crack becomes bigger.
Whenever I feel low, I take a stroll around Burnham Park. I watch the street kids play. I look at the street vendors. I do not look down at them. But whenever I see them laugh or smile, I realize that no matter what happens, life will always be okay. If they can find happiness, I will too. This place has always been my comfort zone.
The fact is, whatever punch life throws at you, learn to duck or step back so that you can step forward again.
“Nakalako ka?” The old man selling tupig from a box asks the little boy. “Haan pay Uncle,” the little boy replies with his shoulders drooping like molten ice cream under the burning sun as he sits on a roadside bench. The old man joins the little boy as they look at the far end of the road. “Di bale, may dadating pa ulit,” he says as he holds on to the box of tupig.
At the end of the road, another bus and another set of passengers – another chance to sell all the tupig wraps in the box.
(Talk to me by sharing your stories and sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 03, 2012.