Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Little King (part 2): Nomads

With four boxes and just one piece of appliance to carry with them, King and his mom found themselves in a small house in Montalban, Rizal. King already accepted the fact that his real father will not be seen anymore and that they have to live a new life now. The house was small, with no bedrooms and no running water. King learned to use the water pump or pozo to fetch water. He also learned how to raise roosters for cockfighting because his step father was into it. During spare time,  he would go to their neighbor's house to watch television, like what he did in Calamba; he watched T.V. peeking through the neighbor's window. He later found out that his mom was pregnant, he's going to be a big brother soon.

The headlines on the newspaper was of former President Ferdinand Marcos' death when King was asked to sell some cheap polvoron for them to get by. He didn't have any choice because his mom was already pregnant. So he carried the polvoron bags in a bigger plastic bag and walked across the town to sell it He went from house to house, corner to corner asking people if they would want to buy some, saying his mom is pregnant and they needed money, he was able to sell a few pieces. It became a routine, until one day he passed by a bakery, and the breads and pastries looked very tempting to him. He wanted to buy some, but he couldn't because the little money he earned from selling polvoron will be used to buy them dinner for that day. For a few pieces of coins they can have fried eggs and cheap rice for dinner or perhaps a piece or two of dried fish (tuyo) for him and his mom to share. King's attention was caught by the pristine mamon cake, it looked so delicious and wonderful that he wanted to buy it right then and there; he said to himself that it has been a long time since he ate a cake, so long that he forgot how it tastes like; but he thought of their dinner and went on to sell the polvoron goods. When King got home, he told his mom what he wanted for his birthday, all he asked was a piece of mamon cake. Which his mom got for him on the day of his birthday, and he was very happy.

They transferred to another apartment but in another municipality; San Mateo, Rizal. The apartment has no running water, but instead of fetching water to a water pump, King would go to the nearby neighbor to fetch water from a faucet. King was getting older, he was already seven years old at that time and just like many kids, it was time to go to school. Unlike other kids, King was poor, his family was poor that his mom couldn't even send him to a public school. Instead, his mom would borrow used books and collected used and printed bond papers to be used as notebooks. King would erase all the answers and notes on each page of the books, one by one until it doesn't have any traces of answers on them. His mom spent an hour or two a day to teach him school lessons, but just the very basic; like reading, writing, and mathematics. His stool was an empty can of Skyflakes and his table was a tall biscuit can, the one that most people see and buy in bus stations. So when King is hungry during lesson time, he can conveniently put down his papers and books on the floor and open his tin can table to get some biscuits for snacks. If King was not selling polvoron, or studying, or fetching water, he and his mom would read local comics, rented for 50 centavos per comic. Dennis was born, King is now a big brother. So during his spare time, aside from reading comics, he would help his mom take care of his baby brother.

They needed to transfer to another apartment again, so they did, and it was just a tricycle ride away from their old place. At their new place, King stopped selling polvoron, instead he started to sell puto (a local white rice cake, small and white with cheese on top) and he uses a bilao to sell them. They needed more money and King has to work for it, peddling his goods in a wider area than before.

To be continued...


  1. pabigat ng pabigat yung storya ah

  2. awww! i hope everything turns out well with King and his new baby brother...

    i'm getting hooked sa story na 'to... waiting for the 3rd :)