Tuesday, May 22, 2007
BALUT AT YOSI
BALUT AT YOSI
13” x 9.5”
pen and ink on paper
“Magkano po ang balot?,” asked a scraggly teenager.
“Magkano ba ang bili mo ng balut?,” I asked him.
“Ha? Ah eh, di ko po alam. Kaya nga po ako nagtatanong eh” he retorted.
“Okay na ba sa iyo ang sampung piso?”
“Sige po. Isa lang po.”
And that night I made my first sale of balut.
“Manong pabili ng isang Champion,” a young female with very tight white shorts clinging to her privates like camel toes squealed in her high-pitched voice as she handed me her two pesos.
“Heto oh,” said I as I handed her cigarette.
“Sukli ko po.”
“1.25 lang po benta ni manang nito eh.”
“Heto oh, sensya na. Iniwan niya lang sa akin itong paninda niya eh.”
I wonder what’s taking Manang too long. She said that she’ll just check on her nephew who’s been making a lot of drunken noise. It’s been more than an hour and it’s starting to feel like ages sitting here at this street corner selling her eggs and cigarettes. I have already gone through four baluts (one more and I think I’ll feel a shooting pain up the back of my head from too much cholesterol from these eggs) and enough exhaust fumes from the passing jeeps that can guarantee my much earlier entrance into that world beyond.
“Hoy, putangina mo bakla. Nakakita ka lang ng lalaki bibilhin mo na agad ang itlog niya. Magkano balut mo kuya?”, chirped the oldest of the two transvestites standing before me.
“Saan na si Manang? At kelan pa siya nagkaron ng maton na tindero? Ay, ang dakota naman ng mga batu-bato mo papa,” the younger of the two flashed her (or his) curled lashes as I handed them their balut. “Baka kailangan mo ng babae sa buhay mo eh libreng-libre ako. Pwede mo akong gamitin kasama ng mga balut mo.”
“Hoy gaga. Heto na ang jeep pa-Malibay. Sakay na tayo. Daliii!,” shouted the other to her companion and pulled her by the arm towards the waiting jeep.
“Bye papa. Bukas ha? Bibili ulit ako ng balut mo. Hihihi…” she waved and I waved back.
“Salamat sa pagbantay ng tinda ko ha? Sensya na rin at pinauwi ko na lang si Junee at lasing na lasing na eh. Baka kung ano pa ang gawin ng batang yun”, says Manang as she wiped the sweat from her brow.
“Okay lang Manang. Dyan na rin ho yung nabenta kanina. Kumuha na rin ako ng balut at yosi. Heto ho ang bayad” I offered her my payment for the eggs and cigarettes I took.
“Naku, huwag na. Neks taym ka lang magbayad. Ako nga dapat magpasalamat eh.”
“Oh sige po. Uwi na ako. Good night Manang”
I looked to see if there were any oncoming jeeps and then crossed the street towards the gate of my apartment. I slipped my key, opened my gate and closed it behind me. As I was putting on the latch to secure it from the inside, I felt a slight tingling at the back of my neck. Damn, I knew it. I took one too many baluts sitting at that corner.
I think I’ll skip eating eggs for a while.