“Yes, when I was pregnant with each one of you, your Tatay will come home early from work, do the laundry, cook and on his days off, he’ll clean the house. He’s always there,” said my mom as she was telling Mercy (my father’s nurse) to put on my father the new pair of shorts she bought for him from SM.
“I was his baby back then, aside from the three of you of course. Now, he has to be taken care of. He’s our baby now,” my mother declared. “Tatay naman, you’re shorts are on backwards. Come over here. Mercy, I’ll take over,” my mom called on my father the way she called me when I was five years old to adjust my pants if I wore it the wrong way.
II. TOTO and NENG
“Lalaki dapat ang masusunod palagi ah,” Toto declared defiantly halfway through the case of beer we were having in his house.
“Itong asawa ko, sunod lang yan sa akin. Sabi ko talon, tatalon yan,” he punctuates triumphantly as he takes a swig from his bottle.
“Eh ikaw Neng, ano masasabi mo dun?” I asked his wife as Toto stood up to pee in their makeshift toilet .
“Hmph! Ganyan lang yan pag lasing. Nagyayabang kunyari. Pero, pag may konting sinat kahit isa sa mga anak niya, naku, asahan mo… nag-aabsent yan sa trabaho. Nung naratay ako sa pulmonya nang nakaraang taon, siya ang dakilang kusinero’t yaya ng mga anak niya at tuwang-tuwa pa yang naka-apron habang nagpiprito ng tilapia. Masarap magluto yang si Toto. Siya nagluto nyang pulutan nyo,” Neng beamed while I could hear the strong splatter on the toilet seat from Toto’s bladder.
“Kahit mahirap ang buhay, okay lang. Wala akong masasabi dyan sa asawa ko. Makulit kung minsan, pero sobrang bait at alam niya talaga mag-give-and-take baga,” said Neng as she started to clear some of empty bottles from the table.
Zipping up his pants, Toto approached the table and boomed, “At sexy pa ang misis ko! Walang sinabi si Angel Locsin!” And he gently took hold of Neng’s shoulder and kissed her on the cheek.“AY! Ano ka ba?! Nakakahiya kay kumpare,” she blushed and gently slapped him on the wrist, while he gives out a hearty laugh.
“Hahaha, okay lang. Sweet nga eh, para pa rin kayong magsyota kahit labinlimang taon na kayong mag-asawa,” I laughed as I took another swig of my beer. In my head I’m thinking I could be in the middle of a movie of two lovers – Pinoy version.