Lambanog can’t solve your problem

She borrowed money two years ago supposedly for her hardware store but it didn’t survive the competition. There was a huge lumber and hardware store owned by a mainland Chinese who gobbled up the smaller stores in the area.

She came back after almost a year asking for more money for her restaurant business which would be situated on the second floor of her hardware store.
That didn’t fly either. Before it could even start, she encountered differences of management style with her supposed partners. Who was going to man the kitchen, the cashier, who would do the dishes, etc.

The last time I spoke to her, she told me she rented out the space to a Japan surplus store. Then I found out after several months that the Japanese with a Filipina partner failed to pay her rent. She took over the merchandise left behind by the Japan surplus group.

I’ve been wondering what happened to her businesses. I wanted to see her flourish. Although I was in a hurry to go back to Manila to attend another Christmas party, I decided to detour and give her a surprise visit and see how she’s doing.

Her young son was the one manning the store when I arrived. I asked him to call his mom. Of course she was surprised to see me. I really went out of my way to see her so-called businesses.

Kinumusta ko lang sya. She was in the hospital daw for a breast operation. She told me she has cancer of the breast. Buti naman kako at naagapan. Bago pa lang nagsisimula. She hugged me and told me she’s having a bad time.
While sobbing on my shoulders, she told me her husband daw ay nambabae. Syempre mas bata at maganda raw. Una, there is beauty in youth. Pagbata, mukhang  maganda dahil walang kulubot ang mukha. Take note, I said MUKHANG maganda, I didn’t say mas maganda. There’s such a big difference.

Then she said “Mam Annie, diba hindi naman ako kagandahan, pero hindi na sya makakahanap ng kagaya ko, masipag at nagtatrabaho.

tattoo on L's arm

Her tears fell on my dress. She smelled lambanog.
She was probably trying to drown her problems by getting drunk.

During trying times there are only two things we could do. Kapit lang. Hold on to our faith that God is helping us. Second is to fight. Laban. Labanan ang problema. We can’t run away from our problems. The best way to solve it is to tackle it head on.

I told her palayasin na nya ang asawa nya. Dun na lang kamo sya sa mas bata. Mas maganda pala ang hanap nya eh dun na lang sya.  Ito ay hindi pagandahan. Hindi paseksihan.  A couple’s relationship is supposedly beyond physical attributes.  Marriage is not a Miss Universe contest, otherwise, siguro ang daming walang asawa dahil maraming pangit. Huwag na nyang tanggapin pagbumabalik ang asawa nya sa kanya dahil sure ako babalik yun.

Etong mga lalaki, ang lakas mamintas ng mga asawa nila. Komo sawa na sila. Akala mo naman eh mga gwapo.

I advised her to just focus on her children and on herself. She can’t solve her problems by drinking lambanog.


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