By Veronica V. Rillorta
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:18:00 04/01/2008
Filed Under: Human Interest
After our high school graduation, I dreamt of going to college and taking up a course of my interest as the key to finding employment. But as June 2005 drew near, I started to worry. Who would send me to school? Would I end up like my brothers who became “istambay” [idlers] after high school because my parents couldn’t afford to send them to school? I was an honor student and the bread winner of my family, and I felt sorry for myself. My mother consoled me by saying I had the choice—of where to work.
I applied as a waitress in a restaurant in our town. We served so many customers, that we could only eat our lunch at 3 in the afternoon. After working a few weeks, I quit. I relaxed in our house for a few days.
But because I didn’t want to be a burden to my parents, doing nothing, I found work as a saleslady. Unfortunately, my employer cooked up some “chismis” [gossip] about me and told my relatives I had many boyfriends.
I cried when they asked me about it, and I swore that I never had an affair with any of our customers. I explained to my mother and dissuaded her from confronting my employer.
My mother then decided to put up our own cafeteria. But every night I felt miserable. I found out that I had lost my confidence in dealing with other people due to the negative experiences I had. I kept it from my mother, but every night I cried. I would stay in one corner most of the time, approaching customers only when they called. My mother told me that our business was not doing well because I was not good at entertaining customers.
I pitied my mom and blamed myself. But I was unhappy with my life and bored with just sitting and waiting every night for travelers. All my dreams faded. Everybody expected me to meet and marry a “viajero” [itinerant trader] and become a simple housewife who would feed my children and take care... [continues]
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