By-Gone Days

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Before anything else, Daily Laborer again wishes to express his family’s profound gratitude to all and sundry who helped to make successful the kidney transplant of his son, Bridger, extending unstinting helping hand during the event “Dinner for A Cause,” held November 9 at the Cathedral of the Resurrection, Baguio City.

Daily Laborer would like to inform all that your help culminated to the successful kidney transplant operation for Bridger.

His elder brother, Bismarck gave part of himself by giving one of his kidneys to his younger brother, Bridger.

The kidney operation was conducted at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI), in Quezon City.

Always, our profound thanks.

Last December 4, PO3 Jovie Abiasen of Station 4 of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) enlightened Fort del Pilar Elementary School Grade 2 pupils on the rights and responsibilities of a child, anti-bullying as well as on illegal drugs. The pupils are under Ms Joan Bagawi, their adviser.

BCPO Station 4 at the same time conducted lecture on anti-drug awareness to 57 students Grade 8 of Fort del Pilar National High School, exhorting them never, ever, to use illegal drugs. The pupils are under Julia Biligan, their adviser.

Last Tuesday of the same week, Station 4 personnel went the rounds, reminding rice stall owners not to hoard rice, on pains of being penalized. BCPO Station 4 is headed by Blais Andrew B. Dao-anis.

All is well that end well. So we dwell our thoughts on bygone days.

Speaking of by-gone days, if ever in the list of ruffians who should be blasted by lightning, it’s this daily laborer who still looks back with much fondness to that portion of his youth spent when he was toothless. In short, “bungal,” wenno awan ngipen na.

But that, as you wise readers would like to inform your lousy columnist, is putting the cart before the horse, or putting the climax of the story ahead   before the preface.

Goodness! You are right, fair reader, to remind this cantankerous fool there are seasons – like this coming Christmas – when, why we know not, we are suddenly jolted from ourselves, by remembrances or memory.

Something touches our negative and electric currents, and, oho, a host of shadowy recollections steal upon us.

As your secret pages in which the characters once written seem forever erased, but which, if breathed upon, comes into view again, so your fond memories revive images hidden for years.

Yet, sometimes as we remember, the images recede from the surface, and all one moment so vivid, with the next moment has become a blank.

Everyone has treasured away on the sacred pages of memory a thousand little incidents, ever to be revealed in time, to which, as to some fascinating story, it returns, whenever, a happy, sad, unsocial or idle hour calls up our musing spirit and turns our minds on the past.

Sometimes, ken agpaysu daytoy, whatever has once given us pleasure or pain is remembered long, and recurred too often, as we pass down memory lane of life to the white hairs of our years.

Like for example, going to school, that had been to very one the source of both (pleasure or pain).

Now, speaking of going to school as source of pain or pleasure, this laborer remembers those by-gone days about his classmate, Almario Lapaypay during those elementary days. (Don’t know where’s Almario now, but he hailed from La Union.)

One day Almario was in school, feeling sad. It happened this way:

Maestra: O, apay Almario, a naliday ka tatta?

Almario: Ni ngamin nanang ko Ma’am, ket adda idiay ospital ken ni Tatang ko met ket adda idiay pagbaludan.

Maestra: Ayna, Almario, dispensarem ta diak ammo. Nu madi a talaga ti rikriknam, mabalin mo ngarud ti agawiden nu isu ti pakalag-anam.

Almario: agyamanak, ma’am, innak ngaruden, thank you.

Principal: O, Maestra, apay a pinagawid mo ni Almario?

Maestra: Maasinnak man la unay ta naliday rikna na. Ta adda kanu ni nanang na idiay ospital ken ni tatang adda idiay pagbaludan.

Principal: Ayna aka met, maestra! Namaysaan naka manen ni Almario. Natural laeng nga kasta a ta ni nanang ket nurse idiay ospital asantu ni tatang na ket warden idiay pagbaludan.

There, the above about schooling, being pleasurable.

Or, you might say, “Saan nga agpaysu dayta, Ah Kong, ta ti napalabas ket memoria laeng, kasla ti napalabas nga ayat, naliday man wenno saan.”

Indeed, indeed, reader, you can be correct, since life, reviewed through the mists of by-gone years, seems rather a hazy event or dream, than a stern reality.

But the reality is, by-gone years are truth, no matter how one wants to brush them away.

As ever, we are surrounded by mementos of the affection of friends, but these friends themselves are gone to the happy hunting grounds in the sky.

We remember the sage instructions of experience, the councils of wisdom, by which our minds and personalities were formed, and a direction given to the current of our thoughts and habits, but the lips from whence they flowed (those who taught us) have long been mute with the by-gone years.

During by-gone years, we have danced and sang with the gay and giddy, and been enraptured at the thrilling voice and kindling eye of beauty.

So it was that much fondness to the portion of his by- gone youth this laborer remembers well; his being gay and giddy by being toothless

There’s nothing like a good set of teeth. This laborer was born and raised in Baguio City and nature had given him a good set of teeth.

But he had taken little or no pains to take good care of them. His teeth never experienced those ablutions so necessary to their healthfulness and beauty.

And as for undergoing the cleansing operation of the toothbrush, this laborer never heard of that name called toothbrush, much less was he acquainted with the use of that instrument.

That being the case, his grinders, one after the other decayed, and nothing but a few rotten stumps remained.

In short, before he reached the age of 20, he was a toothless man.

For a time, this laborer care little for the loss of his teeth. But as luck or ill luck would have it, he fell in love. And the effect of his being toothless was soon visible.

Well, did the Great Master of the human heart declare that the course of true love run smooth for this laborer?

Nyah! No! Ah, poor fellow that he was, when to his irrepressible surprise, the will-o-wisp (the girl) that had led him on by coy smiles and winking eyes declared with finality that “she would never marry a man with no teeth.”

Today, Ah, is still a toothless man. And toothless as in “no guts, no glory.”

That, for example is love, which in by-gone days can be a pleasure or pain as we pass down memory lane to the white years of our life.

The visions can pass from us. And that’s all that’s left to us. But it is among the ruins of the by-gone days that we gather the richest stores for the future and the strongest chords of affection.

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