Working Mortals


(Daily Laborer gives respect this Labor Day – where respect is due – to thousands in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and Region 1 who wipe sweat from brows and break backs for families’ sake.)

A hymn says, “We plough the fields and scatter, the good seed on the land; but it is fed and watered by God’s Almighty Hand…”

Blessed the working mortal while free from care, who works contented for the daily share; and blessed the meal the family share, in social converse round the cheerful fire.

In every nook and cranny of CAR and Region 1, find ye, decent persons who toil not for fame or fortune.

Places could be fields, farms, city streets, rural towns, offices, stores, construction sites, buildings, warehouse, stalls, etcetera, where toil adds up to forty or more hours a week.

Fruits of their labor are worth more than their pay. ‘Tis time they be recognized and for us to thank them for giving us their time.

Here’s to the elected official who, after election, reached across the aisle, healed wounds and buckled down to work for the good of all.

Here to the political loser who promised to construct a bridge where a river there’s none, since politics, they say, is art of snooping for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it then applying wrong remedy.

Here’s to the engineer, using engineering skills to make places better to live in.

Engineers sometimes love to make mountains out of a molehill. Engineers don’t think a road is correctly engineered. They think it needs re-engineering.

Here’s to the health worker (doctor, nurse, dentist) who sees to it another person’s physical aches are attended to.

Oy! Steer clear from health worker’s office, whose office’s plants are apparently aching, withering and dying. If their plants are dying, then something in the way they do their service is…well, you know.

Here’s to the social worker who sees to it that one who have less, can have opportunity to cope.

‘La! Social work is good, but sadly, do we ever notice?

Here’s to the lawyer, serving with vigor to represent clients.

By the way, we are very excellent lawyers for our mistakes, and excellent judges for mistakes of others.

Here’s to the carpenter, swinging the hammer and driving home the nail.

Yikes! A cabinet built that can’t stand upright, is insulting to the carpenter’s ability.

Here’s to the cashier/sales persons, ringing up the sale.

Cashiers and sales persons say they have a relationship with customers. And that relationship translates to sales.

Which reminds of a true story.

A mother from Benguet placed her son with a dry good merchant in Baguio City. For a time, all went well.

At length, a lady came to the store to purchase a dress, and the young boy waited upon her.

The price was agreed to, and he proceeded to fold the dress. However, he discovered a flaw in the silk dress, and pointing it out to the lady, said, “Ma’am, I deem it my duty to tell you there’s a fracture in the silk.”

Of course the lady didn’t buy the dress.

The merchant overheard what transpired, texted the mother to come and take back her son, adding, “he will never make a merchant.”

The mother, who had reposed confidence in her son, was much grieved, and hastened over to the merchant and asked, “What’s my son’s fault?”

“Because he has no tact,” said the merchant, adding, “Only days ago, he told a buyer the goods were damaged, and I lost a bargain.  Ha! Purchasers must look out for themselves.”

“And it’s my son’s fault?” the mother asked.

“Yes,” the merchant curtly replied.

“Then I love my son better than ever. And I thank you for telling of the matter. I would not have him another day in your store, for all the world,” the mother shot back.

Readers, Ah Kong makes no comment on this. You do.  This incident happened two years ago and told by the mother to Ah.  Neither, for decency’s sake, will Ah divulge names of those involved.

Here’s to police officers, “Who serve and protect.”

A thought.  Why are there police haters? Ah offers an observation: Police officers are the thin blue line that stands between who aspire breaking the law and those toeing the line, much so police haters detest the thin blue line.

Arrah! If this isn’t so, Ah’s going to the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO), wail   his head off in front of PSSUPT. Ramil Saculles, city police director, for a wrong observation.

Here’s to firefighters, protecting citizens in emergency situations.

Firefighter simply say, “You light ‘em…. we fight’em!”

Here’s to the soldier, defending the land.

For the good ‘ol saying sticks, “Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.”

Here’s to good wives; without them, a house half a home.

Ehem, a good wife should be like three things – which three things should not be like.

First, she should be like a snail, keeping within her house, but not be like a snail to carry all upon her back.

Second, she should be like an echo, speaking when spoken to, but not be like an echo, always having the last word.

Third, she be like a clock, keeping time and regularity; but not speaking so loud that all the town hears her.

Here’s to the street sweeper, cleaning streets. They do their job well. But people don’t care.

Here’s to drivers, always behind the wheel.

Pssst! Womenfolk, don’t believe one whit about drivers with posters in their vehicles saying,” drayber, good lover.”

Here’s to teachers, guaranteeing our education.

Here’s to all, Lolas, Lolos, aunts, uncles, fathers, mothers, cousins, Sirs, Ma’ams, adings, people across all lines, who labor daily, carrying forward industrial enterprise.

They, who work with their hands and their heads and are called craftsmen/craftswomen; they, who work with their hands, heads and hearts and are called, artists in their own rights.

You can see them mornings, afternoons and evenings, hustling, making a beeline purposely towards an objective, towards a place where there, their hum of work begins.

Working individually, or together, like the spokes of an oiled wheel, to keep CAR and Region 1 moving.

All of them have one thing in common. And that is hope against idleness.

They, who know how destructive is the indulgence of idleness. How many promising mortals have been blighted on the stalk of idleness.

Come to think of it, idleness can easily be pointed to as the bane of earthly enjoyment – and the mother of every sordid vice.

How often do we behold some who have been educated, refined and reared, falling into the snares of idleness and all its accompanying, ruinous train?

For idleness, if you believe, is the cushion upon which the dang devil reposes and is the rust of the soul.

How often have we seen parents, no longer living to witness such shameful end, or to feel the disappointed hope; they have long slept in the bosom of the earth, heartbroken in the consequence of their prodigal offspring.

Nay, let it not be said – not for a moment – that Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province and Baguio City decent folks are called “sadot.”

Son of a gun! That’s far from the truth. Just take an example of how ancestors of these sturdy people carved wonderful rows from dangerous mountain slopes to make these bear fruit.

It wouldn’t be a hyperbole, to say the least, that these mortals are descended from the race of Titans.

They always say “Ilocano’s are kuripot.”  Being kuripot is good trait. Because lowlanders save for a rainy day. If saving ain’t good trait, then we don’t know what is.

Cordilleran and lowlander   working mortals are open, without levity; generous, without waste; secret, without craft; humble, without meanness; bold, without insolence; cautious, without anxiety; regular, yet not formal; mild, yet not timid, and; firm, yet not tyrannical.

The present bursts upon Cordilleran and lowlander working mortals, as a spark. And as a spark vanishes and leaves the future with hope.

But the past is the working Cordilleran and lowlander’s security and embodied treasure, on every piece of which time has stamped an ineffaceable imprint.