I rushed to get into a taxi cab this week as I wanted to be early for my 6pm appointment, thanking the driver as I got in and murmured, I had to pick up something before he brings me to my destination. I apologetically explained I had to get something important and would just add on to the metered amount, he must have sensed my panic and assured me in a jovial “No Problem, Mam!” He smiled as I hurriedly got back, and said we can proceed and directed we take the back roads to avoid traffic, which was horrid at this time (imagine, Baguio has rush hour traffic).

He remarked we will get there on time and not to worry, maybe sensing it was work I was going to, I said I juggled two jobs and had to rush to each at times, I remarked, times are hard, but we get by.
He laughed again and said he knew how hard life can become, as their family was huge, he had 12 brothers and sisters, plus 7 more half siblings from his father. I admonished 22 siblings was a rare feat and his father must have been busy, it was then he proceeded to tell the tale of his family.
Their family were the first fish vendors in the public market and were migrants from Pangasinan.

His parents decided to build their life in the city. He said his father was a business minded man and his ventures flourished, as well as his family and at that point they were already 8 in the family. He also recounted that his father was a lady’s man, who was always being chased by his mother, wherever he would go and whoever new fling he would fancy. He said his mom would go as far as Bicol to get his father back to them, he remembered, his father lefty to gallivant with women seven times. I asked why he knew and he said, each time his father left, a new sibling would be born, we both laughed at this point.

I said his mother must have been very patient, and he said she was but also reached her limit. He relayed that his mother decided to stop running after their father and just stayed at home, not minding that he was gone. And lo and behold, his father came back to them and never left them. We both laughed again and I admonished that it was true love, he said yes and added, four siblings ensued since the “reunion. It was a business trip to Bicol that signaled the end for the life of his prolific father, and said after he got home from the South, he had an asthma attack that eventually killed him.

I didn’t know if I would laugh at the point, but it was he who let out a laugh saying, after all that they had been through, it was a simple asthma attack that did his father in. I asked how his mom was, and he said that she passed on a few years ago, in a freak accident. His mom and youngest
sibling were doing laundry and were electrocuted, he said his mother saved his youngest brother from death and lost her life in that accident. I was speechless, he said his youngest brother, became a policeman and was the most affected by the death of their mom.

He said all his siblings finished their schooling and were now professionals, all with families, he mentioned some friction with his half siblings but treated it with a grain of salt. Live and let live, he said. As I disembarked from the cab, I prepared a 50-peso tip, not only for the waiting time he gave
as I got my documents but also for the story he shared. It’s amazing what taxi conversations can give you.

Amianan Balita Ngayon