Chapter 8 Udis the Great

                                                                                 Udis the Great, Chapter 8
For further information, read From Fieldhand to Ph.D., Ms. Asia International:  Motivation for Success and Happiness available at,, www.Barnes&
                                    © Dr. Udis Sanchez Manalansan-Lord, Ph.D.
                                                After High School
            A few weeks before we graduated from high school,  my classmates were talking about what university in Manila they were going to attend.
            To attend college,  we had to go to Manila at that time because there were no universities or colleges where we lived.
           They asked me where I was going to attend.  I told them I had no idea.
            When I got home that day, I asked my father if he could sell his inheritance so that I can use the money to go to the university.
            He did not answer.
            I was not mad or hurt.
            I sat underneath the guava trees in the backyard the rest of the day.  My mother must have seen how sad I was.
            She went to Olongapo City where my cousins and Aunts had businesses. 
            He asked my cousin to teach her how to sell pork in the public market place.  In return, she washed their clothes  with her bare hands, cleaned their house and cooked for them.
            To sell pork in the market place, my mother occupied the table my sister Tess used to sell pork. Since my Uncle Eloy Baluyut became the Commissioner of Agriculture, he gave her a job at the Agricultural Extension.
            Tonga, a Chinese businessman sold her the pork on credit in the morning.  In the afternoon, after the pork was sold, she paid Tonga and kept the profit.
            However, Tagalog was the language in Olongapo.  My  mother spoke Pampango.  Besides her eyes were too blurry.  She could not afford  to  see an eye doctor.  So, she could not see the numbers on the meat scale.
            I told her  to return to San Pablo and  I tried to learn how to sell pork myself.
            My cousin Doding chopped a pig’s head and told me to sell it. I was able to sell it and made a profit of 17 pesos.  I was sooo happy.
            That same day, I spent  the money I earned to buy a flashlight for my father.  Then, I rode the three hour bus ride back home that zigzagged in the mountains to give my father the flashlight.
            My father raised some pigs and turkeys in the barrio. I often hear his head bumping on the wooden floor when he tried  to take care of his animals at night.
            That is why I bought him the flashlight so that he can  see where he was going and not bump his head anymore.
            I returned to Olongapo  and  learned how to sell pork.  I sold pork in the market place until about  4:00 pm, and attended Columban College in the evening.
            After about two years of  selling pork, I was able to save enough money to pay the money my father borrowed from his sister.
            When he borrowed that thousand pesos, his sister took his inherited land and kept all the harvest.
            As a result, my mother had to climb trees, cut them, burn them and turn them into charcoal to sell them in Sta. Cruz so that we can have some food to eat.
            In between  climbing trees, selling charcoal, banana leaves and fruit, she washed peoples’ clothes  and worked as a servant to earn some more money.
            She also planted rice in the ricefield for fifteen cents a day.    She did what she had to do so that we always had food on the table.
            After I paid my father’s debt and he recovered his inherited land, using a pencil and a second  grade paper, he wrote that  the harvest in his land is mine until my brothers and sisters can pay me back the money that I paid for his debt.
            “I paid your debt so you will be a landowner again, Father,” I said.  “I don’t want your land back.”
            I tore the note that he wrote.
            I love my parents so much.  No words can describe my love for them.
            When I was in grade school, during the rainy season, I trailed behind my father in the ricefield while he was searching for snails that we can cook for food.
            To make him happy, when I found some snails, I let him see me put them inside the “buslo,” a container made of woven bamboo.
            When I pulled my hand out, I grabbed some of the snails back out with my hand.
            A few minutes later, I told my dad I caught some more snails and showed him that I put some more snails in the buslo  to make him think that we were catching a lot of snails.
            I don’t know  if my dad knew what I was doing to try to make him happy.  He did not say anything about it.
            My mother bought a little nipa hut for twenty pesos, ($10.00)  in the squatter area in Olongapo so that she can stay with me while I was in Olongapo.
            She cooked my food, washed my clothes and ironed my  school uniforms.
            The squatter area was build near the river.
            I was told that the river was used to dump trash.  Some of the water subsided.  Therefore nobody owned the land because that used to be a part of a wider river.
            So, we lived in the edge of the river.
            To go to college, I had to ride a jeepney.  I took 21 credit hours every semester.  So, when I came home from college, it  was late at night.
            I had to walk alone from where the jeep droped  me to our nipa hut.  I had to pass by a sari-sari store when men hanged out and drank.
            At that time, I did not realize the danger I was exposed to, but my mother did.
            So, every night I got off  the jeepney, my mother was waiting for me across the river.  She was sitting on the ground.
            She never had a watch.  I did not tell her what time I was coming home, but she was always there every night I came home.
            I was very busy in school dramatics where I acted on the stage.  I  was active in school politics where I was the  officer of many organizations.
            I was also the contributing editor  of the college newspaper, and the winner of an   impromptu speech contest.
            During that time,  my attention was attracted  by the U.S. Naval Base that was located about  half a mile where Columban College was.
            I used to climb to the third floor  of the college staring at the  gate of  the U.S. Naval Base. It was guarded my U.S. Marines who stood like statues without making any eye contact.
            Members of the United States Armed Forces Institute worked there.  Only employees were allowed to enter.
            I wanted so much to get inside.
            I graduated from college.
            Then,  the  United States Department of Defense  advertised a need for an education specialist  to assist the education officer in providing educational assistance to the U.S. Military fighting the Vietnam War.
            I was hired.  
            I got inside the U.S. Base where I wanted to get in.
For further information, read From Fieldhand to Ph.D., Ms. Asia International:  Motivation for Success and Happiness, available at, www.barnes&