Down the memory lane, I met Salvacion Cervantes

An MKmA Halloween presentation.

Widowed at the early stage of her married life, young Antonio Cordil left her two precious and beautiful daughters namely Angelina who was 10 and 5-year old Magdalina.

Salvacion Cervantes was always feisty, strong and preferred to work independently and with her new role as both the mother and father to her children, she decided to work her way to raise her family; end up working as a nanny to the family of the soon would be president of the republic, late President Elpidio Quirino.

She entrusted and left Angie to her mother while she brought 5-year old Maggie. She was a stay-in nanny and the Quirino family was very strict, the typical aristocrat of that time so she had no course but left Maggie to her cousin who lives nearby.

Working with the family was like a prisoner in a maximum security; everything was being checked from the food they eat to the clothes before they can use it. She had no way to visit her daughter, the family won't permit her to go out, and it pained her.

The only consolation she's getting was when sunlight brings her beauty inside the room. From time to time she would peek the window anticipating her cousin would bring Maggie outside.

And when it happened, silent cries while staring her daughter would just served as a relief and sometimes when the guards were not around she would drop candies or fruits wrapped in used clothes so it won't spoil when drop from a 10-storey building.

It goes that way for months until one day she was brought by the family for an evening of family affair and while everyone was busy socializing, she finds her way to escape.

The next day she was home together with her daughter.

Lorenzo Muncal was a stranger in town; he came to visit his cousin. Lorenzo was a reserve, calm and mild mannered type of person, he rarely talks unless oral is needed. While getting himself familiar with the new place something had caught his attention. Immediately he headed straight to home and started asking his cousin about the lady he had caught eyes with.

The lady was Salvacion Cervantes and like Salvacion, he was a widow himself. The love affair was quick. He started courting Salvacion and marriage proposal after few months. After their marriage, he brought his new family to his place and treated them as his own.

Lorenzo has three children from his deceased wife but after the plight of his wife they were taken by his in-laws to Palawan but from time-to-time they would visit him. His children and his new family were getting along together and his three children always gave Salvacion a respect that would due for a mother, they like her and so her daughters and contented, seeing their father happy with his new life and family.

Salvacion and Lorenzo were a respected figure in the neighborhood. Everyone loves them especially the fierce, the loud and the always drank Salvacion. Yes, Salvacion has started a habit of drinking regularly when in her 50s. Tuba (cocobeer) was a favorite past-time among the locals, it's all natural and drinking it regularly is healthy. Lorenzo and the daughters actually approved her of such habit.

Angelina finally found the love of her life and settled nearby and was blessed with a dozen and healthy children. At the age of 25, Maggie was married to Benjamin. Salvacion and Maggie always have this connection that most of the time gave Angelina those envious feelings. And by this closeness, despite Maggie's marriage she opted to stay in her mother until her second child was born.

I am blessed because I was born at the care of my grandmother hands.

But father relocated us to our new home when I was a year older leaving Lola Basyon and Lolo Ensong, in their little paradise. Grandma would frequently visit us after and it's always a joy seeing her. While Lolo Ensong was not the type of person who loves travelling, so it was us who paid him a visit. And every time mother would announced that we were visiting them the joy it gave us was irreplaceable this despite the fact that we will be walking the steep terrain of 7 kilometers of narrow and rocky road with talahib and crossing rivers in between.

Paradise is indeed can be found in the remotest of places. No vehicle can ever enter the place for its unusual terrain. It's Mother Nature in its untouched beauty, I say.

But once you get there it's like experiencing the Garden of Eden, well minus the snake and the naked Eve, lol. The place where a haven of different fruits, everywhere you point your sight were trees, corn and rice fields. Farming is their main source of living; Lolo Ensong runs a vast field of corn and rice. Despite simplicity people their lives happily and harmoniously.

Lolo Ensong was taken early with a kidney mal-function. Even a strong woman Lola Basyon started to feel her age. And despite persuading her to come with us, she declined simply because she don't want to be a burden to my mother, she love mother so much. She knew very well that my father's income sometimes was not enough for us that most of the time ended her helping us in any way she's capable of despite her age.

I remember her talking to me when I was in grade school that her only wish before she dies was to see me in my college graduation gown. I promised her. She dies before I can even finish my high school. She dies with failed dreams. I was never the same again.

I was frustrated. Until now, I'm still carrying that frustration. Frustrated because my prayers were not answered. Frustrated because the person I want to share my victory was gone. And frustrated because when I am capable of doing the promised, the person is no longer exist.

It was more than decades and still I cannot move-on. I rarely pray but when I pray my only wish is to see her in my dreams. A very reasonable request if you ask me. My wish was only granted once and it takes ages, it only happened in the middle of this year and it was very short that I wish I can dream of her again. I wish I could record dreams so I can play it over and over again. Although, I must say in that dream she was happy. Maybe she's at peace that she won't interfere those she had left behind.

But I don't get it; I always had dreams about Lolo Ensong but not for her.

And that's how I met Salvacion Cervantes and I am still missing her.

Happy Halloween!