In the boondocks, Matias and Masoy went to the woods to hunt for spiders. It’s still dawn when they pedaled through the foggy road of the bushy hill. Matias grabbed his improvised spider stable from his pocket before parking the pedicab beside the mango tree.
It was a heart-stopping scene to see the mango tree without the pedicab.
“Hala, patay tayo. Ninakaw ang pedicab. (Oh no, we’re in trouble. Someone has stolen our pedicab.)”
“Patay tayo kay Tatay nyan (Father will beat us to death).”
Masoy was already in tears when Matias noticed something amusing. He saw something familiar with the Yuletide season.
My cousins and my siblings play with Bantay whenever they see him. Every time I go home from my Kindergarten classes, I would also go to the house of Bantay and cuddle him. Bantay is the source of joy in our family.
One morning, before going to class, I saw a marching group of men wearing green uniform. “Sino po sila?”, I asked my parents but they didn’t answer me. I think it has something to do with the piece of paper they received the last week. I heard it was a notice.
When the men in green approached our lot, my mother took my hands and dragged me away from them. I couldn’t fully comprehend yet with what’s happening at that time. Bantay, acting like he understands the situation, suddenly went out of his house and attacked the man in the middle and bit his leg. Later, I heard the sound of a gun.
Grandmother grabbed a brick with her frail hands but auntie grabbed her arms before she could even hurl it to the demolition team.
“Do your best at school”, my mother told me. I nod to her in reply.
I’m pretty sure that day was my first absence at school. More importantly, I wouldn’t be able to play with Bantay ever again.