03 Nobyembre 2012
As usual, when Pa lumbered out of bedroom for number two at half-past midnight, his gravelly voice magnified by our narrow bathroom, shouted for me to turn up the water pump. We lived in a hilly province an hour outside high industrialized and cramped Manila where each household needed individual electrical pumps to store and circulate water for personal use. To save electricity, my mother made sure we turned-off our pump before we slept and although I turned-in hours after my brother, it was my responsibility to double check the electrical appliances scattered all over our small two-storey home. My father, who spent at least nineteen hours everyday in the sprawling, tangled metropolis where he felt comfortable sitting in traffic or working quadruple overtime, seems barely aware of our living situation.
A triangle of light appeared on the brown, wooden floor accompanied by cigarette smoke, the kind that made my head whirl. It was an open secret my father smoked in the bathroom whenever he can, sneaking boxes of Winston Lights. At first I resolved to confiscate his stash but watching him persist in this decades-long unhealthy habit, I feel tired for him. My father's voice, abrasive and cruel in the cold morning, barks out his command again, this time appended with please, as though I was the naughty child he must tolerate. I'm standing by the sink, having completed his request, and I refuse to shout back.