The Misinformed Master

Subsequent to the conflagration at Estrella's gotohan, Elsa was left without any permanent employment. And I have to tell you that being jobless worried the Simple Schoolgirl a lot because, obviously without a job, she won't be able to hand over money to her stepfather every payday! And without money on his hands, Rodelio Jay would surely get infuriated! And once her stepfather is in a bad mood, her mother would surely follow suit! Elsa also knows that, once upset, her stepfather would surely hurt her! And again, once her stepfather begins to hurts her, her mother would definitely do the same thing! And Elsa doesn't want these things to happen. Not because she feels bad being physically or mentally hurt by Rodelio Jay and Fanchita Isidra, but because she does not want her stepfather and mother to get exhausted!

At this juncture, allow me to point out that Elsa could not count on her part time jobs as her source of regular income because Labor Day, Town Fiesta, Piyesta ng Nazareno, Easter Sunday, Christmas, and New Year comes only once every 365 1/4 days! The truth is, many times had Elsa wished that holidays came more often so that she could perform her part time job and hand over more money to her stepfather twice as many as a result! But, she knows that she could not make it Christmas or New Year or Labor day or Town Fiesta or Piyesta ng Nazareno or Easter Sunday twice in a singular year! Elsa knows very well that there are wishes that do come true, but most wishes usually ends up being just that - wishes!

Anyway, I also have to tell you that there are things which Elsa finds hard to share with her mother and stepfather. Elsa could not tell them about how she feels towards many things. Elsa could not tell Fanchita Isidra and Rodelio Jay if she feels sick or lonely. Now the truth is, Elsa once tried telling Fanchita Isidra and Rodelio Jay that she was not feeling well, but instead of attending to her, Fanchita Isidra even scolded her severely and even slapped her 7 times and told her that she was useless and it was better if she was dead! While Fanchita Isidra berates Elsa, Rodelio Jay was looking on and was grimacing!

And so, knowing how her mother and stepfather might react if they find out about the fire in the gotohan, Elsa decided not to tell Fanchita Isidra and Rodelio Jay of the said incident. Elsa knows that Fanchita Isidra and Rodelio Jay would get really mad once they found out about the fire that caused her to lose her permanent job! Actually, Elsa is very much aware that more than anything else, the real reason why her mother and stepfather would get mad is because she lost her permanent job thus losing her regular income in the process! So, Elsa was determined to keep the incident as a secret as long as she could! Elsa knows that the only way for Fanchita Isidra and Rodelio Jay to not bother about the incident is when they are assured that she would still be able to give them money very payday!

And so, the day right after the fire, knowing that she has no place else to go for work, Elsa decided to look for a new job! Elsa was very determined to find a new employment! First, Elsa searched around Baseco compound area but there was no job vacancies there! Elsa also tried scouting around the Port area but there was no job vacancies there either! After failing to find a job near where she lives, Elsa began walking without stop. Elsa continued moving along on foot, passing through various streets from San Nicholas District to Binondo District to Quiapo District to San Miguel District to Sta Mesa District to San Juan City finally stopping for a glass of Sago't Gulaman in Pinatubo Street just beside Araneta - Cubao MRT Station in EDSA. After gulping down her glass of Sago't Gulaman that was worth 5 pesos, Elsa crossed the overpass going to Farmer's Market in Cubao. Cubao, by the way, is a 35-hectare commercial estate owned and developed by the Araneta Family in Quezon City, Philippines.

From Farmer's Market, Elsa hoofed it around Cubao area! When Elsa passed by and saw Araneta Coliseum, she was momentarily mesmerized at the sight of the enormous hippodrome and so she stood still and started imagining that she was inside the Big Dome watching Disney on ice! When Elsa passed by and saw SM Shoemart Cubao Branch, she stood motionless and started imagining that she was wearing the nice clothes worn by the mannequins in the showroom. When Elsa passed by and saw Ali Mall, she stood quietly and started imagining being inside the Shopping Mall that was named after the famous American Boxer, Muhammad Ali.

Now, allow me to also tell you that one of Elsa's dream is to get inside a Shopping Mall. For a very long time, Elsa has been dreaming of getting inside a Shopping Mall. Now that the opportunity was right infront of her, Elsa wanted to fulfill that dream. So, after some hesitations, Elsa attempted to get inside Ali Mall. To do this, she first waited for other people to pile up at the entrance, then when she finally saw that opportunity, she joined the horde of people, joined the queue and walked towards the Mall's entrance. Unfortunately, just as when Elsa was to first step foot on the Shopping Mall, the Mall's Security Guard stopped her at the entrance and refused her entry. Elsa was whisked aside by the Security Guard and was told that she could not come in. The Security Guard then explained to Elsa: "You cannot get inside this Mall because you look like a beggar asking for solicitation! Look at your clothes! Now go away! Don't you ever come back here again! "

When the Mall's Security Guard gave Elsa the thumbs down on her entry to the Mall, Elsa just turned her back and quietly went away. She forgave the Security Guard. She then made heself believe that the real reason why the Security Guard disapproved of her entry was for her to learn how to dress well next time she plans of going inside the Mall. Elsa then vowed that next time around, she would wear nice clothes and she would also wear her yellow worn out slippers with Betty Boop design that she wears only everytime she goes to school so that she wont look like a person asking for charity!

Anyway, from Ali Mall, Elsa crossed P. Tuazon Blvd and continued walking along until she finally saw a: "Wanted All Around Helper" sign infront of Joey's Gotohan in 10th Avenue! The sight of the "Wanted All Around Helper" sign infront of Joey's Gotohan was enough for Elsa to momentarily forget that earlier she was denied entrance to a shopping mall! When Elsa saw the: "Wanted All Around Helper" sign, she quickly grabbed the said sign and walked towards the gotohan.

Now, you have to be made aware that Joey's Gotohan, which is painted blue, which has picket fences infront, and which is decorated with artificial flowers, is actually just infront of a school named: St. John's Academy. The gotohan is, in case you failed to notice it, located along 10th Avenue in Cubao Quezon City Philippines! The gotohan is owned, managed, and manned by Mr. Joselito Montealegre! Mr. Montealegre or Joselito or Joey or Mang Joey is a very softhearted man. He helps anybody who seeks help from him. He donates to charitable institutions, gives alms to the mendicants, helps elderly people cross the street, plants trees to help save the environment, volunteers to clean clogged esteros, and regularly feeds street children! So, it was no longer a wonder why just after seeing Elsa, Mang Joey almost immediately wanted to hire the Simple Schoolgirl as his new All Around Helper!

At this point, let me say that: It was as if Mang Joey and Elsa already knew each other when they first laid eyes on each other! It was as if something mysterious actually connected them! It was as if Mang Joey could actually read Elsa's mind and vice versa! Elsa was holding the "Wanted All Around Helper" sign when she stood infront of Mang Joey to express her desire of getting hired! Elsa didn't say a word but Mang Joey feels that he knew what the Simple Schoolgirl wants! Mang Joey, seemingly sensing Elsa's agony and seeing Elsa looking so tired and hungry, offered the Simple Schoolgirl a bowl of hot goto with isaw and tuwalya first before he even began his interview. Elsa tried refusing the bowl of hot goto with isaw and tuwalya at first. But when Mang Joey insisted and said that it was free, Elsa almost immediately began eating her bowl of hot goto with isaw and tuwalya and it didn't take sometime before she could finished it!

When Mang Joey saw that Elsa was done eating, he gave Elsa a 12oz bottle of Coke for her drink. Then he offered the Simple Schoolgirl another bowl of hot goto with isaw and tuwalya. Elsa meekly accepted the drink but politely refused to take another serving of hot goto with isaw and tuwalya. Elsa then said thank you and gave Mang Joey a faint smile. Elsa's faint smile was enough for Mang Joey to understand that Elsa meant she was very grateful for his kindheartedness! After making sure that Elsa was no longer hungry, it was only then that Mang Joey started the job interview with Elsa. From the job interview that took around 16 minutes and 58 seconds, Mang Joey learned that Elsa actually walked from Baseco Compound going to Cubao in search for a new job. Mang Joey also gathered that Elsa once worked for another gotohan in Binondo. Mang Joey also found out that Elsa actually held many positions in the said gotohan. Mang Joey also discovered that Elsa was expelled from school because of an incident that was not purely her fault.

Unfortunately, Mang Joey failed to get a clear information about Elsa's parents because at the very same moment that Elsa was answering Mang Joey's question about "her parents", an Airplane flew above and the booming sound of the aircraft disallowed Mang Joey to hear that Elsa has what I wish to call "a natal mother who is four quarters short of a dollar, a substitute father who is five cans short of a six packs, and a biological father who is wandering the Elysian Fields"! Mang Joey also didn't hear it when Elsa mentioned that her mother's name is: Fanchita Isidra Ragoza y Cabogus, her stepfather's name is: Rodelio Jay Cabogus, and her Father's name is: Icasiano Antonio Ragoza. All that Mang Joey heard was the last word that Elsa uttered which was: "Dead". Mang Joey was the type of man who never asks the same question twice. So, when he heard the word "Dead", he just nodded his head, pretended to have understood what Elsa said, and straight away assumed that Elsa was an orphan and both her parents have already passed away.

From the information that Mang Joey "gathered" from his interview with Elsa, and being kindhearted as he truly is, he wholeheartedly offered Elsa the job in the gotohan! He also promised the Simple Schoolgirl a monthly salary which is thrice as big as what she previously earned. Mang Joey also promised Elsa a free monthly subscription to Funny Komiks and Tik Tik tabloid for her entertainment! Mang Joey also promised Elsa the following: 13th month pay, Health Insurance, SSS contribution, 15% Night Differential, Non taxable Transportation, Food, and Clothing Allowance, and free bowl of hot goto with isaw and tuwalya! Elsa was very happy with Mang Joey's offer! But what actually sealed the deal was when Mang Joey told Elsa that he will send her back to school!

Mang Joey told Elsa that if she accepts the job in the gotohan, she will be enrolled in St. John's Academy, the school which is right infront of the gotohan! Mang Joey told Elsa that she would be working at the gotohan in the morning then attend school in the afternoon! Upon hearing the very tempting offer, Elsa pondered for about 53 seconds first then she finally said yes! Mang Joey was very glad that Elsa accepted his offers! Elsa was very happy that Mang Joey gave her a very tempting offer! Elsa could not believe the luck that she got that day! Elsa realized that all her effort of walking from her house in Baseco Compound to Cubao was all worth it!

Mang Joey explained to Elsa further what he expects from her while working at the Gotohan. Mang Joey told Elsa that she must always come to work early and do her job well. Elsa finds the expectations reasonable. Mang Joey also explained to Elsa that the reason why he wants her to study again was because he wants her to have a better future. Elsa was gladdened because of this. So she didn't have second thoughts anymore when she signed the contract that Mang Joey presented to her. After the contract signing, Mang Joey gave Elsa money so that she wont walk from Cubao going home to Baseco Compound anymore! Elsa accepted the money, smiled meekly and said thank you.

Elsa went home very happy. Elsa went home with full of hope. Elsa went home with a smile on her lips. Elsa went home knowing that the next day will be a good day! Elsa went home feeling very positive! However despite feeling very positive about what unfolded that day, Elsa decided not to tell Fanchita Isidra and Rodelio Jay about her new job. Elsa didn't tell Fanchita Isidra and Rodelio Jay about her luck. She didn't tell her mother and stepfather because they wont care anyway. What matters to them is for her to hand them money every payday! And Elsa understands them for that.

Elsa woke up early the next day. After making sure that she has done all her household chores, she immediately headed to Mang Joey's Gotohan in 10th Avenue in Cubao! Elsa arrived at the Gotohan early which impressed Mang Joey! Elsa did the her obligations at the Gotohan without being instructed anymore! This impressesed Mang Joey yet another time! Elsa worked without stop, doing all the job from washing bowls, spoons, forks, water glasses and kaldero, to cooking the goto, to sweeping the floor, to wiping the tables, to collecting payments, to repairing the roof, to cleaning the tables, to welcoming customers with a warm greetings and a sweet smile! These impressed Mang Joey a lot!

And so, things went on well in Mang Joey's Gotohan in 10th Avenue Cubao Quezon City! Elsa performed her job well and Mang Joey fulfilled his promise! Mang Joey gave Elsa the benefits that he stated in the contract. Mang Joey also enrolled Elsa in St. John's Academy, the school which is right infront of the Gotohan! Elsa was to start school again in a week's time! Elsa was excited!

At this point, Elsa seems to have all the right reason to believe that she is indeed very lucky and that life has finally turned out good for her. But, just like what is believed by many, the sad truth is: some good things surely doesn't last. In this part of the story, Elsa is totally unaware of the impending doom that lies ahead of her. Elsa, if truth be told and as the title of this story obviously suggests, is in a matter of fact headed to more agonies! Only that, in this part of the story, Elsa just doesn't know it yet!

"The game of life is the game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later, with astounding accuracy." - Florence Shinn

1 Comment:

  1. Adnos Uyañe Plein said...
    The Misinformed Master was published on October 30, 2009. Original Reader's comments were lost June 2010.

    This episode was written when I was still in Project 3.

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