The Vile Vendor

Originally, this part of the story wasn't subsumed in the plan. However I am certain that there are some people, stumbling upon this story one day, who would find it categorically abstruse to clearly deduce the role of Aling Doleh in Elsa's grievously sad life if I don't put things in exact details. So I have decided, after some great amount of reflection, to rope in the Vendor's share of agonies so that it would be clear how Aling Doleh's life story would eventually shape Elsa's own!

Aling Doleh, or Maritess Dolores Pulmones is a native of Barangay Pasol-O in the 4th Class Municipality of Jamindan in the Province of Capiz located in the Western Visayas Region of the Philippines! The Pulmones Family is a household name in their rural Barangay of less than 1000 people. But they are highly feared. Maybe it would help in explaining why the Pulmones's are feared if I mention the name of Aling Doleh's family and the occupation of each! So here is goes. Her mother named: Ludivina Cecilla Pulmones is a well known Mangkukulam. Her father named: Sebero Gaudencio Pulmones is a popular Mangbabarang. Her eldest sister named: Nova Joy Pulmones is a Manananggal. Her elder brother known as: Willie Boy Pulmones is a Mangtatawas. And Aling Doleh, the youngest of the 3 kids, is a Banana cue Vendor!

Now you might be wondering why Aling Doleh seems to be the only one in their family who does not appear to have embraced the dark side. Well, I understand if that is how you are thinking right now. And it is for that other reason why I again included this part of the story.

Anyway, Aling Doleh was really destined to become a Mangbubutbot. But her real dream was to become a Saleslady in SM Shoemart. So, after she graduated from their local High school, she begged and urged her parents to allow her to go to Manila so that she could fulfill her dream. At first her parents and 2 siblings were against her plan because she must be initiated to the dark side before she turns 18 years old as part of the family legacy. But Aling Doleh's persistence was so great that in the end her family granted her their permission but with the condition that she must promise that she must always carry with her a sparkling magical black stone which is the size of Halls Candy but as rough as a panghilod. Aling Doleh must bring the magical stone with her wherever she goes and must swallow it once she decides to join the dark side. She must also shout out loud the magic word: "Ay! Palaka!" to make the magic work! Aling Doleh agreed on these conditions but at the back of her mind, she has already decided not to get initiated to the dark side. She knows that she will never use the magic stone. She just agreed with the plan just so that her family would allow her to go to Manila to fulfill her dream of becoming a Saleslady in SM Shoemart!

So, preparations were made for Aling Doleh's migration to Manila. A party was held. However no one from the neighbors attended the send off party in fear of being placed under the spell of the family. But the Pulmones family didn't feel bad about the non appearance of the invited guests. As a matter of fact, they were a bit happy because they had all the foods for themselves. It would also help if I mention that the Pulomes Family are all horizontally challenged.

The night before Aling Doleh's departure, the family conducted a ritual. While at the center of a big circle surrounded with black lit candles and with bonfire and incense smoke swirling around, each member of the family took turns in giving Doleh some gifts. Her mother gave her the sparkling magic black stone placed inside a small red velvet pouch. Her father gave her a small bottle with skull designed cap filled with lana, 13 pieces of fresh ikmo leaves, a bundle of banana cue sticks and a neon green lighter all placed inside a black box made of Kamagong. Her sister gave her a voodoo doll. And her brother gave her a taliasi!

Aling Doleh was emotional during the gift offering ritual and was evidently teary eyed. But again, just to be clear about it, let me mention that part of why Aling Doleh was teary eye at that time was because of the smoke from the bonfire and the incense smoke that was lit nearby. Anyway, Aling Doleh was really touched with her family's thoughtfulness. She adored the gifts that each of her family gave her. So, after the ritual that actually lasted for 4 hours and 18 minutes, Aling Doleh made sure that the gifts were all placed in her bag with flower design along with her floral underwear, floral dress, floral skirts, floral shorts, floral pants, floral socks, floral shoes and floral half slips!

Doleh was suppose to ride her magic broom going to Manila, but she has an extreme and irrational fear of heights called acrophobia so the family decided that she takes the passenger ferry instead. Now, being out of budget at that time, Doleh's family bought an illegal one way complimentary-economy ticket to Manila in MV Doña dela Paz from one of the ferry's corrupt crew. Holders of the cheap tickets were not listed in the official passenger manifest which Doleh's family got so concerned about, but Doleh didn't care!

At the time of Doleh's voyage to Manila, there were a great number of locals going to Manila for either vacation or work. The ferry which has a maximum capacity of 1,518 passengers and 66 crew members was jam packed with a staggering 4,375 people on board! The extremely overloaded passenger ferry left some of the people without a cabin or even a bed to sleep on. This means that displaced passengers must make do of whatever was available like tables in the pantry, floor on the hallway, and even stairways. Doleh choose to stay awake during the entire journey to Manila! And while everyone was fast asleep, she was actually at the top deck of the starboard side of the ship staring at the night sky and was day dreaming of being what she always wish to become: a Saleslady in SM.

At the middle of her day dreaming Doleh suddenly felt a strong thug and a loud crashing sound. The sudden push outbalanced her and made her fall straight into the ocean below. But she was quick to grab her floral designed bag. When she fell into the dark ocean, a whale was actually swimming nearby. When the orca heard the loud splash, the huge mammal of the sea swam towards Doleh's direction and gobbled up Doleh.

Meanwhile, the passenger ferry actually collided with an oil tanker named MT Victory. The impact caused damage and lost of lives to both ships. Due to the collision, MT Victory's cargo of fuels and oil was set ablaze and spill into the surrounding waters, causing much of the deaths of the crew and passengers of both ships. Both sea vehicles were engulfed on fire before it sank on Davey Jones. Many lives were lost on the sea mishap. Out of the thousands of passengers on both sea traveling vehicles, only 24 souls survived! In this list, Doleh was not included!

There are two reasons why Doleh's name was not one of those reported to have survived! One is because she was not in the ship's manifesto in the first place and two because she was rescued not by a person but by a grampus. Now how was she saved by the whale if I earlier mentioned that she was swallowed by it? Well, read along.

Since most cetacean mammals doesn't chew, Doleh went straight into the whale's stomach. She was alive. At first, all that Doleh could see was darkness. But Doleh remembered what she has on her bag with floral design. So, she dig into her bag and she took the neon green lighter that her father gave her and then she gathered up some woods inside the whale's stomach and started a fire. Then she caught some tulingan that was also trapped inside. She grilled the tulingan and ate them.

While Doleh seems to be enjoying her picnic inside the whale's stomach, the baleen on the other hand started feeling sick. His stomach was burning and smoke was making him dizzy. So, after a few more hours the poor narwhal threw up and out came Doleh as well.

When Doleh realized that she was thrown out up in the air, she closed her eyes tight because she was afraid of heights! So, she didn't know where she was already. Her eyes were still shut close when she felt that gravity was pulling her down already. While falling back to the ground, Doleh was actually imagining that she'll end up in an island with nothing around her but coconut trees, mountains, and monkeys. Doleh fell hard flat on her face.

Doleh was a bit aghast when she lifted her head and opened her eyes. Instead of coconut trees, mountains and monkeys she saw container vans, ships, and feet! Apparently Doleh landed in North harbor in Manila. But when Doleh started to realize where she was, she became so happy that she shouted: "Hello Manila, Mabuhay!" People who saw and heard her thought that she was crazy but Doleh didn't care! What matters to her is that she is now in Manila.

After realizing that she is finally in Manila, and after shouting: "Hello Manila, Mabuhay!" Doleh, with her floral designed bag on tow, started walking and looking around. She was enjoying every sight! It was far from the island scene that she originally expected but it was fine with her.

Before Doleh knew it, she has reached Baseco compound already and it was there that she settled. She rented a small house. Then after a few weeks she ventured into applying for a Saleslady position in SM Shoemart. Unfortunately she was rejected because she was overweight. She was asked to lose weight and just reapply after six months or, once she has slimmed down already. Doleh was disappointed, but she wanted to be a Saleslady so much that she vowed to start a diet so that she could pursue her ultimate dream. But while waiting to slim down she needs some income. So, she made good use of the banana cue sticks and the taliasi that she brought with her. She put up the Banana cue stall in Baseco compound!

Her Banana cue stall was an instant success! Being the only one who sells Banana cue in Baseco at that time, Doleh's Banana cue stall became very popular! She had lots of customers! People love her Special Banana cue! In time, Doleh's name became a household name! And no one fears her! Infact, she is well loved by people in Baseco. People in Baseco loves her Special Banana Cue. People look up to her and started calling her: "Banana cue Queen"! With this title under her name, Doleh set aside her original dream of being a saleslady in SM for a while and focused on keeping her title!

Time flew fast, it has already been 6 months since Doleh arrived in Baseco! She has been working hard to maintain her title. There were other people who also tried putting up a Banana cue stall but none were as successful as Doleh. Doleh was unbeatable! Doleh maintained her title as "Banana cue Queen" and was undisputed!

Notwithstanding her success, Doleh still feels that there was something lacking in her life. She knew it was not "the dark side" that she misses. She has vowed long ago that she will never embrace "the dark side". There was something missing and she could not understand what it was. Until one day.

It was an ordinary day in the Banana cue stall. As usual, there were many people purchasing her Special Banana cue. She was busy crossing between cooking and selling Banana cue when a charming man came to buy from her. The very instant that she laid eyes on the man she knew she was in love. What really attracted her to the man was the kuntil. Doleh likes men with kuntil and there was, in front of her a man who has that. She was even more enamored when the man smiled at her and told her: "Your Banana cue is so delicious"! The world seem to have stopped. Doleh saw nothing around her but the man who has kuntil eating her Special Banana cue.

Doleh later on learned that the man was a new resident of Baseco compound. And he has no girlfriend. And he is living alone in a rented room. And that the man loves Banana cue. And that the man's name is: Icasiano Antonio.

In time, Icasiano Antonio became a regular customer at the Banana cue stall. Doleh was inspired! Every time Icasiano Antonio comes over, Doleh makes sure that she puts extra segunda mano sugar on her Special Banana cue! She would also put the Special Banana cue on sale. This made people in Baseco even happier! And as a result, Doleh's Banana cue stall became even more popular than ever!

Due to the continuous popularity of Doleh's Banana cue stall, she has to employ an assistant since she could no longer manage the Banana cue stall all by herself. She employed her industrious, hardworking, diligent, laborious, tireless, and beautifully sexy neighbor and close friend named Fanchita Isidra!

Fanchita Isidra was a big help to Doleh. Fanchita Isidra's presence in the Banana cue stall brought in more customers and so Doleh gave Fanchita Isidra a raise in her salary. They also became closer to each other as a friend! When they are both not busy in the Banana cue stall, Fanchita Isidra would play the FLAMES for Doleh and Icasiano Antonio. Fanchita Isidra always makes sure that the FLAMES ends with: "Marriage". This makes Doleh even happier and considered Fanchita Isidra her lucky charm!

Meanwhile, Icasiano Antonio still frequents the Banana cue stall and every time he is there he always makes sure to tell Doleh how delicious her Banana cue is. He also tells Doleh that she is beautiful and gives Doleh a flying kiss every time he leaves the Banana cue stall. After a few more visit in the Banana cue stall, Icasiano Antonio courted Doleh. The Banana cue Queen did not give Icasiano Antonio a difficult time. After 30 minutes of courtship, Doleh gave Icasiano Antonio her sweetest consent on love.

Doleh was very much in love with Icasiano Antonio that she did not mind if she was the one spending for their dinner dates. She also didn't mind if Icasiano Antonio asked her to buy him an expensive Honda motorcycle as a gift for their First Weeksary; an original Rolex Watch for Second Weeksary; an 18 CF Two Door No Frost White Westinghouse Refrigerator for their Third Weeksary; and an original Ray-Ban Shades for their Fourth Weeksary. Doleh also wasn't bothered that Icasiano Antonio obliged her to give him 15 thousand monthly allowance. Eventually, Icasiano Antonio also began scheduling their dates and started making restrictions like: they should only go on date whenever there is a storm, they should watch movies in only Baguio City, have dinner in only Dumaguete, check in a hotel only in Davao, and go malling at any mall but only in The Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao!

Spending for Icasiano Antonio was something that did not bother Doleh because Icasiano Antonio explained to her that their love affair is like two countries: "I.T.A.L.Y. (I Trust and Love You) so, G.U.A.M. (Give Understanding and Money). But what Doleh did not understand is why Icasiano Antonio started scheduling their dates. At first Doleh suspected that Icasiano Antonio was not proud of her as his girlfriend. But when she confronted Icasiano Antonio about how she feels towards the many restrictions on their love affair, Icasiano Antonio just told her that: "I just want to make sure that no one would see us together because I get jealous every time someone else looks at you." Icasiano Antonio's reason was enough for Doleh to love the charming man even more! So things went on with Doleh and Icasiano Antonio. With a blooming love life and a Banana cue stall business that was a big hit, Doleh could not ask for anything more!

One Wednesday morning at around 8:56, in the Banana cue stall, Doleh was about to go to market to buy more Sagging an Saba for her Banana cue when Icasiano Antonio dropped by and said that she better go to Blumentritt Market instead of the nearby talipapa. Icasiano Antonio told Doleh further that the Saging na Saba in Blumentritt Market are better in quality and this would be good for the business. Doleh was touched with Icasiano Antonio's concern on her Banana cue business so she agreed to go to Blumentritt Market instead! Then when Doleh was about to leave, Icasiano Antonio said: "You know what? I think it would be better if you walk going to Blumentritt Market instead of riding a jeepney. You know I am concerned about your health. I want you to remain sexy". Doleh blushed with what she heard. She felt even more in love with Icasiano Antonio. Doleh felt that Icasiano Antonio was really so concerned about her. So, Doleh agreed to walk going to Blumentritt Market from the Banana cue stall in Baseco compound in Tondo! Before Doleh left, she still saw Icasiano Antonio giving her a flying kiss! Doleh smiled. She was happy to have a man who loves her a lot and a friend who will take care of her Banana cue business while she is away.

After 13 hours, 45 minutes and 11 seconds, Doleh arrived back from Blumentritt Market. She was very tired and was haggard looking. When she passed by the Banana cue stall, she was no longer surprise to see it closed. So she decided to go straight home. She was thinking that Fanchita Isidra would be waiting for her there to hand over the day's earning and that Icasiano Antonio would be visiting her later that evening. But when she was about to leave, she noticed a letter posted on the stall. She took the letter and started reading it. The letter reads:

Dear Doleh,

I, Icasiano Antonio do solemnly swear that I would like to ask you to forgive
me for making you believe that I truly love you. I am asking for your kind
consideration if I took with me the earning of the store today. I am also very
sorry if I ran away with Fanchita Isidra. Please be informed that I will not let
you know where we will be hiding. I will not give you a clue. I wish that you
will forgive me upon receiving this letter of mine. I, thank you!

Icasiano Antonio & Fanchita Isidra

Your Banana cue is so delicious!
And remember: J.A.P.A.N (Just always pray at night)!
Doleh got shocked at what she read! She was speechless for a while. Her eyes opened wide. Her jaw dropped. Her heart stopped beating! She turned purple! Then she fainted!

After exactly 36 minutes, Doleh recovered. She was still in front of the Banana cue stall. She was still speechless! Her mind was filled with thoughts of Icasiano Antonio and their happy moments together. She also remembered her happy times with Fanchita Isidra and those times when they were playing FLAMES. Doleh started walking home speechless, expressionless and emotionless!

When Doleh arrived home, the first thing that she did was look at the mirror. When she saw how haggard she looks that was when reality struck her! Pain started to conquer her heart! She felt deceived by her Boyfriend and Bestfriend! Doleh could not bear the pain that she was feeling in her heart so she screamed and cried! While Doleh was screaming and crying, the neighbor's transistor was playing: "Kung liligaya ka sa piling ng iba by Imelda Papin". Upon hearing this, Doleh screamed even louder!

Devastatingly heartbroken, Doleh decided to go drinking. She bought 2 cases of Red horse beer and ordered Special Sizzling Sisig for her pulutan! She downed the bottles of beer all by herself. All the time that she was drinking, the neighbor's transistor kept playing the same song over and over! After Doleh gulped down the 2 cases of Red horse beer, she decided that she wants more! She wants to forget the pain that her Boyfriend and Bestfriend caused her. So she stood up and was on her way to the nearest store to buy 2 more cases of Red horse beer when she glanced at her image at the mirror again. She saw how haggard she looked like. She blamed her looks for her Boyfriend's deception. So before leaving the house, she applied Johnson's Baby powder original scent on her face, combed her hair with her yellow springmaid comb, and splashed Angel's Breath Baby Cologne all over her body.

Doleh was wobbling as she walked out of the house to buy some more Red horse beer. She could still hear the same song, when she tried singing along with the song she noticed that her mouth was reeking with beer. So she grabbed into her pocket and pulled out a small rounded object that she thought was Halls candy. She quickly put this in her mouth. As Doleh was about to pass by the door, she suddenly tripped over and fell flat on her face. The fall made her swallow the small rounded object. While she was lifting her face from the ground, a bull frog suddenly leaped in front of her who made her shout: "Ay! Palaka"! Upon saying this, magical lights suddenly surrounded Doleh and she felt revived! She felt strong! She was no longer feeling dizzy! The pain in her heart was mysteriously gone as well. And instead of pain, Doleh could feel intense hatred towards Icasiano Antonio and Fanchita Isidra! She could feel hatred slowly taking over her whole being. Doleh's heart was filled with so much anger that she could not think of anything else but settling of score!

While Doleh was thinking of how to get even, she felt her body morphing! So she ran back into the house and looked at herself at the mirror. The reflection in the mirror confirmed her great fear! She now looks even more ghastly! Her hair is all messed up and she has warts all over her face! She has now been initiated to the dark side! And she is not just an ordinary Mangbubutbot! She has also inherited her whole family's power! She is now a Mangbubutbot con Mangkukulam con Mangbabarang con Manananggal con Mangtatawas!

This time around however, Doleh welcomed the power of the dark side! Without second thoughts, she right away set out to conduct her first Evil Deed! Using the lana that her father gave her, She applied some of it all over her body so that people would still see the image of the old Doleh instead of her witch self that reflects back at her in the mirror! Then she also used some of the lana on her Banana cue so that even if Fanchita Isidra is no longer around to help her, people would still buy from the Banana cue stall! Finally, summoning all her power and asking for help from the Diwata, Engkanto, Itim na Duwente, Kapre, Nuno sa Punso, Tikbalang and Tiyanak, Doleh using the voodoo doll that her sister gave her, placed a curse on her ex Boyfriend and ex Bestfriend!

Doleh's curse however was not directed towards the two people who deceived her. She actually placed a curse on the first child of her ex Boyfriend and ex Bestfriend! Her curse states that: "Death will be the reward for whoever gives true love to the first born child of Fanchita Isidra and Icasiano Antonio Ragoza"!

"He who seeks vengeance must dig two graves: one for his enemy and one for himself" - A Chinese Proverb

1 Comment:

  1. Adnos Uyañe Plein said...
    The Vile Vendor was published on Sept 15, 2009. Original Readers Comments were lost on June 2010.

    I wrote this episode when I was still in Project 3. This was also the point when I realized that I could actually do some arts!

    The Vile Vendor's curse caused all of Elsa's agonies in life! Do you believe in curses too?

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