A Burden to Carry


Photo by Rainiel Angelyn Figeuroa/The Flame


The setting sun painted the sky with a deep orange hue as Edgar walked towards the market again. He had been carrying crates filled with assorted perishable goods. Tired from work, his bones screamed for a break, yet his mind paid little attention. 

Wiping the sweat from his brow, he set the crate of vegetables down in Aling Edna’s stall. He paused to stretch his aching back, but the old lady looked at him with a scowl, yelling: “May isa pa akong sako kina Martha. Dalian mo at nagmamadali sila.”

Without a word, he nodded before heading back to the jeepney where a few men stood idly. One of them handed him a sack full of potatoes—far heavier than those he had been carrying all day. He struggled to hoist it on his back, but no one noticed. After a few shaky steps, he exhaustedly caught his breath.

He saw a crowd bearing candles and walking past the marketplace a few meters away. They gathered before a large karosa holding a statue of Jesus Christ carrying the cross adorned with lights and flowers. It bore a similar pained expression–one that Edgar shared unknowingly.

His phone chimed in his pocket as he stared at the passing crowd. His wife texted him, complaining that they had no food to feed their children.

Clutching the worn-out scapular on his neck, he looked away and carried the heavy sack once more. F


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