by FRANZ ZOE STOELZL BAROÑA
AURELIO POUNDED his knuckles onto the door of a two-story townhouse in Binondo. His calloused fingers throbbed while sustaining the weight of two buckets of fried chicken and two bottles of Coke.
When the door opened, his tense eyes leered onto a man of his age.
“Foodpanda, sir,” Aurelio muttered.
“Thank you very much,” the man responded with an English accent. He was clearly of Western ethnicity based on his fair complexion and sharp features.
Aurelio extended his arms and the man received the bag with a soft smile. In exchange, he paid Aurelio a thousand pesos.
“But, dad, I wanted the tray of shrimps,” a child interrupted from behind his father. “And the crusted pizza!”
“Cassius, this is enough,” the father shifted his view back to Aurelio and grinned. “Now, if you will excuse us.”
He closed the door and Aurelio proceeded to approach his rusted motorcycle. However, he had decided to rest in front of an occupied vendor, eventually realizing that his wife had sent him a text message.
“Anong oras ka makakauwi? Wala nang makain sila Troy, pinagkasya ko na lang sa tatlong lata,” the message read. She was pertaining to their eight children.
Aurelio hastily checked his watch and it declared quarter to five in the afternoon. He then unzipped his pouch, fiddled with the coins, and counted his earnings for the day: three hundred twenty pesos and fifty cents. F