Saturday, October 19

Big Times Behind

photo by JOSE JAIME RAPHAEL TAGANAS/ THE FLAME
photo by JOSE JAIME RAPHAEL TAGANAS/ THE FLAME

HE dreamt of going fast.

His fantasies always had him riding at a breakneck speed. It did not matter where, whether on horse, bike, or vehicle; all he wanted was to leave his small, idyllic hometown.

His mind turns to Manila and its bustling city lights and urban lifestyle. At that time, his dreams were bigger than he was, with fanciful ideas larger than his head and chimerical situations he daydreamed more elaborate than his reality. He longed for a better life so he fled.

To him, Manila was the place of dreams that would serve as his starting point. However, once there, he had failed to realize that beneath the city’s glowing incandescence lay a glaring inequality.

He works hard but eventually, he is forced to recognize cold reality. He wakes up at the crack of dawn to pedal his sidecar; works all day to transport passengers. In the end though, his wealth can only sustain the basic necessities and his possessions are meager enough to fit in one bag.

Nevertheless, he remains happy. He takes pride in his job and he admires the little things in life. He does not complain but sometimes, he cannot help but think of something more.

It is when he pedals that he ponders on how the years have left him old, wrinkled and weather-beaten. As he speeds away and his pace quickens, he cannot help but think of the youth and passion he had lost. F LORRAINE C. SUAREZ

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