I screamed to myself as I rushed back inside, grappled around for the lights and searched for the thinner – if it was still there.
Thankfully, I found it tucked somewhere around lolo’s carpentry stuff. I poured a generous amount into my hands, avoiding my polished nails. As I rubbed off the paint, I found myself smiling.
This is lolo/’tay, the handyman at our place. If there was anyone who painted the gate, it will definitely be him.
Assumption proven when I saw him this afternoon putting on a second layer of paint.
This old man has done so many things for us in the couple of months at our new place. I couldn’t imagine what state with be at without him! Dripping roofs – probably.
I may always forget his name (Poncho? Ponyo? I promise, it’s at the tip of my tongue), but in all honesty, lolo is one of the handful of people I ever got to connect with ever since I tranferred back to Makati.
The big city really isn’t that lonely.
We are all strangers in this place looking for some kind of connection.
Lolo is the old man I pass by everyday. He and his friend are the first people I ever get to talk to in the mornings. On special days, he is with his furry little dog Radar that I get to play with.
As I recount today’s accidents with the newly painted gate, I was struck with such adoration for the old man. He might’ve forgotten to stick a note of warning what with his age and all. And it’s okay! We all forget stuff.
Which made me thinking, who are the people I could connect to here? There are my neighbors:
- The girl I shared a tricycle with
- The long haired guy who’s taking care of some plants and plays guitar
- The guy who opened the gate for me
- The girl who plays guitar
- And all the other women on the Bedspacer’s side
Yet more faces flash through my mind. It’s the Ilocanos working at Joest and the grumpy laundry lady and the many ladies at Tiny Store.
We all have a circle of influence God prepared for us. It’s up to us to make the move, share a smile and build a connection.
Let us not make Makati the lonely city people perceive it to be.
Let’s build relationships.
To lolo, I can’t give you printed copy of this photo. But it’s already on the internet. Keep smiling!
Our earlier conversation:
Me: Lo, picture’an ko po kayo
Lo: Bat mo ko pinipicture’an? Gwapo ba ako?
M: Haha (ignoring his joke) Practice lang po.
L: Type mo ko no? Bat ka nagprapractice? Bago ba yan?
M: Hindi po
L: Bigyan mo ko ng kopya ha?
M: Sige ‘lo! Upload ko sa Facebook.
L: Ha? Facebook?!!