(A class prophecy for the high school batch 2013-2014 of Bethany Child Development Center, Zamboanga City)
The rays of the sun outside my windowpane create bright lines to my marble ceiling that reflects directly to my closed eyes. I was awakened by the bright sunlight! The curtains are swaying as the cool summer breeze enters to my room. It was a cool bright Sunday morning. That was the brightest day I ever had ever since the snow has gone. That was one Sunday, one cool summer, one great morning of my life since I went back to my hometown after my sojourn to the city that never sleeps – New York.
Outside, were a number of cute little children playing on the playgrounds. Only laughter and trace of their shoes on the grasses are the signs of complete joy and harmony with these little children. They were orphaned, seeking complete love, care and happiness. And it was I who fill them.
“Wow! Good morning dear. How was your sleep? Haven’t you recovered yet from jetlag?” He said.
I smiled and said, “Yeah pretty cool. I really love watching children in joy.” We were walking together in the aisle of the hallway. “I’m meeting them in a while. I’m excited to meet them personally.”
While walking with Peter, I saw beautiful and stunning paintings on the wall. I stopped and scrutinized the beauty of art. I was surprised and amazed by the signature on it – Kendrick Fernandez. A painter now? Wow, that was marvelous. No doubt, because while I was in New York before, I heard him passed the exam. He is a painter and an architect. So overwhelming!
Anyway, I must go on. I will be late.
The children welcomed me with a genuine smile. That indicates that they were raised properly with complete motherhood and parental care by Ms. Blessie Mansilla who is now Encarnacion since she is the wife of the founder Peter. They got married after she got her degree in medicine, and devote herself to manage the orphanage that her husband, Peter, has founded.
It was already 9:00 o’clock and the session should have started but some of the children were gone and they were out in the teaching room. I heard the melodious Godly praises of the choir from the church in the next building. Those were the voices of adults. The place was not so familiar to me since that was my first time to visit the Encarnacion Orphanage. So, I was confused where the children went. They must have to attend the Sunday school.
I looked around, they were not at the playground. They were not in the lobby. They were not in their rooms. So, where were they? They were gone. They will be late.
In my surprise, I found them on the sofa of the accommodation room watching the flat screened high definition TV, that Mary Angelique Anova – a business woman- had donated, the TV program was a Sunday morning program, a talent search show hosted by the most popular breakdancers, Al- Aikeen Alam and Al-Ameer Abdurahman. The children said those people were their idolized dancers and some of them proud to become one sooner in one of these days. I was totally amazed. Then I led them to the Sunday class for the others were waiting for them, so the session could begin.
The Sunday school ended.
I felt tired the whole day inside the orphanage playing around with the children. So, I sneaked to my room and napped for a while for I am planning to roam around the city of Zamboanga.
It was years ago that I have eaten kwek-kwek in the boulevard which now are already of huge buildings and first class establishments. Tricycles before going to pueblo are now air-conditioned high-tech taxis and they are owned by the most successful man in land transportation industry – Mr. Deneb Tan. The ugly airport before is now is as big as of NAIA and they are accommodating direct flights to US and Europe – the Zamboanga Airlines which is owned by the Multi-Billionaire Febryan Castañeda. And the old Garden Orchid Hotel was bought by Albert Paolo Granaderos and now renovated as one of the tallest buildings in the country serving most delicious dishes and five star accommodation made possible by the hand of the ever creative and international awardee individual in the person of Chef Eve Therese Monsanto with the genuine idea of the ever thoughtful executive manager Miss Nichole Ezekiel Marcial. The renovation of the building was done by well-known Engineer Michael Angelo Ho, who was married to a doctor Sheena Mae Agbulos who transformed Zamboanga into a more healthful environment. She offered cheap but of quality health services to the less fortunate Zamboangeños. Together with her dynamic beautiful nurses who came home from Dubai and desired to serve their own country, they were Jasmeen Yusah, Kriztine Clairence Mirasol and Ermelou Caluscusin together with the ever famed surgeon Dr. Rhea Cristhee Tan.
It was years that I was not here, but everything has changed. Wow. I can’t really believe it. Zamboanga before is not the Zamboanga now. Amazing! It feels like I am in a new environment of the new adventure. My poor hometown before now becomes a city of fantasy where prosperity and wealth abound.
“Buenas dias, Doc!” Mr. David Manuel-Sarail, one of my teachers before in Bethany, jokingly greeted me as I met him at the beverage section of the best grocery stores in the city. I was buying a tea that time. The name of the store was new to my conscience, and it seemed familiar – URO Mall. “Do you know the owner of this mall?” Mr. David asked. I never knew that it was owned by Mr. Renzo Joshua Uro, he was my classmate before. We were the students of Mr. David. Yeah, I remembered him. Surprising! I went out.
My visit to the orphanage was over, and I need to say goodbye to the children of the Encarnacion’s. With the memories that I had with them, it will surely inspire me to finish my book that I am writing as an accomplished pediatrician in New York. To experience the life of the little children brought me enough courage to pursue my goal and finish my pediatric research.
I left Zamboanga and went back again to the city that never sleeps to finish my research and to set back my time to the children who need my tender-loving-care in one of the best Children’s hospital in New York City.
All my bags are packed, and I was ready to go. Preparing myself for an early morning flight, I sat down on the sofa for a while and opened the TV. “The controversial hunk actor Angelo Delo Santos is confined at the Dean’s Medical Center due to cardiac arrest and ….” Reported the anchor of the Laxamana Break News (LBN Networks).
The Dean’s Medical Center that was mentioned in the TV broadcast was of James Dean Yee, a doctor, an international Cardiologist, is the favorite health center of most of the actors and actresses in show business. The Laxamana Break Networks, on the other hand, was owned by Rixie Adrian Laxamana, who was married to Roxanne Santos, a successful lawyer.
Oops! It’s too late to watch the whole news, so I went to the airport for check in. While on the plane I kept some notes on the pad which I put in my pocket earlier. I wrote, “May 28, 2025: Notes of the Day.” This is what I usually write when I take down note of the things I observed daily. Then I numbered it, “1. I will be leaving my country Philippines and bring the memories to New York.” Then I continue writing numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, and so on listing all the thoughts that I have in mind. The plane took off. I comforted myself on the plane’s seat.
I was seated near the window, beside me was the gorgeous lady; her name as she introduced me was Rebecca Thea Olivera, I saw her in travel magazines and now I met her personally. What an awesome experienced!
“Excuse me Ma’am, I am Jericho Richard Yee, your cabin steward.” He called up my attention for I was not listening to the instruction played on the speaker. “Please fasten your seatbelt for we are experiencing some mild turbulence.” He continued. “Do you have some concerns, Ma’am?” I can’t still get over of the things happening on the plain. Was I dreaming? I asked myself. Imagine, I sat beside Rebecca, a famous traveler? Gosh! I can’t really believe it!
“No. Nothing… Thank you!” I smiled to the handsome flight steward Jericho.
Clock turned. And several hours on the plain, several movies played on the screen. I get the magazine flipped on the back pocket of the plane seat. The magazine was one of the famous wedding magazines circulating worldwide; on the cover was an elegant pose of a highly paid animator; a model and an actress Miss Bianca Ellice Luistro. I opened the pages of the magazine, I was interested to read the feature article about the International Wedding coordinator. I was stunned to meet her for I was planning to get a very good wedding coordinator for my wedding. As I read her profile, she graduated her high school at Bethany in Zamboanga, wow, my alma mater, and she got numerous awards while studying in UP Diliman where she earned her masters’ degree in Education. She went to London and excelled in her career as a wedding coordinator. She was Fritzie-anne Enriquez. She is one of the successful women in history. I said to myself. I will meet her for my wedding. Then I silently laughed.
The Zamboanga Airlines stopped over China because my flight was not direct to New York. I was so tired. I was hungry of course because I did not eat my meal on the plane because I have an allergy of shrimps.
At the China International Airport, I looked for a nearby restaurant that was about 12:00 pm, so it was lunch time. I want soup. I was thirsty. I was hungry. I was exhausted. I saw Canda’s Filipino Style Cuisine, wow, that was great. A Filipino cuisine in China? Near the airport? Really? Yeah. That was owned by Chef Cherry Joy Canda, the cheerful chef who always put a smile to everything she cooks. I was full. “Maraming salamat chef!” As I say farewell to her after eating their house specialty, the Sinigang na Bangus.
I went back to the airport. Another flight, another plane, another people inside the plane. That was my connecting flight to New York. May 28, 2025, China, 1:15 pm.
“This is China Airlines, and the plane is about to take off. Please turn off all your electronic devices. We are about to take off at exactly 1:20 pm. Our current time is 1:16pm. And our flight destination is New York International Airport. This is Captain Christian John Salvador and my co-pilot Captain Dexter Abrigo. Wait for further instructions by our cabin assistants. Thank you!”
Everytime I boarded an airplane I always took note of the names of the pilot. Thus, I listed Captain Christian John Salvador and Captain Dexter Abrigo. Their names seemed familiar, and I know they areFilipinos but they are piloting international flights. In China? Amazing!
I got bored; I turned on the screen in front of my seat. I watched replays of the recorded basketball series of NBA, there I saw Ryan Christian Macaso , dribbling the ball for a championship versus Miami Heat. The game got boring, I switched to music, to games, to movies, and switched back again. On my right side, a snappy and neat gentleman called the attention of my eyes, he was handsome masculine and somewhat cute. He was Mr. Cloyed Cruz, a young businessman heading for an entrepreneurial meeting in Nashville. “Our company is one of the leading companies endorsed by Taylor Swift – a clothing line industry.” He said. Our conversation didn’t last longer for we have nothing to talk to. I don’t want to open topics for him because I might destruct him. So, I enjoy myself reading the magazines. I fell a slept.
I heard the banging sound of the big cargo trucks, the chiming bells of the sidewalk music performers, the guitar, the drum, groove of the reggae music and the silhouette of the Metropolis is overhead. I was already in New York.
I enjoyed reminiscing the memories of my childhood especially my high school days. Everytime I logged on to facebook, I always checked the page that my classmate Bhea Calapardo created before, who is an Engineer of her own construction firm now. Everytime I hear the word engineer she was one who first came to mind. She married now to Christian Jay Opulencia, who is also an engineer. They are such a happy married couple.
Not only them who became engineers, but also Mohammad Adrean Ebojo, and Mohammad Jadid Abdusalam Mangandog who were now in Singapore and in Malaysia. Mark Mondido now is in Canada, he really became a lawyer. I remembered before when we were high school when everytime I asked him what he wanted to be when he grow old he said “ Lawyer, a lawyer!” and now he became one.
Those were just memories I have in mind while sitting on my sofa from work. I stirred the cup of tea. Then I reminisced again.
I was 35 years old that time. I was done with my research and my book has been published and released worldwide. Many young medical practitioners enjoyed reading my books. I published another book again and I continued my mission as a care provider of young children as a pediatrician. Several years later, I went back to the Philippines and wear the marriage ring. I got a wonderful son and a beautiful daughter. They were like me, they enjoy living Christian life.
About this Contemporary:
This creatives “The Pride of Tomorrow” is a Class Prophecy, was written by me intended for the high school batch 2013-2014 of the Bethany Child Development Center (BCDC), Zamboanga City – presented during the Junior and Senior’s Promenade night at Astoria Covention Hall, Astoria Regency, Zamboanga City last February 23, 2013.