At 85 five years old, Olec’s mom passed away after spinal injuries that resulted from falling off the bed. I don’t recall ever meeting her. Maybe I was too young to remember or oblivious to the fact that this woman was his mother. I know Olec, though. He is a Baguio based salon owner and the only person I ever go to for a haircut. I’ve been seeing him since I was a little girl and something tells me that even past adolescence, I will still continue to see him.
Last night, he prayed for strength in case the inevitable would happen. I sent him the equivalent of love and prayers through a message on Facebook and when he replied today, he had been telling me what had happened and that all was well but in the midst of replying, he received news of her passing from his niece. Here is another woman I would like to remember. I may not have known her but I’m sure in some ways, I’ve met her in the eyes of her son.
In Ateneo the semester has almost hit its first month. Students are in the usual flux of crunch-time and down-time and while the humdrum of student life keeps the halls pulsing with the steady school atmosphere, there was one person I knew who went missing. It wasn’t apparent at first. We (Anton & I) assumed that he might have decided to take the day off when we had both been in school. But, hitting the third week of the semester, Anton realized it might have been more than just a day off. So, a few days ago he went to the Bento stall in the school cafeteria, ordered his usual Yakimeshi Rice and noticed that there was a new cook in town. He didn’t hesitate to ask what had happened to the previous man, THE Ateneo version of the Iron Chef who could whip up meals within minutes and keep a long queue of college kids happy during breaks.
Mang Arlan was 36 years old. He suffered from high blood pressure, went to sleep then never woke up. School will never be the same without him. Hopefully his family is okay. I have yet to find out about them but there certainly was a tinge of sadness that could be felt upon hearing this news. 36 years old, best chef in school. I hope he was happy.