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Showing posts from July, 2011


FOR a hillock of soiled clothes she laundered by hand, she was paid P300. She spent a fraction of a day’s eternity rubbing, kneading out stains spread over cloth threads that wore her palms raw. She spent P150 for a can of infant formula. Good for a stretch of three days to keep her child fed.

It was a feat. She had hewn with her hands through a hillock—neither forbidding nor rough as a mountain. But she did it in less than a day, slow shearing of shoulder sinew and the backside spread of flesh did not impede a frenzy of her arms as she wore down the clothes heap that was before her and was done, gone.

There would be days ahead. Days would bring heaps and hillocks she can hew down barehanded. She had just turned 20, and her new-found strength was a gift to be cherished. The body mends after a flood of soreness sweeps through the marrow.

Her strength would meet a now not-so-daunting dare of a P150 can of infant formula, three-day sustenance for her child. She can envision three, six, ni…