Fisherboy (9 of 11)
Fisherboy: Imaginarily Directed By Ishmael Bernal
A Story by Jonathan Aquino (9 of 11)
Temyong got down the boat and waded to shore like Douglas McArthur during the Leyte Landing. He looked back.
"Stay in the boat, Jay!" he commanded.
The boy nodded anxiously, gripping the paddle as if his life depended on it.
"Lucio's the son of the owner of the cockpit arena in town," said Sendong.
"Yeah, I remember him," said Temyong as he reached solid ground.
"Good afternoon, kapitan!" greeted Lucio. He was holding a shoebox.
"Good afternoon to you, as well," nodded Temyong. He surveyed the assembled men. "I didn't know there was a rally!" he quipped. "Elections are still far away. I don't see any fighting cocks so I guess there's no tupada!"
"I bring you good news, kapitan!" declared Lucio. "Good news for all of you!" His smile took them all in. "Kapitan," he said, turning to Temyong, "do you know what's inside this box?"
Lucio smiled as some of the men chuckled nervously. "This," he said, taking off the lid, "is the answer to your prayers!"
Inside the box were sticks of dynamite.
Temyong's face darkened as the air crackled with tension. "Don't tell me you are serious, Lucio," he said with quiet venom.
"Lucio's right, kapitan!" said Berto, Bugoy's father, coming forward. "If we use dynamite, we'll catch more fish!"
Orlando struggled to the front. "That's dangerous, Mang Berto!" he warned. He turned to Temyong. "Kapitan, I've been trying to tell them that if we use dynamite--"
"Then you will catch more fish!" Lucio cut in. "Mang Berto is right!"
"While our lives are in danger?!" challenged Orlando.
"You're too superstitious, boy!" Lucio said dismissively.
"What's superstitious about being blown away anytime?!" Orlando was relentless.
"Why would you set it off on the boat?!" asked Lucio. "Light the wick and then you throw it overboard!"
"It's still dangerous!" Orlando insisted.
Lucio was shaking his head condescendingly. "You know, that's the kind of mentality that keeping you poor!" he said. "Here is your chance to make your life easier!"
A murmur of approval came from the crowd.
"Not only that!" said Lucio, playing the gallery. "You can double, even triple, your earnings!"
The crowd was becoming excited.
Orlando and Temyong exchange glances.
Lucio was on a roll. "Am I right, my friends?!"
A chorus of acclaim.
"Look, fellows," said Orlando looking around, "let's not put our lives in danger! Think about what could happen!"
"He's right!" said Lucio.
Orlando whirled towards him, stunned.
"Think about what could happen!" Lucio told the crowd, nodding. Pause. "You'll all gonna be rich!"
The crowd exploded with cheers for Lucio.
Bugoy broke through the crowd. "Father, Kuya Orlando is right!" he pleaded, crying, clinging to Berto's arm. "That's dangerous!"
"Shut up, Bugoy!" scolded Berto. "Don't meddle with adults!"
Orlando went to Temyong as the crowd was growing wild. "Kapitan," he said, his eyes pleading. "Talk to them!"
"Kapitan," said Berto.
The crowd parted so Temyong and Berto came face to face.
"I respect you, kapitan," said Berto quietly. "You know how I've always valued your counsel. You're the godfather of my son." He sighed. "But this time, the future of my family comes first!"
Temyong was silent. Finally, he said, "I agree with Orlando, Berto. No dynamite will ever come to my boat." He took a step and placed a hand on Berto's shoulder. "Old friend," he said softly, "will you change your mind?"
"I've decided,kapitan." Berto turned to his young helper. "Orlando, we'll be using dynamite starting tomorrow, do you understand?!"
To Be Continued Next Saturday Night On The 2Rivers Saturday Evening Posts
(Photos courtesy of SamanaPeninsulaOnline.com)
Excerpts From The Stories of Jonathan Aquino aka Huggybear
It’s nice to be who I am: a young man with no hang-ups or insecurities. I love positive interactions. I attract the company of independent-minded people, and nobody intimidates me. I’m so bohemian there’s no malice in my life. Maybe that’s why back fighters hate me, hmmm. I don’t feel envy, which some thinks is a sign of being mental, instead I go the other way – I celebrate other people’s achievements through my blog
(Photo of Huggybear Taken March 2013 In Lahug City, Cebu)