The story begins with a man and a woman who live in the Philippines. Back in the 1950s, the man was a miner in the mountains of Benguet and the woman used to sell mung beans (not even in her own market stall but out on the sidewalk).
A marriage borne out of love, quickly blossomed into eight wonderful children.
Now, post World War Two Philippines, an agricultural nation chained by four hundred years of colonial rule, was not an easy place to live, much more to raise eight children in. To such extent that the usual meal was mostly limited to "lugaw"-- rice with water and a dash of salt. In good times, one egg was shared by all, and it had to be divided into many pieces to be rationed.
But with faith, love, and hope, and the desire to provide a better life for their children, they managed to get by. The thriftiness of the family made discipline, of all things (most specially food) a prime asset.
This discipline led to an opportunity with clothing, specifically the sewing of pants, which at the time was very much in high demand, as people strove to look their best to find work amidst the ruin of World War II. And with the meager earnings from selling the mung beans and the pants, they were able to finally rent a stall in the market, and begin selling all sorts of goods.
The woman saw the bourgeoning population of their little town. Huge numbers of children were going to and from the school and hence she endeavored to procure cheap school supplies such as notebooks, pencils, pens, pad paper in Divisoria, Manila. A place which is very near to the port.
Every month she'd go ride the train from Pangasinan to Manila and buy these goods, which is quite an amazing feat ,as she'd literally have to haul several boxes of these goods back to Pangasinan to sell. Of course, like in the modern day Philippines, one can hire children who will follow you around the market to carry things for you for a little coin.
Tragedy struck, and because of the carelessness by some politicos who managed the market. Sometimes out of the desire to strike fear amongst the market tenants, the market burned deliberately. This happened on a regular basis, but according to my reckoning, it happened to the man and the woman at least three times.
All of their goods burned up in the sky. Just because some poltician wanted it. Just because someone forgot to snuff out a candle.
But they rebuilt as they always had, often resorting to loans from loan sharks, who are most probably also the hound dogs of the same politicos who burned the market down.
But they continued to rebuild.
Fast forward to the year 2000, and the eight children are now professionals. One is an engineer, another is a doctor, another a pastor, one an entrepreneur, one a Catholic priest, one a nurse, while another is a lessor renting out her own building.
Come the late 2000s. The woman then met an unfortunate accident that broke her hip bone, and that is the point of this story. In her ordeal, in the wheel chair, she never broke discipline and faith. She proceeded to continue the enterprise while following her daily regimen. At 4:00 AM she woke up, at 5:00 AM she went to church, at 6:00 AM she was at the store. She was always at the store, from the very beginning.
I would always want to end the story there, for it is those portions that give me the strength to go on amidst all the turbulence that life and people can throw at us.
Life can, at any time, strike us down devastatingly. It can burn our businesses down in the blink of an eye. It can take away our work as fast as you can say "I got laid off". It can put us in a wheelchair for the rest of our lives.
But everything that follows is still up to you.
The impossible is always moved if you have enough faith, and if you have enough determination to just make it so.
Roll without limits by moving the limits.
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