chuvaness
Good night, Roger Moore
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You probably won’t believe this but I think, I think, I know I may have ESP.

I started watching the premiere episode of The Bachelorette around 9 PM, Manila time.
As the bachelors were coming out of the limousines wearing suits, I couldn’t help but think of a man in a white dinner jacket, how I love that, and how nobody ever wears that now, except maybe the headwaiter of Lusso.
I’m so in love with that debonair vintage look with the slicked hair.

For some reason, I also kept getting a vision of a mole on a man’s face—a flesh colored mole. What the hell was I thinking??
My son Ben came home from a friend’s house and brought me home a midnight snack of McDonald’s Chicken Fillet. I ate that while watching the rest of the show.
When I finished watching at 11:30 PM, I went to Twitter and found out that Roger Moore had just died at the age of 89.
I suddenly realized why I kept seeing the white dinner jacket and the flesh-colored mole.
Perhaps it was a sign of Roger Moore.

For me there were only two James Bonds: Sean Connery and Roger Moore. The rest don’t really matter.

Roger Moore

Good night, sweet prince.
Roger Moore, 1927- 2017

P.S. I love Rachel Lyndsay. Best Bachelorette so far!!

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Master and Servant (Part Three)
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My friend Anna said one mustn’t post negative stuff because the energy will bounce back to the author. But I feel that this story has to be told because there are really bad people out there and it’s scary.
I’ll try to cut this story short so that I can move on with the rest of my day…

To make a long story short, my lawyer cousin woke up early to go to the hospital to convince Nilo to sign the waiver. But first they had to wait for Nilo’s boss who was driving from Pampanga. They waited a few hours.
• When the boss arrived, they signed in the agreement that I would should the medical bills and that’s all. They even accepted a settlement of Php 50,000 for Nilo’s rehab and loss of income during his recovery.
• The Php 50,000 was pocketed by Nilo’s boss, saying he doesn’t trust Nilo with the money. He said Nilo might spend it on women and drinking (a statement which later enraged Nilo’s siblings).
• I don’t understand why a middle-aged man like Nilo is not able to make decisions without clearing it with his boss first.
• Nilo’s concern was to get well as soon as possible because his boss relies on him for the business.
• The boss said it was Nilo’s responsibility to find him a reliever during his recovery period.
• Nilo’s wife was not allowed by the boss to visit Nilo during his one-week hospital stay. According to the relatives, that was because Nilo’s wife was running the boss’s laundry business, where she was being paid Php 5,000/month (less than minimum wage).
• Nilo could not claim Philhealth because his Philhealth and SSS had lapsed months ago. If Nilo’s boss really considered him “family”, why did he not take care of the Philhealth? Is it because Nilo’s family is a free border at the boss’s compound?
• Nilo was placed in a private room. When I asked him to be transferred to a semi-private room to lower the bills (especially the doctor’s fees), his only question was “Does it have a TV?” It does not. He asked if he could stay in the private room because of the TV, and we agreed.

Our driver was released later that day. Our lawyer had the pay the cops a “gift” of Php 5,000.
Our driver and car were unharmed. Our driver said he was free to roam around the vicinity and buy food. He did not suffer. While the cops refused to speak to our lawyer on the phone, they were very friendly when they met, and happily received the cash.
I didn’t speak about it with our driver because aside from Nilo, I think he and I suffered the most. He—because he had to spend a night in the precinct, and I, because of how the boss treated me.

At first it was feared that Nilo would need a second surgery, but he really wanted to get well and we prayed for him. I believed he dodged a second surgery because he’s a good man. I believe good people are blessed with speedy recovery.
After one week I paid a total of Php 352,000. It’s sad that the doctors in Medical City that treated him wanted to be paid in cash. We had to fight with the nurse to accept my credit card payment. It was a Friday and there was no way I would get cash late in the afternoon. They did not want to accept a check.
After an argument, the doctors finally agreed to a credit card payment care of the hospital. I am still paying for that bill through a 0% payment scheme.

I sincerely hope Nilo is OK now. As for the boss, my brain has chosen to erase his name. It is no longer in my memory bank and I don’t want to remember.
I also don’t want anything to do with the cousin who refused to vouch for me.

In hindsight, I wish I had followed the Medical City doctor’s advice to move Nilo to a government hospital, then the cost wouldn’t hurt so much.
We have installed a dashboard camera so that we can be protected in case anything like this happens.
I would also like to request the City of Pasig to create a zebra crossing in front of Ayala Malls the 30th because a lot of people still pass there.
This shouldn’t happen to anyone again. Not to impatient pedestrians, and not to innocent drivers and car owners like us.

READ ALSO:
We Are All Tizons by Shakira Sison
My Family’s Slave by Alex Tizon

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Master and Servant (Part Two)
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I’ve been trying to avoid writing negative things because the energy it gives me is so bad.
I honestly got exhausted writing Part One that I had to stop, have a massage, and take a nap.
But I felt like I had to write it because what I went through was so painful, to think that I stressed about it for only a week. What more the actual victim who could be suffering up to now?

I prepared myself for a phone call with Nilo’s boss, hoping to gain his trust that I would pay the medical bills of Nilo and that he would allow Nilo to sign the waiver so that my driver could go home and not be detained at the precinct.

It was nearing midnight when I got the dreaded call. I used my chirpy, friendly voice. “Good evening po. My name is Cecile. I’m the cousin of R (his Facebook friend) and the friend of Yvette Fernandez….”
I thought that mentioning his Facebook friends’ names would give us something in common. Perhaps he could ask them about me and they could vouch for my character.

The boss immediately answered on the defense: “Look I don’t care who your cousin is or if you’re friends with Yvette.”
He was fuming mad and went on a tirade about how Nilo, whom he considers his family and has been his right hand for 17 years, and whose foot is ruined, may never walk again, etc. etc.

He wouldn’t let me have a word in. So I let him talk. But I wanted to say, please calm down.
He went on and on, I even put the phone down on the table because he was yelling at me.
I wanted to say, look, I wasn’t even there. I just want to help. My driver needs to go home. I’m afraid the cops will hurt my driver. It was an accident. Nilo was jaywalking with a phone on his ear…. I just need Nilo to sign the waiver so that my driver can go home.

But he wouldn’t let me speak. So finally when there was a pause, I told him in an exasperated tone because I was about to cry, “Look, I just want to pay for it!!”
And that’s when he lost it. “Excuse me???? Do you think this is all about money and you can just pay for it and that’s it??? THIS IS ABOUT MY SOMEONE WHO IS FAMILY TO ME AND HIS FOOT WAS SHATTERED IN PIECES AND I DON’T REALLY CARE IF YOUR DRIVER SPENDS THE NIGHT IN JAIL!!”

He went on: “Just because the money means nothing to you or me.”
“It means something to me,” I said.
Then he said, “Do you think I’m being rude to you?”
“Yes.”
“How am I being rude to you???”
“Just the way you’re talking, your tone of voice. You are being rude. I meant no harm. I just want to help.”

Click. I couldn’t take it anymore. I put the phone down, shocked by his behavior.
I was shaking. It was midnight and I didn’t know what to do.
I got another call from our driver. The cops would let him go home if they leave the BMW at the precinct. But our driver refused.
I talked to my lawyer cousin who talked to my driver, who humbly said he was fine spending the night at the precinct and I should go to bed.
I later texted the boss I’m sorry for hanging up, and decided to let the lawyer handle it.
After that, I blocked his number because I refuse to be treated that way again.

In the morning my lawyer cousin would go to the hospital and talk to Nilo and his boss.

(To be continued)

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Master and Servant (Part One)
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When the Ayala Malls The 30th opened in our neighborhood last January, little did I know that a month later, an accident near the mall would forever change some lives.

Last week, the Internet was abuzz about a story published in The Atlantic, about a Filipino woman who was enslaved by a Filipino family in the United States.

slave

The story broke my heart and I read it twice. While many people chose to attack the late author Alex Tizon and his family, I tend to agree with Teddyboy Locsin, who called it a love letter to Lola.

This morning I read We Are All Tizons which brings to light how people treat their helper—the people who work to make our lives more comfortable.
It was unfortunate that horrible monsters still exist in our society. I had to talk to one a few months ago. The encounter left me traumatized for weeks….

Last February, I was expecting my husband to come home early to cook spaghetti bolognese with me.
The ingredients were ready by 4PM, but he didn’t come home until around 6:30 PM.
When he walked in, he look very much stressed and harassed. Jeroen said his driver had an accident and ran over a jaywalker’s foot in front of the 30th Mall. The jaywalker had been on the phone while crossing the street. He chose to cross in front of the mall, even though the actual zebra crossing was just a few yards away.

The man’s foot was bloodied. A crowd gathered around, and seeing a white man (my husband) stepping out of a BMW, they took out their phones and started taking pictures. A traffic enforcer came. My husband, in his meager knowledge of Tagalog, heard him say it was the man’s fault, not our driver’s.
With that, my Dutch husband decided to walk home.

When he told me what happened, my first instinct was to wonder if it was some sort of modus operandi, because my friend Biden had a man throw himself in front of her car in Divisoria to solicit money. My husband assured me it was not like that. The man was really in pain.
We decided to cook spaghetti while waiting for news from the driver.

Two hours later, I got a call from Medical City Hospital in Ortigas where the cops took the victim, Nilo (not his real name), and my driver. My instinct during a time like this, was to offer to pay for the medical bill because the victim was poor. Never mind if it was his fault.
This, I told the police officer over the phone. The police handed the phone to the doctor who told me I had to make a Php 20,000 deposit to have Nilo confined. The doctor then asked if I would have the victim transferred to a government hospital because Medical City is expensive. It would cost more than Php 150,000 for the first surgery. I braced myself.

Having experienced horrible service at a government hospital in 2010, I told them to keep Nilo there. I could imagine the pain he was going through and thought the humanitarian thing was to get him treated as soon as possible.

I spoke to Nilo on the phone and told him not to worry, I would take care of the bills. But I need him to sign a waiver that it ends there. I would pay for his bills and he cannot run after us or press charges because he was the one jaywalking. I was there to help him get through this. Nilo was kind and agreed. I quickly called my lawyer cousin and asked him to email me a waiver form.
Then I sent my maid to the hospital with Php 20,000 deposit and the form. And then I got a call back that Nilo refused to sign the waiver.

Meanwhile, the police had taken my driver into custody, along with the BMW.

I decided to call to Nilo on the phone. Apparently he had consulted with his boss in Tarlac who told him not to sign anything. I asked for his boss’s name, did a quick Facebook search, and found him.
I went through his Friend’s list and found common friends (Yvette Fernandez, Elbert Cuenca) and a distant cousin from the Zamora side.

I reached out to my cousin to ask the boss to vouch for me before I talked to him. Unfortunately my cousin refused to help me. It was already 10:30 PM and I didn’t want my driver to sleep in the precinct. God knows I have watched too may Brillante Mendoza movies to know what happens in there….

(Sorry I have to pause because this is getting stressful. Be back in a while.)

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