The Burial

The loud sound of the television suddenly impaired Angelica’s ears as everything has become silent, and only the beating of her heart was audible.

As Angelica glanced around their sala, she remembered the olden days when she spent most of her evenings listening to her father.

No matter how busy her father was, Mang Tony never neglected Angelica. In fact, he helped her in all her assignments. When they finished, they talked about why their day was a good or a bad one. Mang Tony listened to his daughter as she told him that she got a high grade, fell from her bike, shared her baon with her seatmate, and many other little incidents that for Mang Tony were headlines that he had to know.

One night, Angelica noticed that her father was working on some paraphernalia.

She inquired, “What are these for, Pa?”

Mang Tony replied, “These are infographics. We will distribute it tomorrow to pedestrians to inform them the things that they need to know.”

Angelica asked again, “Why are you doing this, Pa? Is it part of your job as a professor?”

Mang Tony took a deep breath, and he expressed, “No, Angel. I am doing this because I love our country and our countrymen. I believe this is the least that I can do to show my love.”

To Angelica, Mang Tony’s answer meant a lot to her because that was his last most significant words to his daughter.

The following morning, Angelica awoke because of a sudden noise in the opposite room. Two strangers grabbed his father while another one pointed a gun on her. All of them left their house in an instant, and she never saw her father since then.

Angelica sobbed while holding one of the paraphernalia that exposed the wickedness of Martial Law. That morning was dark and quiet. The neighborhood and even the nation did not hear her weeping.

Almost three decades later, she found herself on the same spot where she witnessed the abduction of her beloved father.

There she was staring at the screen. The news revealed that the new president ordered the transfer of a former president to the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

As her heart pounded intensely, Angelica thought about the students that his father educated in his teaching career, and how he dedicated his life to serve his country through his profession. She remembered how his father went beyond his work to express his love for the next generation. She now understood why she always had to wait for his father late in the afternoon. His father had to make sacrifices.

But there were things that she could never understand…

She wondered why the dictator would get a chance to be buried in a cemetery for heroes while the corpse of his father, whom she considered a real hero, couldn’t be found up to this day and has no chance to be buried.

Then, she wept.


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