Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Never Let This Go

As promised, this blog entry will deal on what happened almost two weeks ago. Yup, with a permission coming from my friend, Ellie, let me recall the struggle we faced and the joy we felt when Tita Nita has been declared missing, and was found four days after.


It was December 13, a very typical Monday afternoon. I was talking to Ellie through Twitter, asking her to come with me and spend time in Starbucks SM Fairview. We agreed to meet at around 3 o'clock in the afternoon, and she also asked me to contact Adrian if he could join us. Luckily, Ehds (Adrian) agreed for he also thought that it was then the right time to tag her niece along to have her hair cut in Tony and Jackey. So we agreed to meet at Nayong Lourdes 1's entrance by 2:30pm.

While I was walking to get to the meeting place, I initially saw Leny's Kuya Michael walking from our village to theirs, humahangos. I didn't care, as I was excited to see Ehds and eventually get to the mall, like mainit kasi at gusto ko ng tumambay with them kasi sobrang bored to death na ako sa bahay. A few minutes after arriving at our meeting place, I saw Kuya Michael again, looking tired and really exhausted (as if he's been walking for like years). Then he asked me if I saw his sister, Ate Lizette, and I answered no. Initially, I thought, why would he be looking for he sister that afternoon? Did Ate Lizette ask Kuya Michael to wait for him there? But then again, I didn't put on a deal. Then I saw the jeepney where Ehds was riding on, and I took it too.

While on our way to the mall, I asked Ehds for an update about Leny's whereabouts. He answered by saying that Leny might not come for "nawawala si Tita". I laughed, for I was thinking that it was Tita Elena who was missing. I remember commenting that maybe Tita Elena was just somewhere, talking to somebody else she met in the street. I never thought that it was Tita Patricia, or Tita Nita as we call her, who was missing - which started by almost the same time I started waiting for Ehds on the village entrance. Then I put the pieces together, that it may have been the reason why I saw Kuya Michael walking to almost everywhere, and also looking for his ate; that the two of them have already started looking for Tita Nita.

We still pushed through going to the mall and had Ehds' niece's hair cut. We still pushed through going to Starbucks and bought some drinks. What did not push through was us spending more time there. We decided to take Reymie home, go to Leny's house and help her find Tita Nita that night. We met Leny and Cecil at the same village entrance that night. I suggested that we go to my house first so I could change my clothes and get a flashlight, which they agreed.

Our first stop to finding Tita Nita was Grand Cypress. Rumors had it that during that afternoon, Tita Nita was seen buying in the store in the subdivision across the highway. The information was verified by the village guard, but he added that after she bought eggs, she crossed the street and didn't know where she headed, either to the left (which may have earned her big chances of going back to their home) or right (which is the way to the greater part of our city). Not knowing where to go next, we decided to go to Tiosejo. It was dark, and no offense meant, the place was like those locations you'd find in movies where most serial killings or ghostly encounters happen. We didn't push through, afraid that something bad may happen to us. Then we started asking some people. There were people who claimed that they saw Tita Nita heading towards Grotto. Some people were just curious. Some where like this:

Ehds: Magtatanong lang po kung may nakita kayong babae, mga ganito kaliit, naka-gray na t-shirt and shorts na napadaan dito.
Leny: Kanina pa po kasi siyang hapon nawawala. May diperensiya po kasi siya sa pag-iisip. Baka nawala lang po sa isip kung paano uuwi.
Bystander: Nawawala po ba?

I was like, itatanong po ba namin kung nakita niyo kung kasama namin? Ano ba sa tingin niyo, nakalimutan niya na magkikita kami dito so hinahanap namin siya or naglalaro kami ng taguan?  

Following some leads, Leny's younger brother Sam and Ate Lizette went to Muzon to try and push their luck. Leny, Ehds, Cecil, and I even went to the barangay hall of Bgy. Graceville to file an incident report. And we even witnessed a kunwariang action scene (read: yung mamang tricycle driver, tinutukan nung maastang mama ng baril kasi kamuntikan na 'daw' mabangga, eh umusog lang naman yung tricycle driver).

Lucky us, we were able to spread out posters to help us find Tita Nita:

We did not find Tita Nita that night. End of day 1.

Day 2 went on without me. According to their stories, they even went inside Paradise, for there were information saying that she was found there, too. Quite contradicting at first, because if she was seen in Grotto-Muzon area, it would be impossible for her to be seen in Tungko-Paradise-Gumaok area without crossing the village where she lives; unless she took a jeep to Tungko, but no one even saw her going that way last night. Scary as hell though, they went to Igay from Paradise by walking alongside clear and vast land owned by some rich people. FYI, those lands where some of the most famous spots where dead or killed people were laid by brutal murderers or serial killers. They also saw a so-called abortion house, and some parts of the 'forest' where ghosts would usually appear and scare people out their wits.

Same like the second day, Day 3 went on without me. I woke up late and they were already at Sampol, in Sapang Palay, and it was really far from our place. Ehds told me not to come over since all of us are not familiar with the place, mahirap na at baka pati ako eh mawala at hanapin din nila.  Last thing I know, Tita Nita was near to them. Around 9pm, a police mobile escorted them with their car. They thought that the police will help them find Tita Nita that night, but they were wrong. They were actually escorted back to their house and were told not to go back to Sampol because it was already late. What was shocking and really frustrating was what happened 30 minutes after they were sent home. Someone, a concerned citizen, sent a text message to them that Tita Nita was found sleeping at the back of Puregold Jr. in Sampol. My friend and her family cannot go back there anymore because they were being guarded by the police. Thank you very much, Office of the Vice Mayor. Like, yeah, job well done.

It was Day 4 then, December 16. I woke up around noon, and started talking to Leny via Twitter. She was at school then and was planning to go back to Sampol since Ehds and her family, including her Aunt and cousin who came all the way from Laguna, went back there too to continue their hope of finding Tita Nita. I joined her, along with Cecil. To be perfectly honest, this was one of the longest nights of my life. Not minding of the hunger and thirst, we continued searching for possible information that will lead us to finding Tita Nita. Leny, Cecil and I even dared to go inside the dark streets of Area H, wishing that we'd find her with a certain Ate Leng. A child we asked told us that he saw Tita Nita being escorted by a certain Ate Leng going down the street beside Puregold Jr. But since we were not sure where exactly did they head, we dared to go to Area H. We reached the church but she wasn't there. We tried going to the barangay hall of Area H to file an incident report. We were even escorted to the other barangay hall near the place, only to find that some of our companions were already done filing a report and putting up posters of Tita Nita. We asked the Kagawad to escort us back to Puregold Jr. Funny and irritating, the Kagawad asked money from us, pampa-gas lang daw. Like yeah, kami pa pala ang may utang na loob. Pasensya naman sa pagkakawang-gawa mo dala ng obligasyon niyong tumulong at nagamit namin ang napaka-precious niyong gasolina.

After dinner, Leny, Ehds and I insisted of staying in Sampol for the rest of the night, thinking that maybe we will find Tita Nita walking around the place. Our first stop was in Puregold Jr.

We met Russell, a certain batang kalye whom we gave our baon (marujah) and spent time talking to. We then realized, according to his stories, that he left home last January. He was not even able to finish his schooling because his parents did not even care looking for him and bringing him back home. I personally felt the sorrow and the pain everyday caused him. Like, he was still young to endure all the pain life can bring. He wasn't wearing slippers then, so we told him that after finding Tita Nita, we will look for him before Christmas and buy him clothes and slippers. He went off to his friends to do their work for that night - collecting some items from the garbage, if I heard him right.

We decided to go back to the place where we ate dinner that was also near the Church of St. Joseph the Worker, thinking that Ate Leng might tag Tita Nita along with her and hear the mass of the rooster. It was nearing 4am that time, and I should be going home since I still have work. I called it quits when we arrived there. I left Leny and Ehds near the church even if I still don't want to. They patiently waited, until they decided to go home around 5am.

It was Friday morning then when someone contacted Leny's family that Tita Nita has been found. And yes, they did found Tita Nita. When Tita Elena and Kuya Michael went back to Sampol to fetch Tita Nita, they saw her wearing something else. The joy filled the place. If I would have been there, I don't know what to feel, what to say and what to do. Like I know Tita Nita and I are not blood related, but the feeling inside that you were there helping your friend find one of the most important persons in her and her family's life is something that makes me wonder what would have happen if we were not able to find her, never mind that it was nearing Christmas.

By the way, these are the people who found Tita Nita (not including the guy with a child):

And this is Tita Nita (the one in red, sitting) with her most beloved:

As per Tita Nita, it was not true that she bought eggs in Grand Cypress, and she has never been to Grotto that time. She bough some bread at a bakery outside the other village (the one near Paradise), then went to Sto. Cristo. She was even escorted by some police to Muzon because she said she hails in Nayong Lourdes, in Sta. Maria (we are in San Jose del Monte, and as far as I know, there is no Nayong Lourdes in Sta. Maria). From Muzon, she was able to go to Sampol where she spent the last days before we were able to find her.

As a friend, I can't help but be filled with joy after finding Tita Nita. Even if I was not the one who was able to have found her, the idea along that Tita Nita has been found was something to be glad of, never mind the fact that no one among us (Leny's family and friends) was able to find her but concerned and helpful strangers. Good Samaritans indeed.

Tita Nita is now recovering from the wounds she incurred from walking under the scorching heat of the sun and the cold windy and sometimes rainy night without food to eat and anything to drink for most of those five days she was not home.

I personally pray for her fast recovery and for this not to happen anymore, to her and to anyone. The experience of looking for someone who is not even totally related to you is let alone too hard to keep and to accept, how much more if the one that I'd be looking for soon is someone really close to my heart.


After this whole experience, I have realized some fruitful things.

First, you will never know a person's worth until you have come to realize that s/he is gone and/or missing. Wait, I am not saying that Tita Nita has never been important to her family. What I am trying to convey here is the lesson it brought me about keeping my connections to my beloved intact and never compromised. Fine, I bear grudges to my father. I hated him, take note: hated. I hated him for all the pain he caused my mother. I hated him for causing me pain. I hated him for not proving that it will still be worth it for him to stay with us. I hated him for because of him, I will always have this constant craving for love and affection that only a father could give, even if his counterpart has given, is giving and is still ever willing to give her all. I hated him for the fact that he was the one who gave up. It should have been that way. But now that he has partly gone, for I can still see him if I want to, I ponder on the things that have been taken away from me when he left. I may not have lost a father entirely, but I have lost having a father with me. Yeah, it sucks to be me now. I may still be in denial to say that I don't miss my father, but I cannot deny the fact that I miss having a father.

Second, I have also learned that when you want something to achieve, you have to do everything. The way you chase your dreams is a make or break point that determines how high will you be able to achieve your heart's desire. I totally admire Leny for keeping the faith that Tita Nita will be found even when I have seen her mother almost broke down, losing hope. Her determination has taught me to strive more in order to do what I want to do and get what I need. Being the person who seems to be always afraid and hesitant, the whole experience taught me that there are times that you have to swallow everything and do things you have to do in order to get what you want, without still stepping on other person's mark. I will always be grateful to Leny and her family for allowing me to take part to this wonderful experience.

Lastly, I have learned the value of patience and waiting for the right time. This is incidental when I learned the value of pushing yourself to the limits when you want something to be achieved.  That, even if you do everything, exhausted every little ounce of strength, passion, determination and resources that you might drain, if it is not the right time... it will never come. The whole experience was a journey that taught me to patiently wait and keep my faith unto the Lord and His mercy.


Oooops. I think I have become too melo-dramatic here. My apologies.

All in all, I was so happy that Tita Nita has been found and was able to celebrate Christmas with Leny and her family. I hope that Tita Nita will recover fully sooner or later.

Hmmm... I am still not sure of what to write on my next blog post, although I have few things at the back of my mind. Maybe I would have to keep you all thinking. Until next time!

Chard Lora


  1. aww love this chard, thanks! mwaaa :)) salamat sa pagtulong, sa pagpuyat at pagpapakapagod sa paghahanap. we really appreciate it. haha!