Continuation of draft, unedited short story, The Last Five Days.
Day two: The Storm
Henry at young age, he had everything.
An only son on a family that had Spanish blood from his patriarch that left Spain for new colony in the Pacific.
Las Islas Filipinas which been named honoring the great king Philip II of Spain by Villalobos on expedition era.
His grandfather fell in love at the serene beauty of the frontier and decided to stay, calling it a paradise. Jumps off one night when their ship continued to head north of the country. His heart were captured on a shy maiden Cecilia. A daughter of a wealthy Chinese seafarer who had a mixed Lumad blood that intermarried with the local.
It was dangerous for a pale man in the region but for the sake of love he stayed. He befriended the native and the local Datu of Manobo tribe, the grandfather of Cecelia.
During the heat of tranquility of resisting Moro, they forced to evacuate to Cotabato. A last stone fortress of the Spaniards.
Life those time is very difficult but nothing had hindered them on their love. They marry and have a son, Rafael Romero, who was born at the walled city.
Rafael had been in coconut industry and increased his property through opening a timber land and developed it for agricultural farming. In order to protect it, he sent his only son to go for college in the capital.
Henry who was young at that time met Marissa also pursuing business course while he was taking up law at University of Santo Tomas. They married and decided to settled back deep South in the country when they graduated. The beginning is okay, nothing they had to worry. A large portion of land in their family were entrusted to him. He managed it and he became more wealthier than his father.
Bein came followed by Jake but their their third child caught pneumonia during the typhoon season back in 74. He rushed it at the hospital in the city by boat for a long night cruising the murky sea. Then forcibly picked up by military men for interrogation soon they anchored in General Santos Port.
When he was released the following day, the child is dead.
That is the time he begun to joined secret meetings. He drunk every night and let Jake and Bein who was at young age that time march like a military cadet in front of him cursing the government.
Then beat them with a rattan if they gotten mistakes. Even with no reasons, he slapped them and attacked the two boy with that stick and they were wailing at great pain.
He was ruthless… heartless… a monster.
That supposed, he will be the one will protect them, love them, nurtured that he cannot gave because of his misfortune and hatred at what had happened.
“Your grandfather and most of us had answered the patriotic call on this land ever since. We were lurking in the dark at night holding our gun with kampilan against our enemies, against the merciless military government that sometimes abused their power. “
Henry stood right next to Jake who were watching the entire sea while the sun descending dramatically down the edge.
He glanced at his father. Hair were already all gray white. The face thin and receded back deep on his jaw bone. A cataracts had almost seized his left eye, bubbling audible words. He wanted to hugged him. He wants to forgive him on everything he did to them and forget the past.
” Look! Our Muslim brothers had already working in the government. No more reason you still holding that grudge. “
“ But not for us … they do not recognize our struggle. “
“ For what? For what? And why? Look at what you have done on this family.”
Henry touched his shoulder and squeezed it gently. He never added a word on their conversation. He gazed momentarily at the place. How he grow up here happily with his mom and how he been a good son to his father. He was sorry for everything. What they were fighting for, of being a leader of the leftist group, that he left when he realized that it is all wrong, to causes his house in shambles. His Bein who still missing, to Jake and to his third child, why it died despite of how he wants it to be alive.
A large patch of cloud gathering in the sky. Lightning flashed, forking and brewing.
Another storm and an endless rain on a bleak dark world. He went inside and thunder roar.