The next day after painting graves, Tito and Elias took their time resting in the graveyard along with the other workers. The Barangay Captain had gone, leaving them with snacks. He supplied them with empaynada, pancit, and rice. Each had their own share and heartily consumed the food. Again, they were also given soft drinks. But, this time it was two liters of Sprite.
The older man among the three workers spoke, “There are hearsays about these people planning to excavate this cemetery.”
None of them said anything. Everyone intently looked at the man. He added, “The rich always get to do whatever they want.”
“But, the people won’t let that happen. There are… Ano? Maybe hundreds of dead people buried here,” the gaunt man said. His voice was surprisingly deep for someone whose ribs protruded over his brown skin.
Elias looked at Tito, wanting to see his reaction. He wanted to see the reaction of someone who had dug the earth and found a gold earring early in the morning. But, Tito remained calm and unaffected by what the other workers were discussing. He listened and relished his food.
Then, out of the blue, the teenager spoke, “Ah! Is that why there’s this Starex that had been passing by the cemetery lately?”
Continue reading Lego House (Part 3 of 3)
Elias said, “Is there? I only know of the Yamashita treasure. It was my grandfather who told me about it. The Japanese General. Pero, wala man gihapon.”
“We can search for the treasure ourselves,” Tito persuaded Elias.
“Nabuang naman guro ka?” Elias had no hint of emotion on his face, but his mind swirled with images of gold. He looked at the tombs and on the ground and then pictured shiny and heavy gold bars underneath the asphalt ground.
Tito said, “They did find a treasure at the wakeboard area. There must be one or two here as well!”
Elias’ eyes widened and he felt a shiver down his spine. He was speechless. But, he saw a clearer vision of gold bars beneath his feet. . . everywhere, underneath all the tombstones, trees and the small obelisk. “Treasure hunting has long been banned,” he answered back.
“The authorities had been planning to excavate the graveyard even in the past. They want the gold for themselves. Don’t you want them too?” Tito said in a low voice as if talking to himself.
“What if we’ll get caught?”
Continue reading Lego House (Part 2 of 3)
Elias Kupong crossed the pedestrian lane and paced toward the gates of Mintal Elementary School. He was on his way to One Network Bank where he left his bicycle. He carried a plastic bag filled with atchara, bulad and cooked rice. The sun shone brightly and exposed his narrow forehead, lazy brown eyes, large nose and dark thin lips. He was in his usual white long-sleeve shirt, khaki shorts and rugged slippers. He stopped by the school and scanned the field. Near the cream-colored school building were two headstones and an obelisk. Two little lads played tag close to the monument. An old memory of his flashed and he saw himself running across the vast field. School was fun and interesting, Elias thought. But, his family wasn’t fortunate enough to send him to college. Remembering those things bothered him. He had promised to never linger on the past.
There were many people outside the elementary school and he wondered why. He looked around and saw a young mother with a baby in her arms. Beside the young mother, a rather fat lady in sunglasses stood, fanning herself. Her glasses flashed for a moment, unlike her diamond earrings that shimmered steadily. She furrowed her brows and rolled her eyes.
She said, “Where is the President?” She fanned herself even more and few locks of her hair flew away repeatedly.
Elias went closer to the crowd and inquired, “Unsa diay ang naa?” However, he was ignored. The fat lady stared at him from head to toe and then continued fanning herself.
Continue reading Lego House (Part 1 of 3)