The first time I stepped my feet in Singapore, 4 years ago, I have to get myself accustomed to their norm. This country wouldn’t be named as a “fine” city for nothing, but that’s not what I am meaning to expound on. Anyway, I am impressed how the old ones are very active here, on how much they are involve in different community activities, some HDB flats have their senior citizen lounging area, which is perfect for their “siestas. What breaks my heart though is that, even at their very weakly and crumpled skin forms, you can see most of them working in restaurants, hawker centers, food chains and the likes, tidying up and attending to all the messy chores.
My maternal grandparents passed away when I was 6, my paternal grandfather on the other hand died even before I was born and they were staying oceans away from us. I remember how my Tatay Sulping (grandpa) shares his own folk tales while we’re all resting in his bamboo bed and my Nanay Nene (grandma) being the fuzzy/OC that she was, shares her ideologies on how it’s like to be a well behave kid. I sometimes wonder how life would’ve been if they are still around… and I can’t imagine them doing the job that the old ones here nor I would allow them to experience such.
Yesterday, on my way to church, I saw an ambulance stationed at the bus stop. I saw blood stains on the steps of the foot bridge. Downstairs, I saw an old man, getting a first aid treatment (by the way it looks) but I only a got a fleeting look and didn’t really understand what happened.
When I got home, my housemate/friend told me that she saw an old man fell from the stairs and how the man looked badly hurt, realizing that we were talking about the same old man. I felt sad… I can’t help but ask and wonder where is his family? Do they look after him? Or will they be taking care of him? Wouldn’t it be nice to be taken care by your family? The same question lingers for the other oldies who are also working here.
I am thankful and proud that I am a Filipino, more because of the values injected in me about families… I don’t know what kind of heart will leave their oldies behind… as if anyone is exempted from growing old… I hope and pray that Mr. Old man will be well.