Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas in Qatar

I just read what Chris V. Panganiban, one of the many Philippine Daily Inquirer Mindanao correspondents, wrote on my Facebook wall at 9:55pm of I don't know the day some months back.

"Bay, biya na ko dire sa atong yutang batoon karong Oct 15. Manimpalad ko sa Doha, Qatar isip reporter. Salagma man god nga nakuha ko sa among Briton nga managing editor nga si Rachel Morris aron himoon ko niya senior reporter sa The Peninsula.
Cge ayo, ayo mo dha tanan sa Inquirer. Padayon pakigbisog alang sa kawsa sa mga matarung nga journalists dire Pinas

I don't know how I came upon Chris' Facebook message in the midst of some editing works at davaotoday. But I was thinking about Chris because we ate durian, and sugbang panga, and rambutan, and lanzones, and alimango during Inquirer Mindanao's blow out party in May, when Grace kept asking me if I had plans to go out with her abroad, too, and I told Grace, no, sorry, I will stay here with my kids; and Grace said, "Even if you'll get paid P---,000 a month?" and then, my eyes popped up and my ears burst, and I said, "Okay, when?!" I was still in the midst of an assignment for media law, some sort of an essay about libel and freedom of expression versus freedom of religion but I stopped thinking for a while.
Then, later, I heard about Chris already in Qatar without ever seeing his message on my Facebook until now, when I'm in the midst of editing this story about Christmas in some OFWs home, thinking about my Christmas, which is no Christmas at all; and the fear and panic and butterflies in my stomach, and some inner voice telling me to seek some job--no, not a job really but something that could keep body and soul intact--and I thought again of Grace and our wild plans and then, I realized that I can't even buy a birthday gift for my son. I only wanted to ask Chris how is his Christmas in Qatar.