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First published March 31, 2020
Basketball Shorts Man pointed at the irate birds. "The girl ... She want stay with the chikens ... Her lolo, um ... her grandfather die, already two days, ma'am. She not eat. She sleep and cry ... only sleep and cry," he stammered in broken English.
Basketball Shorts Man shrugged. "Hindi ko alam ... Sorry, ma'am. I do not know. The people sa baryo -- in the village ... they not talk so much. They afraid, ma'am. The girl, her lolo was NPA, the New People's Army -- communist guerrillas."
Basketball Shorts Man pulled out a handkerchief from his pocket and wiped his sweaty forehead. "Ma'am, they talk, konti lang. Small talk. The girl not go to school, not go to town so much, because her face ... She stay home, sa bahay. She help with work. Take care of chicken, sell egg, look after her lolo."
He exhaled. "Opo, ma'am. But the owner of the land, Sir Luis, he not want the government, the pulis. He want private. No questions ... That why you here, ma'am."
"But then Mama explained that chauffeurs were pretty common in the Philippines."