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Not Alone

Not Alone
Find out more
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Not Alone

A Filipino Story by Anonymous


When Dalisay was just eight years old her mother told her that they would be leaving their home and moving to England. ‘Your father must find work so that we can send money to support your grandparents and your aunty,’ explained Dalisay’s mother.

The young girl did not want to leave her home in Manila, which is a very big city in the Philippines, and she was very sad when her mother told her this news.

‘But what about all of my friends?’ asked Dalisay. ‘I do not know anybody in England and I will be all alone.’

Her mother assured Dalisay that it was going to be an exciting adventure for the three of them and that Dalisay would meet lots of new friends when she started school in England. Dalisay was not convinced by her mother’s kind words. She liked her home and she liked going to school where she knew all of the teachers and had lots of friends already. ‘I don’t see why we have to move all the way to England,’ thought Dalisay on the night before the family was due to leave. ‘I do not know anything about England. I do not even speak very much English and I will be all alone!’

This last realisation made the young girl even more sad and she wished with all of her heart that she could stay in Manila with her Aunty or her grandparents.

The journey was very long and Dalisay was overwhelmed by the big aeroplane and all of the people rushing about in the airport.

When the family finally arrived in England, everything seemed strange and she was sure that everybody was looking at her. The buildings in the town of Birmingham were big and grey and Dalisay did not feel at home at all.

The first month passed in a flash as the family found a house to live in and Dalisay’s father went out looking for work so that he could send money back to the rest of the family in the Philippines.

The young girl was very lonely, and even though her mother played games with her and took her out exploring, Dalisay missed her friends very much and could not help feeling that she was all alone in the new city. At night she would cry in her bed and she often dreamed that her father would wake her the next day and tell her that they were going to return home. But each morning Dalisay woke up and realised that she might never go back home ever again.

One morning, as she was eating her strange breakfast of cereal with milk – nothing like her usual breakfast of sinangag which was rice made with yummy eggs, Dalisay learned that she would be going to school. ‘It will be so nice for you to get out of the house and meet new friends,’ said her mother.

But Dalisay was not happy to hear this news. She missed her friends back home, and although she did want to get out of the house more, she was scared of going to school because she did not know anybody. Dalisay had seen lots of children as she and her mother explored the city of Birmingham, but none had spoken to her and she did not speak much English which she knew was going to be difficult in school. 

When the morning arrived, Dalisay tried to pretend that she had a fever and was too sick for school, but her mother could always tell when Dalisay way pretending and so she was forced to get dressed and have her breakfast.

Dalisay and her mother walked hand in hand all the way to the school gates where they were met by a teacher called Mrs Murry. The teacher was very friendly and welcomed Dalisay to the school and told her mother that she could come and collect her daughter again at three o’clock.

The morning passed in a blur as Dalisay was introduced to more teachers and lots and lots of children who all smiled and said hello. Dalisay did not understand a lot of what was said to her but it was explained that in the afternoon she would go to a special class with other children who had moved to England from all over the world.

When Dalisay arrived at the classroom later that afternoon, she knocked on the door and walked inside. She was very nervous and also very tired from such a long day of meeting strangers. But when she walked in she was greeted with a big smile by Mrs Mahmood who was from Pakistan. ‘Come on in, Dalisay,’ said the friendly teacher, ‘today we are reading a book called Puss in Boots and later we will be playing some games and painting.’

The young girl noticed that all of the children in the classroom were very different from one another. There was a boy from Zimbabwe and two girls from Poland. There was an older girl from Albania and a boy who was even younger than Dalisay who said that he was from Iran. And to her great surprise, sitting at the back of the classroom with a copy of Puss in Boots clasped in her hands, was a young girl called Luningning who was also from the Philippines! ‘Come over here and sit next to me!’ exclaimed Luningning, who was just as surprised as Dalisay.

The two girls became instant friends as Luningning explained all about the story of Puss in Boots and how they learned to improve their English with Mrs Mahmood who was the best teacher in the whole wide world.

That afternoon, Dalisay talked to each and every one of the children in the class, and although she did not always understand what they were saying, she knew one thing for sure: all of the children had come to England to start a new life, and even though it was sometimes scary to be in a new place where you did not speak the language, there would always be somebody around who would help. And no matter where you went in the world, you would always find a friend. Dalisay realised then that she would never be alone. England was her new home and she was going to make the best of it no matter what.        

Not Alone
Find out more
about the contributors

Not Alone

A Filipino Story by Anonymous


Noong si Dalisay ay walong taong gulang pa lamang, sinabihan siya ng kanyang ina na lilisanin na nila ang kanilang tahanan at sila ay lilipat na sa Inglatera.  “Kailangang maghanap ng trabaho ang iyong ama para makapagpadala ng pera para iyong lolo, lola at tiyahin,” paliwanag ng kanyang ina.

Ayaw ng batang babae na iwanan ang kanilang tahanan sa Maynila na isang malaking siyudad sa Pilipinas, at siya ay lubos na nalungkot nang sinabi ng kanyang ina sa kanya ang balita.

Pero, paano na ang lahat ng aking mga kaibigan?”, tanong ni Dalisay.  “Wala akong kilala sa Inglatera at mag iisa ako.”

Siniguro ng ina ni Dalisay sa kanya na ito ay magiging kapana-panabik na pakikipagsapalaran para sa kanilang tatlo at makakikilala si Dalisay ng maraming kaibigan kung siya ay magsisimulang mag-aral sa Inglatera.  Hindi nakumbinsi si Dalisay sa mga salita nga kanyang ina. Gusto niya ang kanilang tahanan at gusto niyang mag-aral sa paaralan na kilala niya ang lahat ng mga guro at marami na siyang mga kaibigan.  “Hindi ko maintindihan kung bakit kailangang lumipat pa kami sa Inglatera,”  isip ni Dalisay noong gabi bago sila nakatakdang bumiyahe.  “Wala akong alam sa Inglatera.  Hindi ako masyadong marunong mag-Ingles at ako ay mag- iisa!”

Ang huling pagtatantong ito ay ikinalulungkot ng lalo ni Dalisay at humiling siya ng buong puso na siya ay manatili sa Maynila kasama ang kanyang lolo, lola at tiyahin.

 

Mahaba ang biyahe at napuspos si Dalisay ng mga malalaking eroplano at ng pambihirang dami ng tao sa paliparan. 

Nang dumating ang pamilya sa Inglatera, halos lahat ay kakaiba at  sigurado siya na lahat ay tumitingin sa kanya.  Ang mga gusali sa bayan ng Birmingham ay malalaki at kulay- abo at si Dalisay ay hindi ganap na  mapanatag.

Mabilis na lumipas ang isang buwan at nakakita ng bahay na matitirahan ang pamilya at ang ama ni Dalisay ay naghanap ng trabaho para makapagpadala ng pera sa naiwang kapamilya sa Pilipinas.

Malungkot na malungkot si Dalisay kahit nakikipaglaro sa kanya ang kanyang ina at ipinapasyal siya.  Nangungulila siya sa kanyang mga kaibigan at di niya makayanan ang pakiramdam na nag-iisa siya sa bagong bayan.  Umiiyak siya kung gabi sa kanyang kama at palagi siyang nananaginip na gigisingin siya ng kanyang ama at sasabihan na babalik sila sa Pilipinas. 

Isang umaga, habang siya ay kumakain ng kakaibang almusal na tinatawag na “cereal” na may gatas – di kapareha sa dating almusal na sinangag na may masarapna itlog-nalaman niya na siya ay papasok na sa paaralan.  “Makakabuti sa iyo ang lumabas ng bahay at makakikilala ng mga bagong kaibigan, “ sabi ng kanyang ina.

Pero hindi masaya si Dalisay sa balitang ito.  Nangungulila siya sa kanyang mga kaibigan sa Pilipinas at kahit gusto man niyang lumabas ng bahay, natatakot siyang pumunta sa paaralan dahil wala siyang kakilala.  Maraming nakitang mga bata si Dalisay habang ginalugad nila ng kanyang ina ang siyudad ng Birmingham, pero ni isa sa kanila ay hindi nakipag usap sa kanya, at hindi rin siya nakakapagsalita ng Ingles ng husto na alam niyang magiging mahirap sa eskwela.

Nang dumating ang umaga, nagpanggap si Dalisay na may lagnat at hindi niya kayang pumunta sa paaralan, pero masasabi kaagad ng kanyang ina na siya ay nagpapanggap lamang at siya ay pinilit na magbihis at mag-almusal.

Magkahawak kamay si Dalisay at ang kanyang ina papunta hanggang sa tarangkahan ng paaralan kung saan sinalubong sila ng isang guro na si Ginang Murray.  Ang guro ay palakaibigan at sinalubong si Dalisay ng magiliw sa paaralan at sinabihan ang ina ni Dalisay na sunduin ang kanyang anak alas-tres ng hapon.

Mabilis na lumipas ang umaga habang si Dalisay ay ipinakilala sa iba pang mga guro at napakaraming bata na ngumiti at bumati sa kanya.  Hindi naintindihan ni Dalisay ang lahat ng sinabi sa kanya pero ipinaliwanag sa kanya na siya ay pupunta sa espesyal na klase kasama ang ibang batang galing sa ibang sulok ng mundo na lumipat sa Inglatera.

Dumating si Dalisay sa silid-aralan kalaunan ng hapon, kumatok siya sa pinto at pumasok sa loob.  Siya ay kinakabahan at saka napagod nang husto sa mahabang araw na makikipagkita sa mga estranghero.  Pero nang siya pumasok, siya ay binati ng  malaking ngiti ng palakaibigang guro na mula sa bansang Pakistan.  “Pasok, Dalisay,” sabi ng palakaibigang guro, “ngayon, tayo ay magbabasa ng libro na may pamagat na “Puss in Boots” at mamaya tayo ay maglalaro at magpipinta.

Napansin ng batang babae na ang lahat  ng mga bata sa silid-aralan ay iba sa isa’t isa.  May batang lalaki na galing  sa Zimbabwe at may dalawang batang babae na galing sa Poland.  May nakakatandang babae na galing sa Albanya at isang batang lalaki na mas bata pa kay sa kay Dalisay na sabi niya siya ay galing pa sa bansang Iran.  At sa kanyang pagkabigla, umuupo sa likurang bahagi ng silid-aralan na may hawak ng kopya ng “Puss in Boots” ay isang batang babae na ang pangalan ay Luningning na galing din sa Pilipinas!  “Halika at umupo ka dito sa tabi ko!” sigaw ni Luningning, na nagulat din katulad ni Dalisay.

Sa isang iglap naging magkaibigan silang dalawa habang ipinaliwanag ni Luningning ang kuwentong Puss in Boots at kung paano sila natuto para mapahusay ang kanilang Englis sa pagtuturo ni Mrs. Mahmood na pinakamagaling na guro sa buong mundo.

Noong hapong iyon, nakipag-usap si Dalisay sa bawat bata sa kanilang klase, at kahit hindi niya palaging naintindihan ang kanilang sinasabi, sigurado siyang alam niya na ang mga bata ay pumunta sa Inglatera para mag umpisa ng bagong buhay, at kahit minsan nakakatakot ang maging nasa ibang lugar na hindi mo alam magsalita ng kanilang lingguwahe, palaging mayroong taong nasa paligid na tutulong.  At kahit saang lugar ka man pumunta sa mundo, makakakita ka ng kabigan.  Napagtanto ni Dalisay na hindi siya mag-iisa.  Ang Inglatera ay ang kanyang bagong tahanan at gagawin niya ang lahat para sa kabutihan.

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