A/N: Good day, EB readers!
Here’s letter #10 for all of you. It’s a letter for Richard from his Mama, Donya Esmeralda Lim. This letter is inspired by the BCWMH episodes last July 24, 25, 26, as well as a portion of today’s July 29 episode.
Are you as surprised as I am with the twist the writers came up with for this week? Just when okay na si Maya kay Donya Esmeralda, si Don Roberto pala ang mas may malaking issue against Maya. Oh no! At least, there’s a promise of a Happy Birthday celebration for Richard by week’s end.
Happy reading, everyone!
TO RICKY WITH LOVE
Before I proceed with Donya Esmeralda’s letter for her son, Ricky, allow me to quote verbatim the heartwarming conversation between Richard and Donya Esmeralda.
Richard remains true to his lady love. He tells her, “What’s making you anxious? Whatever they think of you won’t change how I feel about you.” How sweet it is to be loved by Sir Chief, indeed!
Donya Esmeralda: Ricky, tina-try ko naman siyang magustuhan, eh.
Richard: Ma, I’m not asking you to adjust or to force yourself to like her. Just don’t give her a hard time.
Donya Esmeralda: She has to work her way to deserve someone like you.
Richard: Someone like me? Ma, this is not a game, and I’m definitely not a prize to be won. In fact, if you think about it, ako yung maswerte sa kanya… Ma, I’m a widower. I have three kids. And I don’t have much time to spend with her. It’s not easy being with me, Ma! But she accepted it. In fact, she embraced it.
Donya Esmeralda: What are you talking about, Ricky? You’re still a good catch.
Richard: Ma, normally I wouldn’t be upset the way you treat my girfriends.
Donya Esmeralda: Yeah, but you are now.
Richard: Yes. Kasi mataas ang respeto ni Maya sa inyo ni Papa. Importante sa kanya na magkaayos kayo. Ma, you know you can’t change the way I feel about Maya, even if you’re against it. But I don’t want you to be upset also, if there’s nothing to be upset about. Please just keep an open mind about Maya. Malay mo, she might surprise you.
My dear Ricky,
I don’t know if you know, but everyone in this house has been trying to make me see that Maya is the right woman for you ever since your Papa and I got here. Fe, Nikki, Luke, and Abby have all declared what a great a woman Maya is and how perfect she is for you. It seems that all of you in this house have been so captivated by Maya, and I have yet to really understand why.
Fe has been at it from Day 1. Your Papa and I have not even unpacked our luggage, yet Fe has already been trying to put in a good word for Maya. She did mention just how good Maya has been for you and your kids. I must admit that I did get irritated by what she said. I somehow felt that she knows you more than I do… That I have missed out a lot about you this year…
Ricky, from the time you were a little boy, I have always had mixed feelings towards Fe. There were days I felt so blessed to have her with us, because I am assured that whenever I am away, someone will always be there to take care of you and to attend to your needs. But there were also days when I felt bad every time I realized that Fe has somehow gotten to know you more than I do because you two are always together. This trip now has brought me back to that realization. I know I should not envy Fe because it’s not even her fault that she has always been around for you, and I haven’t. I’m just glad that you have grown up to be such a sweet boy, and no matter how far away I am from you, you always try to find time to call me up and give updates about you and the kids and everything. (Well, about everything except Maya…)
Then si Nikki, my very beautiful apo. The very first day I got here, she went to see me in my room. And well, as it turned out, she did have the same agenda as Fe pala. Nikki asked if I remember what she said the last time we talked over the phone. Of course, I said I do. I could never forget something that important. She said, she’s taking it all back because she and her Ate Maya are okay na. Much to my surprise, she even said, “Truthfully, she’s like the best for Dad!” In my mind, all I could say was, “That remains to be seen, apo.”
Let me be honest now, too. When Abby got sick yesterday, all I could really do was put the blame on Maya. I know you consented to the kids playing in the rain. But Maya struck me as irresponsible for even asking your permission to have the kids play in the rain in the first place. Any responsible adult knows that playing in the rain has its dangers.
When Maya came to the house last night, I know I must have scared her with my voice, my actions, and my demeanor. I wouldn’t admit it then, but I did admire Maya for the love and care she showed Abby. She’s no pushover. I sensed her fear of me, but for Abby she was willing to risk it. Ricky, anak, I got jealous, too. My little apo rejected my offer to feed her. I got hurt when Abby said she wanted Maya to feed her instead. I realized I have been away for far too long. My youngest apo has grown and she no longer needed me. Ok. Fine. Maya’s a loving, caring and kind girl… But I still don’t see her as someone who’s perfect for you.
When you got that bowl of arroz caldo from me and told me na kayo na ni Maya ang bahala magpakain kay Abby, I somehow felt bad again, Ricky. I felt that you and your kids have gotten so used to not having me around already. Parang hindi na yata ninyo ako nami-miss, eh. Over dinner that night, Nikki and Luke talked about how great Maya is and how she has always made time for them and supported them in their endeavors. They talked about Maya with so much love and affection. I guess, I got jealous again. I have become more sensitive these days, Ricky, siguro na rin because of age. Alam ko, they must have noticed my indifference towards Maya while we were all in Abby’s room. And clearly, Luke and Nikki did not want me to be like that towards her. They love Maya… Again, I found myself asking, what’s with Maya? Why does everyone like her?
Kaya naman, I wanted to spend some alone time with Maya to get to know her better. Since busy kayo ng Papa mo today, I thought of inviting her for lunch. Ricky, is Maya really that talkative or was she just way too nervous to be with me? Ang daldal niya, Ricky. She talked about you, my apos and about the hangar launch. Grabe, anak, she even recited your speech during the hangar launch! She even cried when she got to that part when you said na physics makes your planes fly, but it’s the people you love who make your planes soar… I was shocked when she cried. Damang-dama niya ang speech mo. Hindi ko alam kung matatawa ako o matutuwa sa kanya. (When I told your Papa about it when he got home earlier, he commented na Maya seems to be very fond of you. Ikaw din Ricky; you seem to be so fond of her.) Then I asked Maya to talk about herself, too. She candidly told me everything about her, from the time she was little, to the time she helped Abby at the airport. Her never-give-up attitude and her positive outlook in life are admirable. She’s okay as a person, I guess. But as your girlfriend, I still have my doubts and reservations. I’m your mother, and I want only the best for you, anak! Maya still has to work her way to deserve someone like you.
Tonight, when I saw you by Abby’s bedroom door, watching your kids and Maya singing their lungs out, I really didn’t know how to feel. Abot langit ang ngiti mo, Ricky. Tuwang-tuwa ka sa nakita mo. I guess, deep down, I was happy to see you and your kids bursting with so much joy. I know I must have spoiled your happiness again with the way I acted in front of you, your kids and Maya. I couldn’t help it. I didn’t even know why I was upset. Over dinner, you even held Maya’s hand when I asked if she didn’t like what I cooked because she hardly touched her food. You should’ve told me you two have eaten na. When you and Maya were about to leave, I once again noticed how affectionate your kids were with her. Abby embraced her twice. Nikki embraced her and even whispered something in her ear. (Maya seems to be someone Nikki can confide in now…) And Luke was all smiles as he hugged her. What is it with this girl? She seems to have won everyone’s love and affection. I feel alienated.
Perhaps still noticing my indifference towards Maya, Fe was at it again just now. While you were out taking Maya back to her condo, Fe and I talked about you, Ricky, and how affected you were about Alex’s death five years ago. Back then, Ricky, there were days na akala ko hindi mo na malalampasan yun. Fe reminded me na kinaya mo para sa mga anak mo. Pero look at you now, nakakatawa ka na. Fe says it’s because you’re happy now because of Maya. I argued that you were okay na a year after Alex’s death, kaya nga ako umalis. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have left you at all if hindi ka pa okay. How well do I know you, anak? Bakit parang minsan Fe knows you more. She told me na maayos ka man, hindi ka pa rin daw masaya. Hindi ka pa rin marunong tumawa at ngumiti. I told Fe na minsan panahon lang ang kelangan. Pero sabi niya, minsan pagmamahal. Nakita na daw niya kung ano ang magpapasaya sa yo, Ricky. At sana daw makita ko rin yung nakita niya… I would surely love to see what makes you truly happy these days. Perhaps, I have not really seen what she has seen. Although I envy Fe, I have only myself to blame. I should have been around you and my apos more often.
Fe loves you like I love you, I guess. Fe has been with you from the day I gave birth to you. Sabi ko nga sa kanya, dalawa kaming nag-alaga sa yo. I admit that ever since, I have always been envious about the kind of bond you have been able to form with Fe through all the times I have not been around. Forgive me, anak, if I sometimes feel this way. I know it’s neither yours nor Fe’s fault that you have grown a beautiful bond with each other. I try my best to be with you naman during the important events in your life, diba? But unlike Fe, I can’t always be around because there’s your Papa, too. As a dutiful and loving wife, I know it’s also my responsibility to look after his needs. I love your Papa, but he has always been a workaholic, diba? Always so busy with all his businesses left and right. He is so set in his ways. I can still recall how he forced you to get into engineering, even if you didn’t want to. Buti na lang you learned to love your course and even excelled in it. Ganun pa din siya, anak. Akala ko, time will eventually slow him down. Pero hindi. Growing his businesses and his investments have always been his passion. Naku, I find myself thinking sometimes na sana we could just settle and retire here in the Philippines. Your Papa and I are not getting any younger, you know, and I would really love to spend more time with you and your kids. But then you know how your Papa is…
Oops! It’s getting late. I’ll try to finish this letter tomorrow na lang. I want to wake up early and help Sabel prepare breakfast for you and the kids. And my left shoulder is acting up again. I really need to get some rest.
Good night, Ricky.
Good day, Ricky!
Okay. Fine. You win, anak. I promise to keep an open mind about Maya.
Mukhang di ka na rin nakatiis, anak, at finally, kinausap mo na din ako about her. Thank you for being honest with your thoughts.
If there is something that you made very clear with me with that talk we had earlier, it’s this realization: You love Maya. Nothing I say or do will ever make you change your mind. You should have seen yourself as you said your piece. You were a picture of a man in love. You talked about Maya with fondness even as you continued to remind me not to be upset because there’s nothing to be upset about. Okay, Ricky, I will try to keep an open mind. I’ll go call her now. Maybe we can meet up…
Hi, Ricky! It’s early afternoon and I am back here in the house with… guess who? With your Maya, of course! I did not realize she would surprise me this soon. Maya is truly something else. When the waiter asked for our order, I can still sense her fear of me, but for my own sake, she still risked facing my indifference and suggested that I order chamomile tea because it can relax my muscles daw. Na-notice daw kasi niya na parang ilang araw nang sumasakit yung left shoulder ko. I guess her selflessness is innate in her. Most girls who would meet their mothers-in-law to be would be too absorbed in themselves– at trying to look their best and being perfect. I’m getting a glimpse of your Maya now and I’m starting to like what I see. She not only cares for you. She cares for your kids, too. And now, she cares even for me, as well. She knows I am important to you and she’s been trying her very best to get to know me, too. I truly appreciate that.
Diba you said, I should keep an open mind cos Maya just might surprise me? Ricky, she just did! She massaged my left shoulder while we were in the coffee shop this afternoon. It did not even bother her that there may be people watching us. Clearly, she just wanted to ease the discomfort brought by my left shoulder. She’s a really caring girl, Ricky. She makes an effort to get to know the people who matter to you. She even gave me a gift, and I was indeed surprised by it. I just loved her gift! It’s priceless! It made me laugh! It’s a framed picture of you wearing bunny ears! You are so cute, anak! It’s Maya’s first ever gift to me and I love it! I really do! Now, Maya even knows what can make me smile.
Ricky, I am starting to see Maya for the person that she is. And truthfully, I like what I’m seeing! She’s not only caring, loving, selfless and nice. She’s also honest, opinionated and smart. I just love her wit. She’s a joy to converse with. The weekend before we came pala, ang saya-saya pala dito sa bahay what with Nikki’s slumber party and Luke’s boys night out. Sayang, I missed that! Thanks to Maya, I am now even learning more about you. Ayaw mo palang matawag na Babe, Chieko or Buko, ha. Naku, Ricky, manang-manang ka pala sa Papa mo. Alam mo, I think Maya would love it if you can call her sweetheart, love or darling. Be more romantic naman, anak. Haha!
I know I already did say this a year ago, and perhaps I didn’t really mean what I said. But I really would want to get to know her more and be amidst your presence, and see more of how the two of you are with each other. I’m starting to like her. And I love how she lights up when she talks about you. She is also truly a picture of a woman in love! I guess I am slowly starting to understand why you love her, why Maya is the one…
And just so you know, I am ready to welcome Maya into the family as my daughter-in-law. It took you five years to fall in love again. Akala ko noon, hindi ka na ulit magmamahal. Pero with this new development in your life, I know that you’re serious about Maya, and you have visions of forever with her kaya okay na ko anak. Alam mo naman, I’m all for your happiness, anak! I love you, Ricky!
I have asked Maya to join us for dinner tonight, and she agreed. We are even going to team up to cook your favorite dish, kare-kare. Sabel will cook your Papa’s favorite naman: adobo. (You should have seen the scared faces of Doris and Sabel earlier when I played a prank on them! Kulang na lang himatayin sila sa takot, anak. Ha!) This time around, I look forward to an enjoyable dinner with you, the kids, Maya and your Papa. Okay si Maya. Okay na din kami. For a change, I look forward to a lovely evening with all of you. Maybe we can even watch the video of Luke’s audition after dinner.
I better end this letter now, so I can join Abby and Maya in Abby’s room. We’re going to play cards muna, while Sabel and Doris prepare the ingredients for kare-kare.
Oh, wait! I just remembered something from Abby’s birthday last year. You were singing high praises for Maya already back then. Kilala kita, Ricky, you have never been very generous with your praises at all. But last year, during Abby’s birthday, I lost count of how many times you mentioned Maya’s name. Maya did this… Maya did that… You seemed oh so proud of her even then. Tell me, Ricky, were you already in love with Maya back then? I would love to hear you and Maya talk about your love story soon. I’m all ears.
I love you, anak! I am happy for you and Maya. I hope soon, makita ko rin ang nakita ni Fe– kung gaano ka sobrang napapasaya ni Maya. Baka nga lang tonight, makita ko na yung nakita niya. My heart and my mind are now ready to witness your great love for each other.
I love you, my Ricky! God bless you and your family always!