The magic wand of generous spirit…
A boy who has never known what it is to have enough
spreads the blessings of generosity by his concern for others.
Cast of Characters
Angelo Delfiero: 20-year-old college student, whose altruism sparks feeling of guilt in his brothers and sisters.
Lemuel: Angelo’s 27-year-old brother; the intellectual who spends most of his time with his books; he believes there are more important things to occupy his mind than other people’s problems.
Miriam: Angelo’s 25-year-old sister, whose main interest centers around “beautiful people” and the “good life” these people lead.
Ben: Angelo’s 13-year-old brother, who looks at the world through a rose-tinted crystal; he believes only things which serve his best interests.
Aling Cion: the Delfiero’s laundry woman, who thinks that even the poor have an obligation to share what they have with their fellowmen.
Mang Tacio: Aling Cion’s husband, who believes that the affluent are under obligation to help the less privileged.
Roni: Aling Cion’s son.
Setting: In the sala of the Delfiero home spectacled Lemuel is comfortably seated on the family sofa with a book, Miriam is in the lounging chair admiring her manicured fingernails and her pedicured toenails. Soft music is wafted through a stereo set.
Miriam: Aling Cion’s son is in the hospital!
Lemuel: How unfortunate! Poor woman!
Miriam: I heard her complaining to mother about money.
Lemuel: Money is everybody’s complaint nowadays. It seems there is never enough of it. (Pauses) Isn’t mother always willing to give her a loan against her laundry work?
Miriam: Mother has already paid Aling Cion five washdays in advance, just imagine, what she is going to earn for the next five washdays was already been spent!
Lemuel: That is no surprise. Most people spend money faster than they make it.
Miriam: Come to think of it, I spend money fast. It takes me only a few hours of shopping to spend what I make in a week.
Lemuel: well, everybody has probems. If it isn’t money, it’s something else.
Miriam: Aling Cion suffers from lack of money at a time her son is seriously ill in the hospital.
Lemuel: It is said that misfortunes don’t come singly. (Pauses) We can’t be overly concerned with other people’s problems. I have more important things to attend to than poke my nose into other people’s affairs. I’m not prepared to worry about the problems of others. I have enough of my own.
(Enter Angelo and Ben)
Angelo: Aling Cion’s son is in the hospital.
Miriam: We have heard about it.
Angelo: He needs a blood transfusion.
Lemuel: Is it that serious?
Miriam: I’m worried. (Pauses). I need my blue dress on Wednesday. There’s no one to do the laundry.
Ben: Aling Cion is a good and religious woman. It’s pity she is having all thses problems.
Angelo: Religion has nothing to do with this. (Pauses). We have got to help her.
Ben: I’ willing to look for blood donors!
Angelo: What Aling Cion needs is cash! Money!
Ben: What’s the difference? She will use the money to pay for blood anyway.
Lemuel: What medicines are needed? I have a brod who has some “samples” he can give away.
Miriam: Mother paid Aling Cion her wages for five washdays.
Ben: So money is out of the question.
Angelo: Are you kidding? Money good for five washdays! You don’t really think that is enough, do you? Do you realize how much it costs to be hospitalized?
Miriam: The timing is wrong. I am reserving my week’s pay for a pair of shoes which I need for the seminar on Monday. I just can’t attend the seminar looking like a pauper.
Lemuel: That’s right. Very bad timing. The down payment on the university ring I have ordered is due tomorrow!
Ben: Yeah! I have been saving my allowance for the basketball championship games Saturday night!
Angelo: For goodness sake! Can’t you make a little sacrifice in the name of charity?
Miriam: Speaking of charity, isn’t there a saying that “charity begins at home”?
Angelo: Oh, my God! What’s this? How can we indulge in our vanities while our neighbors starve? A boy lies inn the hospital bed, dying! Do we ever think of giving relief? No! we have become stingy even with our crumbs! Have we no hearts at all? Are we really this unconcerned?
(Continuous loud knocking at the door. Ben goes to open the door. Enter Aling Cion and Mang Tacio, her husband, looking dejected.)
Ben: Come in, Aling Cion. Come in, Mang Tacio. What brings you here?
Angelo: How is Roni, Aling Cion?
Lemuel: Is Roni all right?
(Aling Cion covers her face with her handkerchief and sobs quietly)
Aling Cion: Roni is dead!
Angelo: Dead? Oh, no! Oh, my God!
Lemuel: (after a stunned silence): I’m sorry!
(All approach Aling Cion and Mang Tacio and clasp their hands)
Aling Cion: (takes out an envelope from inside her dress, fumbles): Roni asked us to give you this envelope containing P200.00, his earnings from his newspaper route. (hands the envelope to Lemuel). He told me to give it to you. It is his share for the basketball court for the less fortunate boys in our barangay. He did not want me to spend it for anything, not even for his medicines.
(All speechless. Lemuel accepts the envelope automatically.)
Lemuel: Why me? I can’t understand it!
Mang Tacio: His last thoughts were only how to share the little he had earned. He was always aware of his obligation to the barangay project. I kept telling him that in our impoverished condition, we cannot be obliged to give or help. It’s the responsibility of the rich.
Aling Cion: He was sorry he could give so little! He said that regardless of one’s station in life, one has an obligation to help his neighbor in any way.
Lemuel: I don’t know what to say! I am not prepared for this!
Aling Cion and Mang Tacio: We must take our leave.
Lemuel: Aling Cion, Mang Tacio, is there anything we can do to help? Please let us help?
Aling Cion: Thank you. You have done more than enough. Your mother and father are very kind. We are very grateful that there are persons like you who are always willing to lend a hand.
(Aling Cion and Mang Tacio exit)
Angelo: Well? It’s a relief, isn’t it?
Lemuel: You don’t have to rub it in. I am sorry for Roni. (Pauses). I’m going to pledge P1000 a month until the basketball court is finished. I’ll even try to get my fraternity to chip in.
Miriam: Count me in, too….P1000 a month until the court is finished.
Ben: My movie money every two weeks.
Angelo: It has taken a death to jolt us into making until a definite commitment for the welfare of our fellowmen.
(All are silent. Sudden burst of the strains of “Bagong Lipunan” is heard. Curtain.)
Martes, Setyembre 16, 2008
The magic wand of generous spirit…