Dream Coming True
Tondo Manila, Philippines:
Six hours ago, “Mom, Dad, big bros… Hurry up! I don’t want to miss the plane,”
shouted Ashley in a frenzy. Anxiety reflected on her beautiful eyes. “We’re coming. Just looking for my cell phone. Forgot where I left it!” Ashley’s
mom shouted back.
“Coming! Sorry, sis. Big Bro Arman took long to come out from the bathroom,”
Kuya Arthur replied wearily.
Ashley shook her head in dismay while her parents and brothers were rushing. At
last, today, her dream to go abroad would come true.
“This is a new start for me,” said Ashley as she paced back and forth in the middle
of the living room while waiting for her family to send her to the airport.
While in this state, she couldn’t stop thinking of the hardships her family had gone
through so that her dream would come to pass.
Since young, she had been dreaming of working abroad and had been like her non-
stop mantra almost every day. And that look of determination in her eyes, as if it
could crush every blockade on her path until she reached her goal, drove her
parents to do anything they can to send her to a private school just to make her
dream come true.
In the past:
“Mom, Dad, when I grow up, I want to work in another country. Then I will send all
of my salaries so you won’t be selling in the market anymore and you, Dad, won’t
be driving a jeepney to earn every day. Just you wait, time will come,” and raised
her hand wide, “I will build you a very very very big house. It will be as big as
Malacanang Palace,” said Ashley, smiling sweetly to her parents and brothers while
Her mother, Fely, cried as she hugged her six-year-old youngest child. “Haha, you
girl. You talk like a grown-up when you haven’t entered school yet.”
“Yes, we know, you wanted to go abroad to give us a comfortable life. But daughter,
before you can do that, you need to eat first and grow up,” said her father sitting
across her, at the same time, pointed on her plate. “Okay, look at your plate. It is
full of rice but no vegetables. How will you grow up with only that?” Her father
teased with a gleam in his eyes.
On that note, all of her five older brothers chuckled as they took turns placing
vegetables and meat on her plate. After they stopped, she pouted, looking at her
plate. “A lot. How can I finish all these?”
Everyone had a good laugh after she said her predicament, including herself.
Arman: Sixteen years old and the eldest.
Arthur: Fourteen years old, second child.
Ariel: Twelve years old, third child.
Arnel: Ten years old, the fourth.
Arnold: Eight years old, the fifth of the siblings.
Ashley was the youngest and the only daughter. That’s the reason why she received
a princess-like treatment from the whole family.
Ever since she was born, her parents would not allow a fly to settle on her nor a
mosquito to bite her soft and delicate skin.
Anything she’d ask, they gave as long as it’s within their means and capabilities,
just to make her happy.
All of her brothers studied in public school while she was sent to a private preschool
Although she was treated like a princess at home, she didn’t grow as a spoiled brat.
She clearly understood they were poor and had limitations. With this reason, she
didn’t desire any toys or any things her parents couldn’t afford.
Thus, Ashley grew with a desirable behavior, God-fearing, and had a clear goal in
life. Hence, she focused on her studies and hadn’t experienced having a boyfriend,
not even once.-
Of course, as a young girl, she was not exempted from having a few crushes here
and there. It was all because she promised herself that she would never get involved
with any man unless she reached her heart’s desire…- That was to lift her family
from poverty and give them a prosperous life.
Ninoy International Airport: Three hours before arrival in Japan. The hugging and crying seemed unending when the family said their goodbyes to
Ashley. Her parents’ and brothers’ advice went on as if it would never stop.
“Whatever may happen, if you don’t like your work there or if your boss mistreats
you, don’t hesitate to come home right away. Do you understand?” said Jessie,
deeply concerned about her youngest child.
Fely’s tears fell like a stream from her eyes as she felt her heart being tugged while
hugging her daughter tightly. If possible, she would never let her go.
“My dear, don’t forget your dignity is a treasure that is too precious for money to
buy. It can’t easily be found anywhere, so keep it firmly. Don’t let any man take
advantage of you. Remember, wedding first before…”
The mother wasn’t given a chance to finish her counsel because the airport’s P.A.
system was now announcing Ashley’s flight number. It was already boarding time.
“Mom, mom, mom! They are calling my flight. I need to go now, or the plane will
leave without me,” said Ashley as she moved out from her mother’s tight embrace.
“Mom, don’t worry, I won’t forget everything you and Dad taught me.”
She gave her mom a sweet kiss on the cheek before kissing her crying Dad and
“Little sis, if someone fools you, don’t think twice about calling me–I’ll find a way
to fly there as soon as I can. Japan is not that far, anyway. Just a few hours and I’ll
be there. Don’t forget, you hear me?” Arman reminded his younger sibling.
“Fighting!” Her four brothers yelled excitedly together.
“Fighting!” Ashley replied with a smile and tears in her eyes.
“Goodbye! Don’t worry, I’ll take good care of myself, and I’ll call as soon as I arrive
there!” Ashley shouted while walking further away from her loved ones.
It was a three-hour flight to get to Japan. This would be Ashley’s first time on an
international flight. While she walked toward the plane’s terminal, Ashley’s eyes
were glued to her phone, so she did not realize she was about to bump into someone