if i have to pick a favorite museum out of all the museums here in cebu, i would pick the yap-sandiego ancestral house because:
- it is an old house (and i’m a sucker for old houses when they don’t give me the creeps);
- it contains a lot of original antiques — from furniture to religious items to glasswares; and
- it holds a million little stories about the past and its people.
however, those million little stories would not have found their voice had it not been for the house’s curator who did a magnificent job in entertaining and educating ram and me when we went there two years ago. i’m sorry i didn’t get his name, but he was wonderful!
i won’t be talking about the facts this time. i already wrote a blog about it and i’d hate to sound redundant. so if you’re interested to know about the things i learned on that sunny day in april two summers ago, click on the link that would transport you back to the time when egg whites were the people’s cement and religion was the law.
for now, let me entertain you with a little story judiciously sprinkled with modern drama and outdated humor.
once upon a time in the town of pari-an lived a man named don fortuna.
don fortuna was a wealthy landlord, known not only for his vast haciendas but also for his strictness in dealing with his personal and business affairs. his tenants were afraid of him. even his own pitbulls whimpered the moment they heard the sound of his bakya on the immaculately polished floor made of nothing but the best hard wood material.
“nothing but the best for don fortuna,” so they said.
while don fortuna was a tough and unforgiving landlord, his wife was an epitome of sweetness and gentleness that can only be found in a raging bull, or sometimes, in a rabid rottweiler.
in her silence, he could smell her strength. he knew her power over him. it petrified him to the very core of his evil being. but he carried on like it was she who was under his mercy while avoiding her wrath at all cost.
flanking the couple were their two muchachas. the one on the left was happily engaged to one of the farmers working in one of don fortuna’s vast rice fields. the other had no idea she was going to be fired the next day. just that morning, she was caught having an affair with the gardener.
while the gardener was secretly having an affair with don fortuna’s teenage daughter.
don fortuna may be mentally slow but he wasn’t blind. the gardener-daughter affair was something he already suspected, but tolerated.
because in spite of his toughness and the numerous bodies he had buried in his backyard, he did not have the heart to watch the gardener go.
but the gardener had had enough of his landlord’s sexual advances. without word or warning, he left the estate three months later. no one knew where he went, or what became of him since. which is why the soul of don fortuna never found peace. until now, his ghost can still be seen roaming around the neighborhood looking for his one true secret love.