I love rainy season. Although it’s a bit annoying to travel or commute when it’s raining.
Nevertheless, rainy days are for cuddling, eating, and just simply chillaxin’.
Photo via Pinterest
However, when push comes to shove, you really have to go out of your comfort zone and brave the rain.
And when I go out, I don’t bring an umbrella.
Me and my “payongphobia”
I used to live in Malate. It’s a prime location, which means we are 10 minutes away from the universities like PWU, DLSU, CSB, SSC, just to name a few. Apart from the Universities, we are also near establishments like hotels, malls, bars, cafés and more. Regardless of the season and the location – near or far – I bring an umbrella. I cannot live without it. I collected umbrellas, actually.
My mom knew I loved umbrellas, so every time she sees a sturdy and classy one, she’d get it for me. Sadly, because of my forgetfulness, most of the umbrellas I collected were gone. The only umbrellas left during that time were the flimsy ones.
I remember bringing the flimsy umbrella to work. But, the rain was too strong that I got home drenched. My mom was furious. She told me “I will buy you a new umbrella, don’t worry.”
So, it was circa 2002 when she gave me an umbrella as a gift. And it wasn’t an ordinary gift; it was a “Hyatt Regency Hotel” umbrella. And mind you, Hyatt was her home away from home. She said the company gave it to her because she was the “Employee of the Month.”
Although it was against my will, I accepted the gift because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. I can still remember what she said: “Abeng, ingatan mo yang payong na yan ha. Love na love ko yang payong na yan, pero sa iyo na lang.”
(Abeng, please take care of that umbrella. I love that umbrella but I’ll just give it to you.)
The umbrella had been with us through thick and thin. We moved to different places but it remained precious. Years passed, and my mom got ill and passed away 2010.
But, the umbrella was still intact. Until I broke it during Ondoy.
My mom’s beloved payong was put to the test.
The Art of Letting Go
I was standing in Sucat, waiting for a Jeepney. I used my mom’s payong, of course, but since the wind was strong, it kept on flipping. And, I kept fixing it. It would flip, then I’d fix it. I and the people around me were already laughing because the payong didn’t help at all! I was so drenched! Sadly, the payong got broken and I had to let it go.
When I saw the umbrella being chased away by the wind, I felt sad. I kept it because of my mom. I used it because of her. And it helped me through the rain and on so many occasions.
It was hard for me to let go of my favorite payong. Pero, what I realized is when you’re pushed to the edge, you only have two options: sink or swim.
At that time, I had no choice but to let go. Well, I had a choice, which was to call in sick, but I know my mom would choose to go to work despite the weather because that’s how she was.
Now, even though it’s piercing hot and raining like there’s no tomorrow, I’m still hesitant to bring an umbrella. Although, my husband’s a collector. He’d get all the freebie umbrellas he could get. And since he knows my story, he doesn’t let me bring it, rather, he holds it for me. He’d secretly put it inside my bag, just in case I would need it.
Honestly, now that I can share this story with you, means I’ve finally moved on. I still choose not to bring an umbrella, though. But that’s because I always misplace it. Sayang lang.
How about you? Were you able to let go of a memento? If yes, how did you do it?