Man I Dapitan

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Date Submitted: 02/28/2011 06:15 AM

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Man in Dapitan Loreto Paras-Sulit

The boys came to know him very well. Their friendship with this lovely man with the kind voice began one day when the boys could not agree on the answer to a question in their day’s lesson in catechism.

As they passed the house where he stayed, they had a discussion in loud, angry voices, Lope shouting loudest of all. ‘’I tell you I am right. My answer is the right one!’’ Hugo and Felix grinned in mock disbelief. Lope with the curly head, quick with his fists, quickly rolled the sleeves of his camisa de chino. Hugo and Felix also rolled up their sleeves.

‘’Now, boys, can fists settle an argument? Are you trying to find out who is the strongest among you, or are you trying to find out who is right?’’

The boys stopped short in their coming fight. Everybody knew everybody else in Dapitan. So the boys knew that this was the man who had just arrived in town. They saw someone with an attractive, kindly face. His eyes could command when he wanted to. The strong line of his jaw reminded the boys of rocks. It seemed to tell them of something hard and unbreakable. As they stared at him, he went on to say, ‘’If you want to find out who is right, open your books, read the answer very well, and see which of you gave the one exactly like it. One of you may win with his fists, but that would not prove that his answer is correct.’’

His voice died away as he looked toward the sea. It seemed as if he had fallen into a dream. The boys walked away in silence. At a distance they stopped and opened their catechisms. The man on the porch smiled to himself.

After that day whenever the boys passed by the spot, they would eagerly look for him. Usually he was either reading or writing. When he saw them he would wave to them.