Being accustomed to a life of simplicity since childhood, my parents don’t take much interest in computers and the Internet. But they love their cell phones and text messaging.
Mama stays at home, while Papa, ever the workaholic, goes to his nearby rocky farm twice a week. So the cell phone became a pleasantly “indispensable” tool, despite the fact they have only a handful of contacts. They have “more” textmates than I do, though.
Sometimes they would ask me some things about their cell phones, and I would happen to see some of their messages. I noticed they called each other “Sweetheart.” Like: “Sweetheart, what are you doing now? I’m eating your favorite corn here.” “Sweetheart, sorry for this late text. I went to Shopwise.”
But at home they just call each other “Hey.” Like: “Hey, did you see my shirt? I just put it here.” “Hey, don’t forget your umbrella.”
The signal at home is not very good, so most of the time we placed our cell phones on top of the washing machine in our backyard. Mama and Papa also charge their phones there.
I once suggested to them to set an alarm clock every time they do their charging so they won’t forget it.
To most people, including his siblings, Papa is a stern, quiet man. But he’s a funny guy, really—when he’s not feeling grumpy. For his alarm ringtone he chose a rooster’s crow.
Recently one of our neighbors began keeping a rooster in front of their house. One day, while Mama was busy in the kitchen, I heard her calling out to Papa.
MAMA: (Hearing a rooster’s crow) Hey, your cell phone’s fully charged. Unplug it now.
PAPA: (Answering from the backyard) What?! I’m not charging my cell phone.
MELISA: (Entering the kitchen) It’s Kuya Bong’s rooster, Mama.
One early morning I heard Papa’s cell phone alarm again. His rooster was crowing loudly in our backyard and he was in our living room. The alarm went on several times and then stopped. Just then, Mama came in.
PAPA: (In a cheerfully thankful tone) Did you stop it?
MAMA: Nope. He got tired of crowing.