It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for me to share my weekly column from SunStar Davao, Davao City’s largest circulation newspaper.
Since living in the Philippines, I have a lot of different kinds of friends or companions (kauban), different than I had in the USA. Friends from many nations. Of course, a lot of Filipinos, and also expats from countries all over the world. My list of friends is like a veritable meeting of the United Nations, it seems! I also have a few enemies (kalaban) here too. Today, there is one kauban and one kalaban that I want to focus in on.
My kauban is a new friend, I just came to know him a week or so ago, but we seem to be best of buddies. I would have never had this friend when I was living in the USA, that is certain. They don’t have this kind of friend in the US. My kauban is a butiki, or a small lizard! Ha ha… yes, it’s true. I have a new friend who is really a small lizard. It started about a week ago when I was sitting at my desk in my office and I noticed this little lizard running across my desk. Bata pa sya (he’s still a baby). This little fellow is about 1 inch and a half long. He seems to be my constant companion, though. I don’t know where his Mom is… I’m not even sure if mother lizards take care of their young after birth.
This little fellow (or is it a little girl? I’m really not educated in how to determine the sex of a lizard!) has been hanging around on my desk for a week already. He’s not afraid of me anymore either! Even if I put my hand right over next to him, he just stays there, kind of checking me out. If I get a drink and put it on my desk, little butiki goes over and runs around the glass to see what it is. Maybe he’s thirsty, I don’t know for sure! But, one thing I do know is that he is curious. As I said, he is also unafraid! Despite seeing many butiki every day since living in the Philippines, I never saw one like this! He is my first butiki friend!
Now, what about my kalaban? Well, that’s an Iring (cat). I’ve been a cat lover all of my life, and for some reason, cats have always been comfortable around me. Usually, with any cat, we become fast friends. But, this cat… well, I don’t think it’s going to happen. It all happened more than three years ago when my kids wanted a new cat, so we got one. It was just a kitten, only a few weeks old. At first, she (yes, I know how to determine the sex of a cat!) was friendly to me. After she started getting a little bigger, though, she came to hate me! I’ve never known why she hated me, though.
If I go anywhere near this cat, she stares at me, looking like she is about to pounce on me anytime! It’s like her mortal enemy just walked into the room. If I reach out to give her an affectionate touch, she will hiss at me, and reach out to claw me! I’ve been injured by this cat on more than one occasion. She hates me. In my heart, I still want her to love me, though, because I’ve never had a cat in my life that didn’t like me! But, what can I do? She seems to be unable to ever befriend me!
Hey, cat… don’t you know who is buying your cat food?
So, well, those are my current friends and enemies at this moment. I have to say that I never expected either a lizard friend, or a cat enemy!
Hmm… where is that little lizard? I’m looking around my desk and I don’t see him.