Friday, December 30, 2005

my barber

Exactly two years ago, I decided to make have my hair cut really short. During my younger years, I visited salons to have my hair styled. This all changed when I visited a barber shop in Shangri-la back in December 30, 2003.

At first, I was very hesitant to ask the barber to shave it all off for I wasn't sure if my head was shaped for that kind of hairstyle. It was also exactly two years ago when I met Mang Tony. He is a veteran barber and he had the passion for what he did and he really did a great job for each and every one of his clients.

He asked me twice before shaving my hair. He told me that it's adios when he starts shaving and there will be no turning back. During the first few minutes of my haircut, I didn't look at myself on the mirror because I might not like what I was going to see. I was surprised after a few minutes that the shaved head look suited me. For short, I liked it.

After that day, I visited Mang Tony regularly. And when Mang Tony was absent or was on his day off, he asked one of his trusted barber-friends to take care of me. His name is Mang Efren. I was always at ease when either of the two would shave my head for they really do it very well plus there is a free "kwentong barbero"(barbers tales) everytime I was there.

It has been more than a month since I had my hair cut and I was getting a bit irritated already so I called Bruno's Barbers where Mang Tony worked so I can schedule an appointment with him. By the way, Mang Tony is always in demand.

When the receptionist answered the phone, I immediately asked if Mang Tony was around so I can tell him that I will be dropping by. To my surprise, the woman on the other line told me that Mang Tony resigned a month ago. I then realized that it has been that long since my last visit to Bruno's. So since Mang Tony wasn't around, I instead went to Barber's Bar which was also located in Shangri-la. This is where Mang Efren(Mang Tony's friend) worked.

When I arrived at the barber shop, I immediately saw Mang Efren with a client so I just read the newspaper to wait until he was finished.

Time came when it was my turn to have my hair cut. As I was about to ask him if he knew that Mang Tony already resigned, he asked me if I was aware of what had happened. I told him that I heard that Mang Tony has resigned but didn't know the story behind it.

He told me the whole story. He began by telling me that it was the doctor's advice for Mang Tony to rest because of his health. I told Mang Efren that I was able to notice that Mang Tony had lost a lot of weight over the past few months. He then told me that it was because of Mang Tony's habit--smoking. He then continued to tell me that Mang Tony has lung cancer. I was speechless. He went on with the details of the story.

After a moment of silence, I asked Mang Efren if he knew how much cigarette Mang Tony consumed in a day. He told me that it was around 3 packs a day. Smoking was definitely the culprit here.

It was then that I realized that in my silence, I was almost teary eyed.

Mang Tony is not just a great barber but he is a great person. His clients will definitely miss him.

It will be 2006 soon and if I could make one wish now, it would be for Mang Tony to regain back his health and survive this trial that has come his way.

One thing is for sure, Mang Tony will be in my prayers.

May the universe bless him and his family this coming new year.

A Blessed New Year to all of you. May this story make us not to take things or people for granted. Let us all be thankful for all of the blessings we have received in the year 2005 and pray that 2006 will be as good or even better.

Blessed be.


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