By: ROY DELA CRUZ
(This story was written in January 2007, a year after the event happened. And it took a barber to remind me about it, which made me write my story… and so it goes…)
It was over a year, January of 2006 actually, I have almost forgotten, until somebody reminded me about it.
Last week while I was having my haircut, the barber who hardly knew me asked, “Sir, di po ba kayo yung nanalo sa Eat Bulaga dati?” (Sir, weren’t you the one who won in Eat Bulaga?) I was surprised because, more than a year has passed. It was then that it occurred to me that I haven’t written about it yet.
Yes, I won in an Eat Bulaga contest, a popular noontime show here in the Philippines. And I was on television last year. There are lots of stories – before, during and after I claimed the price. Now before you think otherwise, I didn’t dance in Eat Bulaga nor did I join the Mr. Pogi contest.
I won in the home partner portion for their game Laban or Bawi, which was the Let’s Vault In. I have been joining the contest since it started. Because I was jobless I was able to watch almost all shows on TV then – Eat Bulaga included. But after some months of texting, I quit joining thinking that there was no way I could win there.
But on that fateful day of January, I was again in front of the TV watching Laban o Bawi on Eat Bulaga. While watching, I noticed my cell phone lying in front of me. I picked it up and started composing the format for the text contest – the numbers of the first and last contestants who answered the questions correctly.
I already have the first number typed in, the contest was still in progress. Until finally, only two contestants were left. I just typed in the number of one of them and sent the text to the required number. I just sent two text entries.
After that, I went out of the house hoping that I could find some opportunities elsewhere. I left my cell phone at home then.
I came home at around 7 PM, listless and indifferent, when my wife met me and she seemed to be very excited.
She gushed breathless, “Sumali ka ba sa Eat Bulaga?” (Did you join in Eat Bulaga?) I didn’t tell her about the text I had sent because I actually have forgotten about it and I never really expected anything from it.
So I said yes and asked her why.
She recounted excitedly what happened in my absence, “Tumawag ang Eat Bulaga sa cell mo, tinatanong kung sino yung nagtext at kung ano yung combination. Sabi ko, baka husband ko kasi siya yung sumasali. Tinanong sa akin kung alam ko yung combination sabi ko hindi. Tatawag daw ulit sila. Kaso tumawag na ulit sila wala ka pa rin! Bat kasi di mo sinasabi sa akin e?!”
(They called up your cell phone asking who joined the contest and they would like to know about the number combination you texted them. I said you were out, and I didn’t know the combination. They informed me they will call up again and they did, but you were still not here. Why didn’t you tell me?!)
I was dumbfounded! I didn’t know what to say!
An opportunity passed me by and I just let it slipped away!
For the rest of the night, I was quiet; constantly looking at my cell phone every now and then…. waiting… hopefully….
Then at around 9:30 PM, my cell rang, I hurriedly picked it up.
My hands were shaking uncontrollably: “Hello, si Mr. Arnaldo dela Cruz po ba ito?”, “Oo, ito nga. Sino po sila?”, “Sa Eat Bulaga po ito, sumali po ba kayo sa Let’s Vault In?”,”Yes mam! sumali po ako”,”Ano po yung combination na pinadala ninyo?”
(”Hello, is this Arnaldo dela Cruz”, “Yes, who’s this?”, ”We’re from Eat Bulaga, did you join the contest?”, ”Yes mam! I did!””What were the combinations you sent?”)
I told her the combination. “Okay, for verification, ano po yung complete address nila?” (Okay, for verification, what is your complete address?) And my heart was hammering in my chest, as I blurted out our address.
(”Mr. dela Cruz, as of this moment you are not yet a guaranteed winner. Can you be here tomorrow at Broadway Centrum?”, ”Yes mam! I can go there”,”Okay then, be here before 9:30 AM and bring a valid ID with the address you texted us. Then we can confirm if you really won. Just be here early and please don’t wear slippers, you might appear on TV. Okay sir, bye.”)
I was speechless after that, I was looking at my family and I wasn’t saying a word.
They were asking me if it were Eat Bulaga who called. When I was finally able to say ‘Yes’, they all shouted with glee!
I was very thankful because after two calls, they still called me back. They didn’t give the P25,000 to other contestants who also sent text entries… my chance was not forfeited.
I felt tears trying to escape my eyes, as I was silently praying and thanking God. I was jobless then, and I remember telling myself “P25,000, that’s a good 7 to 8 dialysis sessions for my wife.”
It was then that my tears finally managed to escape….
Presently, he has 13 blogs, and these blogs belong to different interesting categories.
He has an inspirational blog, a Kapampangan blog written in the vernacular, a business blog, a blog solely for his departed spouse, a random thoughts blog and the recently added short stories blog.
He doesn’t fail to surprise me with the amount of passion he has for blogging.
His 13 blogs are the following:
Be Inspired Now!
Letters To Mama
more than just copy-paste
Roysville dot Com
Short Stories Blog
Subukan Taya Ing Kapampangan!
Sugar Coated World
The House Of Puroy
Do visit them and learn from his various informative posts.
To know more about Roy, click HERE. Thanks Roy for submitting another heartwarming story.