Jackie Valerio met a friend of mine and asked “where do you work?” My friend replied, “in Veba.” Jackie Valerio then asked, “ Is Veronica still working there?”, to which my friend replied, “of course, she had been there for a long time.”
It was a strange query. Why should I not be working in the company where I had worked for the past 19 years? Had somebody imagined that because of the libelous statements against me which have no basis in fact, it would compel my company to declare me untrustworthy? Or perhaps of ill repute? Whether some foolish individuals believe that I am a bigamist or not or that I suffer from some psychological disorder, the fact is no one in my company would believe it. I have worked with my colleagues for 19 years and so far they have only praise in my ability and my professionalism. Most employees young and old offer me due respect and most of the managers are my friends. I am variously called: chief, modera and the hub of my department. So why should a malicious and unsubstantiated story be entertained?
Apparently, some curious people want to know whether I can afford a lawyer. The answer is yes not only one but two. And if the school’s administration and board of trustees like, I can add a third if an alleged Arabic affidavit signed by the parents is presented in court. They are also wondering who is sponsoring the magazine, the poor Labor Attachẻ was accused of such perfidy. The truth is except that the Labor Attachẻ had offered his protection by placing the magazine under the auspices of POLO-OWWA, the occasional ink and A3 bond, the Labor Attachẻ had not given any other help. But there are people who believe in what I do. And the 100% support of my family.
They also want to know whether I have a shoe shop. What relevance has that to anything that I do? I have lived in this country for 25 years. Though I cannot claim to be wealthy, surely we must have gained some property or set up some type of business. In fact, we have also invested in a grocery store twice, one for my husband’s sister and the other for his daughter, my stepdaughter. Certainly, it is nobody’s concern but ours alone. Perhaps if you are friendly with someone at the embassy, you will also discover that after having paid for the construction, painting and installing electrical connections of a small building, I waived my right to a lotto outlet in my sister’s favor. So what? I like to help my family as am sure all OFW’s have to do at one time or another. That is part of our culture, part of the close ties that we have with the family we love.
In the past 21 years of our marriage, my husband and I have helped three brothers of his to finish school, helped set up business for two siblings, helped send 5 siblings abroad, though one of them did not succeed because of the Flor Contemplacion incident. So what’s the big deal? As almost everybody else is doing we try to help where we can, regardless of whether, and often, the help we give is not appreciated. These are the values we have learned as a people and as Filipinos. We are no exception.
That people should be curious is quite funny to me since I hardly bother with what people do. I am, thank the good Lord, devoid of interest and curiosity as to what other people are doing with their life. It is enough for me to meet people I know once in a while and see that they are happy whatever or wherever they happen to be.
I hardly care for the shenanigans that other people do though I am aware of them since I always feel that we are all answerable for what we do on earth. Therefore it is the Good Lord’s concern and not mine. I only care for things that affect my family and friends and the values I believe in. Justice and truth are the ideals I live by and for those I am indeed very concerned.
As for Jackie Valerio, my only comment is this, “As claimed, you are an accountant, I hope you know, that in signing for the audit of the Philippine Community School’s financial report, you have placed your professional integrity at stake. Therefore, if for some reason those financial reports will be found wanting, you have put your profession and your personal honor on the line.”-ed