Friday, March 13, 2009


The Chinese Fan

I began experiencing strange things after graduating from college. That was in the late 90s, just before the approach of the new millennium.

I was on board a Victory Liner bus bound for Manila. I was seated all alone at the back. A male passenger who was seated three empty seats away and in front of me lifted a tabloid as he read it. The banner headline on the tabloid’s back page read, “ABOT KAMAY ANG GINTO” (gold is within a hand’s reach).

I seemed to be under a spell. I felt as though I was hypnotized. I was following what the banner headline suggested.

I looked around and tried to find out whatever it was that was within the reach of my hand. I found a Chinese fan on a vacant seat some five feet away from where I was seated. I picked the fan up and tried to spread its blades wide open. There on one of its inner blades were written five (5) numbers like 17, 24, etc. (I could not remember the three other numbers). And the last character was a symbol—that symbol of infinity that we learned in our Modern Mathematics subject in my freshman year in the high school.

After reading what was written on that Chinese fan’s inner blade, I lifted my head, looked around, and as the bus reached the junction area in San Fernando, Pampanga, it made a stop right in front of a lotto outlet where a signboard in bold letters read: PLAY LOTTO HERE.

As I was very nervous then, I threw the Chinese fan outside of the Victory Liner bus’ window.

A few years had passed after that incident and, one afternoon, as I exited the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority’s Main Gate, I went to the lotto outlet just after the Main Gate Pedestrian Lane. As I approached the betting window to make my bet, I found on the window pane a Chinese fan similar to the one I mentioned above. And I remember that incident. I smiled as I picked up that Chinese fan that was probably inadvertently left by a female bettor. That Chinese fan is still in my possession up to this date.

No, I did not win in that draw.

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