Wednesday, February 13, 2013




Richard was still in his yellow hard hat, he was standing by the chrome railing at the edge of his metal floored office that hangs above the small airplanes. From his vantage point he can see the whole operation and movements of his workers at the hangar. He was still holding the hand held radio Mang Canor gave him; from where Maya was looking he is a picture of a king standing above his men working below.

‘Charlie Echo 01, base’, Charlie Echo 01, base’, the hand-held radio sounded.

‘Base, this is Charlie Echo 01, go ahead’, Richard speak as he pressed on the PTT of the radio. ‘Sir madedelay daw po si Mr. Tanaka?’ A male voice on the radio confirmed.’ Maya knew Richard is confronted with some company related issue but she was cautious neither to ask nor to offer help, she knew it’s something beyond her powers. But she had this strong feeling somehow she could ease the perturbed Richard.

Richard was on the phone, ‘Liza, I want you and the Tanaka team to be at the hangar in 15 minutes,’

‘Sir, I don’t exactly know how to be there in 15 minutes, but we’ll try.’

‘Liza, 15 minutes.’ And he tucked the phone back to his pocket.

Since Maya’s not-so-good encounter with Ms. Belmonte, she has been so observant and extra guarded with all the information she might need that can help her prove her trainer wrong. Though she can get carried by her sentiments over Richard sometimes, she made sure, her mind work over her heart. This is something cranial she should triumph over.

She walked slowly to join Richard. ‘SC, ano pong ibig sabihin ng Charlie Echo 01?’

‘I’m sure phonetic alphabets were discussed at your school, right?, That stands for Chief Engineer 01, at the site I’m the Chief Engineer and back at Makati I’m the CEO.’ Richard smirked.

There was a pregnant pause … ‘ang liliit ng mga tao sa baba no?’ Maya said in bliss.

‘We started with just one small Cessna plane at our old hangar,’ his voice sober as he looked at the people criss-crossing on the ground. ‘It was dad’s business principle that greatly influenced me, you’ve met him during Abby’s birthday, right?’ Richard glanced at Maya as if telling her she did, Maya nodded. He continued with a half smile and little pauses in between words, ‘working hard coupled with luck can really work wonders, dad was right, now LAS has about a thousand people spread in different airports across the country and I can’t believe we’re expanding in Asia.’ Though they exchange stories at the mansion this is something Maya never expected Richard would share, she felt privileged.

Richard held the radio near his mouth, ‘Base, Charlie Echo 01, …. go ahead sir, …. Pakisabihan mu si Engineer Pascual to direct his men to remove the sectioned dummy planes from the driveway sagabal sa loading bay eh’ …

‘SC, ano ho yung mga dummy planes’?

‘By the end of this quarter Maya, all the dummy planes that is being used by TA’s Training School will be replaced by all these, those are the exact replica of Angela, all of TA’s Airbus fleets will be coming by the end of the year, that’s why we wanted to expand to Japan because the modern facilities and manufacturers of parts are there and it’s easier to transport people than the airplane parts.’ …

‘ibig po bang sabihin SC, nauna na akong mag-aral sa Airbus na to?’ ‘I can say, yes!’ Maya smiled, tipong nakaisa, humanda ka Ms. Belmonte.

She took the relaxed occasion to ask Richard, ‘SC, hindi ba kayo nahihirapan na masyadong malawak at malaki na yung operation ng LAS, tapos ngayon madami pa kayong ina-asikasong merger?’

‘It was the hardest before you came, but now I’m confident, I can do this because you’re with me,’


‘You know Maya, I’m not doing this because I wanted money, you see those people below, as I said there are a thousand of them now, they’re not just my employees, they’re my responsibility, they have families, they have children to feed, just like me,’

Maya can’t believe this person whom she confessed she had a crush on has a soul as pure as his clean-shaven face, he was sharing his life, he was sharing his heart, she didn’t just have a crush on him, now she adore him.

‘Chief Engineer!’ a voice from the back called-out. ‘dumating na ho si Mr. Tanaka,’

Richard hurriedly run down to meet the visitor, Maya follow him.

‘Hello Mr. Tanaka’, extending both of their hands, ‘you surprise me with your visit’, ‘I meet someone nearby and I thought I just have to drop by, how’s your operation?’

‘We’re good, we’re wrapping up this Airbus for its inaugural run come April’.

Richard gestured Maya to come near him, ‘Mr. Tanaka, this is my friend Maya, Maya dela Rosa’, ‘Hello Sir, pleased to meet you’ she bowed slightly.

‘Can you excuse me for a little while, I just have to phone my secretary’.

Maya was expecting a visitor older than Richard, but she was surprised to see that Mr. Tanaka was actually younger than him, he was in his white Polo shirt and khakis, his tan moccasin matched his casual and neat look, his hair cut clean, his beard well-shaven, he looked so stiff but still so fine-looking. Mr. Tanaka was in his stern look as he gestured his male secretary to come near him, he asked for something, just as his secretary handed the folder, papers slipped out and dropped on the ground. Maya was quick to gather the papers and handed it to him, but she bended again to pick the last one, she flipped the paper and smiled ….

‘Wow, he’s so cute,’ She saw Mr. Tanaka’s face lighten, she handed the picture back to him, Mr. Tanaka looked at the picture and said, ‘he’s my son’.

‘You have an adorable and handsome son, Mr. Tanaka’, ‘I was looking for a doctor for him,’ … ‘Is he sick?’ Maya inquired?

‘Not exactly,’ His tone very despotic, but I heard, Mr. Lim’s daughter was able talk because of that doctor, so I came, but she said so many things I can’t keep up, she said something about Mr. Lim’s nanny, I thought I have to meet her, but it’s too personal, I can’t just barge into someone’s privacy, this is out of our business.’

Though his tone was talking daggers that sent Maya to her fright, she struggled and said, ‘Mr. Tanaka, you’re talking now to that nanny’.

Mr. Tanaka was puzzled, ‘Mr. Tanaka if it won’t be a bother can I ask you something? Maya questioned in her supple tone, ‘Does your son also have a speaking problem?’ ‘You mean, you’re Mr. Lim’s nanny?’ ‘Yes sir’. Mr. Tanaka run a look of amazement at Maya from head to toe.

From a distance she can see Richard, Liza and some familiar figures pacing towards their direction, Mr. Tanaka gestured his male secretary to stop them to give both of them time to talk.

Maya can see the thin secretary in black suit, bar Richard’s team from coming near.

Mr. Tanaka continued ‘Yes, he stopped talking after his mother died, I’ve searched all the best doctors in the world, but they failed, it’s been seven years and there’s no sign of progress, what did you do to make Mr. Lim’s daughter talk?’

Maya in her endearing voice confessed ‘Mr. Tanaka, I’m not a doctor, I have not even finished with my studies yet, in fact, right now I’m still struggling to pass my training so I can fly’, Mr. Tanaka cut her … ‘I heard that from the doctor that Mr. Lim sent you to school while working as a nanny for his daughter, he is so lucky to have you’. ‘How did you do it then? Prize for whatever medicine is not a problem,  I can just hear my son’s voice back.’

‘Mr. Tanaka, I know you love your son, the medicine is not expensive, it’s just more time with him, patience and support from you and your family’.

Maya can see Richard anxiously waiting from afar, he was pacing to and fro with his fist clinched.

‘Sir, relax,’ Liza trying to appease his irate and anxious Boss, ‘how can I ever relax Liza, it’s Maya that he’s talking to, you know his reputation with women, and he didn’t even allow us to come near them. What if he’s saying or asking something Maya doesn’t know the answer?’

‘Sir, don’t you trust her?’ ‘Liza, it’s not that I don’t trust her, it’s that man that I don’t.’

‘She can handle this, Sir’, Liza was now beginning to get restless herself, she knew  for herself what kind of man Mr. Tanaka was, she dealt with him in the past a couple of times and that she can’t find worthy words to describe their ghastly encounters.

Maya can sense the tension from what she’s seeing, although they’re meters away she can see Liza getting twitchy.

‘Ms. de la Rosa, I think, that’s the most expensive medicine, I can hardly find those, but who else credible I should believe than someone who proved this to be effective.’

‘If time will allow it would be a pleasure to meet your son one of these days, Mr. Tanaka.’ Maya hinted.

‘Well, I think you should Ms. de la Rosa because you just ruined my business plan’.

Mr. Tanaka extended his hand to gesture a handshake, she reciprocated ‘thank you for your time.’ He turned his lean back and proceeded to where Richard and the rest were standing.

Maya was left all at sea of confusion, she questioned herself, Maya, narinig mu yun? Ano bang nasabi ko at nasira ko ang business plan nya? Maya naman …

‘Mr. Lim, we have a business to do, prepare all necessary papers for the turnover, I’ll see you at my Tokyo office and please don’t forget to bring that woman with you,’ Mr. Tanaka gestured his head referring to Maya. It was an expected turn of events for Richard, Liza and the rest of the Tanaka Team, as always Mr. Tanaka departed just like he appeared, expeditious.

Maya saw Liza hurriedly pacing towards her, ‘Maya!’ It was the first time she saw Liza in tears, ‘Ms. Liza, may nangyari po ba? Kung may nagawa man akong mali, please patawarin nyo na ako,’ Maya now on the verge of her tears, ‘hindi ko naman alam na ganun pala ka strikto yung si Mr. Tanaka, kung sinira ku man ang business plan nya, sa totoo lang di ko alam paano solusyunan.’

Liza just embraced a puzzled Maya. ‘Maya, however did you do it, you deserve a shopping day out with me.’

‘Ano, Ms. Liza?’

Just before Liza can answer back Richard cut in, ‘Liza, thank you for coming, we’ll talk this over at the office, ako ng bahala kay Maya.’ ‘Yes sir, I’ll go ahead.’

Maya in her cracked voice, ‘Sir Chief, may nagawa na naman po ba akong kasalanan?’

‘Meron Maya, malaki!’


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