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Pandesal

Updated: Jun 22, 2021



Every day it’s the same thing. Before the first sunlight, before the eyes of this small town rise, it’s always about the bread.


Kneading the dough. Fluffing it. Baking it.


Every morning without fail.


I get to inherit all this one day, this kingdom of breads. Oh joy. My destiny. My fate.


And yet still, I believe I have a bigger, more exciting destiny.


Something was different about today. I didn't know exactly what, yet. But I could sense it.


Children. Two children, probably about five or six years of age, approaching our little bakery. They seemed smaller than they should have been, their hands clutched to their stomachs, their bare feet dragging in the dirt.


The boy turned his eyes towards the bakery and then turned away. The girl, on the other hand, lingered, her eyes wide yet sullen, dark and filled with grime. Her companion tugged at her arm and her feet dragged on, her gaze lagging behind, frozen still.


Stories of pilgrims spoke of moments such as those, when you had hardly anything left to live on except the kindness of strangers. It was that kindness that sustained them, that helped them press on and continue. It was that kindness that gave them hope that one day they would find the end of their journey, their spirits intact.


I turned my attention to the oven. My eyes swept row after row of pandesal. Baked slightly and near-done was one of the rows. I popped in a pair of tongs and snatched up two rolls. I dropped them into a fresh paper bag and traipsed on over to where the two kids were. Already a few meters from the bakery.


They took the bag of rolls with a smile and a thank you. Trying to hide their faces as they

dug their hands into the bag and snuck a huge chomp of bread.


“Come back again tomorrow if you’re hungry again,” I said, not knowing whether they really

would, and not really minding whether my parents would agree or not.


All I knew was that someone was in need, and I was in a position to help them. Hopefully

someday, while I searched for the Eastern Light, somebody would do the same for me.

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