The Life that is Banco Filipino

Fujin By Fujin, 16th Feb 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Diaries

Just one of the many changes in the chapter of our lives

The Life that is Banco Filipino

   Our name has been associated with Banco Filipino for about 30 years now. I am not known as "San Miguel girl." I have always been known as "anak ng Banco Filipino" since time immemorial. This tag would spread as far as Laoag to Ilocos Sur to La Union, and I was proud of my folks' loyalty to the bank back then.

I remember heading straight to the bank after school in elementary. The bank was still closed by then since its first closure in 1985 but Mom was still reporting for work, maybe for its reopening in 1994. I would often question why the steel doors were closed during working hours, I had no idea of the situation back then. I questioned Mom now about its recent closure and its closure before, "What's the difference?" She answered, "Now is worse."

March 14, 11:00 pm. I was sound asleep when I heard a knock on my door. Dad came in, panicked. He asked for my ATM card and cried, "The bank might close soon." Mom's sobbing was echoing that night. I haven't slept by then.

In the morning, they all went out early. I went in the office crying. Still contained, but crying. I guess my supervisor's advice had me think of optimism for a little while. She said, "Be strong for your Mom and Dad, ikaw na lang ang maaasahan nila ngayon." Even if the situation is painful to the core, I never cried in front of them. I breakdown only in my room (with bulgy eyes everyday). 

I wasn't saved that day. Some depositors called in the office asking why the bank was closed and where Mom was. I answered with what my Mom wanted me to answer them, but trembling. Full of worries, I went home exactly 5 pm for the whole week.

Mom's whole staff were at home the whole day until March 17. All desperate. Worried. Feared. Hopeless. All were waiting for answers. I had some little talks with some of them; of how they are going to live without BF.

Mom's two male staff on their 40's or 50's were the breadwinners of their family, their wives without work, their children either had their own families or were still studying. Mom's three female staff, 35 and above years old, had their children still studying too. All of them, including us, had our hard-earned monies in the bank. Worse with some of Mom's staff who might have not withdrawn their salary for the 15th.

March 17, 5:00 pm. Dad called in and said, "Please come home early. The bank is declared closed."  Mom was wailing, so is with her staff. Dad was in their room, he refused to go out. The house was flooded with mournful tears. I decided to take a leave the next day to check on their situation.

   Currently, the family is still in grave shock.

The house is unusually quiet for weeks now. All windows and doors are closed around seven in the evening. All sleepless nights, full of fear. Neither of my folks go out for fear of mobbing depositors and death threats received. The only thing we can hear are phones ringing, calls mostly from depositors worried of their hard-earned money. Some with violent reactions, some disappointed, others helpless, and most comprehending.

Our setup has changed at nighttime. Mom, with her weary face, is either lying on the sofa watching her telenovelas, surfing the internet for news updates, or alone in their room. She would usually cook dinner with much gusto after her long working hours. Dad, with his weary face, is either playing his same old word game, surfing the internet for news updates, or alone in their room. He would usually come around eight in the evening, kiss mom hello, and eat dinner Mom prepared for us. Kim, ah Kim, has her own little world worshiping Mariel Rodriguez (a bit annoying, but at least she got her good grades up and vied for honors). She still doesn't understand the situation. We already have no conversations, no long talks. Bringing up any topic might just hurt them more. I, then, either go home late nights from work or eat dinner early and head straight up to my room just to obviate from sensitive topics. Kris is more fortunate. Least she only feels the pain on weekends. 

Mom's older brother called up and said, "You'll be the breadwinner already." As much as I wanted to shun the thought, I cannot deny the fact that it is indeed up to me. It will be all up to me, maybe not forever, maybe until Mom and Dad recover from this devastating predicament. But I am a lost soul too. I need someone to gather strength from. 

Depositors might have lost their money. They can regain them in months time. Mom and Dad and the people of Banco Filipino and everyone associated with it have lost not only their money. They lost their bread and butter. They lost their benefits for working in the bank for more than 20 years. They lost their reputation. They lost half their lives. Regaining them will take quite a very long while.


Banco Filipino, Change, Change Destiny, Change Your Life, Changes, Changing

Meet the author

author avatar Fujin
I am currently working as a financial analyst in a manufacturing company. Traveling, cooking and blogging are my past time hobbies.

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