His name conjures the famous Hollywood actor Marlon Brando, but his family name Castillo has its own merits—which any other decent Filipino can be proud and happy about. Marlon’s parents must have been enamored by the acting prowess of their son’s namesake that the name Marlon came in handy at baptismal time.
I’m not wary of affiliations when I know something clear-cut: Marlon is an environmental activist. Where else can you find trash bins labelled Madonot and Hende Madonot? Only in the ALCARIBA Mansion where Marlon has been a household help for nearly twenty years. He fully understands what is bio-degradable, reusable, and recyclable, and classifies kitchen refuse accordingly. The bio-degradable Madonot, as Marlon spells it, goes into the fertilizer pit. Hende Madonot waits for the weekly garbage truck for disposal.
Now hear Marlon heaves a sigh. He bemoans the fact that all sorts of liter are mixed up in the garbage truck carrier without proper classifications. DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) kindly take note. And do set pertinent regulations for housekeepers to follow—all for the sake of the environment which is the world’s concern. Talk of the common good.
Marlon has provided a good example to his fellow household helpers: Jaina, May, Mary Anne, and Brian—in politeness and dedication to duty. Anyone of them can lead the prayer before mealtime. Wonder not. Good manners and Right Conduct did not end with them as a mere subject for grading in the elementary years. No kidding. Having stayed with them for some weeks, I know how they can work at par—I dare say even better—than any OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) abroad.
After carefully finishing off an assigned duty, they go help with the other’s unfinished task. Basic cooperation in action. This brings to mind what Miss Titser herself and my eldest sister Manang Lolita used to say: Many hands make light work. That was implanted in us in grade school with Miss Titser herself picking up the liter along with us in the wide, spacious ground of our barangay elementary school. Ulirang guro, I must say.
Household Tsar Augusto Alonsozana and Tsarina Lolita Carreon-Alonsozana have made of themselves models in good manners and right conduct to the house staff. Praises are in order: Brod-in-law Gus is equipped with cooking savoir-faire that Marlon tries to equal. Brod Gus’ concoction of dragon fruit, banana, strawberry, etc. is the most nutritious drink I’ve ever tasted. Manang Lita, on the other hand, makes the truism—Like Mother, Like Daughter—alive. The household staff dined with them in the big round table—the practice coming from our own mother, Cristeta Rivera-Carreon. Indeed, seeds from the same pod.
One more praise is in order: Highly esteemed is Marlon, our environmental activist.
Julia Carreon-Lagoc was a Panay News columnist for two decades. She pops up with Accents now and then. (email@example.com)/WDJ