Mambusao, Capiz / Western Visayas / Philippines
She was sheepish, “tahimik” when I first met her. She couldn’t have been more than a head and a half tall, only having just turned two or so.
Now, still just as tahimik, she stood up to my ears— an exact replica of her older brother, her eyes kind where his was stern, her smile playful where his was absent.
“You’re Manang Jeel-yahn,” she whispered.
“Do you remember me?” I asked. She paused for a moment, as if she already knew the answer but needed a second to figure out exactly how she should answer. A while passed before she decidedly shook her head.