Mother brought to Vigan a lot of raw hides for tanning and got a sizable amount for them from relatives of Father who bought them for their slipper-making trade. She was no doubt very happy and was looking forward to a bigger business of buying and selling raw hides.
But alas, her twenty peso bill (₱20.00, or $10.00) got lost! She looked and looked for it everywhere, spending about half a day trying to search for her money.
At that time the ordinary pay of a laborer a day was fifty centavos (₱.50). And so the ₱20.00 was equivalent to 40 days’ labor. For a poor family like us, that was a big financial blow! How the money got lost can’t be explained, but poor Mother cried her eyes out until we reached back home to tell Father what happened with the money.
Father pitied her and consoled her saying maybe its God’s will and to forget about it.
On one occasion when trucks were already available for transporting cargoes and passengers between Bangued and Vigan, Mother was transporting about a dozen raw hides for sale and for tanning. At Narvacan our bus was halted for inspection because of an epidemic of anthrax, or cattle disease, in the Ilocos Region.
All of Mother’s raw hides were confiscated. She again suffered a great loss. I saw all of these agonies of Mother with my own eyes, and how I pitied my poor frail, tiny, skinny mother, suffering.
Fortunately her brother, 1st Lt. Antonio Bravo, was the Commanding Officer of the soldiers enforcing the quarantine and they finally released Mother’s cow hides. Praise the Lord!