While every one else was busy preparing for New Year’s Eve, 43-year-old Danny Israel slept in his house at Barangay Catmon, Malabon City.
He will be missing this year’s Media Noche, so he already planned ahead.
He will leave money for three of his elder kids who will stay at the house so they can buy food.
Meanwhile, the three younger children will come with him to a fast food restaurant for dinner before he clocks in for duty as a security guard.
Israel has been a security guard for 14 years and works a 12-hour night shift. Due to this, he has missed more holidays than he can count.
“Sanay na po ako. Pag ganito ang trabaho mo, masasanay ka rin (I’m used to it. When this is the nature of your work, you get used to it),” he said.
“Madalas ako maka-experience ng Pasko o New Year sa trabaho (I have frequently experienced spending Christmas or New Year while I’m on duty),” he added.
A native of Bicol, Israel shared that he was not able to come home to his parents for the holidays because no one could take his shift.
So he asked his children to visit him instead. Early next year, they will be coming back to Bicol where they live with their grandmother.
When asked about their mother, Israel just shook his head and said he separated with his wife a year ago.
Sometimes, she sends the children gifts. But they barely see each other anymore.
“May time rin na malungkot sila, lalo na sa sitwasyon nila na wala ‘yung nanay nila (There are times when they get sad, especially since they don’t have a mother),” Israel said.
But he is trying to make do with what they have.
Israel takes care of all of his children’s needs, including their education. Two of his children are already in high school while three are in elementary. His eldest dropped out and already has a child of his own.
Israel narrated that they had better New Year celebrations before. Back then, he still had time to take his children to a zoo in Quezon City.
He has also experienced worse times, including a time when all of his family were in Bicol to celebrate while he stayed in Manila to work.
So this time, New Year’s Eve is definitely a lot happier because he can celebrate with family, Israel said.
“Dito nalang kami magsasalo-salo (We will just celebrate here).” (Minka Tiangco)