Kapitan Sino - Chapter 18

Published at 18th of March 2018 11:15:55 PM

Chapter 18

KS Chapter 18

The spin of the old ceiling fan is slow, looking as if it's going to fall on the head of the policeman facing the typewriter. To his right is the door and window of the small precinct, to his front a bulletin board and a long bench, behind him a rotting filing cabinet where a thermos and transistor radio could be found, and to his left is a comfort room without a light, next to a prison cell containing two people—slumped on the floor on opposite sides of the cell, chatting away.

"Rizal¹," Rogelio picks from Bok-bok's given choice of heroes.

"Still Rizal huh. Ok, Rizal versus Star Rangers?"


"Against Max Headroom?"

"Max Headroom's nothing."

"Space Ghost?"

Rogelio thinks for a bit more. "Blackstar."


"Klone is Blackstar's ally."

"Time space warp! I'm gonna shove Annie's panties on all of them!"

Rogelio laughs for the first time since they were dragged to the precinct. "Heckle & Jeckle."

"Why not, versus Fraggle Rock?"

"Versus Frogger."

"Frogger's got nothing on Donkey Kong!"

"Pacman. One bite and Donkey Kong's gone."

"Space Invaders. Now Pacman's riddled in holes."

"Great Space Coaster."

"Marlo and the Magic Movie Machine."

"Tele-aralan ng Kakayanan³."

"Fr. Tropa and the Spaceship 2000!4"

Raucous laughter. The on-duty police man looks at them.

"Here, your prize," Bok-bok grabs from his pocket the thin wad of two and five pesos bills.

"Nah. It was a tie game. You could have it."

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"No, go ahead and take it."

"I didn't win anyway."

"I'm already giving it to you!"

"Don't be a brat, it's yours!"

"You know what? Thanks. This wasn't for the bet anyway. You dropped this while you were unconscious last night. Because of all the superheroes, you're the only one who brings cash—even though it's nowhere near enough to post bail! No backsies…hehehehehe!"

The teasing laughter of Bok-bok and Rogelio throwing his shoes at him happened almost instantaneously.

"You two there, will you not shut up?!" The policeman by the table suddenly stands up and comes closer to the cell. Small, thin, sporting a really tall haircut, and pants so low they look like they're coming off due to the pants not having an ass to grab onto, the Grade 6 looking cop hits the bars with his nightstick as a warning to the two friends. "I've almost had it with the two of you!"

"What's Piling's problem?" Bok-bok whispered after the policeman left, comparing him to the ghost companion of the Chiquito flick5.

"I give up," Rogelio throws to the ground the Super Trump cards in his hand that started this whole game. Bok-bok won the cards last night from a palabunutan6 peddler. "What in the world got into your mind last night anyway, that made you try to grab the grenade?"

Bok-bok's eyes are spinning, as if having second thoughts in answering, "You want the truth?"

"The truth."

"I was in a fight with the guy behind me. He outright cursed me because he said I blocked his view, stepped on his foot when Mia Prats came out or something. Cussing me out, of course I'll do it more on purpose! He then pushed me. I didn't know the guy in front had a grenade."

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"I knew it…you've really got a screw loose!" Rogelio shakes his head while clicking his tongue. "Throw me back my shoe!"

"Our town is really a pity, huh?" Bok-bok throws back his friend's shoes while looking at the skinny lawman now standing by the door of the precinct talking to someone. "The cops don't even have guns."

"The chief has one I think."

"I've also only heard him use his gun once. Remember the fiesta where he started the sack race? Maybe he only has one bullet, used it then, and now he's all out." Bok-bok looks at his friend, "Do you think the people here have any hope?'

Rogelio thinks for a bit. "The people are looking for a savior. Because they are not that 'savior', they do nothing else. Nothing changes. No one wants to change. Always waiting for that 'savior', the one who's not like them."

Bok-bok nods while trying to understand what his friend is saying. "How do we then change?"

"If you stop throwing plastic wraps of candy on the street, for example, so that the canal will stop clogging up and Aling Precious can stop blaming me, that's change already. If you could make some other more change, however small, for each month of the year—"

"Then what?"

"Then you won't be Bok-bok anymore! Hehehe…"

Bok-bok just glares at him. "I'll get you next time, Super Strength!"

The two fall silent for a bit. The voice of the veteran commentator coming from the transistor filled the silence:

If Vietnam's already canceling flights to these countries afflicted with this AVH Fever, then what is our government doing? Are we going to be like Singapore waiting for an outbreak before closing ports of entry? Maybe if it's only the rebels and the two faced Marcos cronies who are gonna get sick, feverish, have their veins explode, and suddenly die in the hospital, but this aggressive virus chooses no victims, my countrymen! Oh, God almighty, I hope this is not the case.

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The policeman standing by the doorway and the man with him exits the precinct to approach the small group of unruly people in the street. A short conversation. After a few moments, the people disperse, hurrying, almost running; while the policemen almost trip over each other running back to the precinct to look for news on the radio with the raised volume.

Translation Notes:

1 – Talking about José Rizal, the Philippine national hero.

2 – Lit. Let Us Know, an educational agricultural and livelihood television show.

3 – Lit. Tele-Classroom of Power, is also an educational television program. There’s not much info on the internet on it, though.

4 – From what I could understand, Father Tropa is a leader of a cult, and the Spaceship 2000 is his zoo. There’s an unofficial biography here: 

5 – Chiquito is a famous comedian/actor that starred in a lot of movies from the 40s to the 90s. They are referencing his ‘Mang Kepweng’ movies here, where he stars as the main role. 

6 – ‘Palabunutan’ is basically a game of draw lots, though can sometimes also be colored dice. If your lot has a number corresponding a prize, or your dice colors matches your prediction or a color combination (I forgot, it’s been a while), you could win from an assortment of goodies. This could range from a pack of cards, to even a live chick or quail. (BTW I swear they’re rigged, I’ve never won a prize all my life)