By: Ely Lagajino

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. Romans 12:1 (KJV)

Uncle enrolled me in the public high school of the next town and placed me in one of the best restaurants that accepted borders and with an “eat all you can” promo. Many children of wealthy farmers and fishermen from other barrios also studied in that town and stayed in that restaurant.

One day the owner asked me, “Why do you wake up so early?” 

“During my elementary grades, Auntie, every morning I brought our carabaos to the grasslands.” I replied.

“Would you like to help me pick-up our ordered bread from the bakery every four o’clock in the morning?” You can eat bread all you can on the way “, she added. 

“Oh yes, Auntie, ‘I’ll be happy to help”, I managed to say with a gulp.

I knew that four o’clock AM was still dark. The bakery was quite far. There were no tricycles around, and nobody on the streets.  

But at 4 AM the next day I pretended to be a brave boy craving for the hot bread.

On the way back I carried the freshly baked bread inside a tall paper bag almost higher than my head. On top were the Ensaymada, a type of bread with margarine and sugar on top. The next layer was the Pan de coco or bread with coconut jam filling. Wow, my favorite bread! I started eating one after another, feeling like a super boy for every piece I ate. 

For three weeks I faithfully performed my duty, and ate a lot of sweet bread until one morning, there was no bread in the glass cabinet. Auntie found me still in bed shivering with a very high fever. “Tonsillitis”, the doctor said, and he gave me antibiotics. But for one week I missed my beautiful classmates and my favorite bread. 

Too much sweets isn’t healthy. Jesus says we should be temperate in all things. When I got well I resumed my duty asbread pick-up boy and ate only 5 pieces of small Pan de sal on my way home.

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