There was joy and celebration –
She got a visa at last
to the land of spaghetti and the Church
“Could you please bring this package for Inay*?”
friends and sundry asked a favor
“My shoe size is 12!”
exclaimed her brother
Soon her bags were packed
chockful of gifts (mostly of native food)
in boxes wrapped like mummies
(good for preserves)

The going away feast was over
the neighbors (far and near) had bid her goodbye
some with envy (some with misty eyes)
the entire clan loaded in the van
(and in two more jeepneys to boot)
very early at dawn, a cortege of some sort
going to the old Manila airport
to send her off to her fate
that she’d would meet with hope and a heart full of faith.

Her eyes were dreamy, she thought of Rome
she planned to visit the Pope,
find a wonderful home.
Hours and hours passed,
her head was in the clouds
until a sudden jolt brought her around –
the Policia di Stato**  was suspicious of her,
another tourist who’s likely to stay forever.

But this was her chance to grab that good life
(and pay all the debts for this trip, besides)
She could not lose it, neither fail
Faster than a rogue in an MMO game
she gave the police a slip and a tail.
She hid in the bathroom, there took her time
’til a kind soul took pity
and helped her avoid a crime
He took her in his employ
that got her THAT visa that let her work and play.
Thus she fulfilled her Italian dreams
all’s well that ends well  and so it seemed.


I knew that once when she returned home
She brought the reddest rose from Rome
now they grow in my neighbor’s garden
of her triumph, they’re a fragrant token
And like the roses that flourished in alien soil
my compatriot had done well with her toil
apart from the roses that mark her success
there are the beach house and li’l mansion
to crown her daring courage.


* Inay means Mother in Filipino while **Policia di Stato refers to the Italian force (according to Wikipedia) that provides airport and border security, among others.

Last weekend, the Poetics prompt in DVERSE Pub was everything Italian.   I had difficulty developing my original topic.  Then I  remembered that some years back (and maybe even to this day), Italy was a popular choice for an overseas job.  This particular story (yes, this is based on a real story, with some embellishments – also based on general knowledge about our customs – to fill in the details that I am not very familiar with.   I was only visiting my hometown on weekends by this time and thus, only got the juicier bits of gossip). 🙂

Thank you very much for coming by.  I am adding a completely unrelated picture here just to  have something to show up when I link up to FB.  I feel a little disconcerted to  to see my smug face beside the blog post. 🙂

My favorite rose shot:  Velvet fragrance in the sun.

17 thoughts on “LA DOLCE VITA

  1. ah it takes a lot of courage to go to a foreign land and try to make a living…glad she was succesful…oh and you have no idea how much i can relate to the visa tension…smiles

  2. i am glad of her happy ending…finding one that would give her compassion and let her earn that visa…what a tense moment eh hiding out…
    ha, that you spun this off gossips too..thats fun…smiles.

    1. True. Many have been deported before she arrived in Rome and Italian immigration was tightening the security. The lady was gritty and had a truly good break. 🙂

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