Gabriel and the Blue Diwata
by Justine Camacho-Tajonera
Once upon a time, there was a little boy named Gabriel. Gabriel was five years old and he did not like to sleep in the afternoons.
Gabriel needed lots of cajoling and compromise before he would sleep. There were afternoons of arguments, tears and shouting. He didn't listen to his Mom and Dad and he also didn't listen to his yaya. Then, one afternoon the blue fairy of sleep visited him. This happened in the early afternoon` when he was so angry that he kept his eyes open despite feeling tired.
The blue fairy isn't like the fairies in fairy tales. In the Philippines, she is called a diwata and she normally lives in forests or where there are trees. Since there aren't any forests in Pasig City, some diwatas migrated to the condominium swimming pools or the lonely trees lining cement pedestrian lanes. Because of this, the fairy was a little out of sorts and wasn't very benevolent. She was living in the ground floor swimming pool of Gabriel's condominium and she was very irritated by his constant crying. She had had enough.
So, there she was, in front of Gabriel as he was defiantly trying to keep his eyes open. "Gabriel," she said, "what will it take for you to stop crying?"
"I want to play!" he shouted at her. She did not find this polite at all. Unfortunately, the city had made her immune to noise, so his shouting didn't make a difference.
"This is what will happen. I'm going to take you away from here. And you won't be able to see your sister, or your mother and father or your yaya until you tell me that you want to sleep."
Gabriel agreed with this. He wanted anything but to sleep.
So, the blue diwata of sleep took him to the land of dinosaurs. She dropped him in the middle of the time when the dinosaurs were trying to escape all the volcanoes erupting. To make matters worse, the sky was covered with lots of dust because of the meteor that fell somewhere in the area known as Mexico. So, it was very dark and the only light to be seen was from the molten lava flowing from the volcanoes. All the animals were desperately running away from the volcano and Gabriel had no choice but to run with them. He was getting even more tired but he couldn't close his eyes.
"Help, blue fairy!" Gabriel said to the air. And the blue fairy appeared.
"Please get me out of here!" he pleaded with her. She picked him up, just in time to avoid being trampled over by a Triceratops.
"Okay, okay," said the harassed diwata. This time, she dropped him in the house with the seven little kids. Unfortunately, this was the moment in the story when the wolf was hunting down the little kids one by one and swallowing them whole. The grandfather clock was already occupied and Gabriel knew that this was the safest place to hide. "Oh no!" Gabriel exclaimed. Gabriel was able to run outside to the yard but unfortunately, the wolf saw him and started running after him. Gabriel ran and ran and ran. He didn't see the wolf behind him anymore but he was just so tired. He wanted to close his eyes for a little while but he found that he just couldn't close his eyes.
"Blue fairy, come back!" Gabriel cried. The blue diwata was back by his side but she was in a very bad mood. This was the second place where she had dropped him and he was already demanding to be put somewhere else. "I'm sorry, blue fairy. I just want to go back to my Mommy and Daddy and sister and yaya," he said crying. His tears were rolling down his face. And the blue diwata was really sorry for him. But rules were rules. And even if she was an unconventional diwata in the middle of Pasig City, she had to stick to what she had said. "I'm sorry, too, Gabriel, but rules are rules. The only way you can go back to your Mommy and Daddy and sister and yaya is by telling me that you are ready to go to sleep."
Gabriel was not happy about this. He still wanted his own way. "No, blue fairy, I don't want to go to sleep," he said even if his eyes were already drooping. So the fairy took him to a third place. It looked like his home but no one was in it. His toys were out of their boxes, ready to be played with. But it was very, very quiet. And no one was home. He tried playing with his toys but after five minutes he felt very sad.
"Blue fairy," Gabriel said to the air once again. "I want to go to sleep." The blue fairy sighed a deep sigh. Finally! So, the blue diwata appeared to Gabriel once again. Truly, she felt sorry for him because he was crying again, but this time not shouting anymore. So, the blue diwata took his hand and made him turn around once. This time, he was really back at home. He hugged his Mommy really tight. "Mama, I want to go to sleep!" he told his Mommy. And she took him to his room and hugged him tight. She read him a short story and then he drifed off to sleep, thinking about how nice it was to fall asleep beside his Mommy. The blue diwata looked on, smiling and invisible.