On Perseverance: The Story of Martin and Lola Sabel

On Perseverance: The Story of Martin and Lola Sabel




Martin was excited to visit Lola Sabel. Because she lived in a distant province, he had not been able to see his grandmother for almost a year. He missed her jokes and wonderful stories.


When the car finally stopped in front of the house, Martin ran through the open gate and headed straight to Lola Sabel, who was in a rocking chair at the porch.


Mano po, Lola!” Martin said loudly, taking his grandmother’s hand and pressing it against his forehead.


But Lola Sabel did not hug him like she used to.


“Who are you?” she asked.


Martin was bewildered. Then he thought, oh wait, this is probably one of her jokes! Grinning, he said, “I am… Superman!”


Lola Sabel looked at him. “Miguel?” she asked. Then she became tearful. “Oh, where have you been? I have been waiting here in the dark… I don’t like playing hide and seek anymore.”


Martin was frightened. What was wrong with Lola Sabel?


“Hello, Mama,” Martin’s mom said, kissing Lola Sabel’s forehead.


“Miguel is hiding again,” Lola Sabel told her sadly.


Seeing the look on Martin’s face, his mom bent down to look at him. “You know, Martin, when people get old, they tend to be forgetful, which is just normal. Your lola, however, is a special case. She has an illness that gets her confused and makes her forget a lot of things, like the people she loves, and even her name! There are times when she remembers, but these memories go way back. Like now, she thinks she’s a child again and that you’re Miguel, her brother.”


Martin noticed that his mom’s eyes were bright with unshed tears. She turned to the nurse.


“Hi, Anna! Please help me bring our things into the house. Anak, stay with your lola.” Martin’s mom and the nurse walked away, talking softly.


Martin sat down next to Lola Sabel. “Lola, I wish I can hear one of your stories,” he said gently, but Lola Sabel was quiet. Martin filled in the silence. He told Lola about school, his new friends, and his excitement about being elected Treasurer in his classroom. He also recalled the moments they spent together. “Remember when you taught me how to grow calamansi? My plant bears so many fruits now!” He exclaimed. Every once in a while, she would ask him, “who are you? Miguel, is that you?” And over and over again, he would say, “I am Martin, your apo.”


Martin felt sad. He felt like giving up. It was his fault for being too busy to answer Lola Sabel’s calls. Maybe she began to love him less and less until she didn’t love him anymore and finally forgot him!


But he shook off his bad feelings and decided to be patient, and try harder instead. “Oh, Lola, I miss you,” he said.




Martin sat up, hearing his lola’s wobbly voice.


She beamed at Martin. “You’re here!” she happily exclaimed. Martin embraced her with all his might.


“I thought you’ve forgotten me,” he said tearfully.


Lola Sabel’s lips curved in a big, wonderful smile. “Oh, Martin, I may eventually forget your name but I will never forget how much I love you!


Hi, Kids! This is Ate Aizel from My Pope Philippines! Did you like the story of Martin and Lola Sabel? As Lolo Kiko once said, “Perseverance could also be defined as patience.” This means when you are finding it hard to achieve a certain goal, it’s important that you try even harder and find different ways to achieve it! For more stories like this, visit our website. ‘Til the next!


The story of Martin and Lola Sabel appears in the July 2018 issue of My Pope Philippines. Text by Stephanie L. Jesena.
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