6/06/2016

ASEAN Grand Prize (Part 2)


Two hours before the awarding ceremony dubbed “Celebrating Our Stars,” I was all dolled up, enduring the punishing pinch of my girdle and hose.

“Why the rush?” Tony asked. Well, he knew better than to stall. Not even wild horses could stop me then. 

At the venue, we caught the proverbial worm. The organizers were still arranging the chairs and installing the sound system. 

The program was simple, almost austere—and finished in no time. When I was called on stage, I must have sprinted, so fast that Tony, with his aching right knee, had not been able to take a decent picture of me receiving my precious award. The photos in this post are the best he could manage. 

My next act was to claim my prize money at a designated table. I was given an envelope with my name on it. I hurriedly put it in my purse, signed a receipt, then off I went to the buffet table.

After dinner, I looked in my purse for . . . “OMG!” I cried, breaking out in cold sweat. “My envelope is gone!”

Tony rummaged through my very small purse, but there was nothing there except my lipstick.

“Ask for help from the person-in-charge,” my cool-headed photographer suggested.

I did, but not before I had asked for grace in a most ardent and urgent prayer.

“Stay there,” the organizer told me.

After about five minutes, which seemed like eternity, he came back with an envelope. It had my name on it!

“You must have dropped it,” he said. “Someone had picked it up and gave it to one of my staff.”

I gave him a grateful and relieved hug.

In other places in the world, I thought, this envelope could have been lost. But this was Singapore and my cash prize was intact to the last dollar. 

I was taught an old lesson at that moment. It’s a lesson I keep re-learning: mind your every action, just as you mind your every word.

As an author, I painstakingly mind every written word, but with every unwritten action . . .  

“Why the rush?”

Why indeed.

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