I was puffing at the terrace (whatever it is called) just outside the 2F food court at SM Consolacion. Somebody came near and asked for a light, so I instinctively gave my lighter though my eyes were still focused down at the highway as I was watching traffic and the Ceres buses picking passengers. I did notice that when the lighter flicked, it happened at just about a few inches above my head (I was seated), so I looked who the hell was lighting up… and when I looked…
It was a kid! OMG yes, a youngster! He was already puffing, so I could not anymore deny him my lighter. And he sat on the very same table where I was too! That, while his companion, an even younger kid, stood behind him waiting.
I asked how old the kid was (as he was busy puffing his cigarette), his reply was “eight... seventeen” and I told him outright it was a lie. He did not seem perturbed with my comment and just continued puffing. I turned to the smaller kid and asked how old he was. He said “ten”! But I clarified I was asking the age of the smoker and not his. He shrugged with a smile. I asked if they were brothers, the younger kid said no. So I asked how they were related. The smoker said “agaw” (meaning ig-agaw or cousins). I stopped asking and just silently observed them. My hunch is, the smoking kid should be around 12 or 13, surely not older than 15. Gosh!
I am a smoker, but I think I started tasting cigarettes while I was on training for my first employment – that means after college,and that means I was about, or already more than 20 years old. If at all anyone should smoke, which I do not encourage anyway, they (I believe) should be around that age. I told the smoking kid about this and he said he only smokes after a meal. Whatever!
Oh well, if they only know how hard it is to stop this “addiction” hehe!