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“Okay, let’s start the meeting ladies and gentlemen,” inilibot niya ang paningin sa mga taong nakaupo sa conference table ng may mapansin siya. Kulang ng tatlo ang Board of Directors ng GOC. “Where are Mr. Avida, delos Santos and Corona?”
“Don’t you know it yet, Ms. Elizalde?” Si Mrs. Socorro, isa sa Senior Board Members.
Nangunot ang noo niya. “Please tell me about it Mrs. Socorro.” Pormal na turan niya.
“Mr. Avida, along with Mr. delos Santos and Corona sold their shares just yesterday.” Sagot nito.
She was alarmed. Katumbas sa thirty percent and shares ng tatlo. Kung sinuman ang nakabili ng shares ng mga ito ay pumapangalawa na sa kanya. She owned forty-five percent of GOC and she was the major stockholder.
“Who bought their shares?” Bakit hindi ipinaalam sa kanya ang pangyayaring ito? Ang matalas na pang-amoy niya ay nakalanghap ng hindi maganda.
Noon bumukas ang pintuan ng conference room at pumasok ang isang matangkad na lalaki. He was looking so sleek and powerful in his three piece suit.
Colors departed her beautiful face. She wasn’t expecting the face of the devil to appear in her own conference room! She just wished he was but a product of her wild imagination.
But when he smiled dangerously, she knew he was real. His lips spoke a silent threat she never missed.
“Its payback time.”
Her flesh trembled. She looked at the devil’s goddamned face. Spite him! Well, she won’t turn her face at his challenge. He won’t dare. She was ready.
But when her sight riveted at his powerful lips, the very same lips that kissed her for like eternity, and she suddenly want to melt like an ice cream, she knew she was in trouble – big, big trouble.
Oh no, but she needed to put on her shield and the devil was around.
She closed her eyes as she saw her own self moaning and ranting unrecognizable sounds as his skillful lips introduced her to Nirvana.
Oh God, she wanted to die that very minute.
Mula sa floor to ceiling glass windows ng kanyang pent house unit sa isa sa pinakamataas na building sa buong Metro Manila, tinanaw ni Diadem ang makukulay na ilaw ng siyudad sa gabi.
Metro Manila’s dazzling skyline filled her restless eyes for minutes. Nilagok niya ang hawak na kopita ng alak ng makaramdam ng pagkabagot.
Sa mataas na kinalalagyan niya ay damang-dama niya ang lakas ng kanyang kapangyarihan. The pent house unit of her own building served as her second abode. It was a modern and luxuriously spacious pad for a woman who was always on the go and a pride of a shrewd businessman who had amassed massive wealth since her parents’ death ten years ago.
She felt her heart squirmed in sadness as memories of her dying mother filled her mind.
Halos magmakaawa siya noon sa ina na huwag siyang iiwan at wala siyang makakasama sa buhay ngunit hindi siya nito pinagbigyan. Her mother was too consumed of her lament over her father’s death. Her muscles tensed. Ang ama niyang namatay sa isang aksidente habang kasama ang ibang babae as they tried to run away.
Awang-awa siya sa kanyang ina na iniwan na nga ng asawa para sa ibang babae ngunit minahal pa rin ng todong-todo ang ama niya. Surely, her father did not deserve her mother’s unconditional love.
Cecilia Elizalde loved her husband so much that when he died, she lost the zest to continue living with the mortals and had always wanted to follow Roberto Elizalde from wherever realm he was with after his death. Cecilia suffered from great depression and anorexia until she contracted a deadly disease na naging dahilan ng pagkamatay nito.
She hated her father the moment she discovered about his illicit affair with another woman. And hated him more when her mother died. She was orphaned at the age of nineteen. Simula noon ay namuhay siya kasama ng mga yaya at tagataguyod.
She lived alone and lonely. If it was a consolation that her parents left her huge wealth to spend to whatever she wanted, her money did not do a thing to ease her pain and longing. But she had to continue living so she can protect her family’s legacy, the largest oil company in the country, lalo pa ng malaman niyang interesado ang mistress ng ama sa kayamanan nila.
Hinding-hindi siya papayag na magkaroon ng anumang parte sa kayamanan nila ang oportunistang kabit ng ama lalo pa at ang Global Oil Company ay minana pa ng ina mula sa mga ninuno nito. Kung tutuusin ay isa lamang na hamak na empleyado ang kanyang ama na nagustuhan ng ina at minahal ng todo-todo. Hindi naging CEO ng GOC si Roberto kung hindi dahil kay Cecilia. Her mother did not only give her father unconditional love but riches too. Pero hindi iyon pinahalagahan ni Roberto at nagawa pang ipagpalit ang ina niya sa ibang babae! Sa ibang babae na mas matanda pa ng ilang taon sa ina niya!
She was really surprised. Ang akala niya ay nahalina ng isang maganda at batam-batang babae ang ama niya. But Winona, though still beautiful despite of her age, was even older than her mother! Hindi niya lubos maisip kung bakit nagawa silang ipagpalit ng ama sa babaeng iyon!
Pagkatapos niyang magtapos sa college sa kursong Business Administration sa edad na beinte, kaagad na pinamahalaan niya ang pagpapatakbo sa GOC. Likas siyang matalino at katunayan ay nagtapos siyang Cum Laude sa Ateneo de Manila University.
Kung iniisip ni Winona na isa lamang siyang batang ulila, puwes patutunayan niya sa oportunistang iyon na may utak siya at hindi siya maloloko ninuman.
She pooled her own competent and loyal Human Resources, mula sa mga executives ng kumpanya, hanggang sa mga accountants at company lawyers.
She kicked Winona out of her way. Katunayan ay nagawa pa niya itong ipakulong. Ginamit niya ang pera niya upang pahirapan ang babae.
Two years after, nakalaya si Winona at magmula noon ay nawala itong parang bula. At ipinagpasalamat niya iyon at natahimik ang buhay niya.
She continued to work hard and propelled GOC to more success and skyrocketing profits. And with her surprising shrewdness in business, an unusual skill for a woman, she was able to double the company’s worth into a whooping three hundred fifty million dollars.
She was regarded as one of the most powerful woman in the Philippines and the most eligible bachelorette in town.
Well, yes, she was still single. Ilang buwan na lang at magse-celebrate na siya ng kanyang ika-30th Birthday.
And since malapit na siyang mawala sa kalendaryo, may mga plano na rin siya para sa sarili.
Isa na roon ang pagkakaroon niya ng pamilya at tagapagmana. She was not getting any younger and she knew she needed to find someone she can marry and be her companion and business partner.
Yes, she was looking for someone who can match her wealth or even surpass her worth, so that their union would produce a more stable and promising business venture.
She believed that marriage is like signing a big business enterprise and profiting a lot from it. She didn’t believe in marriage for love. Naalibadbaran siya sa isiping iyon. Her parents’ tragedy taught her a lesson she won’t ever forget. At hinding-hindi niya tutularan ang ina. Hindi niya gustong danasin ang dinanas nito.
She will never marry for love. Ang kailangan niya ay isang mayaman at makapangyarihang lalaki na maging responsableng ama ng kanyang mga anak at maging katuwang niya upang mapalago pa ang kanilang mga kayamanan.
She wanted a stable and no drama but strongly bonded family.
She already told her executive secretary to do a research about the most eligible bachelors in the country. Titingnan niya kung sino sa mga ito ang pupuwede niyang piliin na mapangasawa niya kung saka-sakali.
And she will get the comprehensive report tomorrow.
“Next!” Nayayamot na utos niya kay Roshelle, ang executive secretary niya. Naroroon sila sa loob ng state of the art na conference room ng GOC at kasalukuyang pinepresenta nito sa kanya ang report nito, the list of most eligible bachelors in the Philippines.
More or less ay may two hundred lists ito ng mga single na lalaking may kayamanang hindi bababa ng 100 Million pesos.
My Ass! 100 Million pesos?! Eh halos ni hindi man lang iyon nakakalahati sa bilyones na halaga niya!
She told Roshelle to cut her list into bachelors with at least 1 Billion pesos worth of fortune. She came up with at least fifty of them. Subalit karamihan sa mga iyon ay halos matatanda na. Gusto na tuloy niya itong patigilin ng makita niya ang picture na nagflash back sa projector.
The man was sporting a nice, friendly smile. Mukhang mabait. And he had striking good looks to match his fat bank accounts.
Rohan Tantuco. 35 yrs. Old. Real Estate Magnate. 10 Billion pesos. Self-made.
Hmmnn… Not bad!