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Tuesday, August 16, 2011


In front of the entrance to our village is a Mini-stop store. I remembered I had to stop to get some wheat bread for tomorrow’s baon. Yeah, wheat bread so sue me. Some people just need to cut down on rice like me.

But before I could alight, I heard a knock on my car’s window. It was a lady around her 40s, asking for money for her fare home.

Instincts prompted me to say no and instantly lock my doors. I shook my head violently, as if to stop her from continuing her monologue about why she needed fare going home. Four years in college, walking along Faura and Pedro Gil trained me to do such.

I remembered this old lady from my college days. From my freshman year till I graduated, she was always there in Faura, saying the same old line - that she needed money for her son’s medicines. But if you’d offer to help her get a white card/ charity card to help her get meds free and endorse her to your pharmacist friends, she’d simply refuse and move on to the next bystander.

“Nakakahiya man, pero kelangan ko lang ng pamasahe pauwi, nag apply kasi ako sa SM (embarrassing as it is, but I just need fare home…)” was all I could remember from the lady’s monologue.

Like a trained Manila boy, I abruptly refused her.

But as she slowly moved away, something in her facial expression triggered a memory.

She moved away not with a disgruntled I’ll-look-for-my-next-victim look, but she looked helpless and deeply worried.

I had that nagging feeling that she was telling the truth.

“Manang, eto o!” I quickly called back to the lady, and without hesitation, gave her a fifty.

A fifty peso bill that someone, too, once gave me.

Back when I was in college, I had to struggle with a small allowance to cover for all my daily needs – food, fare, date fund, projects etc. Thus, embarrassing as it is, there were times when I had to resort to the unthinkable – riding a jeep without paying. One-two-three baba (get off).

One time I was inside an FX. And inside an FX, it is absolutely impossible to do the one-two-three manoeuvre – unless you’re a very skilled and thick-skined con artist.

So there I was, wondering how to get off, when this lady noticed my discomfort, spoke to me and gave me a fifty-peso bill.

Then it hit me. Life is like a freaking domino cascade. When the front domino is pushed, it will fall into the next domino, which falls into the one after that, and so on. Yeah, that’s a lot of headache.

Like that movie Pay It Forward. People find it easier to do good towards a stranger, simply because someone did the same to them.

Filipinos, for one, would find this easy with our “utang na loob” outlook in life.

And I wager that if one small person continues to do some small random acts of kindness towards strangers, these deeds will spread like wild fire, or like hot gossip.

Like a rainbow and unicorn induced butterfly effect.

So I thank you old lady who gave me that fifty-peso bill.

That I was able to pass it to another.

And hope that the next gets to pass the fifty to someone who might need it, too.

In some form or another.

From one person to another.

6 mga umutot:

Katherine said...

Beautiful post, toiletots. :) Pero sa totoo lang, hirap akong gawin yan, ang magbigay sa stranger. Ilang beses ko na rin naeencounter ang mga ganyan plus that all-too-familiar line na kailangan nila ng pamasahe pauwi. When I walk on streets, I do not stop for fear of getting held up by the "helpless stranger's" cohorts or something, plus the doubt that maybe they're not telling the truth. So I simply shake my head when people like those approach me, and keep on walking.

Hindi naman sa pagmamataas o kung anuman. More on fear for my own safety. Kaya I find what you did admirable. :)

Mugen said...

That act of kindness will be repaid to you in kind. Nice entry Poi!

Toilet Thoughts said...

@Kath: ok lang un, un din naman sinasabi ng instincts ko. Kelngan din mag ingat. Misnan na din akong natutukan ng kutsilyo. hehe.

@Mugen: Wala na. Hindi naman akin ung 50, naibigay lang din sakin at ngayon, naipasa ko na sa iba haha. Musta?!

Bino said...

madalas din ako'ng nakakasalubong ng ganyan na wala daw pamasahe. di ko tuloy alam kung maniniwala ako o hindi kasi ung iba eh manloloko eh. pero ako naman, bigay pa rin.

Seth said...

I'm very much impressed ^^

odin hood said...

sarap magpamasahe...


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