Luab: The gift of special people in our lives-A A +A
Saturday, August 31, 2013
TYPHOON Maring turned many places in the Philippines, especially Metro Manila, into a Venice of sorts.
The collision of two ships near the coast line of Talisay was a sea disaster which brought havoc into our lives.
The Pork Barrel and the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) issues brought an anger, which grew to great proportions (and rightly so) that brought about rallies all over the Philippines to demand that these two sources of corruption be scrapped.
Because of these recent happenings, many Filipinos have become skeptical and cynical. A feeling of hopelessness prevailed. Today I’m going to jolt you, my friends, into seeing what special people in our lives can do to erase that feeling of hopelessness.
Two special persons were mentioned during that awful sea disaster. The first was a fisherman who went back and forth the area of collision and ferried as many people as he could save. He even forgot for a time his precious net and only remembered where he placed it when other rescuers arrived on the scene.
The second person was someone unknown, who gave up a life vest to a co-passenger saying he knew how to swim. I’m afraid as of this writing he will be unknown because the person who survived is still trying to locate him.
There must be others who cared enough; just ordinary folks or volunteers who chose to do something to help. With examples such as these we really have no reason to lose hope or become skeptical.
During the onslaught of heavy rains and floods, bank account numbers (of TV networks) were posted so we could respond in our own small ways.
Many of us responded, although my pragmatic brain tells me that many others too did not.
Let me cite an example of kindness, which is nearer home to me. Remember my article on the two kilos of rice for any scavenger that one might meet on a particular day?
As of today’s count, no less than 39 of my friends accepted my suggestion that in lieu of a birthday gift, they make a scavenger’s face light up with joy by personally handing out two kilos of rice. I know the exact number because these were my kind and generous friends who greeted me last Aug. 24 and told me beautiful, heartbreaking, touching stories of their experiences.
Allow me to share one story. When my friend stopped behind a young man pushing a kariton and handed out the bundle of rice, the man took off running, leaving a kariton half-filled with plastic items, broken utensils, etc. Caught by surprise, my friend shouted:
“Uy, doctor ko. Niay bugas,” while chasing the man.
When the car caught up with the scavenger, my friend asked, “Nganong ni dagan man ka?”
“Abi na ko, sir, nga tagiya ka sa guba nga electric fan nga akong gipunit nga way pananghid sa gawas anang balaya.”
When they both went back to the kariton, true enough, there was a small, damaged electric fan. What touched my friend was the look of fear in the man’s eyes, then the relief when the scavenger saw a kind man. After looking over the contents of the kariton, my friend asked, “Pila kaha nang tanan sa timbangan?” The man replied, “Igo gyud ikapalit og bugas, sir!”
Hugging the two kilos of rice, the man said, “Kini, sir, duha ni ka adlaw namo.”
When my friend narrated his experience to me, I knew that never again will he see a scavenger without remembering that incident. God knows whose hands and hearts He has chosen to do deeds of kindness and service. I am just so blessed that certain friends of mine understand why seeds of crazy suggestions come their way when they already do write huge amounts of money as donations for good causes.
Pope Francis told us to smell like sheep if we want to be good shepherds. We have to go out and mingle with the sheep. No, I’m not asking you to go to areas that are full of scavengers because that would be dangerous. However, if you just see one trudging home, tired from what he calls honest work, you might just see instead a vulnerable person full of fears, worries and fatigue.
All of us have really special friends whom we respect, love and cherish. To my Bible and meditation group mates, to my Ayala Hiking Group, you are God’s hands and hearts in my life. To one special friend who thinks of me in terms of sugar-free chocolates, thank you for being a true friend.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 01, 2013.