ANGELES CITY -- An American tourist has praised a gasoline pump attendant for returning his wallet containing cash and identification cards.
Donald Colgan has described the incident as "a gracious act of kindness from one Vincent, a gas attendant, and Rina, his supervisor."
"Dear SunStar editor and staff, I hope this great story is included in your local Pampanga newspaper," Colgan stated in his letter to SunStar Pampanga Thursday, August 22.
The American tourist thanked Vincent for his honesty.
"I wish to send a huge salamat po to a fantastic, thoughtful and honest Petron gas station attendant named Vincent for returning my wallet, which was left at the gas pump by mistake last Monday, August 19th," Colgan added.
The Petron station is located along Don Juico Avenue in Barangay Malabanias, Angeles City.
Aside from Vincent, Colgan also thanked the gas station supervisor for exerting effort to contact him and return his wallet.
"Also his supervisor Rina had so much fortitude in finding my cellphone number and returning my wallet with all contents included, as they both went beyond normal decency and call of duty in returning my wallet with the P9,000 and my identification cards intact," the tourist said.
According to Colgan, he nearly lost his funds for his birthday celebration if not for the two kind-hearted Filipinos working in the fuel station.
"This entire episode had me depressed after checking my pocket at my birthday party only to find my wallet missing, as my heart sank when realizing I may never see my important information inside the wallet again plus the money for my birthday party was gone. I was so sad and embarrassed thinking how I would have to ask someone to borrow 'pera' to pay for my own party."
The American said it was like magic or a message from God when he received Rina's call.
"Then like 'magic' or message from God, I received an anonymous call on my phone from Petron gas supervisor Rina to report that Vincent found my wallet and this lifted my spirits greatly when they told me they found my wallet with the money inside plus all my identification cards! I was stunned with happiness and I still cannot figure out how Rina found my cell number to call me, but know true Filipinos know how to improvise and never give up!"
The incident has proven that there are still many good people in the Philippines, Colgan said.
"It reinforces my trust in the decent citizens here in the Philippines, as there are so many more good people here in the Philippines and in the world than the small percentage of bad apples in this lifetime," he added.
Out of gratitude, Colgan gave Vincent and Rina P1,000 each.
"God repays for all the good one does in life, and it comes by way of happiness rather than always by money, although I did reward Vincent P1,000 for his honesty, plus I gave another P1,000 to Rina and the other employees," he said.
Colgan said his father served in the military alongside the Filipino Scouts in 1944 during World War II in Leyte and north Luzon.
The tourist said he also served many years in the country in the 1980s.
"My American family has a strong connection to this wonderful country and have worked shoulder to shoulder with Filipinos for over 70 years," Colgan said.
The American said he and his daughter are active in outreach programs that help indigent Filipinos in the area.
"Currently, my daughter and myself always give back here in the Philippines through the local generosity through members of the VFW and American Legion organizations here which assist the poor Filipinos in need by volunteering plus many other programs," he said.
"I am a single God-believing father who raised a wonderful Filipina child alone and we live on a small pension, so the money was for my birthday party with my daughter and a small group of 'kaibigans,' which was made so wonderful by these truly amazing honest Filipino Petron workers. Thank you so much!" he added.