By Shanice Kae Suarez & Johanna Marie O. Bajenting
USJ-R Mass Comm Interns
A CAB driver who is a father of five and grandfather of 11 recently returned P254,208 to a passenger who had left it in his cab.
Valerio Boybanting, 58, said he was shocked when he found a jacket containing dollars and a passport of a Korean national in his taxi last Tuesday.
He immediately asked Ken Taxi, the company he works for, for help in handing over the cash, which won him the gratitude of the Consulate of the Republic of Korea in Cebu.
Boybanting recalled that he picked up Kim Eul Chol and the latter’s girlfriend at the Lapu-Lapu City District Hospital and dropped them off at ParkMall in Mandaue City.
After Boybanting found out about the money, he immediately went to Maricor Castañares, Ken Taxi’s manager, for help in returning the money to its owner.
Castañares counted the money in plain view of the other drivers and then reported Boybanting’s good deed to the taxi fleet’s operator.
In an interview, Boybanting said he felt scared that he was carrying a big amount of money.
“Nakonsensiya ko’s kwarta kay wala man ko katultol sa balay sa Koreano (I felt guilty because I didn’t know where my Korean passenger lived),” he said.
He recalled the advice that his father had given him since his childhood. “Ayaw pagpakaon og kinawat para sa imong pamilya kay bati kaayo na (Don’t feed your family with something you stole because that’s bad),” Boybanting said, quoting his father.
In 20 years of driving a taxi, this was not the first time he returned valuables left in his cab.
Emily Quijano, 36, his eldest daughter, said she looks up to her father. “Sobra na nako ka idol kay bisag galisud, dili laug (He has always been my idol, because even in the midst of hardship, he is never greedy).”
Boybanting received P8,000 as his reward, which he used to build a comfort room and treat his family to an outing.