Friday, July 09, 2010

I'm Just Passing By ...

I had travelled in a rush last week to Philippines so I can attend to my sole grandson's baptismal party. Staying a night over at the posh Shangri-la hotel in Makati to meet up with hubby who was there on a business trip. I travelled to my province in Laguna the day after via local bus transport costing Php150 from Manila to Sta. Cruz, Laguna. Since I had 3 baggages with me, I paid for 2 spaces ~ 1 seat for me and 1 seat for my bags so I can secure all of them in one place. While the bus was moving out of the terminal in Buendia , Taft Ave., a teenager handed over a piece of paper to me . I thought it was my bus tickets ... he's too young to work as bus conductor I said to myself. I read the note on it and it says :

Here's the English translation of this note :

Excuse me for a while ...
I'm an out of school youth selling special sweet coconut candies to earn money so I can go back to my schooling next semester and so I can support my daily needs and myself financially.
Thanks so much for your understanding.
Php15 per pack of candies
2 Packs for Php25
If you don't like to buy, would you be so kind to just give me a donation ?
Pls. Don't fold my letter ... Thanks !

My heart sank and I turned around to look for him. He was at the end of the bus giving out the pieces of papers to as much people as he can and selling his candies . When he came back by my side, holding the packs of candies, I quickly took the opportunity to touch his arm and raise a few questions .

I asked : " How old are you ? "  He politely replied in a low toned well mannered voice " Mam, I'm 17 years old."
I asked: " Where do you go to school ? "
He said with the sad look in his eyes : " Mam, I used to attend the University of Rizal in Binangonan, Rizal . I was taking Hotel & Restaurant management. "

 Ok, I told myself, this kid is not joking at all. He's very sincere and very serious I just didn't want to ask him anymore questions and waste much of his time, although I'm so curious about him. One thing is for sure, I really admired his guts. Going out in public places away from his home just like that and asking help directly to people he has no idea at all who they are ... just amazed me. He was surely that desperate !

I forked out a 100 peso bill from my pocket and handed it to him. He tried to give me a few packets of candies for that amount. I simply gestured to him, not to bother. I don't need any of the candies. I'm happy just to give the money to him.

 I advised him to sell the candies to other people instead so he can gain more money for his fund. He was so grateful. It seems like, noone had ever given him that amount. It was not that much for me but for him ... it was such a big deal. I'm happy to see him so happy. I felt something different when he moved away to attend to other passengers. I just sighed ... I just hope he gets lucky with the other passengers too.

Good Luck Kid ! 
Your parents must be very proud of you ...
You deserved to reach your goal and hoping you're not the only one with that kind of guts ... he's really one amazing young person I had never encountered all these years.