A Random Act of Kindness
A couple of years back which now feels like a millennia ago, I was off for vacation to the Luzon mainland and about to take my first plane flight. I was also travelling alone. A little bit naive more than I am today, the thought of not knowing how to buckle the safety belt, in all honesty, worried the bejesus out of me.
Enroute to the Airport
I left for the airport with nothing more than two hundred pesos in hand as I still hadn’t received my first paycheck from my new job. My allowance money on the other hand all went to securing the plane fares there to Manila and back. I only realized about my plight when I got into the cab; that I had no idea how much the fare would cost. I haggled with the cab driver for a fixed rate to which he, thank God, agreed.
I arrived early and that was good enough for me. I enjoyed a cigarette to appreciate the day to be, and the vacation that looked promising. The plan was to stay at Manila for a day or two then head over to Baguio where I was to stay with one of my good friends from high-school and college.
I promptly checked in when the counter opened and thought everything was going to be fine from there on. Then there I realized my folly; I didn’t have ANY money to pay for the terminal fee! Maybe it was because of inexperience or I was more concerned on how to buckle the safety-belt. Maybe no one cared to tell me that I had to pay the terminal fee or maybe it was because I traveled alone. A multitude of reasons came to mind, none sadly to my deliverance.
The nice lady from the check-in counter suggested the ATM’s just across the hall. The truth of the matter was, I couldn’t even afford a ride home even if I wanted to.
I asked the stern man manning the booth if I could leave my phone with him as collateral of some sort. No luck. A couple of minutes later, and I don’t know if this was fate, another kid, a bit younger than me, had the same problem. He was only a few pesos short though and the stern man, shook his head in probably disbelief, and gave him a pass. I bet he was thinking on what the odds were of the same lunacy happening to people in the same time of the day.
And so there I was, standing right next to the toll booth waiting, ascertaining, for a single person who would be kind enough to lend me 200 pesos. I took a chance at a man who stared at me with a blank face. He said he would get back to me but I didn’t count on it. Probably a polite way to say no to a story dubious in detail.
Heroine in Ponytail
And then she came. She was this girl, in plain white shirt, sneakers, ponytail and a day-pack. She listened to my story, took out her wallet and gave me two hundred peso bills she seemed to have hidden so well in one of the pockets. I gave her my number as she asked for it then sped off. And there I was, my vacation saved by a total stranger.
I always feel good when I relive this because well, this story is bigger than it really is. It tells us that there will be people who you barely know and not second guess on helping. And even when we live in a time where hate, despair, poverty, malfeasance and evil persevere; there will always be good in people. It will warm your heart and make you feel better about things. More so if you’re lucky, she’s going to come awesome as mine did.
I owe you a lot stranger. Thank you.