13 11 / 2011
I called one right after I stepped out of grandma’s house. It wasn’t an ordinary sunny day as I felt the sun’s rays entering my pores then through my veins. It was the very reason why I took the ride. I’m a walker as much as I’m a hot day hater.
I stepped inside and told the driver to bring me to the Jeepney stop. He was talking about a lot of things, about the vehicle not having an air condition unit or an MP3 player,etc. But he didn’t have that “I give up” face. Instead, he was smiling and just enjoyed the “fresh” air. It then came to a halt. I reached my destination.
I counted three one-peso coins and one ten peso coin inside my wallet. I gave him the ten-peso coin. He reached for his pocket and I was surprised when he gave me a paper. I read what was written on it and said
“Unsa diay ni, Sir? (Sir, what’s this?)”.
He told me,
“Naa na sa purtahan ganina buntag, ma’am. Lisod man gyud basahon. Pa tabang unta ko.” (It was at the door this morning. I’m having a hard time reading it. I hope you can help me, ma’am.)
“Beh, naka sulat sir kay Pls. bring a Christmas Parol tomorrow. I also hope you can help the prisoners by buying their product (3 parols = 100php). Thank You. Mag dala daw mo ug Christmas nga kanang star, sir ug mag visit mo sa mga piniriso para unta maka tabang”, I said as I was reading
“Ah. mao diay. Salamat, ma’am” (So that’s it. Thank you, ma’am), he said
I wasn’t sure if that was really his because it looked like it was for someone who’s in grade school. But that thought faded instantly. I was amazed at his eagerness for learning to read or to at least understand. He wanted to learn how to read; it was written all over his face. After his words, he gave me a five peso coin and I humbly told him to keep the change.
I called for the Jeepney and stepped in smiling. I was the only passenger. I liked it. The driver then told me,
“Smiling kay ka, ma’am” (You’re so smiling, ma’am)
“Dapat diay gyud ko ma teacher, sir” (I really should be a teacher), I said
“Angayan biya ka, ma’am. Ma teacher gyud unta ka” (You’re fit for a teacher. I hope someday you’ll be.
I smiled then looked outside. A child was selling a pack of cigarettes.