I think God’s words can’t be only heard from the church..sometimes.. random people you meet everyday can be a medium for His greatness..
It was a gloomy Saturday night and I’m all dressed up from Cinemalaya and my friend’s birthday celebration when the rain started to pour like there’s no tomorrow. I was up for my next destination and instead of my original plan of saving money/being cheap and utilizing the affordable public means of transportation, I ended up taking a cab. Once inside, I told the driver where to go and started calling people and ended up staring outside the barely visible streets of Manila.
Kuya, the manong driver started a little chat,
“Nakakatamad ang byahe pag maulan, sana nagsabong nalang ako“.
And just to be a little nice, I responded
“Oo nga ho eh,”.
But seriously, I hate talking to drivers specially if I’m alone inside a cab. He started to notice the other private cars passing by and giving comments about its pros and cons. And I was like, “duh? I don’t talk driver-car?can’t comprehend..”. Then he saw a guy sleeping or more like trying to sleep along the side walk.
“Pag ako naging presidente, di ako papayag na may natutulog sa kalsada! napagdaanan ko na yan eh!”
Now this is interesting, I asked him..
“Talaga ho? eh pano kayo natutong magdrive?”
“Probinsyano ho ako galing Tacloban, napadpad sa Maynila, walang pera, nagpakalat kalat at natutulog sa kalsada”
“Minsan nga ho’ gusto ko na magnakaw nun para may makain, pero inisip ko padin may awa ang Diyos. Hanggang sa isang araw na natutulog ako sa bangketa, may matandang Intsik na gumising sakin at inampon ako. Nag dishwasher ako sa restaurant niya at sa ipon ko dun ko nabili itong taxi ko! ”
He was extra proud on the last part, haha. It was really weird because one thing he’s talking about cars and now I felt like I’m watching an indie movie. Then he kept going with his Maalaala Mo Kaya-ish story.
“Isang libo’t limang daan lang sweldo ko nun! Tapos na promote ako! Nagtiwala sakin yung Instik naging cashier ako, naging P3,250 sweldo ko, hanggang sa nag janitor ako at minimum na sahod ko.”
“Simula nung nagtrabaho ako nagipon ako, ung isang libo ipon ko, yung P500 pang kaen ko at pang sugal, yun lang libangan ko eh. Hanggang sa nakabuo ako ng P400,000 at nabili ko itong taxi ko!”
He was touching the interior of the taxi while saying those words, like he was referring to it as a precious art work in a gallery. I can’t blame him, he went through a lot and look at him now. I kept quiet while he goes on with his story, I was just nodding and saying “ah”and staring at him with admiration.
“Ngayon ma’am may tatlo na kong taxi, yung pang apat bibilhin ko next year. Nakaplano na yun sa March 2013!”
“Edi mas mayaman na kayo dun sa Intsik kuya? Haha.. bakit nagmamaneho ka pa dapat buhay haciendero ka na.”
“Ay nako hindi ho, anu naman ho ang gagawin ko sa bahay? Ang tao nabuhay para kumilos at magtrabaho. Dapat magsumikap para umunlad. Wag kang titigil hanggat alam mo pang may magagawa ka. “
Seriously, I wanted to give him a standing ovation with his words. Kidding aside, I really liked that man. The ambiance was not the “korni” older guy telling you lectures about life, because he’s not that old and he has this native tone when he speaks.. and he tells the story with a smile on his face so everything is very light like an old friend telling you what happened to his life.
“p400,000? ang mura lang pala ng taxi akala ko ho mga nsa million eh, sige kuya bibili akong taxi bukas hanap mo kong driver ah, haha”
“Ay sus ma’am driver lang ba? Meron ho si Celso napakabait nun”
And we were talking like we’ve known each other for a long time, I felt at ease with him.
“Kaya lang kuya nakakatakot mag negosyo ng taxi, baka itakbo ng driver o baka ibangga gastos pa.”
“Ay hindi ho, sabihin ko sa inyo sikreto sa buhay. Babaan nyo lang ang boundary nyo. Ang sabi ko sa mga driver ko, P1,000 lang ang boundary ko, ituturing ko kayong pamilya ko, ituring nyong sa inyo yang taxi ko, alagaan nyo, ingatan nyo, pati sarili nyo lalo na. Ay tignan mo ngayon ma’am lahat ng taxi ko bagong bago pa. “
“Ang tao ma’am madali naman kausap yan, pakitaan mo ng maganda babalik sayo yun, basta wag ka manlalamang ng kapwa.”
I can’t help but smile with his words. I know it sounds cheesy or we already know these things about life but when it comes from a person who experienced the ups and downs of life and being able to continue a happy and contented life, it sounded surreal. Take note, it came from a stranger.
I thought we’re just gonna talk about how to be successful and stuff but then he saw plump girl wearing skirt.
“Ang sexy ni ate ma’am”
“Siksik kuya, haha”
“Ay nako ma’am, ako mahilig sa matataba! Yung asawa ko ganun eh. Karamihan sa matataba palatawa at masayahin sa buhay, walang arte chaka maalaga. “
Wow. Well, he has a point, most “healthy” girls I know.. *including myself* has those characteristics.
“Ikaw ma’am may asawa ka na?”
“Ay nako kuya bata pa ko noh. haha”
“Naku ma’am dapat ang kukunin mo wag basta gwapo. Kadalasan ngayon gwapo nga mahina naman tuhod. Paano makakabuhay ng pamilya? Ako kahit hindi gwapo pinatulan ng asawa ko eh.”
“Ay kuya tatlo ba naman taxi mo eh? haha”
“Hahahaha.. hindi naman ma’am, naranasan ko na ang hirap ng buhay. Ayoko ng bumalik doon. Saludo ako sa mga lalaking masisipag, kaya yang mga construction worker, wag mong minamata yan ay kasisipag nyan magtaguyod ng pamilya. Masarap mabuhay kapag yung mga bagay sa paligid mo alam mong pinag hirapan mo at pinagpawisan”
Then he went on again stroking the leather cover of the passenger seat beside him, referring to it as his championship cup from life’s challenges.
I did nothing but smile and absorb all his words the whole time he was talking. When I alighted, I gave him a genuine smile and said “Kuya, Salamat 🙂 ” and I meant it.
I was busy with my job for the past few weeks that I skipped going to church. I was earning more than enough but it seemed insufficient for my wants. I was having a hard time balancing my sleep, social/family responsibilities, even filling up my own clothes doesn’t seem to have room with my schedule. But hearing Kuya’s stories gave me peace. It’s like, I realized once more how important life is, real life, our mere existence. How thankful I should be with the things I have rather than complaining of what I don’t have. His story is really inspiring that it made me smile and tell myself, “Kung si Kuya nga bumongga ng ganun ako pa? XD”.
It was still raining when I’m internalizing what happened inside the four corners of Kuya’s taxi. Then I looked up and smiled. Thank God it was raining, for if it did not rain, I would not have taken a cab and had a chance to hear Kuya’s stories and be enlightened with my life.
I wonder who will be the next stranger I’ll bump into and lift up my day. God really moves in mysterious ways. =)