Today, I commuted from my island to the big, bustling city of Cebu and I met two kind strangers.
I know that most people here in Tumblr have never tried and are not willing to commute in the streets of the Philippines because it is very *dangerous* and *risky*. But honestly, it isn’t if you wear the appropriate clothing and have a good sense of street smarts. Politeness helps too.
There are a lot of nice people you can find in PUJs really. There may be creeps once in a while, but as long as you make it clear that you’re not interested in them, then that problem is solved. Like today, when I rode a tricycle to one of the stops in my place, I had to sit beside a guy who smelled like he drank too much liquor and what was worse was that he was quite tall and he had to have his elbow rested on me! I had to shield my chest area with my backpack. It got kind of creepy because I thought he knew my tactics and was trying to intimidate me, so I moved to another seat once a passenger vacated. That event gives me the shivers every time I think about it.
When I went to Ayala I accidentally lost my stop and landed in I.T. Park. I rode a habal-habal (an ordinary motorcycle that has passenjers. Kinda like a PUJ, only illegal) and since I didn’t want to pay him with a 100 Peso bill, I had the nerve to ask a random stranger for some change. I saw a random Korean walking toward my direction, so I called out,”Excuse me! Excuse me!”
Seeing me, he raised his eyebrows then gave me a smile. “Yes?”
“Do you have any change for 100 pesos?”
“Ah… how about 50?” he looked at me, genuinely worried that I wouldn’t accept two 50 peso bills.
“50 pesos is great!” I said. He fiddle with his money and then we traded bills. He gave me this really nice smile and I thanked him awkwardly with my messy hair in the way, and he continued walking psat me.
That Korean was super cute and tall, pretty muscular too. And I just asked him for some change. Wow. It’s really cool because most Koreans in my place are said to be arrogant and hot-tempered, but really, it’s best not to judge anybody because people are different. :)
When I went home, I decided to ride PUJs even though I’ve never done so alone before. I always rode V-Hires (vans that allow commuters) home because they were faster, albeit pricey. When I rode a jeep to hi-way, I missed my stop (second time of the day!) and I was almost lost! I had to walk a bit to a sidewalk to look for somebody to ask directions. There were two nice-looking ladies on the sidewalk, and when I asked for directions, they were kind enough to offer to walk me to my stop! One of the women couldn’t go though, because her boyfriend was waiting for her in that area and she couldn’t leave him, so her friend told her that she’d walk me by herself.
The walk to my stop didn’t seem too long because the lady was very nice and friendly! Her name was Joy, and she was a packager in Silver Swan. She is a single mom and has a baby boy and she told me a few life lessons and encouraged me to ‘do well in school’ and ‘don’t believe in boys- there aren’t any decent ones left on Earth!’
I on the other hand, talked to her bits about my life and some confessions I’ve never told anybody before. It’s funny to know how you can let yourself go with a complete stranger.
When I got into my ride, I continually told her thanks and watched her walk away. It was only then that I realized I should have given her a headband I bought earlier today. Tut tut.
I now see ate Joy whenever I pass Silver Swan packets and think about her baby and pray for her, and hope that she is safe. She was such a kind woman.
Also, I hope that Korean has a nice stay in Cebu. And I hope all commuters get to find kindness in other commuters.