I’m the type of person who is wary of strangers. I try my very best for them to not approach/talk to me. I never try to help crying children (because there was something in the news about crying children being baits!), nor people who claim they lost their money somewhere, etc. I have heard of so many modus operandi within the streets of Manila (and, just about anywhere else) designed to steal from, well, possible victims.
Due to the unpredictable weather, I always have an umbrella in my bag. There would be lots of instances that a supposedly sunny day ends with sudden rain. I have never once offered my umbrella to strangers, may it be whilst crossing the street and whatnot.
Two to three days ago (I honestly can’t remember when), I was organizing my bag, noticed the seemingly bright clouds and decided not to bring my umbrella. BAD IDEA, TEESH, BAD IDEA.
Every day, I get a (free) ride from Kaiser (a fellow intern) to Ortigas. I was still in his car when it started drizzling, hence, I asked that he drop me off at a nearby waiting shed. To get to the bus terminal, I had to cross the street and take a short walk. Not wanting to get wet, I didn’t brave the mild rain (my blouse was sheer enough, dry). Ugh. Wrong move. It started to rain really hard and rainwater was starting to build up in the streets.
I can imagine that I must have looked helpless in the waiting shed, that this woman approached me and asked if I needed to cross the street. She brought out her umbrella and shared it with me.
Wow. It was actually smaller than the umbrella I own, and that by sharing it she’d get wet too. I actually felt teary-eyed with gratitude and thanked her profusely while crossing the street. Of course, I still got soaked but not as soaked as I would have been had I crossed the street with no umbrella. At eto pa, once we got to the other side of the street, she asked if I was going that way (where she obviously was headed) but I told her I was heading the opposite way. She even (!) offered to accompany me to the bus terminal but I just thanked her profusely and refused. Nahihiya naman ako, teh! And then spent my time waiting for the rain to stop inside Robinson’s Galleria after I changed from my super sheer soaked top to my sweater.
If it was C or my closest friends who shared their umbrella with me, it would be something I’d expect from them but still be thankful for. I’ve been in the same situation before but never had some of my fake friends offer that much. But for an act of kindness from a stranger.. Wow. Just wow. All I could think of was I need to be a better person. Hindi lahat ng tao, masama. And it’s not even something I would have done for a stranger, and I know that many of you (who’ll patiently read this) have never even thought of doing it when there’s a chance to actually help.
And if ever you (very kind lady) chance upon this, I, again, want you to know that for that simple act, from the bottom of my heart, (cliche-ish as it seems) I am eternally grateful.