When Non-Tabuk Residents Stand by your Door and say “Christmas…”

 

The spirit of giving. We all have been imbued with this Christmas concept early on in our lives. And so during the Christmas season – but within our ability to give – we open up our wallets, purses, bank books, and shell out a little (sometimes a little too much) to those outstretched palms that greet us as we approach our doors to respond to that persistent and impatient knocking.

Now, there is nothing wrong with giving. The only problem is that the person whose outstretched palms eagerly await your generosity is not from Tabuk (or Kalinga) at all! I cannot figure out these people who went through all the trouble of taking a bus ride just so they could reach our locality and move from one door to the next.

We had one such visitor at GURU lately. After having received what I could only afford to give, the caroler (who sang the very same short carol I heard her sing at the nearby establishment) moved her attention to my companions in the office – meaning, nu mano ti adda ijay place nga napanan na, isu met la ti rumbeng nga agited.

What an efficient collection system that rivals that of our tax collectors! Worse, they have this nerve to mutter something negative under their breath when your generosity failed to meet their expectations. Of course, if only you could perfectly understand what he muttered, I’m sure you would say “Amin na nga yan!” and snatch your money back.

*****

I remember our dear friend Gillian (God bless his soul). A lady acquaintance entered his beauty shop one morning and gave him an envelope in which to place his monetary support to the lady’s daughter who was running as a candidate in her school’s fund-raising contest. Since Gillian had not yet groomed a single customer, he placed a P10.00 bill (the paper bill for P10.00 was still in circulation then) inside the envelope.

The lady acquaintance had not seen the actual amount which Gillian inserted because she was busy retouching her face by the shop’s mirror. But, once outside the shop, she peeked into the envelope and saw the amount. Haan na nga ma-aklon diay gatad. Believe this: she rushed back inside the parlor and returned the P10.00 bill to Gillian!

*****

Have you seen San Juan by night? It’s all lit up. The alignment of the road lights are a fest to the nocturnal eye, that one may even have this desire to have a relaxing walk under those bright lights. But what if, as you stroll under the lights, a hooded figure steps out from a bush and say, in a gruff voice, “Merry Christmas!” but with a gun or a knife pointed at you. When such occurrence takes place, simply hand him your wallet or bag or mobile phone and greet back “Merry Christmas, too!”

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SOMETHING GOOD, to ponder on…

The human potential to do something good has not been drained though. We are all capable of  loving our fellow human beings, of treating them with utmost respect, and helping them out when they no longer have anyone to turn to.