When Strangers Become Angels
Updated: Aug 1
Many years ago, while I was still in college in another city, I just found out that our Midterm examination was tomorrow. I hadn’t even paid my tuition fee yet and you know how it was, no payment slip, no examination. I was in a panic since I only had a few hundred pesos in my wallet. Cellphones were not yet prevalent during that time and the closest I could do to reach my mother was to make a long distance call. I needed to find a phone. I didn’t have time. It was already late in the afternoon. I couldn’t approach my relatives for help. I just felt shy doing it. So, I decided to go back to my hometown which was just three hours away from the city I was studying in. The only problem was, the timing of the trips by buses was limited. I remember the last trip was five in the afternoon and there weren’t vans for hire yet. I couldn’t really remember what really transpired that day but I found myself hitching a ride in a fish car (a truck which transports big fish like tuna) which was also going to the same city as I was and with another person who also wanted to go back to another town. The ride was a blur but all I could remember was that the driver was a friendly guy. I don’t recall what we had talked about but he was really chatty and it made us comfortable just then. But when the other person who also hitched got off at her destination before mine, I was now left alone with the driver who was also a stranger. To be honest, I was nervous and scared at that time. I just prayed that God would keep me safe until I got home. Surprisingly, the driver made me feel at ease. The rest of the ride was somewhat comfortable and he made me feel safe. When we got to our destination, I asked him to just drop me off along the highway and I could just take a tricycle home. But he insisted on taking me home. When he dropped me off on the street very near to our house, I thanked him profusely and wished him well on his way. My mother and my siblings were so surprised to hear me knocking at the door at twelve midnight. As I explained to them why the sudden rush home, my mother scolded me, telling me that I could have endangered myself. What if the driver was a bad guy? What if he thought of something evil towards me? She was right. She had a point. But I got home in one piece because of that guy and that was all that mattered. I never got the chance to ask his name. I should have. But up to this day, I still remember how he had kept me safe during the ride, how he had helped me in some other way. It’s something that I just couldn’t forget. It has always kept my faith in humanity. I encountered another incident that made me believe that kindness was not yet dead. I was at the airport catching a flight when I realized I still had to pay the terminal fee. I didn’t have any more cash with me (I know, I always run out of it) and the person who sent me off already left the airport. I couldn’t enter the boarding lounge if I couldn’t pay the fee. I was in a panic. Again. Just as I was about to lose hope, I saw a man coming towards my direction. Gathering my courage, I approached him and said, “Sir, I lost my wallet and I need to pay the terminal fee. If you could just spare me a few pesos.” I knew he could hear the desperation in my voice. I was telling a lie but I was really too embarrassed to say that I didn’t have money. To my utter relief, he smiled, reached into his wallet and handed me the exact amount of the terminal fee. I was so relieved that I wanted to hug him right there and then. But all I could say was a “thank you”. And he went on his way. I always believe that angels do walk among us. And sometimes, they are in the form of random strangers.