Every now and then, may iba’t-ibang mga tao o grupo ang namamalimos sa amin. Minsan may grupong nanghaharana kunyari and after wards may iaabot silang papel where it is written na sila kuno ay kasali sa isang charity group. I gave them some few Pesos one time dahil gusto kong makatulong kahit papaano. Just after a week, they came back and want to have some donation again. I refused this time, dahil medyo nagduda na ako sa kanilang pakulo. There are also times na may mga batang nanghihingi ng leftovers o “lamaw” (as we call it in Bisaya) para daw ipapakain sa kanilang baboy. After several times of giving them our leftovers, a bit later…hindi lang ito ang hinihingi nila kundi pati pagkain na rin. Dahil nga naman nakakaawa, pinagbigyan ko. Naging ganun na lagi ang nangyayari tuwing dumadaan sila dito sa amin. I became annoyed dahil nakita kong namihasa na sila. Kaya nung huli ko silang binigyan, I told them that this will be the last time I am giving them food. Hindi sa pandadamot, pero ayokong makasanayan nang mga bata na lagi nalang manghingi. Gusto ko lang na magkaroon sila nang kaunting hiya para sa kanilang sarili as well as dignity. Well anyway, that is what I told them…but I am not sure kong naintindihan nila ang ipinaliwanag ko sa kanila.
Yesterday around past 10:00 A.M, my nephew was playing with Gillian outside our terrace as I heard someone begging for some money (I was in the kitchen that time). My nephew said that he can’t help him and urged him to leave. Few minutes later, I peeped out the window to see if he’s gone. He was still there and I figured out that the voice I heard belongs to a very old man. Who looks so fragile and walking slowly with his self-made walking stick. My heart wrenched as I watched him.
Imagine, an old sickly man walking under the heat of the sun. Begging for some money in order to survive. And I am in my shady, comfortable house. This is where my guilt started. I ran fast to the gate, I called him and waved him to come back. I went to the kitchen, took a plastic bag and put one loaf of bread and a pack of Tocino (cured meat) in it. I also took some cash from my wallet and gave it to the old man. He looked at me and said twice “salamat sa Diyos” (thanks God), then he left.
I did not know that Kathleen was already awake and was watching us the whole time. Sinalubong niya ako sa pinto and asked me bakit ko yon ginawa? She was just wondering because I once told her na ayaw ko nang mamigay sakaling may mamalimos ulit sa amin. I explained to her na iba ang sitwasyong ito dahil matandang nakakaawa ang nanghingi ng tulong. There is always an exemption, I said. I also told her na what if ako yong tao? Isang matandang uugod-ugod, may sakit at wala ni isang kamag-anak or walang kamag-anak na tumutulong. Gutom na naglalakad sa init para magpalimos para may makain. Kaya mo ba akong talikuran at tikisin? Kaya ba nang budhi mong hindi pansinin ang tindi nang aking pangangailangan? There were tears in her eyes as she answered me NO.
A little help from us means big help to those who are in need. Yon nga lang, you have to choose whom you give because there are also abusers and pretenders among them.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us.