Yesterday, we were taking a little journey to Buda, which is the Davao/Bukidnon border. It’s up in the mountains, and we were going to visit a friend, Father Franco. Father Franco is a retired Catholic Priest who served here in the Philippines, but is from Italy originally. He is a really nice fellow, and I value his friendship, even though we’ve only known each other for a few months now.
On the way to Buda, I stopped at a gas station in Calinan, sort of the last populated Barangay before you leave the City. I wanted to get a little gas before we headed up into the mountains. While sitting there at the gas station, there was a man standing outside my car. He didn’t ask for money, although it was evident that he was hoping that I’d offer him some change. I see a lot of beggars as I travel the Philippines, and generally I don’t give them money. I prefer to offer my generosity to those that I know, and I then know what they will use the money for. This man, though really touched me. I felt bad for him. He looked quite old, maybe almost 70. But, I know that he was probably only 40 or 45, he just looked bad because he had experienced a very hard life. He was partially handicapped, something wrong with his arms and legs. He could walk, but only in an awkward way. I am not sure what caused his handicap. I felt that I wanted to give him a little money, to help him out. I looked on my dashboard in a little compartment where I usually keep some change, but there were only about 3 Pesos in there. I wanted to give him more than that. So, I looked in my wallet and I had a P20 note there, with some other money. I started to pull out the P20, but as I did, I heard the song that was playing on my MP3 player. I like Country music, and the song playing was “What if Jesus came back like that”. Oh, my goodness. I thought to myself, what if Jesus did come back as this man. I couldn’t give him just P20, so I pulled out a P100 bill and gave it to him. He was quite happy.
You know, P100, a little over $2 is not much money for me. For him, though, it is a huge amount of money. I hope he spent that money on something worthwhile, not on liquor or drugs or something. Something in his face made me feel that he would go for food, or something like that. I hope my instinct was right. I also hope that I brightened up his day a bit.
You know, for me and others I have heard from, giving is a good feeling not only for the beneficiary, but also for the giver. I probably felt as good when I gave him that money as he did when he received it. It’s a funny thing, but it’s true.