Change

Last Saturday, I was on my way home from Megamall and as usual , I told the taxi driver to take Shaw and exit at C5 to avoid the traffic at Ortigas and Lanuza. Right before we turned from San Miguel Avenue to Shaw, I saw a sight that instantly brought tears to my eyes.

A few meters away from us was a boy knocking on each car window he would pass, carrying a baby girl on his left arm and holding a plastic cup on his right hand. He couldn’t have been more than eight and the girl was probably less than two. Both looked like they haven’t eaten that day (or even the day before) and had rags for clothes. The sight was touching enough but what really tugged at my heart was the way the boy would look at his sister and stroke her hair while she sleeps. It was like his way of reassuring her that everything’s going to be okay.

It all happened in less than a minute but it was long enough to bury the memory deep into my mind. And before we can even turn around the corner, I was crying full blast, never mind the manong driver who was looking at me curiously through the rearview mirror.

Part of me wanted to go back and take the kids with me. Part of me blames the parents for having kids they can’t even provide for. I can only imagine if I see my own son begging on the streets.

I want to do something. I don’t know. Nothing big, but I want to help those kids and others like them. I’m thinkig of asking Ipe to go there this weekend and I’ll bring food and some clothes for them.

When I was still single, I would buy Dunkin Donuts and sandwiches at the MRT station where I get off after work and give them to the children sleeping there. On Christmas Eve, my parents and I would cook spaghetti, buy Zest’o then hop on the car and give the little Noche Buena we prepared to kids along Quezon Ave. And we would collect all the clothes we haven’t used or outgrown during the year and give them to the orphanage down the street from my parents’ house.

I want to be able to do that again.

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