Tagaytay City, Philippines — As I walked from our Tagaytay house to the editorial office where I work, I met the morning shift guard of our subdivision and we had a brief exchange of jokes. Within the first 250 metres, I stopped at the sari-sari store to buy something and saw a three year old girl crying on the street because her mother was not by her side when she woke up. Worried about possible dangers, the store owner told the little girl to stay home and that her mother is just around. As a guy who is not always around the neighborhood, I asked the store owner, “Ano pong nangyari roon, inalimpungatan po ba?” The store owner replied: “Madalas na ganyan iyan… Kaya po kailangan ding tingnan-tingan.”
As I neared our editorial office after the more or less three-kilometer walk, I was greeted by one of the maintenance staff of the Tagaytay Focolare Compound, “Ayos Kuya Gui! Ginagaya mo si Kuya Jose [(Aranas), the Editor-in-Chief of New City Magazine PH, my mentor]!” I said in reply, “Wala akong magagawa, dapat tularan ko ang boss ko…Uy, biro lang, gusto ko naman talagang maglakad-lakad para may activity rin ang katawan ko.” But before going straight to the office, I stopped at the mini market of the Focolare to buy a sport-drink as I felt a little tired, and met brother in the community. I said, “Huwag kang kikilos nang masama, bad iyon!” Then he just replied, “Loko-loko! Baliw ka talaga…” And, as it has always been, our conversation ended with both of us laughing at each other.
These two encounters within that three-kilometer walk filled with the Tagaytay breeze refreshed me with lessons in three essential Catholic virtues :
- Stewardship. That we, as followers of Christ, do have the responsibility to take care of every person we meet, like what that neighbor-store owner at that barrio adjacent to our subdivision did for the crying three-year-old girl.
- Cheerfulness. A handful of healthy comedy, be it shared with the security officer of your community, utility-personnel, a fellow at the community, or your employer, will always make a day brighter.
- Humility. No matter how much one has already achieved, it is always essential to remember not to take too much pride in human endeavors, as Jesus did some 2014 years ago. He is a God who walked with humanity.