(i submitted this article at www.rdasia.com)
It was a hot, humid day of summer 2009 when I was accompanying my 2nd year college sister on her way to school for her afternoon class. I have no classes that day so i planned to stroll around the city after walking with her on her way to school. We were walking as usual, because our apartment is just near our schools. While walking, we were talking about how to spend the weekend with our family in the province.
As we come nearer , we have to cross the pedestrian lane before reaching the campus. Before stepping in the pedestrian lane, i looked at my side and saw an old, stout woman carrying a bag and a sack. She just got down from a jeepney and approached me, "ading, malayo pa ba ang bayanihan dito?" (is bayanihan still far from this place?). A little troubled about what this woman is asking, i replied, "opo, malayo pa, mag taxi na po kayo madami po yata kayong dala" (yes it is still far, better take the taxi because you have many things to carry with you). My heart broke as I remember my grand mother. I tried to make some directions but she sadly said that she knows the place when she sees Burnham park. That location is 500 meters away from our location at that moment.
Suddenly, i uttered the words that made the woman smile. I said goodbye to my sister and turned to the woman and told her that i will accompany her since i will also go to a bank in that vicinity. I can still remember how her face was delighted with joy. She said thank you with a sweet smile.
We walked as she told me that she just visited a relative here in Baguio, took the jeepney knowing that it lead her to Bayanihan park where the terminal for their place is located. She told me how many children she have and how she was worried while in the jeepney because she does not know where she is going. I just found myself listening quietly to the stories of the woman while carrying her bag. I just kept quiet because i was shy to ask questions to her but with her stories, my queries were answered.
As we went down Mabini St, she recognized Session Rd and pointed to the direction of Burnham park. Her face glowed as she saw the park. She smiled as we made way crossing streets, bumping to the crowd because it was during the rush hours in the afternoon. It was an uphill terrain going to the terminal of small buses where she will take a ride. I perspired while carrying her bag but as i looked at her all, i can still see is her smile.
She uttered words of thanks and said that if i will come to their place, i am very welcomed. Suddenly, i just saw myself being hugged tight by an old woman,a stranger,lost in the city but now smiling as she makes her way home safely.
by: Julea Kristina A. MedranoI am 19 years old,4th year nursing student studying at the University of Baguio.