Saturday, September 13, 2008

Heart Broken at Guadalupe

..."lagi naman po ako nabubugbog, eh..."

..."kasi po, asset(police or NBI) yun, kaya ganun..."

..."yung test na may color black and red na wala namang ibig sabihin... dun po sa Mental..."

..."napagkasya ko po yung wan handred ng dalawang linggo..."

..."balik na lang po ako ng Iloilo..."

He looked clean. He had no bruises on him, not even a scratch. But while I was listening to him talk, I can see that there's fear in his eyes. This kid... probably 11 to 14 years old, was talking to a lady she was calling Mama.

I was on a jeep bound for Guadalupe when I became witness to this kid telling his "Mama" what his day was like. He looked like any other normal kid. Toe-nails cut, teeth are clean, clothes are clean. He LOOKED normal. But his story, for a guy who grew up sheltered his whole life... wasn't. I've heard similar stories like this. Stories of abuse, of neglect, of poverty. To hear it again was nothing short of heart wrenching. I wanted to go empty my pocket and give everything that I had to that kid. I wanted to tell him things are going to be just fine. I wanted to just pat him on the back and assure him that tomorrow is going to be different. But that money will run out... and no, things are bound to get worse, and if tomorrow does come for him, it's not going to be any different from what he always faces day in and out.

The fear in his eyes told me that his kid was for real. He wasn't trying to ask for pity from his Mama. He was just telling her the events that happened that day in a "matter-of-factly" manner. Also, the kid didn't seem like he was the kind that fought back. He was actually frail-looking, but healthy. Every now and then, he smiles ever so sweetly, but then he goes back to telling the horrible things that happened to him.

At this point, I wanted to do something. I wanted to say something. I wanted to give the kid something... but something is holding me back. The first thing that held me back was... I didn't want to get involved. I have problems of my own that if I added another one to my roster, I might just drive myself insane. The next thing is that I am actually ashamed of what other people might think of me... a total stranger... helping a kid out. A lot of stuff entered my mind, I was already wasting time. I wanted to do something... "DO SOMETHING, DUWAG!!!"

But I didn't budge... I didn't move... I turned away, and just prayed, first asked God for forgiveness for being such a coward, and then for the kid in front of me. It was really hard because tears are already welling from my eyes... but in that moment of cowardice, it was all that I can do and offer to that kid. I prayed that somehow, if it's not going to be me to reach out to him, that God would send someone else to reach him. To do the things I should've.

Mama: Ano kaya kakainin natin mamayang hapunan?

Kid: Hmmm... hapunan...

Mama: Uy, maraming chocolates sa bahay

Kid: (big smile on his face) YES!!! Chocolate!!!

Mama: MA! PARA!!!



  1. Next time... magsusuot na ako ng I-pod!!!

    Pero ngayon... naisip ko nga... bakit di ko dala i-pod ko kanina, na lagi ko naman ginagawa, at suot sa biyahe... full blast pa ang speakers...???

    Oh no!!! Oh my!!!

  2. nangyayari talaga ang mga ganitong bagay... tsk tsk..


    i know what you mean... why is it that sometimes, we do not have the courage to help? or to be maabala?

  4. We have our own... justifications(???).

    Sad nga, eh. Kasi meron naman na ang iniisip, what's in it for me??? Hay...

  5. sadly, by the fact that you were hearing the conversation, you already were involved. this is one of the side-effects of a media-saturated society - the illusion of non-involvement.

    you already were involved, you simply refused to be engaged. you opted to remain neutral. and this, i think, is one of the greatest sins of any age, of any people. this was the sin of the non-Samaritans (both religious figures!) when they skipped over the wounded man - they saw, they heard, they did nothing.

    last sunday, i sorta flitted over this point in my preaching for lack of time but it's there: too often our non-involvement is a symptom of dis-engagement. we need to ENGAGE society, other people's problems, other people's needs.

    Keith green said it best, commenting on the passage from Mat. 24, "the only difference between the sheep and the goats is what they DID and DIDN'T do."

    2 timothy 1:7 - "we have not received a spirit of fear but of POWER, LOVE and SOUND MINDEDNESS."

    like it or not, we have no excuse NOT to get involved. what we need to work on is our tendency to choose convenience over conviction. when the Spirit prompts us to do something, to get involved, we call that getting "convicted". when we choose not to do anything, we go from "conviction" to "guilt".

    i said all these not to condemn anyone. God knows how many times I, too, have deliberately chosen not to "engage" for the very same reason - i was afraid.

    thank you bro for your honesty and for your courage to post.

    may we, you and i, decide to choose conviction over comfort, courage over fear and engagement over neutrality...more and more.


  6. Thanks po Dada... and yes... may we all learn something... and to tell you honestly, nakatatak pa sa utak ko 'yong itsura no'ng bata... minumulto ata ako...

    Joke lang, just adding a light moment on a very serious topic. :)

  7. sana sila na lang nakapulot ng wallet ko.. kaya lang sa may la salle ko nawala un eh.. kaya baka di rin sila ung nakinabang dun..

  8. Ay, sa'yo ba 'tong wallet na to? Nakow, ngayon ko lang nabasa, nagastos ko na lahat ng laman, pasensya na. :P

  9. Uu nga... kaya you should appreciate everything that you have right now. Not everyone's as privileged as you and Abiel. :)