I took a cab home late one evening. I was coming from a late night in the office and followed my mom's advice to take EDSA-Q.Ave instead of the shortcuts we normally use to avoid traffic. Smart move; apparently, EDSA's empty when its past 11 o'clock on Thursday nights so my trip home was nearly "stop" free.
There was a bit of a build-up on Q.Ave-Araneta, though. That danged bottleneck of an underpass construction can cause a jam even in the wee hours of the morn. Sigh.
So there we were, Kuya Driver and me. Him humming along to the 90's OPM of his station of choice, and me slumped on the backseat, too tired to make small talk. I was looking out my window, trying to figure out how we could advance in the bottleneck faster. I may not drive, but I do know how to get ahead in the world.
Then I noticed a man in a "wheelchair" on the road's shoulder, just about beside my cabbie. I place "wheelchair" under quotations because the shabby, rickety old thing he was on barely looked like one, with a few parts missing here and there. He was rolling himself along with only one hand because he was trying to steady the small rack of wood-made bracelets atop his lap with the other. His wares, obviously. He was probably a vendor, on his way home from a long day of work, too, and one-handedly struggle to get there.
But observant me wasn't the only one who took notice of Kuya Vendor. There was a bunch of thin, rugged looking teens on the sidewalk almost beside my cab. There were three boys with hoodlum-looking hairstyles and tattered shirts, and a girl with a wild laugh and shorts that show almost everything. They didn't look like the best crowd to be around on a bad day, what more at past 11 on the road? Those who pass through this side of the city know its riddled with the slums.
One of the teenage boys took notice of Kuya Vendor likely around the same time I saw him, and he slowly swaggered up behind him, his friends following only with a squinted gaze.
I was about to protest and call Kuya Driver's attention for help when the boy took the wheelchair's handles and started to help Kuya vendor push himself on the bumpy construction of Q.Ave-Araneta.
In my head, his intro was "Para makauwi na po kayo agad." ("So you can get home faster.")
Kuya vendor himself was obviously startled at first, but the smile that lit his face after a half-second later than made up for the jolt. The boy had no bad intent at all. He was only lending a helping hand to a weary man on his way home.
The world is awesome and filled with the good. We live in a world full of good people, they're found even in the places you least expect. I am honored to have witnessed that moment.