Most if not all of us are fond of associating ourselves with the rich, the prominent and the famous. Most of the time, we often uttered or heard phrases like: “Kumpare nako si General”, “Ig-agaw sa akong asawa si House Speaker”, “Silingan mi sa tag-iya sa dako nga Mining Firm”, “Paryente nako si Department Secretary”, “Naa mi picture uban si Atty. Tabunsuka”, “Brod nako sa frat si Senador”, and the list goes on and on.
And the down sides are the personal “pabor” on our part that goes with these personalities’ associations.
When I accompany my teacher wife in going to school this morning, we happen to spot across the street in front of the school gate Toto Aguilar. Toto, from the time he was employed in the Barangay then transferred to Municipyo, has been driving an ambulance, for more than 10 years now.
Right there and then, I said to Hope Grace, my wife, “Toto te oh, sirbato sa atoa, lami kayo ang pahiyom”. Instantly recalling some good time in the past, Hope replied “Lagi, siya gyud ang nag service sa atoa ba pagbati nako una ko naganak kang Kruy ba”. Kruy is our eldest son who is 12 years old and enrolled in Grade 6. Hope continued by asking “Amigo gyud kaayo mo ni Toto pay no?”. With genuine and sincere affirmation I said “Mao gyud, gikan pa mi nag-uban sa baranagay hangtod karon, amigo gyud mi ni Toto. Kabalo ka, daghan na kayo nag na-serbisan si Toto ba, gikan sa manganakay, hangtod sa mga himatyon, mga pasyente nga dalhog hospital, ug ang uban kanang gamiton ug suroy-suroy ang ambulance, hahaha”.
I left and headed toward home with Ken, our youngest daughter, on the back seat of the motorcycle, thinking of the extraordinary contributions of ordinary people like Toto, an ambulance driver.
Toto will always be a true friend and my family is happy to be associated with him all the time.
Kung Rated K pa “ekstra-ordinaryong kwento na mula sa mga ordinaryong buhay”.
(Photo credits to dreamstime.com)