Fren, fren, ebriwer…

Last night, ang isa kong kasamahan sa work hitched a ride home kasi meron daw siyang ikukuwento na kabalbalan at pandaraya sa kompanya. Kalapit lang ng flat ko ang flat nila kaya sumasabay siya paminsan minsan sa akin. Habang daan ay nangagalaiti siya sa mga pinaggagawa ng ilan naming kasamahan dito. Katulad ko siya na gigil sa mga taong mandaraya, magnanakaw at mapagsamantala. But hindi diyan ang topic ko ngayon.

He asked me to go directly sa bayan, sa Ilongga Restaurant, dahil gusto raw niya ng La Paz Batchoy for dinner, ako naman kako ay gulay lang. (Me libre na advertisement ang Ilongga restaurant sa akin a). So, I drove straight to town, trying to catch the restaurant na bukas pa. Kasi mag sasalah na (prayer time) and kapag salah ay closed lahat ng establishments, negosyo, lahat ng activities, for 30 minutes (last salah for the day iyon kaya the longest prayer time). We got there in time, kaya lang wala akong matagpuang parking space. So, ikot uli kami, pero ayan na sumigaw na ng “Allah O Akbar” (God is great), nagsara na ang restaurant. I found an open space at nakita ko na maraming nakapark. So I drove there and swerte ng lahat ng swerte, ito pala ay bagong tambak ng buhangin (the desert sand type).. lumubog ang gulong sasakyan ko, nabalaho.. it’s a sedan kasi, di naman 4-WD. So, baba kasama ko at try niya itinulak sabay ng paatras ko. Waah (apologies to Sen. Miriam) epek. Lalo pa lumubog. Nabalaho na.

An Egyptian couple ay nasa loob ng kanilang Toyota Prado at lumabas si lalake, sinubukang magtulak. Hindi rin umobra. He went away na nung di puwede. Ginawa ko, kinalkal ko ang buhangin na nakaipon sa me gulong, ganun din ang kasama ko. Then, we tried again, umusad ng konti pero lubog pa rin. The Egyptian came back, specifically to help us, inihatid lang ang asawa, and told me na hihilahin ako pero wala siyang lubid. He told me I buy lubid pagbukas mga tindahan after the salah.

Then, an Indian national came and after looking at the situation, went to his flatbed truck and came back with a piece of big rope. Bigla me lumapit sa aming dalawang Yemeni (Yemenis looked like Saudis) at sabi ay tutulong sila for 20 riyals each. I told him, I need help, I cannot pay. Besides, my new found friends are already there. Mapilit si Yemeni, inaagaw sa akin ang lubid habang ito ay itinatali ko. Siya na raw. Di ako pumayag. Tapos nung maitali ko na, gusto pumasok sa driver’s seat at siya raw magdrive, e nakita pala ni mokong ang cellphone ko sa upuan. Nung di ako pumayag, nagalit. “You ask help. I help. You don’t want.”

Pinaalis nung Egyptian ang Yemeni at nahila ng kanyang sasakyan ang aking sasakyan. I thank them and told that God bless them for their good deeds.

Truly, when you are in need, God will send you people to help you. Irregardless of lahi, kulay, o language. And friends are around us everywhere. They come to help you when you are in need, to laugh with you when you are happy, and to share when they have something to share.

By the way, isang Pinoy ang lumapit sa amin at tinanong ako, “Nabalaho ba kayo sir?” Sinagot ko, “oo, di ko alam na bagong tambak pala ito.”

“Aaahh..” he remarked. Then he went away.

—-00000—-

“Don’t choose your friends by the way they look. Let how they act be your guide. They might wear goofy clothes
Have big feet. Be too tall. With buck teeth. But they might be just as neat as can be” (Caroline Figiel and Danny Jones)

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