Yesterday while I was strolling on the grounds of Victoria Plaza while waiting for a friend to arrive, a young 'yagit' (kung tawagin pa nila) girl surprised me. I was about to make her go away when she hesitatingly said and at the same time pushing her hands in front of me:
"Uncle, do you have any change to spare? I don't have any to buy food. I am so hungry."
I was a bit surprised and a little irritated because of calling me "Kol". But then I stop amidst what I would have done as usual - particular situation is not the same as any other situations where I'll just pretend I don't see or hear anybody. I then managed to stare at her. She's carrying a heavy-looking backpack and I noticed her blouse and skirts are dirtier as if it was her only uniform and doesn't have a spare. Her hair is a little ruffly and looks uncombed for days.
But then I was a little bit more distracted by the look in her eyes. The eyes of not just pain, poverty, weary, shame or any whatelseses. It's the look of HOPE. Maybe she's hoping not just that I give her something, it could be the hope of a new better life. I saw hope - a faint one. And I was then baffled thus putting me in deep thoughts.
I gave her all the coins that I could find in my pockets and watched her as she walks away feeling contented as if she's able for the day - that what I gave her is enough to make it through until the next time she will go out again and hope and ask for somebody else for baon again.
I got me wondering if I were in her shoes, what will I do. Will I be like her? Can I be that courageous? or will I falter and be ashamed?
As I walked out of the vicinity of the place and while in the taxi with my friend, I can't helped but think how lucky I am to live without having to beg, without having to walk and hope that what I get will make me through until the next time. How fortunate am I compared to her who at the early age has to strive and put extra effort each day.
That's why whenever I tend to do something that seems a little out of bounds and tend to be lazy. I'll just think of that little girl who at the early age is learning the walks of life the hard way. I hope and pray that that girl will have something good this year. And by the end of day, that little 'yagit' girl inspires me.