The One About the Wallet

When I was in college, I commuted everyday from our house in Tondo to the UP Diliman campus. It usually took me two hours on the road, one way. So that’s a total of four hours wasted everyday while waiting for jeepney rides, running after buses, and inhaling the carbon monoxide exhaust from the smoke belchers. Needless to say, even if I had left the house smelling fresh and cool from the morning shower, I would usually arrive in school two hours later all sweaty, smelling of smoke and virtually coated in soot and dust from head to toe. That was my daily routine. I happily endured it, all in the name of education.

During a particularly crowded day, together with several people I rushed towards a jeepney and squeezed myself into an available seat, unmindful of the people around me. I was intent on getting a seat, and that was all that mattered.

As soon as I sat down, to my horror I found that my bag had been unzipped and my wallet was missing. That was the first time that something like that happened to me, and I almost cried out in frustration. I couldn’t believe that someone would actually steal from a college student who only wanted to study hard and change the direction of her life for the better.

My wallet contained my UP ID card, some coins, and a 20-peso bill. That bill was supposed to be my “allowance” for the day.

I didn’t pay my fare. I’m not the type who would scream out and get everybody’s attention, so I kept to myself and remained silent all throughout the ride from Quezon Avenue to the UP Diliman campus.

I got off from the jeepney with a heavy heart. I was still in disbelief. While walking along the corridor in one of the pavilions, I met someone. He was not a close friend at all, in fact he was only someone I saw in class once in a while (if I noticed him at all). But for some reason, I found myself blurting out to him what just happened to me, and in the process, the tears started pouring down my cheeks.

What did I do to deserve it? I am not rich, I am just an ordinary commuter trying to get to school in time. Why else would I be taking the public jeepney, instead of riding in comfort in an air-conditioned family car like some of my classmates do? And that 20-peso bill was all I had. That was supposed to be my lunch for the day and transportation fare. No more, no less.

He just listened and looked at me while I was talking. However, his face was fraught with emotions, I guess perhaps he was trying to find the words to comfort me. I couldn’t remember what exactly he told me on that occasion, but I do remember that he didn’t badmouth the bastard (oopps, I just did right now haha) who took my wallet. He just nodded in understanding, and before I could say anything, he took out his wallet and handed me a 50-peso bill.

I couldn’t!

No. Just take it. He looked at me sternly and in his quiet gaze I knew that he wouldn’t take no for an answer. He took my hand and made me hold the money.

I was so grateful, I could have hugged him right then and there. Or maybe I did? I was so ecstatic. I promised to pay him as soon as I can.

Now that I look back at it, I wonder, was it divine providence that that person took my wallet on that day, so there would be an opportunity for me to have a glimpse of his kindheartedness? What started out as a disastrous day was completely turned around because of his generous gesture. To this day I could never forget that incident, and neither does he.

To this day I don’t remember if I had given him back his 50 pesos, but perhaps good ol’ Baggy doesn’t mind at all. 😉

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32 Responses to The One About the Wallet

  1. Gypsy says:

    Naks…I had a feeling lab stori to..totoo nga! So, what’s the occasion? Magwe-wedding anniversary na ba ulit kayo? 😉

  2. raquel says:

    awww.. cute story! too bad i scrolled down immediately at the first mention of the “boy” and killed the suspense. sabi na nga ba si Baggy yun e!

  3. zherwin says:

    alryt!! di lang wallet ang nadukot sa yo, kundi pati puso mo. naks hehehe. love story will always be a love story, kilig-kiligan. :)

  4. verns says:

    OMG Kathy! I am honestly in tears right now…it’s really a cute storyyyy…shucks!

    I wonder where and under what circumstance will I meet the man that I’m going to spend the rest of my life with :)

    You made me smile today…not in a lesbian way of course hahahaha I’m so excited to fall in love again.

  5. kathy says:

    Hmm, actually there is no occasion. I wonder about this myself – I actually had something else in mind to write, but I ended up writing this. Go figure. :)

  6. kathy says:

    Thanks Raqx! Couldn’t be about anyone else but Baggy, mahirap na baka madiscover yung mga skeletons in the closet heheh…j/k 😀

  7. kathy says:

    Who’d have thought that a crime story would actually end up as a love story? :) “Nadukot ang puso” – this would only come from a true romantic, eh?

  8. kathy says:

    Uy Verns, glad to know you were “touched” by that story. I feel soo good knowing that it inspired you somewhat.

    You will fall in love again!!! And you don’t even have to lose your wallet like I did, hehehe. :)

  9. Gina says:

    Wow, ang gandang love story naman ng sa inyo Kathy.

    Parang blessing in disguise ang nangyari ano?

    Bait naman ni Baggy..

    This reminds me of the saying about there being a reason for everything that happens under the sun..

  10. Belle says:

    ahhh, hindi kaya pinsan ni Baggy yong nag steal ng purse mo? hehehe, just kidding. everything happens for a reason talaga! buti mabait yong driver ng jeep.

    just recently, my youngest daughter lost the $80 i gave her which was her personal allowance for the whole week. it happened in a mall where she worked part-time. she was devastated, of course especially her car was running low in gas. i quickly deposited cash in her account so she could avail of it right away.

    anyway, i wonder what was the reason behind of these?

  11. mitsuru says:

    hmmm…i think that story was your ploy to get his attention. joke lang po. ha-ha.

    anyway, i finally did the last installment of the weird tag. he-he. better put your reading glasses on. :)

  12. Rowena says:

    Hi Kathy, I’m gonna share pa naman that I also lost my bag in a resto years ago with my hubby, eh love story pala to, he he. Nice post, touching pala lovestory nyo…

  13. auee says:

    He’s so nice! I would cried too if I were in your shoes. I remember the long commute via bus or jeepneys in Metro Manila. I often wonder why I bother to do my hair if I cannot afford a cab.
    😛

  14. niceheart says:

    When you got to that part that he just listened and his face was fraught with emotions, I kinda knew that is was Baggy. :) Such a sweet story. :)

  15. kathy says:

    Gina, how I wish that in life, for every bad thing that happens to you, there is a good thing that comes after. 😉

    Actually, the real love story came afterwards, but I guess it did serve as a wonderful prelude to everything. :)

  16. kathy says:

    Belle, could it be that the incident further reminded your daughter of how wonderful it is to have a mom like you who’s ready to help? :)

    Regarding the jeepney driver, kasalanan ko, di ko sinabi sa kanya na di ako makabayad, hehe.

  17. kathy says:

    I know! I’ll never hear the end of it. :) Baggy would tell anyone who cared to listen that I was “style bulok.” That every little thing I ever did that involved him was a ploy to get his attention. Ok, let the guy have his day, heheh.

  18. kathy says:

    Thanks Rowena. I don’t really know what made me write that story, after all these years. 😉 Glad to know you liked it.

    So what happened when you lost your bag???

  19. kathy says:

    The long commute, argh…I remember all too clearly. Pati pa yung mga panahon ng baha, hayy…pasakit yan. I often wondered why I even bothered to powder my face, eh may libreng pulbos naman sa daan, lol. 😀

  20. kathy says:

    Thanks niceheart. :) It seems to me that you know Baggy that well already! :)

  21. rhodora says:

    How cute! That’s destiny, Kathy. I think you should thank that bastard who took away your wallet after all. hehehe.

    People who would later play important roles in our lives come in the most inconspicuous way. They just enter the room without our knowing it. :)

  22. ann says:

    hi! i think this post is a heartfelt story and it shows that there is always hope and a good samaritan willing to help when things seem to go wrong. :)

  23. annamanila says:

    What a good man you met that day of the purloined wallet. And that man purloined your heart too. Awww. This one is really for the books — of the romantic kind. I just love this post! Kilig to the death.

  24. kathy says:

    So true…even in the direst of circumstances, good will always shine through. Sometimes we just need to change our perspective. :)

  25. kathy says:

    Anna, I never thought that I’d be able to write romantic posts…but then again, I guess based on your comments (and those of other readers) this one would indeed qualify as one. 😉

  26. kathy says:

    That’s so true, Rhodora. Nakakatuwang isipin, the way everything turned out in the end. Destiny…divine intervention…whatever it is, I am glad that things happened the way they did. :)

  27. Hi, Kathy!
    I just stumbled here in your blog when I was trying to search the word “commute” in the blogosphere. You’re site comes first in the list.
    This is a heart-warming story that I read and I never regretted having clicked the link.
    I wish there will be more, more people out there who would stand as good Samaritan to those people in times of needs. The person who slashed your bag is just too pitiful. Of course, we (and me) should be pissed off that much after learning the incident. But then as well cool off ourselves, we may also think he must have needed those “stuff” he got from us more than we need those…
    Thanx for sharing the experience. Many happy returns of the day…

  28. kathy says:

    Hi Dodong! I think you have visited my site before, so thanks for dropping by again. :)

    It truly warms my heart to get all these comments from readers of this post. So I am really glad that I shared that story. Truly the world will never run out of good deeds from good people, inspite of the wickedness that seems to permeate our society.

    Have a nice day, too!

  29. Hi, Kathy. It’s me again.
    Yes, your site is familiar with me so I think I have had visited here before through bloghopping. The second time I came to this site is through the search keyword “commute” that I also happened to read a short story in my blog.
    Your story is truly and inspiration and enlightenment to those who read this entry. I agree with you. “The world will never run out of good deeds from good people, inspite of the wickedness that seems to permeate our society.”

  30. Sorry for the typo. My comment above should be written this way:
    Yes, your site is familiar with me so I think I have had visited here before through bloghopping. The second time I came to visit this site is through the search keyword “commute” that I also happened to write a short story in my blog.
    Your story is truly an inspiration and enlightenment to those who read this entry. I agree with you. “The world will never run out of good deeds from good people, inspite of the wickedness that seems to permeate our society.”

  31. caryn says:

    Hi Kathy! I hope you don’t mind if i leave a comment. hehehe. i was just searching ‘pinoy blogs in tokyo’ (or something that sounded like that) and yours came up.

    thanks for sharing this story! what really caught my attention is the fact that you’re from tondo too — so am i! this happened to me in quiapo (uste ako) and i can really imagine how you were feeling a that time — shaken, angry, disbelieving. oh well, at least it had a happy ending 😉 keep blogging!

    p.s. i think i know you guys (if only vicariously) i worked with baggy and FAST on the isko publication last year. hehehe

  32. kathy says:

    Hi Caryn,
    Thanks for dropping by. :)
    The irony (to me at least) is that whereas I lived in Tondo for something like 6 years or so, I didn’t really have experience with petty crimes like the one that happened to me in Quezon Ave. And supposedly Tondo was the more “dangerous” area as far as many people are concerned.
    Oh well, as you said, at least my story had a happy ending. It doesn’t always happen to most people, I believe.

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