Sometime last week, I was walking on Timog Avenue in Quezon City toward the car I parked. Some pavement tiles on the sidewalk were missing on the tight spot right next to the driver's door.
Gingerly, I half tiptoed on the tiles that were still there but before I knew it—splat! My left sandal became half-submerged in black muck, as the rain drenched the city earlier that day.
"Ay si Ma'm, nalubog," said a middle-aged woman sitting on a stool on the sidewalk.
"Ikaw kasi, diyan mo siya pina-park," she added, admonishing a young man who was scratching his head.
"Kuha ka ng basahan, dali," she said, and in a second, a younger woman produced a clean rag right beside my sandal, the type of rag being peddled on the streets for a peso each, made of cut retazos of cloth.
"Ah wag na, ok lang ako," I said. "Hindi naman ako nabasa," I explained, turning my foot so that I—and they—could see the sole of the half-muddied sandal, and my not-muddied foot.
"Ay hindi, ipunas mo diyan. Babaho yung sasakyan mo," the young woman said, while the older woman said something in agreement.
And so I stepped onto the clean rag on the sidewalk and twisted my sandaled foot left and right, while they looked on. The older woman said, "umulan kasi kanina."
I thanked them, got into the car, and soon I was on my way home.
While driving, it struck me that a homeless family chose to be kind and helped me that day.
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