(Left) Honest driver Bienvenido Villareal Jr.
During one of my hurried rides to a destination now forgotten, I left my black, analog Nokia cellphone in the backseat of a taxi.
Worried, I went to a sari-sari store and borrowed the cellphone of the tindera and dialed my number. What a wonderful feeling to hear the voice of the taxi driver coming out of the tiny machine in my palm. In about 30 minutes he was parked in front of the store, smiling. I took a picture of him and shared the story in Mata na CDO Facebook. As many Cagayanons already know, his name is Bienvenido Villareal Jr.
Another driver with a Maranao accent couldn’t give me a P100 change, but he promised to pay when able. The next day, our helper handed me P100 which she said came from a taxi driver. Allah be with you, my friend.
I left my mother’s car at RYC Auto Service Center in Kauswagan. When I returned the next day, the manager said his mechanic Jundee Marto had found P1,300 in the cabinet. I gave Jundee part of the money as a token of my appreciation. He was covered with black grease, sweat and dirt but refused to receive my offer. I had to insist until he accepted it. Thank you, Jundee.
Last year, I bought some goods at the grocery of Mercury Drug in Bulua. After paying, I walked towards my car but before I could open the door, I was startled to hear a woman’s voice behind me: “Sir, imong P500 nahulog.” (Sir, your P500 fell.)
She was the cashier, all dressed in white, glowing in the morning sun, which is 91 million miles from Earth. She had hurriedly come out of the store to return my money. I said thank you so much and reported the good news to the Facebook of Mercury Drug Corporation. Her name is Marvi Sajulga.
Apparently because of her honesty and efficiency, Marvi was later sent on exile in Camiguin to help manage another Mercury pharmacy there.
We had a brief chat before this incident, during which I learned she is a street-cat rescuer, like Go Diego Go and Dora. So, I gave her a bookmark from the Royal Ontario Museum years ago. It showed a photo of a very stiff mummified Egyptian cat.