Good Samaritan – The Angel and THE BIG FOOL
This is not a Big Boracay story regarding matters that happen on our island like issues concerning our controversial Reclamation Project or the very positive much awaited ongoing upgrading of the now named Boracay Airport to an international regional Airport that will effect the sustainable development of our island. It’s a story of persons on our island that have Big hearts; concerned persons doing the right thing. A wonderful small story we seldom hear about but when we do they can mean more then all the other sensational stories we are so focused on. A story that can make your day – it made mine!
Early this morning, July 30, 2011 bout 12:30am as I was winding another regular day; closed my Sunny Side Up Corner at Coco Bar, Red Coconut and couple of backgammon games with our usual suspects at the Exit Bar with the regular cold beers, I proceeded to Andok’s at D’Mall for my regular take home dinner or to some people, breakfast, I noticed a pretty little Filipina girl sitting on one of the tables alone. Dressed in a t-shirt, shorts and dirty slippers and looking a bit scarred and lost. Looking around at the people waiting to place their orders I noticed they were mostly foreigners; Some Taiwanese, Koreans. As you may know, we have an ordinance on our island that minors are not allowed without proper guardian supervision after 9pm. Reason was a surprise to me as since the strict implementation by Mayor John Yap spearheaded by Special Assistant and Ordinance Officer Wilson Enriquez and his team unsupervised minors are no longer a major concern after the 9pm curfew. For those who follow my corner Sunny Side Up and my articles on “LEAVE OUR CHILDREN ALONE”, Boracay Sun you would understand my concern, in fact alarmed to find this little girl sitting alone unsupervised. Placing my umbrella and beer – also take home, across the table where this girl was sitting, asked her if she was with her father – most of the customers waiting to place their orders were male. She answered no. You with a relative? No she says. I noticed she was bit uncomfortable with all these questions from an old man with a beer on the table so mellowed my tone and told her not to worry I was just concerned she was unsupervised and children are not allowed alone after 9pm and it’s something like 12:45 in the morning. Asked for her name and age she said Annabel – The “Angel” and only 10. Asked her where her father was and Annabel said she did not have one – he left us. How bout your mom? She’s home taking care of my younger sister. Asked why she was out so late she replied to collect recyclables from restaurant when they close to sell as since her father left they did not have money. Every night? Yes she answers. Do you go to school? Yes, Manoc-Manoc in the mornings . . . Wow! Asked if she was aware of the curfew she answers yes but she hides from the patrol . . . double Wow! Where do you live? Station #3 – must be the so called squatter area some people are concerned of because the place gives the neighborhood a bad name for their tourists and want the families thrown out of Boracay as they are all lazy and useless. . .Really?
At this point this young man comes over with food and joins us – smiling. Still pissed from the beers and situation, addressed the guy, regretfully in a harsh tone, is this girl your daughter or relative? No sir he answers. So why is Annabel with you don’t you know minors have a curfew and not allowed to go with strangers and what do you do in Boracay? Sir, he answers, I work with Aria Italian Restaurant (Then noticed he did have an aria uniform, one of the best Italian Restaurants on the island, if I may say) as a Trainee. I’ve been in Boracay for a week and each night Annabel comes to Aria’s closing time to look for recyclables from our garbage to sell. I noticed that Annabel sometimes segregates the left over food to feed her family and I felt it was my duty to at least buy her some food here, sir. The “Good Samaritan”. Do you do this since you’ve been here? When I can Sir. . . Wow! Unfortunately, I do not remember his name – bloody beers! I did take a picture of the Samaritan and our Angel which I will treasure! Cooling down and actually feeling like a “The Big Fool” (I wonder at times why most of us take it normal that the world is what we believe it is – Shit! And accept this as normal? And look outside ourselves to correct this? Why not begin with ourselves and stop pointing fingers?) I asked our Good Samaritan why he never reported this to the proper authorities and he answered being new in Boracay he did not know whom to call. Told the angel and our Samaritan to wait while I made some arrangements. By this time it was bout 1:15am. Called Col. Sam Nacion, Chief of our PNP Boracay; apologized for the time, explained the situation and requested an escort for Annabel to take her safely home. In less than 15 minutes PINSP Fidel Gentallan arrived with the patrol to escort Annabel safely home, “Our Concerned Gentlemen Officers”. Col. Sam, PINSP Fidel, you make us proud, Many Salamat!
I suggested to Officer Gentallan to talk to Annabel’s mother and explain to her what the situation was and I will ask for a report on this to ask the Department of Social Welfare if they can assist Annabel’s family. Also suggested to our Good Samaritan to inform management of Aria’s maybe best keep recyclables till the next morning and come up with a system that will have these available before curfew.
In closing, I wonder, are there more Good Samaritans out there – or as my article “Pointing finger the solution” the only way (Boracay Sun July issue)? I hope this small story reaches your heart as it did mine. Cheers.
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