Friday, April 8, 2011

Backpack Series: Plastic Cup

Cup 1: CROSSWALK

pedestrian crossing or crosswalk is a designated point on a road at which some means are employed to assist pedestrians wishing to cross. They are designed to keep pedestrians together where they can be seen by motorists, and where they can cross most safely across the flow of vehicular traffic. Pedestrian crossings are often found at intersections, but may also be at other points on busy roads that would otherwise be too unsafe to cross without assistance due to vehicle numbers, speed or road widths. They are generally also installed common where large numbers of pedestrians are attempting to cross (such as in shopping areas) or where vulnerable road users (such as school children) regularly cross.
The term pedestrian crossing includes a wide range of crossing provisions, both those that give priority to pedestrians, and those that assist pedestrians, but legally still prioritize road vehicles.
Pedestrian crossings, especially when combined with other features like pedestrian priority or raised surfaces, can be used as a traffic calming technique.

Road Sign: Ped Xing

So much for the technical meaning of the word but known to many, as a place where we meet people instantly, in a rush, crowded flow, barely noticing each other (A crosswalk).  And here in this place, I learned the lessons of the “Plastic Cup”.

Cup 2: STOP LIGHT

Here in Metro Manila, we have the famous Crossing. It is an intersection of EDSA and Shaw Boulevard.  Kung ikaw ay isang byahero, malamang alam mo ang lugar na ito. Crossing  Ilalim or Crossing Ibabaw. And every day, dito ako dumadaan. One jeep ride from my dorm going to work and a not so long walk at night going home after work. Yes! Naglalakad lang po ako pauwi. Tipid na, na exercise ka pa. This is my daily routine during weekdays with the exemption kung kakain kami after work with my officemates. And this is how the story of a plastic cup goes…

Cup 3: Toothless Smile

That was a typical night after work. Again, nagkayayaan na kumain before going home. Our usual destination is Araneta Center , Kangaro Jack Steak and Grille to be exact. At syempre, dadaan kami sa Crossing. Sa gabi, iba-ibang scenario makikita mo dito. Sa gilid ng kalsada, may natutulog, sa ilalim ng fly over foot bridge, may nagtitinda ng sigarilyo at candies, may lasing na nakaupo sa gilid ng sidewalk, may kumakanta sa videoke sa karinderia at turo-turo, mga taong nagmamadali makauwi, mga taga call center na nakatambay, sasabayan pa ng tugtog ng banda na nanggagaling sa “Cuba Libre.” Pero kami, iba ang inaabangan naming makita… Si “Manang” na namamalimos sa mga sasakyan na nakahinto during red light. It is a common sight for us na makita si “Manang na naglalakad, hawak ang tungkod niya, nangangapa sa madilim nyang paligid (Oo, isang bulag si Manang)  at kumakatok sa bawat bintana ng sasakyan na nakahinto. Di alintana ang panganib na dulot nito. And again, this is another night na ma-encounter namin si Manang. Malayo pa lang, nag ready na kami ng mailalagay sa hawak nyang plastic cup. Kapa dito, dukot doon, bukas ng coin purse ngunit walang barya kaming nakuha. Sige na nga, itong bente pesos na lang, One of my Officemate offered. Nang nasa tapat na namin si “Manang”, di na namin hinintay na kumatok sya sa salamin ng aming sasakyan. Ganon pa rin, ang mukha na hapis at pagod sa maghapon na pamamalimos sa Crossing. Itinapat na nya sa amin ang kanyang plastic cup at naghihintay ng ano mang aming maibibigay. Ang kalansing ng baryang kanyang inaasahan ay di nya narinig.  Alam nyang hindi barya ang aming inilagay sa plastic cup nya. At dahil doon, isang napaka gandang ngiti ang ibinalik nya sa amin, at sa unang pagkakataon, we saw a toothless smile. That was one of the most beautiful smile na nakita ko.  Isang nagagalak na Manang ang aming nasaksihan. Kung di ako nagkakamali, napatalon pa sya sa tuwa. Bente pesos? Para kaming napahiya at kung di lang nag green light na, sana, nadagdagan pa namin ang aming naibigay.
Para kay “Manang”, ang halagang nailagay namin sa cup nya ay isang kayamanan na. Ang bawat sentimo na naihuhulog sa kanyang plastic cup ay isang napakalaking pagpapala na para sa kanya. Di ko maiwasang tingnan ang dala kong backpack. Yes, it is heavy, coz I know everything I own and holds dear was inside. Maari ngang mahalaga ang laman ng backpack ko. Gamit ko sa trabaho ang ilan sa mga nasa loob nito. Pero kung ikukumpara sa Plastic cup ni “Manang”, walang panama ang laman ng backpack ko. Kung titimbangin ng sabay, alin sa palagay nyo ang mas mabigat? Ang backpack ko o ang plastic cup ni Manang? I hold on to my backpack because I know there are necessary things and gadgets that are inside, but Manang holds on to her plastic cup, as if her whole life was dependent on it. No, not as if, her whole life was really dependent on her plastic cup. I can still survive and live kahit mawala ang laman ng backpack ko, pero para kay Manang, for her to live and survive a day, he needs her plastic cup.

Cup 4: Overflow

The case of Manang is an eye opener for us… Marami ngayon ang gumagastos ng higit pa sa kanilang kinikita, marami ang nagsasayang ng pera sa mga bagay na di naman makabubuti sa sarili, ngunit higit na nakakapanghinayang ang mga taong may sobra-sobrang pagpapala ngunit walang kakayahang magbigay. The Act of giving comes from within; it is an urge of compassion, the byproduct of one’s desire to help others. Kahit sa ano mang panahon at pagkakataon, basta kaya mo sa ano mang paraan, di man pinansyal,  tutulong at tutulong ka. It is not because of your intellectual capacity that decides whether to give or not. It is your heart. Katulad ng naramdaman namin kay Manang. May guilt at panghihinayang na yon lang ang aming naibigay, to think na ang pupuntahan naming ay isang masaganang hapunan. It’s not right because we thought so; rather we feel there’s something wrong with our giving. Our heart tells us, may kulang.       

Luke 6:38 says:

38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Kung mapadaan ka sa Crossing kaibigan, at makita mo si manang… alam mo na ang gagawin to make her smile… pero sana lang, hindi sa halagang bente pesos… because I believe, her smile is a priceless smile.

HAPPY GIVING EVERYONE!!!!!


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