My niece, Michelle, was walking home the other day through our subdivision in Iloilo and passed up a group of workers. She didn't take the shuttle service and saved her "Dad" and "Tita" seven pesos. The guys were part of an army of landscapers and other laborers employed throughout our development. When my niece arrived home, I heard her chatting away animatedly to my asawa and her twin sister, April.
But Michelle always babbles on continually like Alvin the Chipmunk on shabu, so I didn't give it much thought. Later on, my asawa walked into my room, headquarters for "PhilippinesPlus," to tell me that one of the workers had followed Michelle part of the way home on his bicycle. I immediately perked up.
"He didn't bother her, did he?" I asked. "No," my wife replied. Seems he was wondering who the nice "Chinese lady" was that the guys always saw walking with my nieces. Michelle informed the man that the lady in question was her tita (aunt) and that she was Filipino and not Chinese.
Even with my spouse's darker tan and classic Filipino nose, many people in the Philippines believe she is Chinese. Her father has Chinese ancestors but he was born in the PH and has spent his entire lifetime here.
The worker also told Michelle that we are a "good family." We always talk to all the workers when we go by and are very friendly. He informed my niece that many of the residents do not even return their greeting.
I was pleased to hear the positive report about us, and dismayed, but not surprised, to hear that some folks did not even speak to the laborers. I have said many times that I am no better than anyone else and no one is better than me.
I will show you respect unless you give me reason not to. I personally don't care if you're President Aquino or some worker cleaning the CR at SM City. I absolutely will treat you the same. I believe we are all the same in God's eyes. And that, Brothers and Sisters, is today's sermon.