Six pesos senior smiles. That’s all it takes. 12 ¢ to brighten a senior citizen’s day in the Philippines. It all started last month. Seems like an elderly lady was having a difficult time boarding the banca boat in Jordan, Guimaras.
Navigating the Stairs at Jordan Wharf
The poor woman was getting a lot of assistance, however, from the boat crew. She was carrying a basket of assorted fruits. Like us, the lady’s destination was Iloilo City. My asawa had seen the lady selling her wares in downtown Iloilo before. We were not aware that she lived in Guimaras.
Since Ortiz Wharf in Iloilo is undergoing repairs until November 17th, our vessel made its way to Parola Wharf.
Rest assured, I have difficulty navigating the steep concrete steps of all the docks. In Jordan, the boat crews used to place metal ramps from the dock to the boat. This made it much easier for a big-footed old guy like myself to navigate the concrete steps.
Unfortunately, the metal ramps haven’t been in use for years. It can be especially dangerous when there’s a low tide.
Six Pesos Senior Smiles
We made the 15-minute boat ride to Parola. A row of jeepneys awaited the incoming passengers from Guimaras. The elderly lady selling her goods boarded the same jeepney as we did. There was only one person between us.
Say something good behind their backs
I had just listened to a message from Pastor Joel Osteen the night before on TBN. Pastor Osteen was exhorting his parishioners to say something “good” about somebody “behind their backs.” Instead of spreading gossip, honor a person by saying something positive about them.
Pastor Joel went on to say that he starts the day by looking to help or encourage someone even if it’s in a small way.
My Epiphany Moment
I looked at the elderly woman. That was my epiphany moment. I instructed my asawa to please pay the senior’s fare. My wife was near the driver. She shelled out six pesos, 12¢, to the jeepney operator.
When I informed the lady that we had paid her fare for the jeepney, a huge smile appeared on her face. She said “thank you” and just kept smiling.
Spreading Smiles along the way
We continue this practice today whenever we go to Iloilo City. I look for an elderly senior and watch the reaction on their face when they learn a “kano,” Amerikano, has paid for their fare. They smile and appreciate the simple gesture of kindness.
And all for only six pesos