Sunday, July 13, 2014


Almost every Saturday, Leny, Rose, Marivi and I would have breakfast before we start our day at the UST Hospital. It would be an hour or so of coffee, some food and a lot of story swapping. It's a ritual we have gotten accustomed to for the 6 years since I retired from teaching at the medical school. Like giddy girls who meet up for the usual chatter, breakfast on Saturdays is something I look forward to.

Today we had our banter at Jollibee along the corner of P. Noval and Lacson. We were missing Marivi who is attending a dermatology meeting in Idaho. While we were half way through breakfast, 3 children caught our attention. The eldest was girl of around 9 who had in tow, 2 boys around 5 and 3 years old. They brought up a tray - one piece of Yum Burger, one small cup of ice cream and a glass of water to share. Yup! They were street urchins who probably had collected enough from their begging so that they too, could have a decent meal.

A decent meal? What they had on their plates was even being share by three hungry children! The youngest of them had no slippers and their clothes were ragged and torn. They not only needed food, but a good bath as well.

They caught our attention and Leny was telling Rose and I that we should get them something decent to eat. I jokingly told her that if they develop diarrhea or abdominal pain from the food we give, their parents would run after us. Yet something kept tugging at our hearts. Watching the three of them share the little food they had would make one appreciate what we have because there are others who have even less.

Rose and I asked Rince (the crewmember's name at Jollibee) to get the kids one spaghetti meal each! After giving Rince some money, he dashed off with much enthusiasm and came up serving the three children a whole meal for each. I've got to give it to Rince because he treated them like VIP, serving them the hot plates, arranging the sodas for them properly, giving them utensils and paper napkins. The three children stared at the food and began enjoying the spoils in front of them.

What was amazing was that the kindness we shared was shared by those who saw us. One man bought the children some fries. Another man came up with more ice cream and sat down and talked to them.

While they were still enjoying their meal, Leny, Rose and I decided to go back to the hospital to work.

No, we never took a selfie with the kids. I didn't think it was appropriate. I just wanted to share the story.

No, the children never said thank you. Their hunger and happiness on their faces was all the thank you we needed. Besides, we did it not because we wanted compliments in return.

No, we didn't get a chance to talk to them. They were busy with breakfast.

And yes, to us it was an ordinary Saturday. To the children, it may have been a very special Saturday. The ritual gathering among friends was made special by three children who tugged our hearts and taught us that sharing takes on a different meaning and perspective when you know somehow, even in a fleeting moment, you've made a better day for someone.

"The little things we give to others will come back as blessings in some other day..
To those who share their unselfish hearts never get tired of doing little things for others because sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts."