Bayanihan in Action: Concerned Citizen Gathers Crowd to Help Change the Country in 2 Minutes

There’s a famous saying that goes, “be the change you want to see.” Several times, we’ve shared stories of people who decided to take matters into their own hands in hopes of changing something for the better. These stories inspire us to be better and to strive for a change. More importantly, it’s stories like these that give us hope for a brighter tomorrow. The change starts with no other person but YOU.

One of our favorite “ambassadors” for change as we’d like to call him, is this guy Edwin Soriano. Just last month, we shared his story of picking up pieces of paper at a local bank in hopes of inspiring others to do the same. Today, he shares another story of change as he decides to pick up a few concrete blocks blocking the intersection with the help of traffic enforcers and police officers.

2 Min Change

Read Edwin’s story below:

“More than 4 weeks ago, a concrete manhole caved in at C-5 service road near Petron Diego Silang / BCDA. It was a safety risk as the open manhole was in the middle of a busy intersection.

A week or two after, the manhole was replaced with a newly built cement cover, presumably by the folks from the Taguig City Hall. A barricade was setup around the manhole, presumably to protect the wet cement of the new manhole cover.

But for more than a week now, the barricade was left there without being cleared. It even had a big concrete block the size of a truck wheel, with steel bars sticking out — a safety risk that was left there in the middle of the intersection; a blockage that disrupted the flow of traffic.

Tonight, as I was driving home, I was disappointed that the intersection still hadn’t been cleared of the debris .

I saw a police AUV and decided to approach a police officer…

I asked: “Sir, kanino pwedeng magpa-tulong para alisin yung malalaking bato?”
PO1 Garingan: “Oo nga sir, pinicturan ko na at nireport sa City Hall, pero nandyan pa rin.”
I replied: “Pagtulungan na nating alisin!”
To which PO1 Garingan said enthusiastically: “Sige ser!”

I parked my car properly, went to the area of concrete debris. By that time, a group of 5 other volunteers were there to lift the big concrete block. It took six of us to move the concrete block (maybe 300pounds) some 15 meters to a nearby pavement, away from motorist traffic. (Btw, pedestrians don’t belong there).

Within 2 minutes, the big concrete block was cleared, smaller rocks were cleared too. And now the road is more passable, no more major blockage to traffic. Done .

Later, I gathered the names of my Ka-Bayani-han:

PO1 Abdurahman Garingan
Taguig Peace and Order Unit (TPOU): Oliver Ramos and Narciso Garcia
and two men from the Traffic Management Office (TMO).

As I clarified the spelling of his name, PO1 Garingan explained: “Muslim po ako, Tausug.”
I replied: “Ay, ganun po ba? Magkapatid po tayo, Kristiyano ako, taga-Baguio. Kapwa Pilipino, magkakapatid.”
He continued: “Matagal ko na pong gustong alisin yung bato, pero mabigat para sa dalawang tao.”
I reassured him: “Kaya po tayo nag-tutulungan. Tayo tayo rin ang gagawa ng solusyon sa nga problema natin sa trapik. Tulong-tulong lang tayo.”

I ended with: Assalamu Alaikum, a handshake and a hand pressed to my heart.”

Concrete Block 01 Concrete Block 02

The block weighed about 300 lbs!

Concrete Block 03Thank you to Edwin (in pink) and the Volunteer Crew for being the change!

We love to complain about every little thing that goes wrong in our country. I too am guilty of such. Though we may not be able to control everything, there are definitely things we can change ourselves. Simple acts of kindness like these will go a long way. Instead of always saying, “that’s not my job,” why don’t we start saying, “how can I help?”

If we want anything to change, we don’t just need a good president… we need to change ourselves.

What do you think of Edwin’s kindness? Would you have done the same?