We are so caught up with our daily lives that we tend to forget the people around us. It is when we slow down and observe life around us that we see inspiring things or people who need our help. Jobert Enamno is one of those people who observe life, and because of this, was able to help Ongtaisoon, a homeless Singaporean man.
According to Jobert:
It was Friday October 9, 2015. The weather was good, not so hot and was perfect for relaxation after lunch. My friend and I chose to sit at the end of a bench. We passed by an old man and settled next to him. My friend and I talked about so many things. When I turned around to check the old man, he was gone. I asked my friend, “Oh, umalis na?” (Oh, he left?) We were so surprised that he was there sitting next to my friend. He said something that in Singapore this and this are not allowed.
He kept on telling so many good things about Singapore, how nice and convenient it is especially for persons with disability like me.
Jobert’s friend then said that Jobert is headed to Singapore this December, and Ongtaisoon offered one of his rooms in his house. Jobert got excited, and asked why he was in the Philippines in the first place.
I then asked “Why are you here in Philippines?”. His face then turned into lonely one. He narrated that he met a Pinay working in Singapore for more than 1 year. This Pinay asked him to go here in Philippines and follow her in Davao and also asked him to bring big money. He then withdrew some money from his pension (more or less S$15,000 which is more than 500,000 pesos). He went to Davao to meet that girl. They put sleeping drug to his drink and he fell unconscious. They took everything from him, all of the money, cellphone, cloths, even the bag containing his travel documents such as passport etc.
Luckily, some people helped him travel to Manila to report his case to the Singaporean Embassy. While his identity was being investigated, the embassy gave him P5,000. He stayed in Makati and slept in the park, but when he woke up, his money was gone. By another stroke of luck, a security guard gave him food while he stayed.
It was his 4th day of being homeless in the park when I met him. He asked me favor if I can call his wife or daughter so that he can ask for help. We keep trying to dial the number but nobody is picking up the phone. I then told him. “My house is just near here if you want you can stay there while waiting for the news from your embassy”. Upon hearing my offer, he was almost in tears. He refused my offer and said he is so shy. I then insistedly asked him to come with me. I told him to wait for me in the park. He was in relief when he heard what I have said. After our office hours, I went back to the park to meet him. He was still there. He was happy to see me again. I said “let’s go!”. While on our way home I asked him to bear with my house. I said it is small but I assured him there is bed for him to sleep and food to eat and also he is in the good hands. I also told him that I’m just living a simple life. We don’t have lots of food but we are happy to share a simple food that can fill everybody’s stomach. From that first day that I brought him to our house he shared so many amazing things about Singapore.
After almost a week, the Singapore Embassy called and brought good news.
He has his new passport and plane ticket going back home. Last Thursday, October 15, 2015 he bid goodbye to me. He expressed deepest gratitude to all the help I had extended to him. Just as of today I got a call from him in Singapore telling me that he is home. Now wherever he is I’m so happy that he’s in good hands. This photo is one of the best remembrance that I have. This reminds me that once upon a time God used me.
Faith in humanity: restored.
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