When in Manila, we are often too busy or too scared to stop and befriend strangers. Sometimes, it’s because we are absorbed with our own problems. Other times, we are scared of the many modus operandis we often hear about. Because of these, we rarely befriend strangers we meet in malls.
Art Samaniego Jr. did something different. He shared a photo and narrated how he met this 77-year old in a mall. His post has gotten lots of praises and positive comments from netizens.
He was standing near the escalator trying to get people’s attention. I got curious and asked him if there’s something wrong. He answered in English “I just want some ice cream but young people nowadays just don’t care about an old man like me.” He told me he could not see properly that’s why he’s asking people for directions “but they just don’t care” he said. I accompanied him to an ice cream kiosk and told him it’s on me but he said “no, I will pay, it’s the least I could do for a nice man like you.”
He told me that he’s 77 and has four kids who regularly send him money, “but they all commanded me to stay home, ano gagawin ko sa bahay, titingin sa gate para hintayin si kamatayan?” He is from Candelaria, he took a public transport to go to SM San Pablo to eat ice cream and play Bingo.
Halfway with our ice cream, he stood up “Off you go young man, i dont want to take much of your time” he said. “I will play bingo and kill some time, before time kills me” he said as he slowly walked away.
To my friends here in San Pablo City, next time you see him in SM please be kind and accompany him to the nearest ice cream stand, and if you have time play bingo with him 🙂
What do you think of this story? Would you do the same thing if you happen to spot a stranger asking for help in a mall? Does the old man’s smile remind you of someone you’d want to spend more time with? Share your responses in the comments!