On our way back to Manila from Boracay, I met a remarkable older man. He is a porter and offered to bring our trolleys to the boat on our way to Boracay airport. He seemed to be in his 70s. He was about 5’1 and wore a Porter shirt with the number 75 on his back. Although Axel and I were strong enough to carry our trolleys and backpacks, I asked him how much the service was.
He sheepishly replied that it was up to me. He just needed a Christmas gifting. I found him nice. He was not pushy or insistent. He seemed like one of those few elderly who did not want a handout. He wanted to work for his keep. Amazing!
At this point, I only had a hundred peso bill and a five hundred peso bill. I decided to give him the hundred peso bill upon boarding the boat.
While waiting for the transfer agent to process our papers at the holding area, an American couple seemed confused. Instead of just ignoring them, just like everyone beside them did, the older man walked over.
He politely asked them what there were looking for. The older man then told them to hold their boarding stubs and pointed them toward the boarding planks where the boats were.
The Americans thanked him and headed in the right direction. The older man just quietly went back to his seat beside us.
After seeing the kindness of this porter, I changed my mind. I did not want to hand him the hundred peso bill anymore. I took out my five hundred peso bill.
A few minutes later, we were ushered to the boat, and the elderly porter carried both trolleys across a wooden plank to the boat. I handed him the five hundred peso bill.
Even with the face mask, you can tell by his eyes that he was pleasantly surprised and happy with his tip.
There are many lessons from this story. One of the best lessons I see is that there is always kindness around us. We just have to take a hard look and find it.
Have a great 2023, everyone. Be kind to everyone around you.