Riding A Bus On A Parched Saturday Afternoon

… is a typical scene for me especially when I am having deals on inverts and roaches and when I am doing my weekend lakwatsa.

But yesterday was a different one as I was on my way home.

While my lungs and throat were brutally being punished by constant coughing, my headache was literally killing me. It was a sick trip and I just didn’t know what the hell I was doing in the wobbly rear area of a cold air-conditioned bus, knowing that my body had a very unstable temperature. I just wanted to get to Guadalupe fast, lay on my bed and rest.

Heavy traffic froze the intersection of Shaw Boulevard and EDSA. As Lolit Solis was in her last seconds of greeting endorsements in the on-board television, a pretty lady entered the bus wearing a familiar beam. She was my high school crush.

Being romantically sappy isn’t my thing so I just ignored her. Hey it was 37 million years ago.

I thought that she would quickly settle at the evident anterior vacant seats, and it was alright for I didn’t want to engage into a forced conversation with her if ever she noticed me at the far end. I did not even know how I could get home safely since I was starting to get nauseous and all.

Few seconds had passed and she was still standing in front of the passengers then suddenly she started reading Bible verses (in Tagalog) aloud in contest with the blaring bus’ television.

She was good in intense monologues back then and a great female debater too but it was a huge surprise seeing her passionately preaching to less than twenty droopy PUB commuters, who would rather heed a has-been basketball player featured in Wish Ko Lang.

The shocked Boyetus became oblivious to any pain in his body.

My world was silenced and I could only see her lips moving and those pretty brown eyes that were convincing apathetic fare and peanut vendors to believe in the word of a god of some kind.

But that didn’t end there.

After some minutes of pretending that everybody’s listening, she then handed each one an envelope, soliciting for monetary donations. I was the only person plopped down at the backside so I was the final receiver of a white paper cloak.

She was startled when she recognized me.

She: Uy, kamusta na?

Boyetus: Ok lang. Ayus.

[Translation: Shit. Awkward moment.]

She: Gusto mong mag-donate para sa blah blah blah… of Christ… blah blah blah foundation?

I just nodded my head and gave her my last bill (P50) without even putting the cash in the sheath. She smiled and thanked me with obvious embarrassment.

She: Salamat ha (smiles).

Boyetus: (smiling back)

[Translation: There goes my Solmux and Pepsi. Donation your face!]

That’s it. I bet she couldn’t even remember my name.

She went back in her obverse spot, beside the driver after gathering the entire collection and it was more shocking for she delivered a very strong prayer. Yes, with matching tears and I’m not exaggerating.

“O panginoon ko, pagpalain Niyo po ang mga taong may bukal na kalooban sa taos-pusong pagbibigay ng tulong sa mga nangangailangan at upang lalong mapalaganap ang Iyong mga mabubuting salita. Pagpalain Niyo po ang driver at kunduktor ng bus na ito…”

Yeah right. I closed my eyes and just tried to sleep while she kept on expressing her gratitude. That’s the time I got myself back and I started to feel all my ailments again. I got more stressed too.

“… lalo na po ang aking kaibigan, na nasa dulo, na si Christopher Irabon…”


I know she was extremely appreciative to the kind mortals in that vehicle. I really got nothing against her and to what she’s doing now but man, she didn’t have to mention my whole name in public. That’s fuckin’ humiliating. If she’s too naive to know that then I don’t know what to say.

I’m not a holy person for my own sake and doing a favor for something that I don’t believe in will just put my own principles to trash. I’ve given her my help because I know her as a colleague of mine and not because I want to support her business. That’s just it and nothing more.

She then stepped out of the bus in Boni Avenue and I was left annoyed by the passengers taking glimpses (while grinning) at me.

I really should have taken the MRT instead.



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