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Faith & Trust

A Local Encounter that Changed my Perspective

PHILIPPINES | Wednesday, 6 March 2013 | Views [189] | Scholarship Entry

It was our debut trip to Manila and as always, mom’s over-bearing streak of paranoia of making sure we ‘hang on tight to your wallets and passports, always be vigilant’ amongst others were somehow the last words we would hear before leaving on our adventures.

I’ve often wondered why do people, moms in particular assume the worst of crimes and safety when truth is, crime happens in every part of the world including our own?

Perception perhaps? Pre-cautionary warning for the unknown? Lack of trust and faith in a foreign land?

We hopped onto a trishaw during our visit to Intramurous which is the oldest district in the capital of Philippines. Edward was our trishaw rider who had agreed to take us around the site after haggling the price by half.

On our very last stop at the San Agustin Church, my husband finally realized his mobile phone was missing. We assumed it must have slipped out of his pocket while getting off the trishaw. Panic arose as we walked back to the spot where we had first met Edward before the mobile-phone fiasco unfolded.

Several minutes later, a sea of trishaw riders came forth to help us and comforted us by offering to help locate Edward just to see if the phone was with him. It was comforting to know that in a population so big, people were aware of who Edward-the-trishaw rider was. They guided us to the small police station first to wait for him, and with many unfamiliar local faces crowding the station, the same paranoia that my mom advised us about began to hit us and it showed.


Until the police officer took out a familiar looking mobile phone and passed it to my husband, much to his delight. Edward, our poor-yet-honest trishaw rider had walked over and handed the phone to the officers the minute he found it.

We were dumb founded. How often does something like this even happen in our own land? Feeling relieved, we rewarded Edward who came later to the police station with some monetary gratitude, our very small way of thanking him for his honesty and restoring the faith in humanity in a foreign land. His pregnant wife stood next to him, smiling and from her smile I could tell just how proud and happy she is to be maried so a man so kind.

It was a lesson well learnt where trust and faith is concerned – sometimes you find it in people you least expect of.

Since the incident, we’ve gone back to Manila for another four more times and each time we did, it almost felt like home. And more importantly safe.

Tags: Travel Writing Scholarship 2013

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