Search This Blog

Friday, September 18, 2009

S.O.S.?

I have just gone out of the Philippine Embassy gate when I noticed a woman coming towards me. Probably on her mid-forties, she looked like any other Filipina at the Embassy for some consular transaction.

As she drew closer, she smiled coyly and asked, "Pinoy po kayo?".

I smiled back.

As if that were her cue, she opened the small traveling bag she was carrying and said, "Sir, bilhin nyo naman 'tong scarf ko".

Taken aback, it took me a few seconds to manage a reply. "Po?"

"O di kaya me mga branded po akong mga damit dito, pang-regalo nyo na lang po sa girlfirend nyo."

"Pasensya na po, wala pong pagreregaluhan eh."

"Sir, baka meron po kayong 1,000 dyan. Pahiram na lang po."

That stunned me. I have never seen anyone begging in the streets of Tokyo, much less a compatriot.

Fortunately, my phone rang. I grabbed it as I made answering the call an excuse to run away. I did not bother to look back.

I am normally a very accommodating person, even with strangers. But the situation simply seemed so absurd that I was forced to act differently. But now, on hindsight I ask: what if she really needed help? Did I do the right thing?

(For readers who do not understand Tagalog, my apologies. I am opting not to translate the conversation. But I'm sure you'll get the drift.)

12 comments:

Everlito (ever) Villacruz said...

depende sa sitwasyon at pakiramdaman lang naman yun.sakin ganun din ang gagawin ko...ang mahalaga pards, naisip mong balikan ang pangyayari...maraming bagay na pwede tayong tumulong kung nararapat,pero dahil sa hindi pa natin lubos na kilala..meron tayong dalawang pagpipilian, alin sa dalawa, wala kang dapat intindihin.bigyan mo man ng 1000 yun pag uwi mo iisipin mo parin...at ang magiging tanong mo ganito naman,"what if she didn't really need help.did you do the right thing?

teka ang gulo ko noh...ako nalang ang bigyan mo ng piso..ha ha ha.

I am Xprosaic said...

jejejejejeje.... noon good samaritan ako kaso ngayon iba na ang panahon di ko na alam kung mapagkakatiwalaan ba lahat... jijijijiji... kaya na ng konsensya ko ang magsabi ng-- hindee!!! jijijiji

totomai said...

di naman siguro ako ang tumawag haha.

yup atty, dami ng cases na ganyan dito, mga officemate ko nagugulat sa mga kapwa pinoy natin na humihingi ng pera. sa mga eki nga meron minsan...

naks, branded pa pala mga gamit ng ale...

semi-OT, overhead a conversation of a Jap and a gaijin, the Jap said while pointing to the homeless, "they may be homeless but they are not beggars"

Abaniko said...

Would you have reacted differently if the one who approached you was a frail old woman?

aajao said...

ok lang yun.

jasperjugan said...

hanggang dun ba naman! hehe

The Nomadic Pinoy said...

Given the circumstances, kahit ako I will be very surprised. Pero kawawa naman sya. In her desperation, she showed you her two options: to earn money honestly by selling and as a last resort, to beg.

realscore said...

my gudness... mga pinoy talaga...kaloka!

the donG said...

what?! kakalungkot naman to.

Rico said...

I think it would have been wiser to ask why she needed the money.
Ask for specifics and details, you need these later to verify her story.
Give her the smallest amount you can without feeling resentful just in case she's tricking you, and promise to come back.
Verify her story through the details you asked earlier.
If everything checks out, come back and help her. Malay mo pinsan o kamag anak ko yun.
Of course don't come back if she's lying.
Just my two cents.

adelina_jp said...

in your case Atty. be thankful the phone call saved you for any more reasons

though i agree with Rico
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
sometimes we don't really know how the people around us becoming so desperate in life, life turned out so hard for others

but cheer up this woman still have the courage to survive if ever she is really in need, rather than taking suicide, hindi pa naman siguro ganoong ka worst, at may mga brands pa naman siya

huwag lang sanang mag escalate sa pangloloko ang ginagawa niya ~ to the worst, kung panloloko man ang intention niya

Kikit said...

I agree with Rico. Baka naiwan nya lang ang wallet nya at wala syang pambayad sa train pauwi. :)