01.14.20 We just attended the priestly ordination of Fr. Ariel in Kibungan and we were driving (rushing) back to Baguio to be in time for an appointment that afternoon at 3.
The clock read, 2:15. “We can make it,” I whispered.
While we were about to approach a curve, “Pooof!!!”
It was loud. It was sudden. It was quick. No warnings or whatsoever.
“Thank God, we have a spare tire.” But no, it was not the tire.
“What was it?” my wife asked.
I looked ahead and saw something like a smoke coming out from under the hood. But it was not smoke. I didn’t know what type of gas.
Thank God, we were nearing a bend of the road so we were slowing down. I pulled over, opened the hood, and tried to check what happened.
Oh well, I got credentials. I am a Certified Public Accountant and a Distinguished Toastmaster. I had some years of meaningful experience… BUT NO, I AM NOT AN AUTO-MECHANIC.
I tried to locate what may look unusual which might have caused that gas coming out. But I could not see one.
I kept on looking. Still, I could not see one.
So instead of looking under the hood, I started to look outside. “Any passersby?”
One vehicle was coming, I signaled for help. But nobody from them could give help.
Another vehicle came, I signaled for help. He said he had to go “there” somewhere first and then come back in case he could give help.
Another vehicle came. The person in front waved at me. She knew me. I waved back at her. And they passed by.
“Hmmm, let me call someone who knew what might have gone wrong.”
While I was about to call, I heard someone call my name and asked, “What went wrong?”
Oh, they did not just pass by. They parked a few meters ahead and came back.
I replied, “I don’t know but it must be something in here. Maybe “he” knows this stuff…?”
“Oh yes, he’s there… coming.”
Her partner, who was driving, came. I told him the details.
“Ok, let’s check!”
He tried to look under the hood. “Hmmm, I could not see anything,” he said.
“Do you want me to start the engine so you can see where the gas will come out?”
“Hmmm that’s… uh…. ok… go.”
“Alright. Here we go!”
I was about to switch it on…
“Wait! Don’t start it. I saw it.”
Then he showed it to me.
“Do you have something to replace that part?”
“Oh sorry, I don’t have.”
“Well, we can temporarily replace that with a screw. Let me get one here.”
As he walked to his van, someone called me (the one who I was trying to call earlier). I told him what happened and what we were about to do. Then he said, “Oh good, that thing came out. Remember the one I gave you before, that thing should replace it.”
“Oh yes, I do remember that. Let me get it then.”
When the ‘hero of the hour’ came back, I handed him that ‘thing’ – and said, “This should replace that part, right? It’s called…”
“Oh yes, that should work.”
He got his tools. Did what mechanics do and replaced the thing.
“It should work now,” he said.
I switched on the engine. No other unusual sound. No more gas coming out. Things are back. Working. Normal.
“Thank youuuu so muuuuuch. Imbag ta adda kayo.” (It’s good you came.)
He smiled at me and said casually, “Talaga nga kasta ti lugan nga tumartaray.” ‘No big deal. That stuff happens.’
He did not ask for anything. I did not know if I should pay him cash.
How do I pay back his kindness?
While fixing the tools, a thought came to mind. I asked my wife, who was there so supportive, patient, and calm, to hand them a small something just to express our sincere thanks. (It wasn’t money.) They received it with a smile.
We got back to our own rides and continued driving to where we were heading. My wife and I managed to catch our appointment and did what must be done.
I don’t know what could have happened if they were not there driving on that same road at that same hour on that same day.
But experiences like this continue to tell me that there are angels among us. That God sends people who will help us. That God sends people to demonstrate his love, his kindness, his power.
He loves us so much and he continues to show it in small and great ways.
And experiences like this also continue to tell me that people, children of God, are here present and alive.
This is an experience of love. And I shall say, “Thank you for the love.”
Salamat unay. Salamat apo.