16 Jun

My high school teacher dismissed the class, but I did not hurry to get out of the door as I normally would. That night was different. I didn't need to race against hundreds of students for a seat on a jeepney as I would be walking, 30 minutes to get home. My school allowance was just enough for a treat, and jeepney fare to and from school. Earlier that day, I had used my snack and fare money to pay for a school fee and thought that maybe I could borrow some money from a classmate to pay for my ride home. But I was shy and didn't find the courage to ask a classmate for spare money, so I decided to walk instead, I would be walking along with other students anyway. Ideally, I would pull out my cellphone and call or text my mom to pick me up, but cellphones were not mainstream at that time, and I didn't have one. Unfortunately, calling from a pay phone wasn't an option either because I didn't have a coin and my house didn't have a phone. So, walk I must.

The group of walking students started thick and loud. Many were walking with their friends, laughing and playing and I took comfort of blending with the crowd, walking five steps away from them. But as we walked, the crowd began to thin out and I soon found myself walking a couple meters away from the few, small companies left, then, I was alone. I was scared and started to worry. The road was not well lit, and I was about to cross the bridge adjacent to a cemetery. It was not the dead that I was mostly afraid of, but the idea of somebody sneaking behind me with a knife or other sharp object. The scary part was that it was not even an exaggeration, it was a definite possibility. I started walking faster paying more attention to my surroundings, silently praying that I might find a five- or ten-peso bill on the road so I could ride home, to my safety.

As I got closer to Pulang Lupa terminal, I could see the traffic starting to build up. The road became more crowded, and the lights got brighter. Pulang Lupa, with its many stores and a tricycle stations, was a very busy place and a main stop for many people. A block away from the intersection, passengers started to get off the jeepneys to avoid getting stuck in the traffic. I walked faster, excited that I was more than halfway home, but then I began to worry, dreading the last 10 minutes of my walk, along a dark and somewhat unpopulated road. It would have been a quick three-minute tricycle ride if I had the money to pay for the fare, but I didn't. Then came my miracle! A big man had tapped my shoulder as he walked past me and handed me a twenty-peso bill. The man told me to get a ride home. How did he know that I needed the money for a ride home? I would not normally accept a stranger's offer but that's what I exactly needed at that time - that is what I was praying for! It was still a little dark, so I did not see his face, but I took the money and thanked him. I took the tricycle home, thinking of how blessed I was. I knew that Heavenly Father was watching over me and He heard my silent prayer. I strongly felt God's love and comfort at that moment. I know that He cared, He heard my prayers no matter how simple and insignificant it seemed, because He knew that it was important to me.

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