“Touchdown, Park Avenue Guesthouse 2443.”
After Ed’s fun one-man show, all three of us were still hyped up. We walked from the crowded MOA Concert Grounds to the less crowded Conrad Hotel area, hoping to book a taxi back to the guesthouse.
But after an hour, we still had a hard time getting a ride. And I noticed people around us we’re feeling the same.
So we resorted to hail taxis down manually – a frustrating feat since taxis would just zoom past us, though they weren’t carrying any passengers. If they would stop, they would outright refuse after we say our address.
Excitement and phone batteries dying off, I could feel that my friends (and the other passengers) and I are dejected. We’ve walked to the MOA rotonda but we still didn’t have our own ride.
After being refused by lots of taxis for another hour, a red car passed near us. “Sa’n kayo ma’am?”
We gave him our address. And ended it with please(s).
“Magkano booking doon?” We gave our last booking fare.
The driver thought over it. Ugh. Another rejection.
But to my surprise and relief, kuya nodded. OMG! We’re going home. I’ll be sleeping soon!
I was so exhilirated that I called my best friend’s name out loud. I thought she was still charging her phone at KFC. People looked at me seemingly saying their minds Who’s this lunatic shouting someone’s name out loud. Is she a barker? Turns out my friend was just sitting on the side walk. I usually am socially anxious but last night, I didn’t have time to be embarrassed.
We informed kuya that we’re not familiar with the route back to the guesthouse because we were just local tourists. He not only used waze but also tried to ask help from someone covertly (it was like kuya and other tmv people were using walkie talkies). It was there that I knew kuya has just started fetching and dropping off passengers who were refused by most taxi drivers. I heard him say we were his thrid customers.
“Touchdown, Park Avenue Guesthouse 2443.” We safely arrived at our guesthouse. We thanked kuya, whose name he said was Jun Villanueva. I almost said thank you in my mother tongue (which I guess would be understandable anyway but yeah). I was really grateful.
To you, Kuya Jun Villanueva (plate number), this may be a normal duty – fetching passengers and then dropping them off safely to their destination. Heck you can even reason out that they’re part of your job. But last night, most drivers forgot those. You were the only gentleman who accomodated our desperate need for a ride. We were angels crying deep inside. You were an angel we met in person.
Thank you very, Kuya Jun. Daghang salamat. Kaayo.
You may not remember us, pero you will always be in our long term memories and will be immortalized in this post (and in my journal).
God bless you, your family and your friends.