Spirit of Christmas on the LRT

05:02 AM December 19, 2018

My wife and I are both retired “balikbayan.” We always enjoy coming home to our beloved country especially during Christmas, because we feel the season’s spirit here.

On Dec. 12, around 9 a.m., I took the LRT 2 from Araneta to Recto in order to visit my older brother, also a balikbayan, in Manila.


The escalators were not working as I walked to the platform. Wow! I said it would be a good exercise.

As a senior citizen, I enjoy the privilege of getting on the PWD coach. But I still had to stand up because some of the seats were taken — by not-so-senior and not-really-disabled passengers. Maybe there was no more space available and they might be late for work.


A middle-aged lady carrying a disabled boy got on our PWD coach, where the air-conditioning was barely working. She didn’t look like a beggar but just a normal passenger.

I was so impressed by the patience and persistence of this mother to take care of the boy. I took out a P100 bill, which is less than $2, and handed it to her.

She was hesitant at first to accept it, but I said “Merry Christmas.”

She took it finally and said, “Pagpalain kayo ng Panginoon.”

The other passengers started handing P20, P50, P100 bills and some coins.

I noticed she was teary-eyed, and my eyes, too, started to moisten.

Was this the real meaning of Christmas? Was this being a Christian?


In the Bible, Jesus came for the poor and the oppressed. Was Jesus present in this PWD coach?

This was the first time I experienced something like this in my life.

I thought about the other homeless and poor people in the Philippines. I wonder if our politicians and leaders of religious institutions really notice them, since they ride in chauffeured and tinted vehicles and live in mansions.

President Duterte should order the heads and executives of MRT And LRT to ride the train every morning when they go to work. It might be worth a try.

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TAGS: Christmas, Fidel Claudio, Inquirer letters, LRT
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