I was on my way to school when the bus I was riding stopped in front of the Davao Penal Colony (DaPeCol). A man about 60 years old climbed up and took a seat. He asked the bus conductor how much the fare is to Davao. He only had 50 pesos. The nice lady beside me gave the old man P50.00 for his fare money. And that’s when he started sharing his story.
The man was in jail for 12 years. That was his first day as a free man. His family never knew what happened to him as he never got the chance to tell them and he didn’t knew how. Before his conviction, he was stationed in Cebu where he worked and he sends financial support to his family in Cebu. He was not the one who committed the crime, but he abdicated as that is the only way for the case to be closed. No one in his family knew, not his parents, siblings, wife nor children – his eldest was only third grade then. Since 2004, the year he entered the penal colony, he never had any visitors, not even on his birthdays or Christmas.
He thanked God while crying, saying how excited he was that he was finally released. All he had with him was a bag of clothes and his release papers. He had nothing else, not even a single centavo. There were other passengers there who heard of his flight and offered to give him money to help him get home. I also handed him a small amount from my own pocket, hoping that it would help him start a new life. His face beamed with joy, thanking every single person in that ride who helped him.
This story was shared by Angelique Pasion on Facebook.
It is not every day that we get to hear stories like this. But whenever we do, it awakens in us the belief that there is still good, indeed, in others.
We only need to listen with our ears, see with our own eyes, accept with open arms, understand with unbiased minds and love with our hearts.
There are people who suffer not because of their own doing but because of circumstances that they failed to avoid. Unless we know their real story, who are we to judge them?