“Just be good to other people and help whenever help is necessary. “
THIS was long overdue. I should have written this article the moment I arrived home after that life changing experience in Calatagan, Batangas (Philippines) in November 2013 but I didn’t know where to start. I didn’t know how I would write an article worthy enough to pay tribute to a man who has done so much to help and guide five young lost souls (soles) as this is the only way I know I can pay him back.
Why “The Good Samaritan?” Most of us if not all are aware of the parable that was told by Jesus Christ about a traveler who was a Jew. He was robbed and left in the road near death. Nobody bothered to help him but this goodhearted Samaritan, a person least expected to come to his aid since it was said that Jews and Samaritans despised each other. Such a noble and heartwarming act is the perfect story to remember our own “Good Samaritan” in Nestor Caunan.
In our world today, rarely do we see people who are truly compassionate to others. Seldom do we find people who have malice free intentions. These are the likes of people who keep me from losing faith in humanity. Such is the person Tatay Nestor is and I met him when I was having the worst of day.
I, together with my buddies, was headed to Burot Beach unsuspecting of what was waiting for us. Everything that I had planned was ruined. We were unprepared. We are newbies to the world of traveling so I take careful preparations very seriously. That was not the case for our Burot Beach weekend escapade. Every single part of my carefully drawn itinerary was discarded. It almost felt like we were headed into battle empty handed which almost made me fall back and surrender and forget about the weekend adventure I have dreamed of for so long. To make things worse, I was with four bullies who did nothing but piss me off.
As we were on our way to Burot Beach near dusk, I spent my time silently on the road deep in thoughts while the bullies that I was with went on pestering me the whole time. I didn’t wanna burst their bubbles so I kept my dismay all to myself. I was wondering if I would be able to see that beautiful sunset in Burot Beach most of the blogs I’ve read have promised since the sun was nearly bidding goodbye. We were going really fast but I didn’t mind because I was thinking “it was good, we’ll get there sooner enough” until we hit that blind curve. Our vehicle tried to overtook a 10-wheeler truck when suddenly another cargo truck appeared on the road speeding towards us. I didn’t know how it happened but we all came out unscathed. We were all stunned and everybody had the look of horror in their face. It was then we got the chance to talk to Tatay Nestor.
He was surprised to know it was our first time to travel to that part of Batangas and got more concerned after learning we have no contacts, friends or relatives there. I didn’t know if he was kidding but he warned us not to be too complacent about their lovely little town. Our conversation went around him constantly asking why we are visiting. Then the next thing I know he was offering us a lift on the way to Burot. My buddies were quick to accept his offer but I was at that time very hesitant though I didn’t have the guts to tell him NO.
Shortly after arriving in Calatagan, we found ourselves waiting in front of the Police Station. It was tatay Nestor’s suggestion to wait for him there while he picks up his truck. I still felt uneasy about him so I asked my buddies to quickly inform one of the policemen about our situation and to fish for some information about our good Samaritan. Minutes after that, he appeared with his Mitsubishi pickup truck. Everybody seemed to know him, even the police officer we were talking to remarked, “You guys will be alright.” If I was to take that literally then life would be less complicated but I was paranoid so it didn’t really help in keeping me from thinking horrible scenes I often see in movies which we possibly might end up with.
I sat on the passenger’s seat while the boys settled at the truckbed so I was left alone with Tatay Nestor on our way to Burot beach aboard his pickup truck. We were quiet for a moment then to break the silence, he asked once more “Why would you like to write about our beaches?” I gave him the same answers I had given him during the first time he asked me the question. This time he blatantly replied, “I do not want our town discovered. The last thing this town needs are greedy businesses sucking up the wealth of this town, leaving our people suffering more and making a chosen few richer. What we need is improved agricultural system. We would appreciate anything that would improve the lives of our people but not those that will take it away from us.” I realize then what he was pointing at but I didn’t know how to respond. I just listened to him as he went on sharing his perspective, grateful to have learned new things from a man I thought I couldn’t trust. Before I met Tatay Nestor, I didn’t care at all about politics and every bullshit that comes along with it but his points of view made me think otherwise. That insightful conversation with him ignited the patriot in me, not that I would be seen rallying in Mendiola but it made me become a person who is now more responsible towards our country.
We arrived in Burot beach minutes before the sunset and as promised, it was breathtakingly spectacular. The beach have fallen a bit short of my expectations but I didn’t really care. What mattered to me more was I met someone whom I have gotten all wrong but taught me all the right things there is to this world. We initially planned to stay in Calatagan overnight but Tatay Nestor got us another place free of charge that made us stay for another day. We could never be thankful enough so we asked him how are we gonna be able to repay his kindness to which he just said “Just be good to other people and help whenever help is necessary. “
A GOOD SAMARITAN indeed. 🙂
***Do you have inspiring travel story? By all means share it in the comments field below. (Winks)