It was around 11:45 in the evening. I was inside a white taxi cab alone with the driver somewhere in Pasig City. I was sitting at the back as we both listened to an FM station. To some, there was nothing so special about that. But for me, at that moment, I was having a mixture of emotions. It was my first time to be alone in a taxi cab since a friend who was then with me when we rode the cab had alighted already.
Earlier prior to the taxi ride, I and a friend were invited over a seminar of a networking company. I didn’t have doubts of attending the seminar since it was my boss who invited us. Only the speakers were very engrossed in discussing the business (which I did admire because of the enthusiasm and all) that they didn’t mind talking and talking. Alas! We left the company’s office at past 11!
Back with the Taxi story, I was faced with uncertainty. Negative thoughts and what if’s were overflowing but I resisted and started praying. After minutes of silence, I finally gained strength and talked to Manong Driver.
“LPG na ho ba ang gamit niyo?”
“Hindi Ma’am, may side effect daw yun eh…”
“Nakakahilo po ganun?”
My cellphone rang. My mom and dad back home were both worried. I heard my mom’s trembling voice over the phone, but I assured them that I would be safe and that they had nothing to worry about. After the phone call, Manong driver turned off the radio. Then our conversation went on.
“Ah nakikinig po ba kayo ng AM?”
“Eh di kilala niyo po sina Kombatsero?”
“Oo naman… Sina Anthony Taberna at Jerry Baja… Nakatutuwa sila…”
“Oo nga po eh… Kakaiba silang announcers… eh sa DZRH po, nakikinig kayo?”
“Ah oo… si Joe Taruc… Nakikinig din ako…”
“Eh Manong, yung station po na nasa tabi ng DZRH nakikinig ho kayo?”
“Yung DZAS ba yun?”
I was surprised and glad upon hearing that he knows 702 DZAS, a non commercial Christian broadcasting station that I listen to most of the time.
“Opo. Yung DZAS po…Yung katabi ng DZRH.”
“Oo… Yung puro Bible dun di ba?”
I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know if he would listen to me but I guessed the conversation was God’s way of unfolding realities to me. I cleared my throat and said,
“Opo. Pero may iba rin silang program…Hindi lang puro tungkol sa Bible…
Ako po nakikinig kay Pastor Ed Lapiz… “Pang 6:30 pm po yun.. Nakakatuwa rin ang program niya..”
“Makikinig nga rin ako… Teka, ano bang religion mo?”
This time, I prayed silently that I may be able to share how God has touched my life in ways I cannot explain and that it’s more than being part of a religion, it is more of personal relationship with Jesus.
“Protestant po… Nasira kasi yung TV namin dati kaya nakikinig ako sa DZAS. At malaki po naitulong nun sa relationship ko kay Lord. Kayo po anong religion niyo?”
He mentioned about a particular religion which is also very distinct in their doctrines. I found out that he used to be a faithful member of that religion in his early years but because of questions regarding their practices, he joined a Protestant group and became a choir member.
“Masaya nga eh.. di ba may mga kantahan din kayo?”
After sometime, he went back to his own religion and is now an inactive member. His wife is a member of another religion. Presently, he doesn’t attend church regularly, but I was blessed when he said,
“Pero ma’am, napansin ko, kapag may relasyon ka sa Diyos, hindi ka matitibag… Gaano man kahirap ang buhay…”
“Ay opo… Talaga naman pong relasyon sa Diyos yung mahalaga… Alam niyo po yun, kapag nagigisng ka sa umaga, may kakaibang tuwa.”
“Oo nga ho Ma’am… Totoo ho iyon.. ay.. Ma’am malapit na ho tayo sa Buendia.”
“Oo nga ho… Magkano ho lahat?”
“112 ho… Anong oras nga ho ulit yung sinsabi niyo?”
“Yung kay Ed Lapiz po ba? 6:30 po ng gabi… pero maganda rin yung iba pa nilang programa.. Basta, makinig lang po kayo sa DZAS.”
“Ano bang religion nung sa DZAS?”
“Manong, open po yung DZAS sa lahat ng religion. Matutuwa po kayo sa programs nila.. Kahit anong oras kayo makinig…Salamat Manong… God bless po…”
“Thank you din po Ma’am… God bless po..”
As I left the taxi cab, there was unexplainable joy. I wasn’t able to share how I accepted Jesus as my Savior or lead him in prayer of acceptance, but I could feel at that moment that God was working on Manong Driver’s life. He is hungry for God, I could feel. He listened to me and was even interested with the program I was saying. We came from different religions, yet we didn’t have any arguments. I was really happy meeting Manong Driver. It was an encouragement to always testify for Jesus. I was even blessed of his own testimony.
Meantime, around 12:20, I was in Buendia, still waiting for a bust bound to Southmall. All I saw were jeepneys bound to Baclaran. I was hesitant to take Baclaran route because I didn’t feel comfortable. But I was not afraid. I know God would never leave me. I was about to finally give in to Baclaran jeep but by God’s grace, an FX bound to Southmall arrived. I came home safe and sound with my mom and brother waiting for me at 7/11 BFRV.
*First published in 2008 when I was still a newbie in the city.