What do you do if out of nowhere you realized that you need additional flour for the cake you are baking or you need eggs for your omelette? What if you feel like drinking something really cold and your fridge is not working? Or what about you have visitors and you don’t have stocks of snacks to serve?
In that case, most of the Filipinos I know would usually run to the nearest sari-sari store in the village.
Even before several convenient stores have sprouted, in the Philippines, Sari-sari stores have always been a big help to the Filipino people and we could probably say, that this is like our own brand. Other countries may have small stalls or convenient stores, but nothing compares to what we have here.
In the far flung places, sari-sari store owners usually have the means and they serve as the “support” to the community—providing resources at affordable prices and even offering flexible payment for the people.
Today (please read May 8,2015) I had to run to the nearest sari-sari store to buy something cold as it was burning hot. I was welcomed by an old lady whose smile I cannot fathom.
“Long time no see ah.”
“Oo nga po. Busy po eh.”
Despite of being not so close, the “tindera” has always been welcoming and accommodating. Asking how I was doing, sharing her stories when she was still young etc.
That day, apart from the softdrinks, I had to buy ice because it was extremely hot. The “tindera”, without any hesitation told me to go to another store, a couple of blocks away because that store had ice.
I was so much in awe hearing that. I mean, even if that means I could buy other stuff from the other store, she still provided solution to my problem even if it means she might lose profit in the future.
More than a sari-sari store owner, she was more of a friend.
This reminds me of how I should treat people. I live not just because I have to live, but I live because I have a purpose. And my life should be a pleasing gift to the Lord. The way I live reflects what I believe in.
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Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.