The sun is rising and all I hear is the chirping of the birds and the crowing of rooster. Something is missing today, I didn’t hear Manong selling his puto. I wandered my way to his home, I could smell the puto but I couldn’t see Manong. I saw his wife sitting at the doorstep, i asked her about Manong, and she told me that Manong got really sick and was looking for someone to help sell his puto out the mall today. The mall is in the city is pretty far from our town, it would take 10 minutes of walking to the bus station and 2 hours on the bus just to get there. Manong’s wife told me that they would pay me to do it, maybe 1/3 of their earnings on this trip. I told Manong’s wife that I hope Manong would feel better soon and that i would do the trip. I went home and prepared myself for my first journey to the city.
5 minutes later I carried the putos and set out to the bus station. Manong is like a father to a lot of people, he would give puto to the less fortunate, not expecting anything in return. He knows everyone in our town and would always take time to hear out our problems. When ever people disagree they would bring their problem to Manong and he would be the mediator. I will keep an eye out for the less fortunate just like Manong. This would be my first trip to the city and also my first time being a puto vendor. I hopped on a bus just like most puto vendors, I cannot afford to buy bus tickets so I would pay the bus drivers some putos and go around the bus asking people if they would like to buy puto while the bus is heading towards the city. Vendors in the Philippines are just like walking stores, they are everywhere and they have almost anything, from snacks to desserts, to pizza to banana cue. Vendors would hop on a bus and get out of the bus when they arrive their destination. The bus was full with many different kinds of people, two people caught my attention, a pastor and a rich boy that sat beside the pastor.
After 30 minutes on the bus the pastor call me over and bought some puto from me. He told me to sit on his seat for a while because he needed to stretch his legs. I sat down. The priest seems to be in his thirties, and has a medium built. Something about him doesn’t feel like a normal pastor. He asked me where I was heading to sell my puto. I told him that I heading to the mall then he told me that he is heading that way too, the rich boy talked and said that he is heading there too. Then the boy just kept talking about what he was going to buy. The boy’s name was Juan, he sounds rich and obnoxious, he didn’t care what people thought of him.
I decided to return the seat to the Pastor and heading toward the bus door, just to get away from the annoying boy. The Pastor stopped me by asking me questions. Just for respect I stayed and answer his questions. He asked me questions about me like my name, my age, and where I am from. I told him that my name was Fernando, that I was 16. While I was telling him about my town he patted the head of the rich boy who was eating puto and looking out of the window. That rich obnoxious boy was his son. I thought that Pastor’s kid is suppose to be a role model, the way Juan was acting wasn’t a role model at all. I don’t understand how a good Pastor like him would have a son like that. I later found out that that Juan was my age. I maybe stereo-typing him but he stereo-typed me first. While we were talking, he asked me if I could read and write. That offended me deeply, I know that poor people may not afford school but that is why my parents work hard. I am in school and I study hard. When he asked me that question, his mom who sat in front of the Pastor stepped in and scolded him. His mom was an elegant woman, she seems to be a strict mom, but you can see in her eyes how much she loves his son. The Pastor then stepped in and apologized to me for his son’s rude behavior. I guess Juan is not just rich but he has good parents who knows what is right and wrong. I have good parents too. Even though my parents never had the chance to go to high school, I would never trade them for anything. They have taught me to be who I am now and i am thankful. This trip to the mall would be eye opening.
(The pictures above are pictures of an actual puto vendor and the next one is a close up picture of a puto.)