Last Sunday, I met 2 men. One I met at the airport, and one I met at Starbucks.
AIRPORT I was lining up to get my ticket checked by the guard when the man in front of me asked what time my flight was. I thought he was just curious, so I told him. One thing led to the other, and he asked me to have breakfast with him. I thought he was kidding, but by the time I was about to line up at the check-in counter, he dragged me to the one for the Mabuhay Miles passengers and got me a pass for the Mabuhay lounge. As we were lining up, he pointed to the long line at the other check-in counters and said “See, if you hadn’t gone with me, you’d be waiting in line for more than 15 minutes to get checked in”.
When we got to the lounge, we started talking. I vaguely remember our conversation. What I do recall is that he graduated from La Salle (the last batch that wasn’t Co-Ed); he works at a call center agency; he knew the executive whatever of HSBC (a 28 year-old man who graduated from CSB); he’s looking into this new land relocating project that’ll earn him a lot (hihihi not telling you ze figurez); he wasn’t able to apply what he learned in his course to his jobs. In our entire conversation, one thing he said that struck me was this: "It doesn’t matter what you finish in college. What matters is what you become after you’ve graduated".Right before I had to leave, I asked him if he often met people the way he met me. He said he met most of his closest friends and best business partners while waiting for his flight.
After our conversation, he escorted me to the gate, wished me luck in my studies and hoped that I learned at least one thing from our encounter.
STARBUCKS From the airport, I went straight to my house to get ready for a lunch date with my cousin. After our lunch date, I decided I’d have some alone time in Starbucks and read a book. 15 minutes into reading, a man stood beside the chair across me and, sensing that he wanted to sit, without looking up from my book, I told him he could sit down. As he was sitting down, I saw a huge crucifix dangling from his neck – he was a priest. I put my book down and greeted him with a nod. As I was about to continue reading, he started a conversation.
Guys, I cannot stress how weird it was, sitting in Starbucks with a priest for more than two hours. YEP, THAT’S RIGHT, MORE THAN 2 HOURS. During our “bonding session”, I didn’t learn much about the bible, but I learned a lot about the priest.
He’s 79 year’s old. His wife’s 75. He has 10 kids. Yep, 10. When he saw how I reacted, he said “what? God said ‘Go forth and multiply’ so that’s exactly what I did”. 4 of his kids are living in the States. One of his daughters asked him to live with her (just him), but he declined. He said, and I quote, “why would I go there without my wife? And even if she moved there with me, who’ll take care of my house? I have a house here and I’m perfectly happy with my life here in Manila”. He has 34 grand children. He’s been serving under his congregation for more than 19 years, and he’s been a priest for 7. He was a pilot at the age of 23, but his wife (then girlfriend) told him “I won’t marry you if you won’t quit being a pilot. If you’re a pilot, you go to different places and meet different people. If you meet different people, you’ll meet other girls”.
I didn’t learn much from my encounter with the priest other than I have incredible patience. When he stood up for his bathroom break an hour into our conversation, the guard approached me and said “miss, I’d leave now if I were you. That priest comes here often and he takes forever to shut up. If you have other plans, if you want to go on with your life, I suggest you leave now”.
WHOT EYE LURND It’s fun talking to strangers. I mean, it’s fun when they do all the talking and reveal a lot about their life, sharing their insights and experiences while you just sit there listening and enjoying the free food. Sometimes people just need someone to listen.
Yeah, I really don’t know why I’m telling you guys this.