CHRONICLES OF MY ASIAN ODYSSEY -Chapter 2
Friendship that defied colors,borders and territories
Three hours and a half after we left Guam,we touched down at Manila international airport .Same old airport I land to almost every year.Honestly, I am tired of landing in this old airport every year I come home. The Philippine government just completed the new airport 3 years ago but until now they still use the old airport for international flight arrivals.Interesting fact about my jeepney driver who picked me up in the airport. A year ago,I saw a you tube documentary made by BBC about a London busdriver who went to the Philippines and experienced having a taste of being a jeepney driver in the unforgiving and treacherous jungle of Manila traffic.Curiosity hound as I am about travel and documentray films and with the location shot in the Philippines, I was on a mission to meet Rogelio -the jeepney driver who was selected among hundreds of Filipino jeepney driver applicants to star in the documentary.I took my chance in emailing JOSH WEST the British bus driver who was the main character in the documentary from the BBC you tube account. Surprise of all surprises, Josh West responded my email and told me that he will gladly contact Rogelio and will ask his permission If i can meet him.Rogelio gladly obliged that he will meet me at the airport and drive me to my hotel.That was last year 2011 when my whole family went home to celebrate my mother's 88th birthday in Laoag,my little hometown north of the Philippines.That started the ball rolling and started a friendship that spans the globe in 3 continents -Asia, America and Europe.Me,Josh and Rogelio are now friends and since then ,Rogelio is my designated driver as my airport pick up everytime i go home to Manila.We three have Skyped together,texted each other, emailed each other and have gotten to know each other's families,Josh now being a newly ordained father to Little Ruby, Rogelio 's 3 grandchildren, who calls me now Tita Mel (A filipino endearing name for an aunt) doing quite well in school - thanks to the scholarship fund set up by Josh in London to help Rogelio's family and me who helps Rogelio on a regular basis whether monetary or otherwise. I had a blast when I arrived in Manila and met Rogelio's family in full force.I surprised his grandchildren with tons of chocolates of different kinds that never in their lives have they seen. Their eyes lit up like the sky when they saw the bagful of American and European chocolates all for them.Unfortunate kids who live in the slums are very easy to please and It does not take much to make them happy. I can't deny I love kids having no kids of my own.You can never go wrong with chocolates when you give that as presents to children.I hope someday I can make a difference in the lives of these young children.Josh and I have talked about visiting each other in London as I am due to go to Europe again in February. It will be a blast meeting him the first time and meeting his family.Like wise ,my husband and I have extended invitiation to Josh and his family to spend sometime with us in California which they loved when he honeymooned in San Francisco.Both Josh and Rogelio now seems like long time friends and brothers.
And so the story continues..... Next chapter currently being constructed.