Rowell Santos whipped his wallet out of his pocket, pulled out a frayed photo of his lovely daughter. He looked up at me and explained in Tagalog that “all I want is to ensure that my daughter finishes her college. She is just in her second year and I still have another child in third year high school. After they are finished, I can rest”. Glancing at Rowell, he didn’t fit my stereotype of the wild bus drivers who ply recklessly along EDSA. He looked refined and educated. He sighed, “Yes, I am a college graduate. I ended up being a bus driver. It is hard being a bus driver in the Philippines. I barely get any rest. We work more than 8 hours a day When my bus is not functional, I don’t have income.”
I saw the hopeful look of a parent who just wants the best for his children. Don’t we all? I understand, I patted his shoulder.
Me, Rowell Santos and Rochelle after our short chitchat