I would like to share with you a story about the best and the worst in people, a true story experienced by our eldest granddaughter Bianca, who stays in Sta Rosa, Laguna. This is her story.

“Last March 1, 2009, my bag was stolen from our car at the church’s parking lot while Mom and I were hearing mass that evening. My bag had all my cards, my planner, my ipod, wallet, some cosmetics and other items in it.

Then on March 4 a stranger called my cellphone and identified himself as Roy Ante, from Batangas. Some people had found my bag, reported it to Antonio Casas, the councilor in that area. Roy was helping his kumpare Tony contact all the victims. Apparently several bags had been dumped by the thieves after they had victimized many different churches from our parish in Sta Rosa to a church in Nueva Ecija. I was requested to get my bag from Tony Casas in Batangas City.

So Sunday, March 15, I let my brother Bryan accompany me, and together with our driver Kuya Bernard, we went to pick up my bag. I began to realize that I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I was when Bryan asked me if I had confirmed if this Mr. Casas was actually a councilor. I began to be nervous.

When we arrived and met with Roy and Tony, they had my ID and ipod with them. I found it really strange that the thieves hadn’t taken my ipod … so of course, my nervousness increased. We followed their jeep to go to the house where my bag was. Then suddenly the jeep stopped and picked up another man in sando and shorts … with a huge bolo sticking out from under his shirt!! We started to get scared.

As we continued in convoy, the jeep turned down a very small street, only one car wide, and we started to go deeper into the barrio. I called my mom and described to her where we were, just in case, and asked her to pray. Finally we came to the end of the street and had to walk to the pinakadulo na house, at the end of a farm. It turned out that the farmer had found the bags at the edge of the land he was working on. It seems the robbers were driving along the Star tollway and had just tossed the bags from their car onto the bank of the tollway.

When the farmer brought out my bag, Councilor Casas and Roy asked me to inspect my things. Everything was complete except for my money, which really wasn’t much, about P30 in coins. I never really carry around much money with me; that must have really frustrated the thieves!

I wanted to do something good for them. It so happened that Bryan had some cans of baby’s milk (he has a baby daughter) in the car, and seeing that the farmer and his wife had a small baby, I knew they needed milk. The farmer and his wife were very hesitant to accept the milk, but we insisted and they did eventually. But the councilor and Roy would not even look at the reward money of P500 each that I tried to give them. They did not even let me treat them to merienda. Councilor Casas said that if I see a beggar on the street, I should just give the money to that person instead.”

Bianca ended her story saying, “It’s amazing how the people who really needed the help I was offering refused, just asking me to pass on their kindness to others. It was a blessing to have met this fine group of people. So the story that started with the lowest of the low – thieves that had absolutely no fear of God and had created much trouble for churchgoers this Lenten season, ended with my meeting the best of people.”

Contributed by Nancy R. Catan, BCBP Manila

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