It was probably 10 years ago. My family which includes all my maternal grandmother’ offprings offsprings live in a compound. All the neighbors are basically relatives. Aunts, uncles, cousins. And outside our compound is my mom’s cousins and their children. Anyway, our family usually have a yearly out of town vacation for a couple of days. We would rent a villa and we would be swimming in the pool, barbeque, karaoke, etc. That year, it had been planned on a holy week, since it’s going to be a long weekend. From Thursday to Sunday. we are going to a place which is only about 2-3 hours away from home. My work at that time starts at 1 pm until 10 or so.

And in that office, once you have your task done for the day, you can go. I was kind of thinking that, that particular day, since it’s gonna be a long weekend, there’s not much to do and I can leave early, and just follow my family to the place or have one of them pick me up somewhere. I have my things packed and they brought it with them. Turned out, I had to work until past 11 pm. So, my commute to the place was later than what I had expected. And the buses are quite few, so I took one that would bring me 1 ride closer. It was past midnight. I was actually in the middle of a place I am really not familiar with. Then waiting for the next bus took so long.

I was already thinking of heading back home, then reminded myself, I don’t really have keys to the house. No relative will let me spend the night over to their house because they are all gone. I was thinking of my other possible options, at the same time, vigilant of my surroundings. There might be people waiting to snatch my bag, I’m afraid to take out my phone because it might be snatched from my hands too. And those things are really not unheard of. Then suddenly, a guy approached me and introduced himself. He asked where am I going and told him about my family. He said that he’s heading the same direction and knows an alternate means of commute, not a bus, as it seems that buses stops at midnight. He also told me he was watching 2 men already walking beside me and was thinking the same thing I was thinking.

I also noticed those guys that’s why I was walking towards other commuters waiting for a bus or whatever as well. So, I decided to trust this stranger. He even paid for my fare. While en route, I have called my cousins and I was told they would pick me up in a certain place. Jun, the stranger, didn’t get off where he was supposed to get off, and go with me to the meeting place with my cousins. He didn’t leave until I was with my cousins. As a courtesy, we have offered to drive him home, for making up for his gesture but he refused. We can’t stop thanking him.

His name incidentally is the same with my late grandfather, so my grandma won’t stop saying, it is actually him. I gave him my phone number expecting him to call because we talked about work and he said he’s got some proposal, etc.. He never did.

He maybe a real person and not some angel with wings or something. But he was my guardian angel that night. He ‘protected’ me from would be ‘attackers’ and he pacified my mind. It may also not be a good example going with strangers, but my judgement served me good that night.

Bajo Hernandez