Saturday, 8 October 2016


Photo Credits: Jonathan Mandin with our dear BSMT II-A (Loi, Arabelle, Eric, Roland, Ollice,LG, Keith, Maureen, Ruby, Angela, Jejie, Marj, Jessa, Jecel and Geena.)
         We had our pilgrimage walk last October 5, 2016 from Holy Name University (HNU) down to Nuestra Senora de Asuncion (Our Lady of theAssumption) , Dauis Church. The moment we arrived our destination, we peacefully sat at the doorway of Cafe Lawis , adjacent to the church, to take a rest.

A taho vendor, carrying on top of his shoulder two large buckets that hang on each ends of a wooden pole, suddenly came near us shouting of the TAHO he was selling with a big grin.Our attention was caught off when he surprisingly bombarded us weird & silly questions:

"Unsa nga isda ang di kahibaw mulangoy?"
"Si Pitoy namatay. Pila'y namatay?"
"Unsa nga isda ang katulo balik balikon ang iyang ngan?"

He even pursued that if one of us could answer any of his questions, he would give us a glass of taho for every correct answer for free.

What we had formerly heard broke our stillness.
 And in awe, we vibrantly replied “Sige ba kuya!!" Then he started mocking his wit, asking us his silly-yet-funny queries and trivia.  
But we find it really disappointing at first. 
Not because he failed entertaining us, but because of the mere fact that we hadn’t traced any hint of answers  even in our hemispheres. That how tricky it was!

Perceiving such frown faces, he made the next batch of questions much easier. Luckily I answered one of those correctly. And yes you are right! He gave me a big grin and a glass of his taho. Thinking that it was just one of his tricks I exclaimed,
“SERYOSO? Ihatag nimo nig libre kuya? Di ba day ka maalkansi?   
(Drawing coins from my pocket which I was about to lend him.)

But then he said, ayaw lang gud still with that smile.
He continued the barter not just of his taho, but of his heart, of candid smiles and unconditional laughter. For a moment, the hallway of where we were seated was filled with joy, bliss, cheers and of plastic cups & straws with an aroma of soy and silken tofu.
I dont know, but for once we felt like kids again - happily sipping our favourite childhood snack in front of a Santa with his taho sleigh.

But as curious as children could be, we still couldnt get the point of him doing such charity instead of earning for the living he had used to.  And finally we heard this from him,
  Sayang mangud kada uli naku naa pay mabilin dili nako mahurot ug baligya nya balik balikan ug ilog sa mga bata nya ang mahitabo malumping akong butanganag taho,  mao nang maypag ani nalang nako ihatag sa mga tao mapalipay pa nako sila nya malingaw sad kog apil.
He handed us more glasses without any hesitation and he really was amazing.

Skimming the surface of the bean curd, tossing out excess water, scooping the bean curd itself into two of the cups, adding sago, soy and mixing it in, he waved his one final question and asked us:

“Sige gaan mo nakog mga .... 30 minutes samtang mag- ihap kos akung halin.”, he even added.

With sarcasm, our answers hovered, 

“Teeeeyhowww” “Tofu”
“Silken Tofu with Sago Pearls and Brown Sugar Syrup” Etch...
But all of those were still incorrect. 

Later then, he bid us a goodbye for he was running out of time and he needs to be home already. With pleasure, we gratefully said,

“Salamat kaayo kuya!”
As he walked away, we could sight beads of sweat formed on his forehead yet he just wiped them off and continued walking despite the heavy taho set he was carrying in his shoulder. 

We indeed had a precious time with the stranger behind that taho set. We might not know him. He might not know us. Nevertheless, he was undeniably a man of golden heart. He does things even if it means earning less and knowing he’ll need to earn more. But it is his love, humility and passion in making people smile and laugh in his own little ways, that made him worthy.

He may not be as successful as our society today may have had stereotyped him as, but nothing makes him happier than seeing people happy too and dedicating himself in his work. Thus, nothing could wipe out that success in him. Not of content but of happiness. Not of earning but of love. 

People like Kuya Taho Vendor of Dauis deserve a lofty respect in this society. Street Vendors, Traffic Enforcers, Tricycle Drivers, Streetsweepers, construction workers, garbage collectors, etc. They are all pillars in our every walks of life. They deserve to be treated equally because they share the same heart and happiness most of us have and yearn to. So as for you Kuya Taho Vendor, Gracias!  

We know how it demands a sacrifice earning something under the scorching heat of the sun and it is not easy to carry a heavy taho set, calling people’s attention to buy what you’re selling. You deserved our gratitude. You're such a great & good news.Thank you for teaching us what TAHO really means. We will never forget you!


 Contributed by:Anna Maureen Gastanes
Edited & Published by: Angelah Polot