Let me tell you about the diwata of Burgos Street.
Burgos is this side street in Makati City. Hotels, pubs, beer gardens and brothels line up the street – bathing the nights in their neon glow. Here and there, you will spot a lady of the night plying the street, trying to snatch the expat johns who pay really well. With the whores, beggars try to ask for your money, or maybe even, just your food.
Enter the diwata of Burgos Street.
You could see her coming from a mile away. Her hair falls down in dark, soft curls, framing her heart shaped face. Her face is luminous, despite the fact that she hardly wears any makeup at all.
She is dressed casually, most of the time in a simple white shirt and slacks that swish quietly when she passes you by. She looks like an angel.
You see, she walks this way every morning and every night just to save a little bit on parking. She parks at a nearby mall with a fixed parking rate and then she walks to her office. It is only thirty minutes away but in the hot and humid Philippine weather, that is an eternity. Some days I walk with her. Most of the time she walks alone.
She brings with her a satchel. In that satchel, she brings treats for the children and babies. An apple here. A sandwich there. The sampaguita sellers know that she will buy all their sampaguitas for the night.
One time, she took two children with her to eat roasted chicken. She does this with the brightest smile on her face. Her beauty is a given, but her kindness shines through.
To the beggars, she is a diwata, a goddess come to bring them a little respite this cruel, cruel world.
Say hi to her if you see her in Burgos Street. And if you want, join her in bringing some light into the darkest corners of the world.
I know I will.
Ang Huling Hugotero