Stories of honesty
JUST BE - Bernadette Sembrano (The Philippine Star) - September 16, 2012 - 12:00am

Jaime Mayor, the 48-year-old “honest kutsero,” does not claim to be a saint. When Jaime was still a kutsero in Binondo, he admitted keeping some of the things left in the kalesa, not knowing where to return the items. Thirty years after, Jaime landed in the headlines after returning a huge sum of money left in his kalesa by French tourists.

He felt nervous when he saw the money, he told us during his interview in our morning show, Umagang Kay Ganda. However, Jaime did not have second thoughts about returning the cash. When we asked him why, I was half-expecting Jaime to say that it was his upbringing that made him honest. Instead, his answer was simple: He was simply following the orders of his employers to return items left in their kalesa.

Did he need the money? Surely, the P200,000 would be a big help to the kutsero with a family of four. Jaime only earns a meager P300 to P500 a day on commission. “It’s difficult to do the right thing, but you have to do it,” he said in Filipino, his voice cracking as he recalled how the other kutseros teased him that he should have gotten the money. But Jaime has no regrets.

Prior to the news about Jaime, another honest man, Ronald Gadayan surrendered P600,000 worth of cash and jewelry he found at NAIA Terminal 2. In a newspaper report, Ronald was quoted as saying: “They said they were all thankful that there was a good person like me who’s honest and was not tempted to take the bag for myself. But I wasn’t at all interested in keeping it. I grew up poor but my parents have always reminded me not to take what’s not mine.”

These two stories about honesty are just a few of the positive things we heard in the news the past weeks. It’s quite refreshing. If you want more positive news about the Philippines, check out

Last week, I wrote about two-year old Joshua Bandao from Ifugao who was suffering from retinoblastoma. And thankfully, a number of generous people heeded to the family’s call for help and have been instrumental in getting more financial support for Joshua. A fellow columnist referred Joshua’s case to PCSO and the agency has agreed to help with his chemotherapy.

Dr. Desiree Dy-Holaysan, a hematologist fellow, told us that the chemotherapy treatment on Joshua is just emergency measure to reduce the size of the tumor to help lessen the pain. The good news is that the mass is responding to the chemo, and Joshua’s breathing is less strained. The doctors are still evaluating what other protocol would be needed to treat the retinoblastoma.

I will keep you posted about Joshua’s condition. Joshua’s family extends their sincerest gratitude to all of you. Let us continue to pray for his recovery.

For those who want to help Joshua and other patients of Lingkod Kapamilya, you may deposit your donation at BDO Mother Ignacia (Account Name: AFI-Gabay Kapamilya; Account Number: 5630050932) and kindly fax the deposit slip to 02-4143363 so our staff can issue you a receipt.

Have a blessed Sunday!

(E-mail me at and follow me on Twitter @bernadette_ABS.)

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