A paperman’s walk during this crisis
READER’S VIEWS (The Freeman) - May 21, 2020 - 12:00am

Like many readers of a newspaper especially The FREEMAN, I’m also thankful for being lucky to know a paperman who delivers me one every morning. It’s been a month already since he started to pass by my place and consider me his new patron in our barangay. I feel pity for him because he would only take a walk like 7 kilometers everyday to deliver the morning paper to a reader like me.

There was a week when I almost spent the entire morning waiting for him. He did not come. What I thought maybe was he did not like the walkway going to my doorstep or maybe because of the No I.D, No Mask, NOT resident= No entry sign few blocks ahead in our neighbor. I couldn’t read the news online too because I don’t like many distractions on social media.

The next day he surprised me by his voice, “Newspaper ki!” and he handed it over me. He explained to me that he was sorry for not coming the other week. He told me his funny yet sad story when he was locked up for three days in the neighboring town Consolacion. He said that from Basak, Mandaue he would still deliver more papers to some readers living in the boundary of Consolacion. One time upon going home, he was asked by those men in the checkpoint area why he was able to pass through Consolacion. The town had a policy to allow Mandauehanons and Liloanons especially those who are living in boundary to enter and can buy groceries or go to the market every Wednesday. However, it was Monday when he was asked to stay in the town and wait until Wednesday based on how the men in the checkpoint understood the order. The paperman showed his I.D, his quarantine pass, and the other I.D like a border pass signed by some names in a newspaper company. Unfortunately, the man had no idea how should that I.D pass supposedly work in going in and out of the town and so he obeyed the officer and stayed.

I didn’t know if there was a funny thing in the paperman’s story because he seemed to enjoy what he told me. He continued that for three days and two nights he found himself befriending the security guard and staying at a guard room overnight. He used to deliver newspaper in San Narciso Parish that’s why the guard in-charge was also familiar with his face already. Every meal he would just go to the market for food and water and go back to the guard room for a temporary shelter. To cut the story short, the man was able to get out of the town on Wednesday and took a rest of the remaining days of the week.

Until now, I appreciate the paperman’s service and hard walk. Though sometimes the paper arrived late still I understand his situation.

I saw another familiar face in one I.D pass, a woman who also walk with a bunch of newspaper whom I saw everytime I had my morning run before the COVID-19 outbreak. The man told me that the woman in the picture is his wife.

I felt sorry for the paperman the other day after I insisted on him to come back to me right after all his delivery. Surely it would take more steps for him. He did came back with few remaining papers on his hand. He then smiled when I asked him if his backpack was good enough to keep my little share of blessing for his family.

Edmer John Caballes

Cebu City

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