By Nikko Dizon
I almost lost my wallet today.
The day started quite normally. I covered a press conference at the Bayan office then had lunch with Nato and Tads. Afterwards, I went to a nearby bank to get some gas money.
I carry a huge bag, a birthday gift from friends last week. It's a fantastically designed piece of work, my bag. Maraming security features. Ergonomic. Hindi mabigat kahit may dala akong laptop. Siga ang dating pero cute din naman. BUT that moment at the bank's parking lot, I thought this bag failed me!
I couldn't find my wallet!! I was starting to perspire as I rummaged through my huge bag. Where was my wallet?? I wasn't worried about the money. I had barely P500 in it. I was freaking out over my IDs and cards-- my driver's license, company ID, credit card, ATM card, Medicard. And I had keepsakes in that wallet. Some I consider my lucky charm. My wallet itself, given by my cousin, was lucky. I never ran out of money with that wallet. I swear.
I drove back to the carinderia (which by the way served fabulous chicken curry!) to check if someone found my wallet. Nada. I decided to trace back my steps, back to where I had parked my car. Nothing.
I walked along Maaralin Street under the intense midday heat but my hands were getting cold and clammy. I needed to find my wallet. I asked some people at a sari-sari store if they saw a brown wallet on the street.
Someone said he saw another man in a white shirt with a plastic bag pick up something which looked like a wallet. The man had walked towards the rows of houses before disappearing into one of the gates.
The man didn't reach the end of the street, I was told. He was somewhere in there, in one of the houses or apartments. I had to find him.
I went inside a row of apartments and knocked on each and every door. No, sorry, I was told. They hadn't seen a man in a white shirt.
I was trying hard not to cry.
I received a text from Nato, pointing out some errors in my breaking news story (hehe). I called him up to tell him that I was looking for my wallet outside their office.
He came down right away to help me find it. Nato started to ask his neighbors and go around the area too.
Meantime, I reached this preschool with a white fence. The gate was open, leading towards a row of apartments at the back.
I rang the bell on two doors. An elderly woman said she didn't see any man in a white shirt. A middle aged woman next door told me the same thing.
Finally, I reached the second to the last apartment door.
I peered through the screen. I saw a man in a white shirt, seated at the dining table, his back to me. My heart was racing.
"Hello po. Ako po si Nikko. Hinahanap ko po ang wallet ko, nahulog sa kalye kanina..."
The man turned around and gave me a big smile. He adjusted his eyeglasses. "Dizon? Taga-Inquirer?" His companions were smiling as well.
I couldn't remember how I got to the dining table but I knew I gave him a hug!
He handed me my wallet as he told me he was about to call Inquirer so that I could be informed that he had found my wallet.
The man introduced himself as Ka Willy, deputy secgen of KMP (Kilusang Mambubukid ng Pilipinas). I've never covered KMP extensively so I've never really met Ka Willy or other KMP officials or members, except for Carl.
I was beside myself with joy and gratitude! I called up Nato to tell him I'm in KMP's office!
Nato arrived in a few seconds and said he heard "Oh my God, Oh my God!" outside the gate (hindi naman niya sinabi kung parang si Kris Aquino yung narinig niya) and assumed I had found my wallet!
And imagine, who'd ever think that the man who found my wallet was a colleague of Nato's?
To top it all off, KMP had just moved into their new office on Maaralin Street the week before!
What if KMP didn't have their office there? Ka Willy wouldn't have found my wallet. What if someone else found it, took the measly sum and threw my wallet away? In fact, Nato and I tried to look for it in a small basura site along the street, unmindful (?) of the stench.
Thank God to the kindness of people like Ka Willy, Nato, and the man who gave me clues that led me to Ka Willy, I now have this unassuming but very important piece of me back.
In the car, I inspected my bag again. How did my wallet slip out? I realized I forgot to zip close the part that was supposed to secure my belongings. Ahay. There was nothing wrong with my bag naman pala. Careless lang ako :D
PS: And why didn't I notice that my wallet fell right beside my car? Kasi, I was making a mental note to ask my cousin kung ano ang magandang brand ng hair iron na bilhin. Hehe.