Road Angel Ric

I was driving on my way to work last week when the car just suddenly stopped. The indicator for the oil suddenly lit up and after that, the car I was driving refused to budge.

It was raining that time so it was the perfect day to get stuck in the middle of the road. I called our driver to ask for some advice and he suggested that I try and get a taxi driver to help me push the car on to the service road to avoid being towed by a wrecker.

I could not get out of the car as I was on a main, busy road and it was raining. Had I stepped out, I would either catch a bad cold or get run over. Given that scenario, I opened the window, and stuck out my waving hand even as I had my hazard lights on. 15-20 minutes passed. Still no help in sight.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, there he was right next to my car -- a thin man with salt and pepper hair, topped with a baseball cap. He motioned as if to say that he would help me push the car to the service road at the side.

I thought that was it. I was ready to get a taxi to get to work and then just have the driver check out the stalled car later. The man, however, now known to me as Road Angel (that's my term) Ric had other plans. He asked me to open the hood of the car so he could check it -- and as I did (what did I have to lose -- the car was stalled anyway?) I said a silent prayer that Ric would not turn out to be a con artist.

Probably noticing my hesitation, he said: "Mekaniko ho, ako." He then proceeded to check different parts of the car out and it was a bit surprising that he had a complete set of tools.

He tinkered around, here and there, and while doing so, another man went near the car to make uzi or to find out what was happening. He helped Ric out by holding an umbrella up for him and by telling me when to start and stop the car as Ric checked under the hood. All that time, I kept going in and out of my car, still with an umbrella as it was still raining, watching them closely lest they get anything from the car.

After 20 minutes or so, the car started. Mang Ric said there was something wrong with this valve (canister valve I would later find out) and a fuse which he found inside the car -- somewhere near the clutch. Prior to checking the stuff, by the way, he checked out my oil level which turned out to be okay.

I was able to bring home the same car later that day and it worked fine. The hubby brought it to a legitimate service outlet and what do you know? Mang Ric was right in every way.

I had prepared P600 to give to the two guys who helped me out -- P500 to Mang Ric and P100 to the guy who helped out. I figured he would be happy with the P500 -- the consultation fee of a US trained pedia for about the same number of minutes. To my surprise, though, he said: "Gawin niyo na hong P600 -- kesa naman ma-wrecker pa kayo." What do you know. Times are really hard -- even angels need extra pay.

Our driver says a wrecker would cost me P1,000 minimum. Anyway, I gave the extra P100 right there and then -- not a good idea to argue with someone who made your car work right? I was just so thankful that someone actually helped me -- and you can't argue with a working car!

Angels exist around us and they come in different forms. Road Angel Ric was not what I imagined -- but God always sends us what we need -- at the right time and sometimes, when we least expect it.

To Road Angel Ric -- you may not have access to the net -- but you have been prayed for for whatever it is your family may need at this time. To all readers, extend whatever kindness you may give to people around you. What goes around, comes around.

[By Angelica Viloria | Monday, October 10, 2005]

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