By Mari-An Santos
“I believe there are angels among us, sent down to us from somewhere up above,” goes one of my favorite songs. This is apparent in little miracles of daily life. But it was even more vivid during my recent holiday in Thailand.
I so enjoyed the hospitality and kindness of Siam last year that I returned with two friends in tow. As we were by no means experts on traversing the streets of Thailand, we often relied on the kindness of strangers.
There was the young man in Bangkok who I asked if I was at the right bus stop to MBK. Indicating that he could not speak English, he proceeded to call a friend on his mobile. When his friend was unreachable, he asked people for directions. And as it turned out, I was on the wrong side of the road. He not only pointed out where I should wait, he also helped me cross the street.
There was the girl on the train from Bangkok to Ayutthaya, who along with her mother, was making flowers from ribbons for her brother to offer at the temple. We asked what they were doing, entranced by the rhythmic movement and ease by which they transformed a simple band into a floral replica, and soon, she was asking about the Philippines. At the end of the ride, we gave them some polvoron baon and she gave each one of us a rose.
There was this woman and her husband in Ayutthaya who we asked about how we could walk get to our house from the night market. She said that it was too far for us to walk. They let us ride in their car and drove us there instead! She gave us her number to call in case we needed anything else while in Thailand.
There was the sales clerk from 7-Eleven who, a few minutes after I asked for directions to the Warorot Market in Chiang Mai, drove up in his motorcycle as I was walking down the street, clutching the tiny sketch he had made for me. He said that he would take me part of the way since he was on his way there too.
There was this couple giving an old friend a temple tour of Chiang Mai that generously offered me a seat on their Benz to join them for the day. I ended up exploring Doi Suthep, a popular hilltop temple frequented by tourists, and a little known pagoda that had a 600-year-old history. We had a late dinner at an authentic Thai restaurant.
God has situated angels all over to help us in many different ways in the form of people we meet on our way. When you open yourself up—of course, not too much, but just right—people reveal to you their most beautiful qualities and you in turn are able to show others the good in you.