By Marcelo C. Ortigoza, Jr.
At 1:10 pm recently, I was inside a Davao City’s taxi bound for meeting with friends at a coffee shop near Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU).
“The text message was not complete. It should be MTS (Matina Times Square) near ADDU-High School,” I told the taxi driver when I hailed him for the correct destination.
|The Maro taxi where I lost my Rudy Project's sports watch.|
As we drove to MTS, Edwin, the driver, told me that he came from Barangay Kalaisan, Kidapawan City a neighboring village of Barangay Calunasan of my town Mlang, Cotabato Province.
As we conversed I felt the rubber strap of my Rudy Project’s watch was wet after I rinsed my face at the rest room of Aldavinco Market near ADDU.
I unstrapped my watch and put it on the upper part of my knapsack which was on my my lap in the front seat of the cab.
“This is quite a spacious car. Is this Toyota?” I posed.
“Yes sir, Vios 2016 model,” Edwin, who is the son of the former Barangay Captain of Barangay Kalaisan, said.
I told him that my brother has a rubber plantation in Barangay Calunasan near his village.
When we reached the coffee house I thanked him and fished out P100 bill when I saw P75 appeared on the taxi meter.
“Kini ang bayad, sa imuha na kanang kambio (Here’s the P100, the change is yours),” I said in Visaya.
When I settled with my friends at the table of the coffee house, I noticed, son of a gun, my sports watch ain’t on my left wrist.
“I knew it fell inside the taxi,” I told them as I lost hope I could no longer recover it just like what happens when one left his precious stuff in a Manila taxi.
“Did you ask a receipt from the driver as we usually do so we could ascertain the name of the taxi? Mike asked.
“No, I didn’t know the riding culture here,” I said.
“Did you take picture of the taxi drivers I.D near the front shield, the taxi’s name and number?” Lurie asked?
“No, I didn’t know that you’re doing that, too here,” I retorted.
“What’s the color of the taxi, Yellow?” Mike asked as he whisked out from his pocket his smart phone.
“Ah probably, I think yes!” I answered.
“It's Maligaya, I’ll search its landline number and I will tell the dispatcher that at 1:20 pm one of their taxes dropped you here from Aldavingco.
As Mike discussed with the dispatcher at the phone my predicament, I interrupted him that it was not yellow but a white taxi with two green lateral stripes painted on its two sides.
“It’s Maro Taxi!” Lurie exclaimed.
“Maro’ or Maru in Visayan has its equivalent word in English as clever or swindler as I remembered some smart aleck pals in college in Mindanao. Forget it, that watch was already lost,” I told myself after I heard the Visayan word “Maru” (Psst, I learned later that all those 600 Maro taxis are all owned by a lawyer surname Maro).
After I explained my predicament, the lady dispatcher told me on the phone of Lurie that she radioed all their 600 white Maro Taxis who ferried and dropped me at MTS.
After we exchanged pleasantries for one hour with my pals, a Maro Taxi appeared and stopped in front of the restaurant.
Mike exclaimed by pointing his finger to the taxi: Your watch is already here!
After I opened the door and took my watch, I thanked the driver and took photos of him for my blog.
I forked out another bills in my wallet to pay for the inconveniences and fuel Edwin spent in returning my watch.
“It’s okay sir, you don’t have to give me monies,” he said.
But I insisted and he accepted it
As we settled in our chairs, I thanked my friends for their persistent to call the dispatchers of those taxi companies, and I told them I was grateful to the dispatcher and second only to the driver.
“It should be the standard procedure of the driver to look at the location for any things the passenger left after he embarked,” I told them.
Would the driver have returned my watch without the emphatic call to the dispatcher by my friend?
I ain’t know. Anyway, the stuff was returned as I used it every day to see when I have to prepare to jump off for my morning daily radio program.
Thanks too to the people who run the Duterte City. The honesty of the dispatcher and the driver only show how you run the burgeoning Davao City.
(You can read my selected columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at firstname.lastname@example.org)