The guy was actually a dear friend of my mom’s. He came over from Rome, Italy (he’s in charge of Food and Agriculture at the UN) to hold a series of forums on sustainable agriculture. He brought along with him Sixto Rojas, whom my mom’s friend introduced as the father of the country’s economy.
Anyways, they needed somebody to operate a laptop and a projector for the entire day. I was reluctant to fulfill that role, even though my mom did the requesting, since I was pretty busy handling the media coverage for the Ateneo Fiesta. I agreed, however to bring and install the equipment to Palmeras, and maybe stay there for an hour or two just to make sure everything would be running smoothly. Sony (the guy I’m talking about), however, simply and nonchalantly handed me a hundred dollars to do him the favor of staying the entire day in an air-conditioned hotel, being fed scrumptious restaurant gourmet and desserts and standing by in case there were any technical glitches. (None occurred.)
It was probably unethical of me to receive the outrageous sum of money, but Sony insisted that it was a belated “gift” for my birthday (four months past). I stared stupidly for more than a minute at the 100 dollar bill he gave me, blabbering something about not needing to be paid for a simple favor or what. Truthfully, I was so shocked that I can’t even remember the details of the moment. I must have looked to him like a dirt-poor orphan being handed cash for the very first time!!! (And so easily paid off!!! What an embarrassing moment!)
But in the end, I had to accept it. I couldn’t hurt him by rejecting his offer. And of course, I would have hated myself afterwards for choosing to do the right thing even when it didn’t really matter. Hehehe!!!
Oh, and he also gave me another gift — a beautifully soft, dark purple leather bag from Europe.
(Perhaps compensating for not having been able to give my mom gifts back when he was courting her? My lolo was very strict with my mom when she was still in high school!)
Hmm, not bad for a day’s work. Here’s wishing that someday I land a job that pays in dollars!!!