by Ram Maxey
THIS week is going to be the “week that was” in the minds and hearts of Dabawenyos as well as visitors long after the 24th edition of the Kadayawan Festival shall have passed into history. The sights and sounds of the city’s celebration will linger in their memory of the City’s observance of this annual event that highlights its harvest of varied and bountiful fruits, flowers, marine life as well as its famous landmark, the country’s tallest peak, Mt. Apo.
The celebration’s theme says it all: One People in Communion with the Earth. People here meaning all Dabawenyos, including the various tribes, or Lumads. And one individual, in particular – Loloy.
Loloy is a familiar figure at the Rizal Park just off City Hall. Of middle age, Loloy is a barbecue vendor whose daily sales give him a modest income, enough to make both ends meet for his family.
Enter Rodolfo P. Ceballos, a professor from Iloilo, he is a Doctor of Philosophy and Public Administration and at the same time coordinator for the Graduate School Extension Education of the John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University in Iloilo. He is a visiting professor at the Davao Merchant Marine Academy, the Agro Industrial Foundation College, and the Holy Cross of Davao College.
On the afternoon of last July 31 while on his way back to Agro from the SM City mall in Ecoland, Dr. Ceballos inadvertently left his wallet inside the taxi he had taken. The wallet contained a little over five thousand pesos in cash, major credit cards, and his ATM card with his PIN written on a small piece of paper attached to it. On realizing the loss, he immediately contacted the taxi company to report the incident, but the company failed to find his wallet. It was not a good day for a visiting professor with no resources. What else could go wrong?
Fortunately, nothing. Three days later, Dr. ceballos got a phone call from his sister-in-law who resides in Davao. She had been contacted by one Nilo Estrada of Barangay 76-A in Bucana who had found the professor’s wallet while taking the same taxi Ceballos had earlier ridden that fateful day. The greatly elated Ceballos immediately called up the man, Nilo Estrada, who turned out to be Loloy the BBQ vendor. A simple man, Loloy told himself that the wallet and what was in it was not his. He must return it to the rightful owner. He had never heard the saying “Finders, keepers!” And so, he returned the wallet.
Dr. Ceballos noted that his money was intact, no withdrawal had been made with his ATM card with the PIN attached to it. Totally awed, the professor had nothing but the fullest respect and admiration for the Dabawenyo vendor called Loloy. Ceballos thanked Loloy profusely and went to see acting City Administrator Atty. Melchor V. Quitain at City Hall to thank Davao City for inculcating in its people the culture of honesty.
Professor Ceballos, a man of extraordinary academic credentials, had met Nilo “Loloy” Estrada, an ordinary man made extraordinary by his act of honesty and extraordinary sense of values – a Dabawenyo. Madayaw na na utao! Madayaw na Dabawenyo!