My Blog My Videos

Opposing Characters Part 1

Michael and Gina
As Ive written earlier, I have remained friends with Michael and Gina. They were extraordinary people then and remain so up to now. Things would have gone differently if I made the transaction with other people. This is my tribute to our friendship. I want to tell you how this pair restored my faith in people.

Because Gina and I lived in the same building, Gina and I had more reasons to run into each other. Eventually, we got to know each other better. Occasionally, she would invite me to their condominium and we would talk.

One night when she and Michael had me over, I told them about my financial woes. I felt so at ease with them, I couldnt stop my tears from falling. The next morning, I received a text message from Michael saying he wanted to lend me money to start my own business. It was not an offer but a statement. Later on, I learned from Gina that Michaels heart was shredded to pieces when I became emotional that night. Michael, at that time, had already established a taxi business of his own. He said he would loan me the money for whatever business I want and I could pay him back whenever I could.

I first decided to start the business with a brand new Toyota. Michael loaned me the money for the car's down payment, while the funding for the remaining balance I secured through a bank loan.

The civil case was already ongoing at that time but they did not say anything about it while I was launching my new business. I really felt Michael and Gina were sincere in helping me. I was, after all, a stranger whose family tried to extort money from them.

Anyway, I eventually decided that I did not want to use the brand new car for the taxi business because it would take six months to get a taxi franchise for a new car, and with my small earnings from my humble internet shop, I did not have the money to pay for the monthly amortization of the car. Instead, I decided to acquire three secondhand taxis to be able to operate the business right away. Michael then offered to use the brand new car in his business.

After operating the taxi business for several months, got tired of it and sold the two taxi units. I then told Michael that I would now pay what I owed him but he told me to use it for another business. I told him I didn't want to be greedy because I still had one taxi unit left and a small internet shop.

At that time, I was eyeing another internet shop in a prime location in Ortigas. Michael thought it was a brilliant idea and suggested that I pursue it with Gina as a partner. So I did not pay him then and he invested another huge amount in a 15-unit internet shop which operates to this day.

I admire many things about Michael and Gina, but most of all, it is their lightness of spirit that moves me. Gina herself grew up in a humble town in a province. She had a natural charisma, a trait that served her well as she worked as a traveling performer. Michael, on the other hand, is in a construction business based in Europe but he met Gina in Iceland. Both of them had a son but were unmarried. Coming to the Philippines was an adventure for Michael. Having a naturally warm personality, he immediately bonded with Filipinos. Gina's son Jonathan also immediately accepted him as a father. On their wedding day, Michaels mother, sister, son, and close friends traveled all the way from Europe to Manila to attend the church ceremony, where I was one of the secondary sponsors.

Michael loved this country in so many ways, always telling me then he was a Filipino born as a European. Those were good days I would always look back on fondly. Ive been through a lot in my life. I feel that God sent them to me to help me break out of the dark phase in my life with my dignity intact. Its true that money was an important aspect of our relationship. Without their financial assistance, I never would have been able to recover from financial rut, but they gave me so much more. Many times in my life I felt neglected and unwanted. With them, I felt loved and cared for, trusted and understood.

→ Opposing Characters Part 2