Briones: Shelter from the rain

Publio J. Briones III
·3 min read

IT WAS almost three in the afternoon on Friday.

I was in the vicinity of Fuente Osmeña and was headed for the office on P. del Rosario.

I was on foot, my giant black umbrella in hand.

There really was no point in grabbing a cab or hopping on a bus since it was only a 10-minute walk. Fifteen minutes, tops.

I was aware that the rain had a habit of arriving around that time. Like clockwork. At least, for these past few days. So I kept looking up.

Last Friday’s weather was bipolar, to say the least. The sun would be out one minute then the next thing you know, the sky would darken and it would start drizzling. I found myself opening and closing my umbrella a number of times.

Still, I was pretty confident I’d beat the rain since I was keeping a steady pace. But then I passed by Angelica’s Bakeshop and realized I hadn’t had lunch yet.

Without giving it a second thought I entered and started looking around. I wasn’t in the mood for anything sweet and I knew bread would not satisfy my hunger so I went for two siopao asado that were still hot.

I was in there for around five minutes. If I had continued walking, I would have reached R.R. Landon St. by then. I knew the “detour” had cost me precious time the moment I stepped out.

As I made my way down the boulevard, it started to rain. Other pedestrians scampered for shelter while I pushed on, confident that my umbrella would keep me from getting wet.

But, boy, was I wrong. I had just made it past BPI when the rain leveled up to a torrential downpour. My shoes and socks were already soaked. The back of my shirt was drenched.

I headed for the guardhouse of the Police Regional Office 7 headquarters. I knew its eaves were wide enough to offer protection since I had sought shelter there before.

There were three other people there. A woman on a bicycle arrived and asked one of the policemen if he had a plastic bag so she could place her purse inside. He said he would check. But before turning his back on us, he invited us in.

We all accepted his offer. Before long, we were joined by several others. The policeman had also returned with a black garbage bag that he handed to the woman with the bicycle.

I wanted to get his name because I wanted the whole of Cebu to know what he had done. But then I realized he was only doing his job. It would probably never occur to him that what he was doing was out of the ordinary. After all, he was only helping. So I didn’t want to embarrass him by singling him out.

But it was nice to know that in times of need, our men and women in uniform could be depended on.

By the way, if you know who I’m talking about, please thank him for me. I never forget a kind gesture.