An Inspiring Short Story Of An Ordinary Man – Kuya Paul Taneo From Mactan Lapu-Lapu City Cebu

A Very Honest Man and A Loyal Driver

Nowadays, it is rare to find an honest person especially when money is involved. Even your closest friend can betray you just because of money. We have heard stories of rare ordinary Filipinos who honestly returned cash which they found somewhere . How about you? What would you do if u found a big cash and no one was there except you? If you are poor and in need, for sure you will be tempted to keep it, right?

I have a short story to share but it is not about someone who found a cash on the road or somewhere and returned it to the owner. It is a different story of an ordinary man who has chosen dignity over money.  It is about Kuya Paul Taneo from Mactan Lapu-lapu City who used to be my sister’s driver.  I just want to write a little about him to praise his honesty as people like him are already  endangered.

Kuya Paul being gay wearing my sister's bag

He served my sister, Jimelyn  and my bro-in-law, Martin  from Canada as an on call driver. Martin had been here for  5 times since they got married last June 2009. On Martin’s third visit here in Cebu, they decided to buy a mini truck and since they are not capable of driving, my sister posted an ad hiring for a driver and that was when the couple and Kuya Paul met. Every time Martin came here, he would buy a mini truck and sold it when he left back to his country  as our family isn’t very interested in having a vehicle considering the location of our place where there is no right of way even for humans lol. The third mini truck was bought last June and was used few times for 2 months as sister left for Canada to join her husband.  Due to limited time and unexpected time of the arrival of her visa, my sister wasn’t able to sell the truck personally and entrusted the truck to Kuya Paul while waiting for a sure buyer.  The couple had been patiently waiting for her visa and it was more than 2 yrs  before she was granted so she just left the truck and flew away to finally be with her husband in Canada. Even if they don’t know much about him and Toledo is far from Mactan, the couple still trusted him the truck. My sister was no longer paying him though and since they partied their ways, Kuya had to start searching another job again. He said that, that might be the last time he would see and serve the couple and will look for something that could give him an income to support his family. Kuya Paul has an on and off job and I think he didn’t even finish Elementary.

Last night, a sure buyer called and wanted to buy and pay the truck today because they wanted to bring it to  South right away. I explained that I can only transact or meet a buyer weekends because I am working weekdays. But the buyer was in a hurry so I just told them to transact with the driver and they agreed. I called Kuya Paul to meet the buyer and to receive the payment in cash in my behalf and will give them the documents on Satruday.  I never had in my mind that he would run the money away though I really dont know him. They met this morning and the buyer called me that they are a bit hesitant to deal with him especially that I have the original documents and they will  just be giving the money to a driver so they went to a police station.  I was run out of battery and credits and the last time I spoke with Kuya Paul was when he said that everything was ok and he was asked to drive the couple back to their apartment. I told him that it isn’t his job anymore as they are not paying for his service but I think he is too kind to refuse.

I mentioned the situation to my co-teachers at work while waiting for Kuya Paul. Everyone was very worried and telling why did I trust him that much. He has the money and even how good a person is, he could be tempted. He could just say that he was robbed, had an accident, he was scammed or things like that. I never had that in my mind til they kept telling me and told myself “ what if they are right? It is Php 95 000  and big enough for him to be tempted especially that he doesn’t a regular job”. I got a message from the buyer that they got the truck already and Kuya Paul has got the money at 11 am. I asked myself why the message was late because I estimated that the deal would be done by 9 and Kuya Paul should be in my place by 12 ( more than 2 hours travel from Cebu ). Hmmmm, people at work were teasing me though I tried to avoid thinking about it and chatted with my sister online during lunch break. I wasn’t worried that he would run away the money, I was only worried that if he would do it, where will I get 95k to pay Martin?  While on video call with my sister, she was trying to contact him few times but his phone just rang and disconnected after few rings. I was telling her that he could be in the van and the signal is poor so just asked her to wait. I was messing up with the couple online while the other teachers were teasing me that they would really clap their hands if Kuya Paul will arrive. I told my sister that I will just send them a message when he arrives as it was bedtime for them already and we hanged up.   Hmmm I was fine, I wasn’t nervous til I decided to give him a ring just to check because I got no message from him that he got the money already or if he is on his way. I borrowed another teacher’s phone to insert my sim card because my phone was dead. Well, u know that when you insert your sim card to someone else’ phone, some names of your contacts will be erased. I dialled the number of the second message in my inbox because I read it as Kuya Paul’s number. The phone was just ringing and ringing but no one answered. I went out of the faculty room to get better signal and keep calling Kuya Paul. Oh I began nervous because everytime I call him, he would answer it right away but that time, there was no answer. I was nervous, really! Why didn’t he answer the call? He is no longer busy and he knows that I would call anytime so he should have his phone ready all the time.The phone was just ringing and then said “the subscriber cannot be reached, please try your call again later” lol – that line huh!  I heard laughters inside the faculty room but I ignored it and keep dialling the number til I turned around and saw Kuya Paul at the door of the faculty room. He was sweating a lot as if he was running. I then got inside and teachers were laughing as they were weirded out why I was calling the other teacher’s phone when I was just few steps away. They thought I was crazy huh! I just then realized that I was dialling Mrs. Vistro’s number, that table next to mine hahahahah!

Kuya Paul didn’t run away with the money or didn’t make any stories that could excuse him for not delivering the full amount. Everyone was amazed for they really think that he would run it away and told me that if he would come and deliver the full amount, he is indeed an honest person and one in a million. They said that money is very hot these days and anyone could be just tempted especially in situation like that. I dont know him and even my sister doesn’t know him very well as well but the moment I turned around and saw him at the door of the faculty room, I was so proud of him to my co-teachers and to you my readers. Yeah it was such a gamble but people like him still exist! My sister and her husband have been good to him and treated him right, they got it back in return.

His name is Paul Taneo, an ordinary man from Mactan who didn’t even finish Elementary. He doesn’t have a regular job but has survive from the daily needs of his family.I have heard this many times from my father that dignity is more important than money and I am sharing this story as Kuya Paul has shown it despite of being jobless, he has chosen dignity over money and has remain loyal to Martin and my sister. And also, we can learn from here that treat people the way you want to be treated. Although we don’t get it often to people whom we have treated the best we can, in time, you will get it back.

Thank you for reading!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Paul
    Nov 22, 2011 @ 20:23:10

    My name is also Paul Taneo. Perhaps honesty is genetic. To raise my own chair, I venture to say that I am also an honest person and in my 5 decades on earth, I have not absconded with someone else’s money.

    Does taking out a few coins from my mother’s piggy bank while still in grade school to treat the neighborhood children to snacks count as dishonesty? Maybe 3 Hail Marys struck that transgression from my record.


  2. Shainey's Petite World
    Mar 25, 2012 @ 09:05:15

    hey Paul, sorry, i just noticed ur comment now or maybe I was very when I read it before. Thank u for ur comment. It is nice to know that u have the same family name 🙂


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