Spare change

Relationship: Im/migrant
Twenty peso bill with a name, time, date
Twenty peso bill with a name, time, date

 I was born and raised in the Philippines. A common practice in our family is to give money instead of gifts. Every time you visit, giving presents, or just because I have extra cash, I will see people handing out money.  What’s shown in the picture is a twenty peso bill. Written is my name, a date, and time. My closest cousin gave it to me the day I left the Philippines to go to the United States.   Growing up, I used to see my “Lola” (grandma) and my mom do the same thing. They would always give out their last bill. As a  kid, I asked them, “Why do you give out every thing even if you’re left with nothing?”. They said, “Kindness. Kindness may not always be seen in everyone but kindness always comes back”.   Five years later, I learned that the twenty peso bill that my cousin gave me was her last money. She couldn’t get on a bus or a taxi because she had no money left so she walked all the way from the airport to her apartment. I asked her why she did that, and she said, “I didn’t wanna see you crying before you left so I gave you something to remember me with. I want you to be strong”.   I may not have a piece of jewelry, land, artifact or even money to give but there is something that I will surely pass on to my future kids and grandkids: Kindness. I will tell them that no matter how bad the world is, there will always be kindness in people’s heart. We may not see it, but I firmly believe that to see kindness, it should start within ourselves. And always be careful because the spare change you are willing to give someone might be the reason for them to take everything from you. 

Place(s): Philippines
Year: 2018

– JB

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant