(This is a follow-up story to the article “Phone technician asks Abp Quevedo: ‘kilala mo yung bagong Cardinal?’” published in www.mindanews.com on 24 January 2014 and OUR Mindanao Jan. 29, 2014 issue, on Cardinal-elect Orlando B.Quevedo’s experience in a mall in Davao City when he had his phone directory transferred to a new phone on January 22. This is the story of the phone sales assistant whom Quevedo described as the phone technician).
DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/22 February) — A mobile phone sales assistant in a shop inside the Victoria Mall in Davao City had the surprise of his life when he realized he had just met Cardinal-elect Orlando B. Quevedo.
Rey “Bingbong” Falle, 32, was attending to some messages on his phone when he was approached by an “old man” for assistance.
The “old man” asked him if he knew how to transfer the contacts from his old phone to his iPhone 5, a free phone given by his network service provider for a decade of loyalty to the firm.
“He told me that he has been to other shops but they all refused,” says Falle, a graduate of a two-year computer technician course in Iloilo.
He gladly took the phones and started working. He noticed the small cross pinned on the “old man’s” polo but never paid attention to it.
“I started transferring his contacts from his Nokia phone tho his iPhone. I noticed that some of the messages were sent several times to contacts which had either “Fr” or “Sr” so I asked him if he was a priest and the “old man” said yes,
According to Falle, it took him almost two hours to finish transferring the contacts to the new phone. He would sometimes engage a conversation with the “old man.”
“I had to do it manually because the two phones were not compatible, that’s why I made a terrible mistake. I accidentally deleted some of his contacts. Good thing I had it ‘cut’ and was able to recover everything,” Falle admits sheepishly.
He was referring to the “cut and paste” command that is common in transferring data.
“Kuyawan ko uy! Kinsa’y dili makuyawan.Basi pa lang masuko ang pari, pero kalma man si Father, nagpalit pa gani sya ug 8-gig nga USB” (I was afraid. Who wouldn’t? The priest might get angry but Father was calm. He even bought an 8-gig flash drive), says Bingbong.
“I also asked him if he knows the new cardinal from Cotabato City,” he recalls. The “old man” answered yes.
When he finished the job, the “old man” opened an envelop and handed him a 500-peso bill.
Falle tried to refuse because he found it too much for a “simple job” but he was stunned when the “old man” whispered something. “Kabalo ka ba kung kinsa imong gitabangan karon? Ako tong Cardinal” (You know who you helped today? I am the Cardinal you were asking about).
“Wala ko kabalo kung unsa akuang buhaton. Mag gawas ba ko, mag luhod? Magpa-bless? Nangayo na lang ko number niya ug nagpasalamat” (I didn’t know what to do. Should I step out of the booth? Should I kneel? Should I ask for his blessing? I asked for his number and thanked him), adds Falle.
When Cardinal-elect Orlando B. Quevedo left, Bingbong and two other shop attendants still could not believe who came to their shop that afternoon.
Falle could not contain his excitement. He searched the Cardinal’s name and hit the MindaNews’ article on Quevedo. (http://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2014/01/12/pope-francis-names-quevedo-as-first-mindanawon-cardinal/)
He downloaded the Cardinal’s photos and showed it to his mother, his partner, and nephew over dinner. His mother, a former nun from the Daughters of St. Therese, took notice of the ring and told her son that it’s a Bishop’s ring, a symbol of power.
His encounter with the Quevedo became the topic of the family the whole night. They went to the wake of his grandmother and Falle felt lucky to have met Quevedo. His relatives kept on asking what Quevedo looks like and he would show the photos on his iPhone.
One relative joked, ”dapat nagpa-picture ka!”
He would answer, “Unsaon man kay naunhan ug kulba!” (I was nervous). And they would break into laughter.
Falle has had several exchanges of text messages with the Cardinal-elect since then. He asked Quvedo to bless his family and relatives.
“Dili man ko tig-simba, dili pud ko tig-pray, pero feeling blessed ko nga na meet ko ang Cardinal” (I don’t’ go to church often, I’m not the prayerful type but I feel blessed to have met the Cardinal), admits Bingbong.
Looking back to the day they met Quevedo, Fallle, his colleagues Weng Perandos and Lyn Orallo are happy to have somebody like the Cardinal as one of their clients.
They all wish the Cardinal good health so he can serve more people. They also wish that the Cardinal would visit them someday, for a souvenir photo.
“I would love to have a small Bible from the cardinal,” says Falle.
When MindaNews told him that the Cardinal loves giving out rosaries, Falle said, “Kana pud!” (That, too).
“Kami pud” (Can we have, too?)) said his colleagues.
(This piece was first published in the Feb. 19, 2014 issue of OUR Mindanao, the weekly newsmagazine of MindaNews. The Archbishop of Cotabato will be elevated as Cardinal at 11 a.m. Saturday, February 22, Rome time which is 6 p.m. Saturday, Philippine time).