By Isabelle Laureta
“Magiging black angel ka,” my mom used to tell me when I was being a naughty kid back in the day. Almost instantly, I’d calm down, behave, and think about what I’d done because if there was anything I didn’t want to be at that age, it was to be a black angel. I was goody-two-shoes and to be a white angel was all I wanted to be.
For the longest time, I believed in that caste system and in the existence of black and white angels. I believed in guardian angels. Even though I could not see them being a mere mortal, I was so sure what they looked like—huge wings, soft, curly hair, gentle smiles, and a glowing aura. That’s thanks to a combination of a wild imagination, a lot of TV time, and my mom’s cross stitch of cherubs that hung on our wall.
But then I grew up, and so I outgrew my faith in angels. My angel thoughts have now been replaced by grownup things like work, bills, taxes, and what to binge watch after a long day of pretending to know what I’m doing with my life.
These new preoccupation pushed the winged human-like creatures deep into the back of my mental drawer labeled “Ridiculous Things I Did As A Child,” which we’d only dust off during our reminiscing sessions with family and friends. My mom would say she never had a problem with disciplining me because she’d only have to say, “black angel” to make me sit still. Laughter would ensue.
It’s funny that just when I was too old to believe in angels, that’s when I saw them. Angels.
I was doing errands at a government office a few weeks ago and I was so anxious because, one, have I mentioned I’m only pretending to be an adult? Two, my mind always tends to think of the worst-case scenario and convince itself that’s exactly what’s going to happen to me. And three, talking to people, especially crabby strangers, isn’t exactly an exciting thought for me. Because of bad experiences in the past that made me resent going to government offices, I went there expecting to meet ill-tempered officers and feel disappointment at the end of the day.
And then the angels presented themselves to me. At first I was confused. Where are their wings? Where’s the light that’s supposed to emanate from their skin? Why wasn’t I hearing hymns and harps as they walked by?
A thought occurred to me: Angels have always existed, but I never noticed them before. I have this silly standard of what they should look like. But the truth is they look just like us. In fact, they are just like us—human beings. We encounter them from day to day, the people who are glad to help and make things easier for us. They are the ones who turn the ship around and make the worst-case scenario you’ve formed in your head impossible.
The officers I’ve talked to were very kind and talked me through what I was supposed to do. Some even went out of their way to make things easier for me. I went home that day with a smile on my face and a light feeling in my heart. The errand sure wasn’t something I could have breezed through, but the angels I encountered made every step feel like it.
At the end of the day, I told my mom everything—all the things I did and the people who helped me. That’s when she told me how much she prayed for God to send me someone, anyone—an angel, perhaps—to guide me through everything. And so the angels came. They’re real. They’re all around us. And they can be you and me.
The question now is: When was the last time I’ve been an angel to someone?