The Blog and Tour Schedule of Carlos Celdran. A man who is trying to change the way you look at Manila - one step at a time. Telephone: (02)4844945 Text/Cell:(0920)9092021 or Email:

Friday, May 13, 2011


A heartwarming story about the Philippines and the nature of the Filipino...

Dear Carlos,

I had the great fortune to participate in your tour of Intramuros when I was in Manila on Friday afternoon, March 11, 2011. The tour was not just entertaining but terrifically informative even if it opened my eyes to some of the typical American embarrassments we cause for ourselves. Interesting how so much of what you pointed out never made it into the history lessons I was taught!

I do have a great story for you though which made my first visit to Manila a real intense personal experience and showed your City and her People to be warm, caring and highly spiritual.

A friend and I had a flight on Cebu Pacific to Bangkok on March 15, 2011 from NAIA 3 International Airport and stopped for a snack at the San Miguel Food Shop in the Departures area. When we left to board our flight, I forgot my hand bag on a chair in the snack shop. It contained, credit cards, ATM cards, Travelers Checks, my checkbook, two watches, rings, my driver's license, all my health insurance cards, future flight information, my address book...basically everything I needed for life!!!!! I discovered I lost it an hour into the flight so you can imagine how delightful the rest of the flight was! The only thing I did have with me was my passport since I needed to have it with my boarding pass to get on the plane.

Long, long story short, the two young men running the shop and the shop owner, Nora Culajara, found my bag, secured it and then got my son's email address out of it and contacted him immediately. A friend living in Manila then was able to get my bag from Nora and bring it to me in Bangkok when he came a few days later. Everything was in place, nothing had been touched as Nora assured me in our emails and calls. Can you even imagine something like this happening almost anywhere in the world and having that kind of an outcome??? Nora has politely refused my attempts at rewarding her and the young men working that day telling me the reward for them is knowing they were able to help me make it through a very stressful situation. Genuine kindness and humanity like that doesn't just happen, it's something people are born with and it is the way they live their lives. And it happened in Manila.

I tell my story all the time, especially when people ask me why I chose to go to the Philippines. Yes, as you pointed out on the tour, Manila is a city of extreme contrasts and because of that, people often come away having only experienced the chaotic, gritty part. I want people to know there is a real, lively, spiritual and beautiful Manila and meeting a classy lady like Nora and those two gentle men at the shop has changed forever the way I look at not only your City, but even more importantly, her People!

Maybe if you get a minute, you'd be kind enough to email Nora and thank her and her guys for helping you in your quest to change the way people look at Manila, one person at a time!! You might even be able to incorporate this feel-good story into your tours.


Best wishes for a nice holiday (your website told me!) and thank you for a terrific visit!

Tom Minicucci
Sarasota, Florida, USA

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Blogger Jan said...


1:22 AM  
Blogger Jazzy Jaz said...

Mabuhay ang mga Pilipino! :)

8:16 AM  
Blogger Dani said...

Mabuhay si Nora and her staff and all Filipinos who have a heart liker hers =)

9:32 AM  
Blogger maricelmontero said...

Gosh, stories like these makes me teary eyed, Carl. Yes there is HOPE!

10:30 AM  
Blogger Lora said...

And I thought Filipinos are not trustworthy. He's right though, it all depends on an individual's morals. I'm proud of them for being the person that they are, not because they are Filipinos, because not all Filipinos are like this. Nora and those two men should be commended for these acts.

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yan ang tunay na mga Pinoy!

12:06 PM  
Blogger The Average Jane said...

Very nice. =)

4:39 PM  
Blogger taweng said...


7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this good news!

11:40 PM  
Blogger justice said...

Im surely proud to be pinoy!

8:09 AM  
Blogger Marie said...

That made me smile...

11:25 AM  
Blogger Dan Harper said...

When people do the right thing, the shock that it sometimes registers is due to it being so completely unexpected.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to hear positive stories about the country.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The letter-writer asks "Can you imagine other parts of the world where that would happen?" well, yes--easily. Japan, Korea, Iceland.

3:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kudos! Nora and staff you make us proud to be Filipinos. Thank you Tom for highlighting the positive side of us :) Great work Carlos! My friend and I would like to join your tour one of these days. God bless your 2012.

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "handbag" had me thinking it was a lady ... ooops!

5:28 AM  
Anonymous x said...

Dear Carlos, will you please wear your bunny ears to your 18 Dec of this year intramuros tour? I would like very much to steal it for a girl I like very much. I'll pay extra for the tour if you'll allow me to steal your bunny ears. I hope for a positive response.

5:23 AM  

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