Service is Love in Action

by Jovit Caballero and Nina Sangueza

One of life’s most persistent and urgent questions is this: “What are you doing for others?” Well, Albert Einstein said, “Only a life lived in service to others is a life worth living.” This might sound too difficult to accomplish, but remember that even the smallest and simplest acts of service matter — especially if we put our hearts and best efforts in it.

At NLEX, among those who demonstrate genuine service are our shuttle service drivers. They are our lifelines during this pandemic. Can you imagine going to our offices if we didn’t have them to help us? We consider them heroes for getting us to our offices and back to our homes safely each day.

Meet one of our everyday heroes , Kuya Rey Toribio.

Reynaldo Toribio is one of our trusted shuttle drivers. He is fondly called “Kuya Rey” by NLEX employees. A resident of Baliuag, Bulacan, he is happily married and has two children who are now in their early 20s. He is currently shuttling those from the Contracts Administration and the Customer Service departments. He is also frequently called to transport our toll tellers at Cluster 2.

But before Kuya Rey became a shuttle service driver for NLEX employees, he started out as a bus driver for Baliwag Transit in 1994. Then, in 1999, he was assigned as a maintenance mechanic. Eventually, he was promoted as maintenance supervisor. He was designated to different motorpools of Baliwag Transit up north.

After 20 years of working at Baliwag Transit, Kuya Rey opted to retire early. Since his children had already graduated from college, he figured it was about time that he stayed home. Using the money that he got from his retirement, he set up a water-refilling station. He managed his business for five years but he decided to work again because he simply missed going to work. He ended up applying to be one of NLEX’s shuttle service drivers last year, right in the middle of the pandemic.

We learned one more interesting detail about Kuya Reynaldo’s life. It turns out that in 2011, when he was still with Baliwag Transit, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) launched a program to recruit those who wanted to be reservists. Together with his co-workers, Kuya Rey went through six months of hardcore military training to become a full-fledged AFP Reservist.

Kuya Rey continues to be an active AFP Reservist. Every last Sunday of the month, he reports to the AFP Headquarters in San Rafael, Bulacan. He regularly joins refresher training programs every six months and participates in monthly community service efforts in different provinces.

Through all his experiences, Kuya Rey has maintained his service-oriented outlook. As a driver, he just wants to bring his passengers in their destinations safely. As an AFP Reservist, he hopes to contribute to the community. As a businessman, he wants to meet his customers’ expectations. Most of all, as a family man, he wants to set an example for his children. One thing is for sure: Kuya Rey believes that service is love — be it for his family, friends, or colleagues —in action.

Each person we meet always has his or her own story. That’s why we encourage everyone to take time to really get to know the people we see everyday. Listen to their recollections and musings. Be inspired by them.

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