Once upon a time, in a coin factory was a one-peso coin. Along with the other coins, the one-peso coin was brought by an armored van from the factory to a very famous bank. The coins were carefully kept inside a nylon bag in a safe. The one-peso coin wondered aloud what the world outside the bag would be. The five-peso coin who heard the one-peso coin replied: “The world outside is full of wonderful things. And I, the five-peso coin, will be treasured by whoever owns me because of my value.”
The ten-peso coin chimed in: “That goes for me, too. I, the ten-peso coin, will go to many exciting places because of my value.”
The one-peso coin, not knowing its own value, asked the higher value coins how much value a one-peso coin has. Both the ten-peso coin and the five-peso coin laughed at the little coin’s question.
“What can a small chip of metal like you offer to a very big world out there?” the five-peso coin said. “You’re five times lesser than me which is a big a difference between me and you. The world outside has no use of you and you’d wish you’d stay here.”
“Well,” the ten-peso coin exclaimed, “You’re ten times lesser than me. The right place for you would be on a poor man’s palm or the rusty can he carries along.”
On hearing this, the one-peso coin felt sad. The little coin’s excitement turned into disappointment.
The day finally came for the coins to be distributed to different places of trade. The five-peso coin first landed inside a cash register of a grocery store. The five-peso coin was not so lucky because it was given as change to a man who made a wish, and tossed the five-peso coin into the sea where it stayed for the rest of its life.
Meanwhile, the ten-peso coin did travel a lot to exciting places as jeepney fare but like the five-peso coin, it got unlucky when an old lady accidentally dropped the coin into the sewers which was a pitiful state to be in.
The one-peso coin, still sorry for itself for being something of small value, actually had its own journey. The little coin started as a customer’s change to a payment for a newspaper. The newspaper buyer brought it home and gave the coin to his little daughter, who used it to buy a peso worth of gum in a sari-sari store owned by Aling Nena, who in turn gave it to a little boy who sang a beautiful Christmas carol.
As the little boy trotted home, the one-peso coin saw happiness in the little boy’s face as he counted all his earnings from singing Christmas carols. The little coin then felt valued and wished that the boy would be its bearer for a very long time. While walking down the street and busy counting his coins, the boy suddenly tripped over an empty soda can. The one-peso coin flew out of his hand, fell on the ground, and began rolling wildly towards the sewers.
“They’re right. That’s the place for me… down the sewers,” the one-peso coin thought sadly.
However, to the coin’s relief, the boy raced furiously towards the coin and caught the one-peso coin just in time before it fell into the sewers. The little boy, with the one-peso coin in his hand, went home. The one-peso coin had no idea what just happened but was glad that the boy was still its bearer.
At home, the boy took the one-peso coin and placed it inside a box. Pitch black was the only color the little coin was seeing. The one-peso coin never liked the place very much but it had no choice but to wait until its bearer would remember to pull the coin out there.
Years and years passed, and the one-peso coin was still kept inside the box. It waited and waited until the day finally came when it was taken out from the dark. The little boy was not little anymore. It had grown up into a fine, young man.
When the young man had taken the one-peso coin out of the box, he brought the coin to his work shop and there, the young man took a drill and bore a whole through the one-peso coin. Then he inserted a fancy string into the coin’s hole and made it into a pendant.
The young man wore it every time he went to work. One time, a friend asked why he chose to wear the said necklace. The young man smiled and answered, “When I was still a little boy, I was walking home carrying coins I got from caroling. As I was crossing a street and busy counting my coins, I didn’t notice that a large truck was speeding towards me. A coin suddenly fell from my hand and rolled away. So I quickly followed it and just in time, the large truck missed running over me. This coin may be ordinary to some, but for me, this coin saved my life and I wouldn’t exchange it for any treasures in this world. For this coin is my most valued possession — It bought my life.”
Karl Dave N. Quiñones finished his AB in Literature from the University of Southeastern Philippines in 2011.