MANILA - Lorrainne Pingol, a 29-year-old nurse at an HMO company in Makati, was supposed to be at work by 7 am.
But having overslept on Tuesday morning, she rushed from her condominium already an hour later to walk the half-hour trip to her office.
Lorrainne would again be delayed, this time by a medical emergency--a homeless woman giving birth on the sidewalk of Osmeña Highway.
Rescue team members of Bgy. Bangkal, where she lived, saw her in her white uniform and called out to her.
Lorrainne didn't know what for, until she saw the mother lying down on cardboard at the street corner, her baby girl already out.
"Sabi ko sa sarili ko, 'bakit hindi pa nila sinugod sa ospital? Ano'ng hinihintay nila, sino pa hinihintay nila dito?" Pingol told ABS-CBN News the day after.
"There's no other person to help them kundi ako at that period of time, kaya tumulong na ako."
(I thought to myself, 'Why didn't they bring her to the hospital? What and who were they waiting for?
(There was no other person to help them but me at that period of time, so I helped.)
None of the all-male responders was qualified to finish the delivery by cutting the umbilical cord, recalled Christian Jacinto, a village councilman who was also head of the rescue team.
Jacinto said during emergency childbirth, they usually bring pregnant women to the hospital, but this time they needed to act faster.
Lorrainne had to not only cut the cord from the baby, but also make sure the entire placenta was removed from the mother's uterus.
The rescue team chief noted how calmly the nurse saw the childbirth through, even without putting down her backpack.
But Pingol said it had been nearly a decade since she assisted in a delivery, as an intern back when she was a student at the Far Eastern University.
She was just thankful everything she had learned came back to her and that the baby turned out healthy.
"I think it was an easy delivery case, at thankful ako doon kasi kung complicated yung pregnancy ng nanay tapos ganoon yung environment, it would be harder for me and for anyone else to handle the situation," she said.
(I think it was an easy delivery case and I'm thankful for it, because if the mother's pregnancy had been complicated and she gave birth in that environment, it would be harder for me and for anyone else to handle the situation.)
She added, there was no other choice but to remain calm.
"Kung hindi ka calm, hindi ka makakapag-isip nang maayos. Kung agad ka matataranta, hindi mo maiisip yung kailangan mong gawin saka baka magkamali ka pa," she said.
(If you're not calm, you won't be able to think clearly. If you get agitated easily, you won't be able to remember what you need to do and worse, you'll even make a mistake.)
Pingol left once the mother and child were in the ambulance, giving only her first name to the rescuers.
She insisted they did not need to find her afterward to thank her, since it was her duty.
"Saka nurse din naman ako (I'm also a nurse)," Lorrainne said.
"May sinumpaan kami, yung 'Good Samaritan'. Wherever you are, kahit outside of work ka, kapag may nangailangan (sa iyo), in the name of humanity you have to help because you're a nurse."
(We pledged to be good Samaritans. Wherever you are, even when you're outside work, when anyone needs you, in the name of humanity you have to help because you're a nurse.)
Being a nurse is already a sacrifice for Pingol, who, in 2013, was diagnosed with leukemia. She has been in remission for 6 years, and had to give up working at hospitals to avoid compromising her immune system.
Pingol still longs to work in a hospital but has accepted it's a path she can longer pursue.
Now, Pingol knows these are all part of God's plan for her.
"Siguro wrong timing siya in regards to my work di ba? Pero in regards to that situation, siguro talagang sinadya siguro ng Diyos na ma-late ako, na tanghaliin ako ng gising para sumakto yung oras ko sa oras ng pagdaan ko doon sa babaeng nanganak at nang nakatulong ako," she said.
(Maybe it was wrong timing in regards to my work, wasn't it? But in regards to that situation, maybe God really intended for me to wake up late so I could help the mother.)
"I think it was fate."