Saturday, November 24, 2007

13th Month Chill

Yesterday was a very festive day for the employees of this school, including myself, for we already received our 13th month pay, more than the usual amount to spend. Yes, yesterday was like the parting of the Red Sea!!! The long wait finally came to an end and alas, time to feel like a rich man even just for the holiday season. And of course, at the end of the holiday season and at the end of the year of lucky number 7 (it doesn’t follow that this year is also a lucky year), we will be going back to the real life; that is, people who are at the mercy of Republic Act 1530 most of the time. But before the real and ordinary life of 2008 as enslaved people of our pay slip seep through my jubilant feeling, let me enjoy first the euphoric state of imaginings, buying things for myself (food, clothes, shoes, etc!) ala-Warren Buffet or Donald Trump.

Though how much I wanted to never entertain negative thoughts and just ride the feeling of this festive and yuletide state, some people really kills and hunts down my dreaming in the 9th cloud.

Late night yesterday a text message was sent to me saying that I should take care in withdrawing my money from any ATMs coz goons know that we already have our 13th month pay -- and they are like vipers ready to strike our pockets and hard-earned bucks from dark street corners. Thus some of us never went to the drugstore and supermarket though they badly needed to buy their medications and food supplies for their blood not to end up like super sweet pancake syrup.

I never entertained it though.

However this afternoon, another colleague even printed a forwarded email about a bus scam while I was burying my head in the materials I am scanning for my talk on Saturday. And she read the article portraying these scam-men as vicious as hyenas ready to strike our pockets and drive us crazy. I don’t want to elaborate anymore the story for it will send you chill down your spine.

I thought that was already the end of the agonizing story-telling of seemingly omniscient and omnipotent goons and bad guys. And like the TV shopping network’s infamous line… but wait, there is more!

Another lady shared to the group of an apocalyptic true-to-life ATM story. She said that her colleague lost 20K in her ATM account without her knowing anything what has happened. Maybe some hi-tech goons kidnapped her sleeping 20 thousand bucks from her ATM. She thus admonished that we withdraw all our money from our ATM accounts before someone steal it from us while we are fast asleep.

These two other stories are already driving me crazy and pulling me down from the 9th cloud of imagining. It seems that everyone is a potential victim if not a victim already in these stories. It seems that everyone is a culprit who could victimize us and fall us prey to their misdeeds in split seconds with us noticing it. We are like hostages of some Abus or JI. Stories like these temper maybe not only my personal jubilation and euphoria, but of everyone. Sound of the night is like a signal of a crime outbreak. Darkness is filled with fear and not anymore of racing lights and yuletide carols or big-bellied Santa Clauses - they ceases to exist temporarily. These things have bred in us paranoia in the most illogical sense (though paranoia is in itself illogical, just let me exaggerate things).

No matter what, I will try not to stoop down. 13th month or 14th or whatever-month or even no-month, taking care is of foremost concern but let us not fall prey to paranoia or else we will soon notice that the holiday season has already gone past us.

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