Monday, March 16, 2009

Eight's Been a Hard Day's Night




Devoured by the monstrous traffic.

If the Beatles are to come here in the country today for a sold-out concert at Araneta Coliseum, excluding the harassment and bullying from Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos and their uniformed dogs, I am pretty sure that they will have to change the lyrics of their song the Long and Winding Road.

I went to Cubao area last Friday to pick up some merchandise, and was aching hard to push myself to enter the Araneta Coliseum to relax, eat some bucket full of popcorn and jump off my seat for some big time winning shots and slams of PBA stars. But because of the atrocious traffic down EDSA, I ended up running away from the stampede of basketball fans rushing out of the coliseum gates.

Anways, as usual, since I don’t have the luxury of having my own ride, I have to take a bus from Cavite down to Manila. I told myself, that it would be an easy and comfy ride: just park my ass on the soft bus seat, put the aircon vent right on front of my face, watch some TV shows and of course, sleep. I confidently said to myself, after maybe 1 and ½ hours I will be waking up and voila, I am already in Cubao, relaxed and refreshed and after I picked up some merchandise could still catch up the second game.

But the ride was a nightmare! I could not sleep. The TV was turned on but all that I could watch from its monitor were seemingly pictures of actors and actresses being bomb by Allied Forces during the Battle of Midway. Sorry folks, but my mother told me not to lie; my seatmate was very and smelled like an old man bathe with pomade. And my watch told me that I already grilled my butt on my seat for almost two hours; and darn, we were still sandwiched by hundred other buses and vehicles near Ayala Avenue.

I disappointed myself…I thought everything would be comfy and relaxing, but at that point all of us in the bus were already fuming and pissed off. There were some who already shown their fangs, and tails and devilish horns. There were cursing and spewing of acid and fire, while I on the other hand tried to contain the feeling of being nauseated, secretly holding a plastic bag right under my bag pack (Anyone who always bring a plastic bag everytime he travels? Kindly raise your hand). Of course, everything was to no avail. Our bus was like a giant anaconda that has just swallowed an elephant and rhino trying to inch his way out of narrow strip. We were seemingly stuck for eternity in the middle of the hellish traffic of the infamous Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue. Now the road is very much known by the its excruciating traffic and not anymore by the works and achievements of the man known as one of the great Filipinos after the Spanish colonization. Sorry man, EDSA now is equal to TRAFFIC.

While everyone was trying to find some recreation and redeem the virtues we have lost due to erupting tempers, vehicles suddenly moved sideways like the parting to the Red Sea. Lo’ and behold! There was a convoy of police motorcycles followed by heavily tinted luxury vehicles with number 8s on their license plates parading in front of our sight smooth and easy. They were like legions of gods and goddesses sweeping the nasty traffic of EDSA for them to pass by, full of inflated egos and display of arrogance of great proportion. And suddenly, a number of other vehicles tailed them to have an easy escape of the traffic. And guess what? We were still there.

We thought that we have already redeemed ourselves by our taming of our devilish inclinations but those arrogant politicians metamorphosed us into beasts ready to devour those men clad in barong whole and raw.

It was a despicable sight. It was a sheer display of arrogance. While hundreds of Filipinos are imploring the aid of some higher Being to free themselves from the chains of the problems of the country with one of the most basic, that is the horrible traffic at EDSA; select powerful and rich men were showing their guts and nasty pride to insult the public that has elected them to positions of public service. While each and every common Filipino is trying to carry and swallow the burden of traffic, spending so many of their precious hours on the road to reach their destinations, some politicians very much filled with themselves would just sweep away the vehicles for them to pass by; even using patrol units with shouting sirens, trying to impress on everyone that they are untouchables, beyond the problems and perils of traffic. It was a sheer display of abuse of power.

I was horrible. It was stupidity at its best. And it was arrogance at its finest.

It was then that I was reflecting; that is why politicians are so detached to even the most basic experience of anxieties and problems of the Filipino masses because they are living in a world that is detached from reality that each and every Filipino experience. That politicians do not really respond to basic problems of Filipinos is for the reason that they have been swallowed by arrogance, elitism and abuse of power far from the humility of each and every Juan dela Cruz. They have built their mansions on the clouds and painted their egos on the sky.

Isn’t it that the Filipino people elected them?

Let us give them the benefit of the doubt.

Maybe they are rushing for some important appointments, or hearings and sessions in congress, or media interviews, or diplomatic gatherings, or flight to some international assemblies; or maybe rushing to fetch their mistresses? Or rushing to meet some clients to extort? Or rushing to meet some generals and election commissioners? Or rushing to the casino? Or rushing to receive bribes from the MalacaƱang Palace to throw into the trash bin another impeachment complaint?

What are you talking about?!

Hey, are those commuters also rushing to go home to feed their family of 10? They are also rushing to go to work and receive the minimum pay? They are also rushing to meet some clients on their part-time jobs to at least augment their meager income? They are also rushing to bring medicines to their sick family members being hostage at some wards of government hospitals? They are also rushing to go home and mend relationships? They are also rushing to at least see their loved ones on their last breath? Hey, these are far more important concerns than padding the asses of politicians!

This arrogant practice should be stopped. First, in a time of global financial difficulty of which no one is exempted, this is an added financial expense to the government. And second, this practice reinforces the consciousness on politicians that they are untouchables and special and gods and goddesses. This display of bloated egos reinforces their arrogance and detached sense of service to the people. This builds a wider gap between the masses and positions in the government that are primarily for the service of the people.

I propose: Let them experience traffic at its best on all highways and alleys of our nation, that they may feel what the common people feel; that they may experience what those who elected them experience; that they may see how horrifying the situation is. Maybe only then, that they will wake up on the side of the truth and true; on the side of the real here. Only then that maybe they could truly be attached to reality and prick those inflated egos to genuinely respond to the needs of the nation; because they experienced the problems themselves.

Well, after three hours, I arrived at my destination. Dehydrated. Exhausted. Hungry. Nauseated. Disappointed. And late. No more basketball games.

Have you ever experienced such nasty and irritating situations? Have you also felt so pissed off because of such people so full of themselves? Let us continue our discussions here.

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