Small mercies-A A +A
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
I’M up to my ears with bad news on the country. Napoles, PDAF, DAP. Now there’s “Ma’am Arlene” hounding our judiciary.
Is the country bound for a failed state, similar to what’s happening in Somalia?
Thank God, that’s far from happening. We still stand one nation, one State, one language, despite the divisiveness of too many local languages, islands, political parties, too many corrupt politicians.
Yet we still have a lot to thank for, at least judging from comments of the grassroots, the hoi polloi.
What better way than to hear stories from barbers and drivers—who by interacting with people with diverse backgrounds—provide good sounding boards for public opinions. Better than the dry numbers of poll surveys.
On the way to NAIA 3, I got to talk with my cab driver when we got stuck in traffic. The topics? What else? Napoles, PDAF, DAP, corrupt politicians.
But from the Silay Airport to my Bacolod home, my taxi driver was effusive with MassKara 2013 than with last year. Of course, his idea of fun rests on what’s good for his job and family.
A matter of perception, but he was earning good money driving passengers from Silay to Bacolod. He like retro MassKara music. The Mexican folk song La Bamba with its Spanish lyrics for one which readily connects visitors from other provinces and countries compared to new homegrown compositions with Hiligaynon lyrics.
According to the driver, Metro-Manila visitors were impressed with the city’s cleanliness, delicious yet inexpensive food, and shorter travel time. I can only nod in agreement with their perception.
The driver forgot to mention language to communicate with out-of-town visitors. Many Bacoleños can speak the national language. A gauge was the driver himself who mixed his Hiligaynon with Tagalog words. Bacolod is not Cebu where ignorance of Tagalog seems to be a badge of honor.
Yes, we have a lot to bellyache about our country. But we still have plenty of tender mercies where we as Filipinos can enjoy the small things, of expecting to live life day after day, or of fun events such as the MassKara.
That we still have national and local governance that by and large can protect us from threats to life, limb, family, and property.
And where simple taxi drivers can free tell stories to strangers how he thinks of politicians that make life hard for everyone, but still manage to earn and go home to his family.
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Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on October 23, 2013.