The Good Idea

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By Gary Covington

Looking In

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


SOME weeks ago somebody in authority at Buhangin had a Good Idea.

Every working morning, around the Y-junction at Buhangin's elementary school, when the morning rush gets under way, when the school throws open its gates, there's traffic chaos. Chaos caused by the dozens of trisikads and habal-habals touting for customers and, while they're about it, completely ignoring highway discipline. They U-turn (Or try to, blocking a traffic lane), drive on the wrong side of the road, hustle and bustle and generally park up any-old-how, one side nudging the gates of the elementary school, the other at the triangle itself.

The traffic tailback on the Mandug road frequently stretches past the market up to the first corner with the usual PUJ morons trying to push through on the verge and never mind walking moms and kids. Traffic personnel whistle but since when did a trisikad take notice of a green shirt?

Some mornings there's a squad of police cadets decorating the junctions - decorating because they just stand there at ease, under strict instructions not to dent the knife-edge crease of their pants. Meanwhile it's the usual traffic anarchy of push and shove.

Until the Good Idea, when someone ordered that the trisikad and habal-habals be prohibited from the junction and school area, their lines pushed back a hundred meters or so up the road. That morning the elementary school junction was orderly and blessedly free of habal-habals and trisikads. Traffic moved. There was no irate tailback.

But we don't like Good Ideas do we? Smacks of improvement, of better. Somebody middling-up - certainly not high-up - obviously found himself having to walk that extra 100 meters or maybe he has a nephew trisikad-driver or maybe it was just our good old crab mentality kicking in. No matter. The Good Idea was cancelled. A one day Good Idea. The next morning it was back to traffic chaos.

Which brings me to Tuesday's item telling us of Filipinos training up to be exploring astronauts. Snag there lads - any Filipino galactic exploration would come to a halt on the bottom rung of the lander's ladder as astronaut dela Cruz, making that one small step, looks about, marvels, and then waits for a tricycle.

'Another Duterte joins city council' - January Duterte, wife of Davao's vice-mayor Paolo Duterte has been elected as president of the Association of Barangay Captains. Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte is the son of current Mayor Rody Duterte. Repeat after me - this is NOT a political dynasty. Again! Until you believe it.

Almost lastly let me raise an objection to Saturday's editorial? Not the content but the use of the word lowly to describe a subdivision security guard. The man has a job. He's made the effort - modest but gainful employment. He hasn't chosen an easier life of crime. Nor is he sitting in his new DecaHome singing along with his videoke all paid for with the dollars of a wife or sister or aunt working impossible hours in some foreign country as a domestic servant or nurse. Look around - there's plenty about. Our guard's work may be humble but he's anything but lowly.

Lastly, and the Goldilocks bakery has discontinued its butterscotch cake line - Cold Turkey, here I come.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 24, 2013.

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