THERE are sunny days. There are rainy days.
When the sun is up, we see vendors actively out on the streets, trying to make as much income as they can to support themselves or their families. Most of them achieve this by selling food products—from green mangoes to roasted peanuts.
When the sky unleashes a downpour instead, apparently some of these guys have a Plan B. I even wanted to be included in that during one instance along Jones Ave, Cebu City.
As you’ve noticed, there are these humungous umbrellas that they utilize to cover their carts. When the rain loses its rhythm, turns violent, and all you seem to hear is a cacophony of sound from on high, the boys grab these umbrellas and offer their “umbrella services” instead.
Yes. They’re suddenly transformed into automatic walking umbrella-bearing chauffeurs (Awuc)—for a price.
They charge you P5 per intersection. The more blocks you cross, the more pesos you get to shell out. It’s interesting nonetheless; also an admirable thing actually.
Filipinos always find ways to make the best of what’s given them in any circumstance.
Take this one example: You can find traces of such ingenuity in our cuisine. What other countries consider as “spare parts” of pork, we still find space for them in the menu. Since we have already tackled spare parts, how about automobiles that are decades old that still hit the streets today? Isn’t that remarkable?
Anyway, when the hard times pummel, somehow Pinoys have always had that tenacity to smile in the midst of a raging storm.
Some photographs that made the national news during the last typhoon that hit the country prove this: A whole bunch of guys drinking beer while half of their bodies and their table were submerged in the flood. Classic.
It wasn’t a storm that hit the metro one night just recently, but it was close. Rain fell continuously for hours, causing minor flooding. Of course, needless to say, it was a hassle for guys without transportation and who wanted to get to their destinations.
“Ikaw, sir? Payong?” the boy, just after attending to a nursing student, asked me if I wanted to avail of his Awuc.
I asked him how much it would cost and he answered: “Five pesos.”
I asked him again if it would cost the same if he would take me all the way, past four blocks to where I wanted to go.
“It’s too far, sir,” he replied in Cebuano.
So I just stayed instead and waited for the rain to stop—remaining P5 pesos richer in the process.