All levels of school opened several weeks ago. Although we heard moans and groans about traffic, I didn’t see anything in the news that told of catastrophic problems on the road. That is, until it started raining. The sudden downpour never fails to cause flooding, and people were stranded in knee-deep water or worse.
As if this was not aggravating enough, several loosely organized groups chose to add to the chaos by marching and shouting their discontent. No particular reason. I wonder if these people just hide in the shadows until someone gives them a cue to take to the streets and blame even the rainy season on government?
I ask myself, why are there no rallies, spontaneous or otherwise, to help ease these problems? I agree there should be solutions already in place! That’s a no-brainer. In a perfect world all streets would have flawless drainage systems, and pedestrians and motorists would obey the law. Never again would there be a flood or a traffic jam.
But since we are far from perfect and leagues away from the ideal, shouldn’t we do something other than rant and rave? It’s raining and all hell is breaking loose? Kids stranded in the rain? Commuters have no ride home? How about turning the tables on the complainers and asking, “How can I help?”
Can you ferry people to higher areas? Would you give a tired mother a lift in your car? Comfort a child? No? Are we too busy to reach out? Do we care?
Someone did. During the last big downpour in Quezon City, a friend was waiting for his car and found himself in the middle of a huddle of people trying to keep dry. A few feet away, he saw a taho vendor, himself staying out of the rain and perhaps cursing the elements for ruining his business.
Our friend changed all that. A few minutes later, the vendor had sold out and a dozen forlorn commuters tasted the sweet comfort of taho. It didn’t fix the rain, but it sure warmed the heart.
How hard does it have to rain before schools send the kids home? During uncertain weather, it must be difficult for parents with young children to decide how and when to pick them up during a storm. Not every one has a car and driver waiting at the door in all kinds of weather.
It must be frightening for parents to send their children to school under threatening skies. And how bad must it get before it is okay to gather them under wing? If you wait long enough to find out, the roads may be impassable.
One mother admits that she errs on the side of caution. If the weather is iffy at best, her kids miss school. That’s good when one parent stays home. But what happens if both parents are at work and the skies open?
Is this one more reason to opt for home schooling? Perhaps. But I am not too sure I like the concept. Friends swear by it. I think the child misses out.
I recently saw a video of parents, teachers and students in remote barrios, some barefooted, crossing rivers and creeks, the little ones carried piggy back, sometimes for several hours just to get to school. I watched in awe and genuine respect for the Filipino’s deep-rooted desire for an education. Against all odds, rain or shine, they walk!
We have precious little to complain about, unless you and I are just spoiled brats with an overblown sense of entitlement.
‘32’ is a magic number
My week started festive. Sunday we celebrated an anniversary with old friends. I rejoiced as I welcomed those who were there at the beginning of a career that is now on its 32nd year.
It was gratifying and emotional to see people who took the ride with us and stayed through the early triumphs and trials, the hits and the misses.
Even when they had to get off the dizzying merry-go-round, they stayed in the sidelines and watched from a distance, holding their breath and praying, feeling the bumps when our road was a bit too rough.
We marked the magic 32 without much fanfare. Sunday night we were family.
Everyone loved the LED balloons, a gift from a loyal fan! There is nothing garish about them (except perhaps the cost) and they cast just enough brightness to create an ambience of “happy.”
And happy was the mood for the night.
Main attraction was the small white fondant cake simply decorated with a black captain’s hat.
It was a gentle reminder that it was, indeed, the captain, his lolo, who had given orders of “full steam ahead” when this young man, 32 years ago, decided to put his dream to be an architect on hold (alas, permanently) to pursue a career in the world of entertainment. The music in his heart could no longer be contained.
The captain’s hat was always his mascot, a companion and his source of inspiration. During an out-of-town gig, the hat got misplaced and we never saw it again. But I believe the captain’s compass, his true North, remains with him and leads him through the storms, safely home.
Show business is fickle, often thankless, and always unpredictable. It is feast or famine.
My son is incredibly blessed, and I know he does not take this lightly. None of us do.