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Brats after Booty

Wait a minute. Something’s different around here. Is it the weather? Did they open a new shop? Did they tear down some structure? I was hitching a ride along General Luna, in front that legendary public market, and it felt like EDSA on a holiday, (well, on a smaller scale, that is). Vehicles moved in a relatively much quicker pace, and the road felt less crowded. This is simply unbelievably amazing. Just when I thought that there would be no turning back from a one hour ride from Calauag to Robinson’s, running around for a ride and daydreaming while stuck in a road cum parking lot, and we comfort ourselves with the idea that this phenomenon is an indispensable element of progress, and bask in the perception that we share the same sentiments as Metro Manila commuters, the Naga City public is suddenly blessed by jeepneys whisking through the city streets with little obstruction. The authorities did something and they did something right.

I wish I could talk to someone knowledgeable about this. Buzz has it that towing of illegally parked cars has been enforced stricter. Facebook photo shows an extravagant sports car being pulled by a city tow truck(Imagine he upset car owner.) I heard that stricter restrictions were enforced on entry and parking of tricycles. I noticed there have been some barricades on some roads, supposedly as designated lanes for specific vehicles. Maybe, there is more. Maybe they dashed some magic dust on the thoroughfares (because it feels like that), but so far, that’s what seems obvious

One time, I stopped to wait for a ride at the corner which used to be Advent Cinema, in front of Baker’s Plaza, and no other passenger was waiting there as usual. Then, I realized that I couldn’t because there were two or three cops in blue on both sides of the street, keeping anyone from getting a ride on that area. Further ahead towards the direction of the Cathedral were the commuters en masse waiting for tricycles to stop. Judging from the size of the crowd that had formed, they would have a hard time getting home from there. It had been common knowledge that the corner has been a non-loading zone, but commuters would occupy almost half of the road causing traffic to slow down. With the officers in blue posted on that corner, traffic was smooth.

Let’s take this nugget as a specimen of study. In scenario 1, drivers would yell to commuters, “Bawal diyan!”. Yet almost laterally half of that street would be crowded with commuters desperate for a ride home. Supposedly, the waiting riders knew that the corner was a no loading zone. Reason would tell anyone that the road was getting to be a nightly miserable sight. Passing tricycles were jampacked; the sides of the streets were jampacked. Traffic was heavy. In scenario 2, the corner was clean swept of commuters; having been pushed further ahead along the street. Tricycles were still jampacked; but traffic was far smoother. But this time, the cops were standing on the corners.

Members of that community, drivers and commuters were well aware of a practice that was against policy, that had become inefficient and ineffective. It was a street that a step escalating with anarchy on top. However, commuters suddenly become civilized, standing by on the logically proper area, with smoother traffic; only with police officers present nearby.

It’s not a question of policy or the awareness of it, or the ability to comply. Every individual would want to seek personal advantage regardless of rule and reason. Who cares if the streets are a mess, I gotta get home! But all this is set in order with a simple enforcement of law.

Maybe this is a piece of the picture that may reflect the whole. Maybe traffic becomes heavy because every person seeks his personal advantage regardless of what is right and reasonable. But it would all run smoothly with a simple presence of authority that is ready to enforce the law. Maybe the same is true beyond the road and throughout every corner of the community. Order could prevail and processes could prosper if people pull back from prioritizing personal profit; and if authorities would strongly stand on already present policies. What does this make us? Brats who only run after booty, but swiftly submit in the presence of the of the prefect of discipline. Does that sum up our sense of ethics and morality?

“No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.” 1 Corinthians 10:24

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