Book Series: SENIOR MOMENTS ARE FOREVER

March 5, 2020

14th MOMENT: Tuk-tuk, Toys and Honesty

 

Just thinking: 
Tuk-tuk is a regular, even a traditional three-wheel transport vehicle in South Asian countries. Lately I saw some plying the roads in Naga City and now in Pasay City. I am starting to think whether we are progressing or regressing!
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Joke time:
And then there were three life insurance agents convincing a client.
Agent 1- my company pays our clients within three days after the death.
Agent 2- my company pays within 24 hours after death.
Agent 3- if our client falls from a 30-floor condo my company pays even before our client reach the ground.
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Toys: 
When I was a young boy in the barrio, I was already happy and contented with toy cars I made from wood with sarsaparilla (tanzan or cover of coke) as the wheels. Today when I see boys cry because their battery-powered cars don’t work I feel lucky that we don’t have them before.
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New car no gas: 
Have you experienced shame of putting gas in a brand-new car that run out of fuel along the road? I had one. In order to save in gas, I decided to replace my old SUV with a diesel-powered sedan in Davao City. Thinking that the new vehicle has enough fuel we, myself and Bong, a friend of mine, confidently drove away to be home in Cotabato City. In our excitement we forgot to stop by a gas station, and when I looked at the fuel gauge it was almost empty! I panicked knowing that a diesel engine will stall if the fuel pump will be empty, then I will be in trouble with the dealer. A gas station was not in sight. So, Bong volunteered to look for a nearest one while I stayed to watch a brand-new car with an empty fuel tank. 
After 20 horrible minutes Bong came back with a gallon of fuel. We struggled to pour the fuel to the tank - while feeling stupid if someone we knew will see us doing an embarrassing act of a driver driving a brand-new car without a fuel!
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I have only two satirical advices to my project staff in community development: 
1. If you are good with the villagers, they will kill a chicken for you, but if you fool them, they will kill you for the chicken
2. A project worth 10,000 when delivered on time is worth 100,000, but a project worth 100,000 if delivered late will be worth only 10,000.
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Serious time: 
How does technocrats solve socio-economic problems? By redefining terms: Squatters to informal settlers, underground economy to informal sector, OCW to OFW, evacuees to internally displaced people, persons with disabilities to differently able persons, old people to senior citizens, juvenile delinquents to youthful offenders, native Filipinos to indigenous peoples, new generation to millennials, third sex to LGBT community! I remember a legislator wanted to change Philippines to Maharlika! 
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More of cremation: 
My youngest daughter is weirder than me when it comes to dying. While my wish is final on cremation, she has two options: If she dies beautiful, she must be interned and buried in a tomb, but if she dies ugly she must be cremated!
Sounds reasonable!
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Conditional honesty: 
People are conditionally honest, if they have no choice. In Batanes there is a place in the port going to Sabtang island called HONESTY CAFE. There are no storekeepers, you just pick the goods that you want and drop your payment in the counter. There are similar establishments in Western Samoa. If you think it is something unusual you are wrong, because in both circumstances the stores are found in small islands where criminals have nowhere to escape!
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Working in distant land:
Although working with people in foreign and distant villages offers psychic rewards it is truly nostalgic: you think of each day as the last day in your life, or the first day of another. God becomes real in every face of your poor target beneficiaries.
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Our work: 
Working in post-conflict areas needs great patience. We comfort the evacuees, appease the orphans, dine and laugh with politicians, unashamedly beg for money from donors and many other things that we don’t like to do for ourselves. In love relationship it is called “IT’S COMPLICATED”.
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Travel education: 
I learned a few things in my last travel to Phuket, Thailand. When the King and a Monk meet it is the King that bows not the Monk. The term Monk did not come from the word Monkey. When a family of elephants commit suicide simultaneously it is not because of the problem in the economy, it is because of their close family ties. You cannot buy souvenir products made in Phuket, the stores sells modern items you can buy from big malls.
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