Cowering for Convenience



There’s one more thing that I don’t understand. Why does it get extremely difficult to take a ride on public transport on rainy days. Why should it be any different? What does the weather have to do with jeepneys and tricycles continuously going about their routes and being accessible to commuters? I also noticed that on downpours, traffic gets clogged on the city’s main thoroughfares. Traffic goes ridiculously and exasperatingly slow; then, when you have to take another ride to go directly home, The sidewalk is crowded with would-be passengers petitioning for a place inside a public utility vehicle. Then, every tricycle or jeepney that passes by is either already loaded or unwilling to load, for whatever unreasonable reason. The fiesta has already gone by, but jeepneys still have to take alternate routes of inner barangay streets to avoid the volume of vehicles around a church. What’s up with that?


Someone told me that these incidents happen only when there are heavy rains. So, traffic gets heavy and taking a ride gets hard only on heavy downpours? I refuse to believe. I suppose that the factors that contribute to traffic jams and transport joust would be increase of number of vehicles and/or commuters on the road, road closures or constructions and the like. But how does precipitation pouring down from the atmosphere trap transport in traffic and avert easy access to a ride home. Should not public utility vehicle continue to go about their business under the rays of the sun or rains that surge? So, initially, I rejected the hypothesis of the correlation of the traffic and transport trouble to the presence of precipitation. However, on the following day when the afternoon sun stretched its strength over the horizon, I hitched a ride on a jeepney, got inside to sit with much space on both sides, and enjoyed a smooth ride downtown without incident. It was also easier to take another ride home. It appears that despite my misgivings, I would be shamed to accept that there is indeed a correlation between traffic situation and atmospheric condition. There was conspicuous contrast between conditions under rains and under rays.


Tell me how that came to be. Do our comrades in cars take on the road en masse when rain falls? Don’t they do the same in good weather? Or do they simply walk and leave their vehicles, then when raindrops fall on their heads, decide to drive? So, where did all the cars go on those sunny afternoons? Where did all these cars come from on those ravaging rains?


Inversely, while there are more cars on the road, it gets harder to hitch a passenger ride. Where have the tricycles and jeepneys gone? Where are these empty tricycles headed to? Are they going home early to sip soup and slouch to sleep? Where have the brightly-colored kings of the road gone to? Had they taken shade so that the jeeps would not get wet from rainwater? When the sun is out, do car owners decide to walk instead so they could enjoy the sunset? Then the jeeps and trykes move freely because they would not have a hydrophobia attack? Could this all be some case of cowering for convenience?


Speaking of convenience, I was cringing at the soundbytes of purported wisdom of Martial Law, claims of its saving grace from communist takeover. These statements really had to be declared right around the golden year of the PD 1080. I have heard such claims before, that this reign of terror that plunged victims to incarceration, torture, summary execution and other violation of rights was some justifiable move to keep the peace. But I often heard those from sources who were not taken seriously. But this time, these assertions are avowed in the hallowed halls of the government.


Wait a minute. Were not these old timers prominent and respected figures in the revolution which supposedly rose up against Martial Law? Didn’t they allegedly stage a coup in February 1986 against the father of the current president? Didn’t they allegedly ask for help from Cardinal Sin for their lives to be saved when the plot was discovered? Were not they protected by the people when they held that rally between the two camps? Were not they among the ones who forced the former President from power? Then, after the revolution, did they not continue to serve in the same department as before, in the new administration? Now, we have this turn of events. Could this be a case of cowering for convenience?


“36Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!” Psalm 119:36