Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Worthy events

Odd things.

This digital art exhibit opened in SM last Saturday. Huge black boxes were put up in the Atrium so that several noted artists could show their most recent pieces of digital photographs. The area was roped off to the public. Inside were artsy rich folk, clad in black and slowly sipping red wine from tulip glasses. They looked extremely pleased with themselves, feeling as if they were living their own version of the New York art scene. They were trying very hard to remain oblivious to everyone on the other side of the ropes. Women with poofy hair speared bland zero-calorie greens from styrofoam plates. Men who were pretending not to be gay were trying to make interesting conversation with the women obsessed with their weight. Hey, look, we're edgy...behind a flimsy blue rope. We were so close, I could have dipped my finger into their expensive wine. Their efforts to ignore the common folk were remarkable. They would not be distracted.

I seriously contemplated dropping fishballs on their coiffed heads from the second floor. Sauce and all. Maika stopped me, pointing out that I shouldn't spend my money on fishballs just so I could pelt rich people with them. It would have been fun.

On my way home last Sunday, I decided to buy garlic from one of the old lady vendors parked under the Km. 0 arc next to Tiong San Harrison. All of a sudden, the old ladies grabbed their baskets, rose as one unit and scuttled away from a gorilla in combat boots. The leather clad goon, who had vaulted over a flower bed, was from the city watch. They were on one of their raids. “Let’s go pick on old ladies who sell vegetables! Let’s confiscate their only source of income and laugh about it while shining our boots!”

I, normally jaded and unfeeling, was shocked for a minute. My fingers were already around two five-peso coins to pay for my garlic. There was a small explosion of surprise in my chest as I looked at the scene unfolding around me. It happened very quickly. The manang was getting ready to bag my purchase one moment then vanished in a cloud of dust the next. I was rooted to the ground for a full minute before I realized I had to leave. Fucken cops. I wanted my damn garlic.

As I was walking away, I noticed one lady hadn’t been as quick as her companions. She was locked in a tug-of-war with one of the goonies. He had the muscle but she had determination. They struggled in a deadlock for a while, then some seemingly random thing happened. The copper adjusted his grip slightly to gain more ground. Manang saw it as an opportunity to make her move. Somehow still clutching her basket, she grabs a tomato, aims aaand…throws! The tomato hits the cop squarely on the right shoulder, with juice and seeds spraying wildly across his outraged features. “Naglastog nga baket daytoy! (Insolent woman!)” he roars, taking several menacing steps forward. The manang, still dangerously within arms’ length (that humanoid had a very long reach), shouts back her own profane retort. With a last grunt of a challenge, she turns purposefully and disappears into the crowd. And somewhere, a cosmic scoreboard lights up for the underdogs.

Then yesterday, when Maika, Lei and I were in Kamiseta at SM Baguio, all the lights went out. (Maika wants everyone to know she was very brave when it happened. She didn't scream like a girl.) The saleslady rushed to the doors and shut everyone inside. It was just like in the movies: "Bar all those doors. Nobody goes in or out." I also chose that moment to yell, “Quick! Grab something.” I was joking, of course. –ish.

6 seen below:

snst_blvd said...

hahaha i can still remember how the saleslady ran *so fast* and then blushed when the lights came on! hahahaha classic!

Shari said...

You should have. Dropped fishballs on those artsy rich folks, I mean. I would have cheered you on, or maybe be with you doing the same thing.

Sorry about the garlic. Sayang. Now that sounded weird, lol.

PinoyHarbinger said...

Did you know that those blue ropes defy physics by beaming people who pass it miles away from wherever filthy third country they are from? Just so that they would think they are in an art gallery in New York city or better yet in Louvre? I wouldn't be surprised if most of the people in that exhibit wouldn't understand the difference between a scribbling of a 2 year old to that painting of Picasso. They aren' worth it. The fishballs would rather rest in peace inside my stomach rather than being thrown at those airheads.

As for the police they're pigs. What do you expect? :)

Kamiseta does that? Fucking Kamiseta does that? What fucking store policy is that? If I was there I'd feel totally discriminated and I'd demand the effing saleslady to let me out and then talk to their store manager! From now on I would discourage everyone to shop there at Kamiseta. Would you bluntly discriminate all your customers? I seriously hate it when those freaking salesladies (on any store here in the Philippines that I have ever been) would look at you in disgust when you are browsing through their store's products as if she was profiling you for an NBI case. Wouldn't the store's scanner (whatever those things are called) on their doors work?

I am totally disgusted when WE ask respect from the international community whenever we feel discriminated. Why? In a country where we label people not what they can do or who they are but what is easily the apparent difference between ourselves, we shouldn't. I think we have no justifiable right to be respected if we can't respect our brothers and sisters.

If we want to be respected by other nations, we should first respect our own countrymen whatever the fuck their social status is. Give our fellow Filipinos their due respect with smiles in our faces and only love in our hearts. I believe that that would be the only time when could justly say that we are a indeed a proud nation worth respecting.

trench said...

hey, just to let you know.. your text drops below the side column in firefox for some odd reason. I have to scroll down to find your post.

I love garlic too! hehe.

laizo said...

yea, f*** the popo's. F*** social status. anarchy baby!

i agree that we should respect our own before we demand respect. but i have a new found respect for pinoys. pinoys working abroadd specifically.

i was recently out of the country with mi familia (holy week). And every pinoy i met was kind and helpfull and always smiling. i met a lot of people working there from different countries. But the pinoys were helpfull and patient and friendly despite some of the tourists being rude and snobby. It made me proud being from the RP.

I can believe Maika not screaming when the lights went out but i can't believe she didn't say anything when the lights came back on.. hehe

kubiyat said...

snst_blvd: i'm not sure if she was more emabarrased about how quickly she got there or that she thought any of us might swipe soemthing in that dead moment.

shari: fishballs + sago gulaman. throw half and eat the other half. merienda tayo!

pinoyharbinger: teleportation. that's why they were so wrapped up in their little world. they weren't actually in SM. it's all making sense to me now.

hehe, don't blame the saleslady in kamiseta. it was quick thinking on her part. when the lights went out, the magnetic scanners were also rendered useless. she was just protecting their merchandise. it's her job after all. i thought the whole thing was more funny than discriminating. and she really was blushing when the lights came back on :)

you make a solid point about respect though. how can we expect to be given respect by people from other countries when we don't give it amongst ourselves? it's the great tragedy of being filipino. we're so busy trying to take each other down with weapons of status and money that we have come to lack a national consciousness. in the philippines, it's every man for himself. it dries up the soul.

trench: thanks for the heads up. i'll look into it. i've been thinking about changing the look of the blog, too.

laizo: filipinos are well known for our pleasant disposition. i guess it's not so apparent here because the situation in the country is so depressing, everyone is just on survival mode.

i think it helps when filipinos get out of the country. they're not mired in all the bad things going on in the philippines. they have more room to breathe and they gain a better perspective of how a country should be. the sad thing is that they have to go abroad to find that. instead of finding solace in their own country, they seek to escape it.

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