My Philippines II
A short, stuffy, sun-kissed man in ragged clothes passed me by as he repetitively uttered a phrase. I turned and saw his blue plastic pail with his treasure of some fresh honeycomb and a few honey jars – that’s when his words became clear to me: “honeybee, honeybee”… As my heart wept silently for three seconds, I thought to myself, who would want to buy his honey under such scorching heat and amidst a busy, noisy, crowded street. I wondered to myself how many more hours before someone took home his honeybee jars in exchange for a few pesos that the honeybee man needed to get through the day.
With a heavy heart, I walked and then I saw a midget lady in red cotton shirt seated comfortably by an electric post. Her eyes were fixed to the scenes around her; she was there but she wasn’t really there. Her thoughts were somewhere else, her hand unconsciously guarding a few precious mats laid carefully on her tiny lap.. Red, quilted, cotton mats. Of all things, she had mats to sell. With all the competition around her, who would take notice of her mats? Again I asked myself, how long before someone took her mats home in exchange for a few pesos that the little mat lady needed to get through the day.
I walked past her and the same stories around me momentarily drowned my thoughts on the honeybee man and the little mat lady. These scenarios are too common, too normal and too real, and on most occasions, they’re left ignored. Shrugged off by me and by most people.
The clowns of this nation continue to remain clowns. Hardened by greed and selfishness, rotting in gluttony and never failing to disgust me and everyone else witnessing their act. When you’re being asked, I hope you answer the question directly like a real man would, and drop the charming one-liners. Your style just is too old-fashioned and it won’t work among a rising and maturing generation that has had enough.