Unforgettable. Shocking. Unbelievable.
Nobody would have thought the worse actually did come to pass to the capital city and its neighboring towns and provinces. In fact, some places still suffer the effects of Milenyo. In Tondo, electricity hasn't been reinstated and Meralco has threatened to delay further if the stolen copper cables are not returned or the thieves caught. Said one Barangay Tanod, "Why should we all suffer because of the actions of a few?" True and false. True, they do not need to suffer but hey, how come they weren't able to stop the thievery from happening when they know this is a possiblility, especially in the whole of Manila (not just in Tondo)? Evil begins when good people do not do anything to stop it.
One thing, the recent typhoon and its consequent disaster placed everyone on the same footing. Well, almost. There were no electricity everywhere except in the Palace (who says people there were ever one of us?). No internet, no ATMs. Credit and debit cards didn't work in supermarkets because PLDT lines were down. It was as if Manila went back to the Dark Ages! We had to make do with the most basic: candles, transistor radio. I charged my phone in the office, which was on perpetual generator power, but eventually the lavatories began to stink that people were doing their thing in the Mall of Asia ten minutes away.
I was packing my bags in the dark Friday night (September 29) and walked all the way from the office to the airport in total darkness at 3AM to catch my flight to Bacolod at 5.20AM. When I left Iloilo (October 2), the rains caught up with us there. In Manila, patience was running low at the old Domestic. We had to deal with singit people (mukhang singit na, mahilig pang sumingit sa pila) even if we were all soaking wet by 7PM since the roof of the waiting area for cabs was torn off by the winds a fews days before.
What did I learn from all these? One word: Patience. Do not let little things get to your nerves. I had to deal sharply with some Moslem women at the queue and I hated myself so much after that. To the two women, please accept my apologies, but please remember that making singit sa pila, in whatever weather condition, is just plain unfair.