Thought Bubbles & Cake Slices aka Hey, 3AM

I’m starting to think that I’ve forgotten what a paragraph looks like. Yes, it has been THAT long since I’ve found time (and inspiration) to actually visit the blogosphere for the perennial verbal rant on the world today. Luckily, I have FINALLY found that time. Yay. 

Transpo- nation, transportation 

The Gist: Uber, Grab and the LTFRB: A saga of regulation, rule-breaking, inconvenience and missing application forms.

Verdict: Oh, transportation– a perennial issue that plagued me a lot especially during my college days. I’ve been fortunate to not have more dastardly traveling experiences but I have my share of ehh moments (especially when I commuted on a regular basis). However, with the bad comes some equally pleasant moments– those small little instances that reminded me greatly of the good that still exists in the PH.

A favorite story of mine is when I was heading home at a rather late hour and was lucky enough to have ridden with a taxi driver who happened to be the father of four girls. He was awesome enough to tell me about the shady operators who were behind taxis involved in scary incidents of attempted kidnapping and rape. He also gave me tips on how to protect myself when commuting– especially when riding taxis. I was so thankful for the help that evening, and even more thankful that I got home safe.

So where am I going with this?

First of all, nobody’s perfect– Uber, Grab, taxi operators, and especially the LTFRB. Both Uber and Grab and the LTFRB made their share of mistakes in resolving the issue and that’s just not okay. Taxi operators in the country are also problematic and have been for years (almost decades) now. There’s a reason why Uber and Grab have become popular modes of transportation for commuters– they feel safe because the applications give them that security– something that taxi operators have not been able to. These applications have become popular to the point that they’ve actually become legitimate threats to operators not under Grab or Uber— thus the push for Grab/Uber accredited vehicles to also be regulated the same way that regular operators are.

In light of the issue at hand, here are my points:

  • Stop the demonizing. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, all parties have made mistakes– but all parties have one common goal: to provide transportation to the riding public. Also, both parties have their share of good guys and bad eggs (you’ve seen the facebook stories). Keep that goal in mind and get out of the {wrestling} ring.
  • See the bigger picture. This goes beyond the issue of regulation and ride-sharing versus operators. This is our transportation system rearing its ugly, error-filled head right at us, and we need to take notice. We need to think forward and see how the common goal of providing safe, reasonably priced, quality transportation can be met by all stakeholders for the benefit of everyone. Transportation is a major issue that has repercussions on how our economy goes forward– we NEED to care.


Nazis,  In Living Color 

The Gist: The dumpster fire that is the Trump presidency rolls on with the tragic weekend that was seen all over the world from Charlottesville.

Verdict: I won’t lie, I feel a bit guilty that I seem to have been spending more time following the issues going on in America when the Philippines is having its own ‘series of unfortunate events’. I blame the late night segments and their genius mix of comedy with facts (see: John Oliver, Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert). I’m still holding out hope that one day  we find a way to deliver news in the Philippines in a similar manner– fun, yet highly informative. (* crosses fingers *)

Anyways, here are the points:

  • WHY? Why are there still people who think this way? Hay. A thought that often crosses my mind when ruminating about people who hold old world views– and a thought that rings true in this context.
  • HOW? How is this guy still president? Is this their own version of ‘tiis ganda’? They don’t seem to be getting anything done– and they jump from one controversy to another. Sad.
  • The Power of Being Permissive. One frightening image from the Charlottesville protests was that of “white nationalists” walking around in the same uniform worn by Trump to his golfing trips. Another scary instance? when David Duke claims ‘they are fulfilling Trump’s promises’ through their protest.

Needless to say, folks– that’s scary as shit. If in America the words and rhetoric of a           president preaching hate can be used to encourage negative behavior, can the same           happen in the Philippines? I wouldn’t be surprised if it could.

This is exactly WHY Duterte’s words matter– and why somebody in his administration needs to drill that idea into his head. Words, when said from a platform of power, become more powerful– they begin to matter more. A joke may seem like a joke to our president but the underlying implications are there. Jokes about rape, words about murder or cussing may all seem like the hallmarks of Duterte but now that he’s mayor no more and the leader of an entire country– that behavior becomes example. It becomes a possible model for the Filipinos of tomorrow.

Forget about your complaints that you don’t like this job or that you’re ‘not a diplomat’ because guess what pal, you are. Multiple resignation threats later and you’re still here, in this position– leader of THIS country. People see you as that and you need to BE an example of positive behavior to all Filipinos– whether they support you or not.

Don’t get me wrong, though- I’m not saying that a neo-Nazi/ white supremacist type group will emerge if Duterte continues to act the way he does. He has his issues but he is not as bad as Trump. What I am trying to say is that if he does continue to display hallmarks of negative behavior (which he does)… there goes your excuse for a shift in Pinoy culture: the propagation of rape culture, a negative attitude toward women, etc.

TL;DR: Watch your words, watch your behavior– you’re in a position of power that can be used to influence. Push that you influence for the good instead of the bad. Please.