"I am an instrument in the shape
of a WOMAN trying to translate pulsations
into images
for the relief of the body
and the reconstruction of the mind."

written by Adrienne Cecile Rich

Thursday, August 31, 2006

what kind of society do we have that we don't even take care of the children?

so many things one can observe when riding a jeepney.

three little girls rode the jeep and sat beside me, all of them between the ages of 7 to 9. all of them were in their school uniform, those white blouses and blue pleated skirts, and one even carried those large pink stroller bags (you know, those bags, or aptly, luggages, with wheels that were popular when i was an elementary kid in the 90s).

strangely, i looked at the long hair of the girl sitting beside me, and i wondered why their mother/s (they may be sisters or classmates, i'm not sure) do not come to fetch them. but i'm used to seeing kids like these, going home by themselves. but at least they were going to school and not wandering the streets begging for coins. their mother/s may be tending to day jobs or to whatever business.

as the jeep neared the intersection of quezon avenue and agham road , the tallest of them said, "para." to my surprise, and to my utmost horror, the jeepney driver stopped the vehicle in the middle of the road, not even, in the very least, on the pedestrian lane.

i (and i'm already 20) really hate getting dropped off in the middle of the street since there was no time for me to see the other vehicles coming, and i have to act fast or i would be roadkill (especially in those busy streets with speeding cars).

the three of them got off the jeep, one by one jumping down the step that would be high to a little child. what kind of driver lets off children in the middle of the street? does he not have children of his own? what kind of society do we have now that we don't care about the safety of these children?

i watched helplessly as the kids play patintero with the vehicles. the cars drive past them, zooming on the avenue as the girls try to outrun these cars as they cross the street. worse, they were dropped off in that part of the avenue where there were railings in the middle and no pavement safe enough for them to step on.

all of us passengers, all women, looked on at the kids. one muttered about the driver's stupidity. but none of us did something, and i felt shameful.


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Saturn's precious star
the elder sister
a squirrel under the oak
never early
Venus' healing herb
la luna de la noche
a girl of wishes
pride inside
pretending to be smart
nicely tucked in
a lady not poised
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Location: San Juan, Philippines

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