The ignorant is still and will always be blissful.
November 1 and surprisingly, unlike the usual days, cabs queued up outside Glorietta 3 waiting for passengers. It happens only on days like this, Undas, because normally, it will take you about an hour and a half to get one. So I was glad, I'll be able to be in the office just in time. I couldn't resist going to Glorietta immediately after shweldo, so even if I had to sleep only for four hours, I won't mind just as long as I get to smell the "fresh" airconditioned smell of the malls later.
Ok wait. Out of topic.
I asked the Manong driver who was chatting with another Manong driver if "babiyahe po ba?". He said yes so I went ahead and tell him where to and stepped inside the cab.
There goes my usual routine of locking the doors, even the driver's door, and started staring out of the window for the people passing and the lights around the area of Makati Shang and 6750.
Manong asked me, "May pasok pa rin po ba mam?", I replied with, "opo, ala naman kaming holidays sa call center eh, pasko at new year nga merun eh." I was not ranting, it was more of a declarative sentence. And then the conversation went on. The usual stuff a call center agent riding a cab with a driver, full of warmth and friendliness, discussing the nature of the work of call center employees, how they think we save the industry of cabs at night and how they simply think that we are so yaman that the hope of this nation's economy lies in the english-speaking-with-a-thwang people and all that jazz.
At the corner of Greenbelt McDo, he started telling me about this Chinese businessman who once rode his taxi. This man, according to him was worried about the financial crash of the US and how it may gravely affect the Philippine Economy. With his hindi-ko-mawatasan tone, he asked me, "e paano pong maapektuhan yung ekonomiya ng Pilipinas eh may sarili naman tayong ekonomiya tsaka di naman tayo nakikishare sa Amerika? Tsaka paano po yun, kapag nagsara na yung mga call centers sa Pinas, ala na rin kaming kita".
That's how he simply told me this. How simple his worries are. I, on the other hand was thinking of Wall Street, of Washington Mutual, of Wachovia, of Dow Jones, Nasdaq and Paris Hilton. Well, yeah maybe Paris is not included.
I tried giving him simpler examples of how the US economy can actually affect us. I went as far absurd as, "tulad kunwari, yung pelikulang High School Musical, kung mababa na ang ekonomiya ng Amerika, siyempre kakailanganin ng mga artista na magtaas ng singil sa talent fee nila, at dahil mataas na ang production cost ng movie, tataas din ang pagbenta nila ng pelikula sa mga sinehan at syempre tataas din ang singil ng Glorietta o kahit pa ng Guadalupe ABC Theatre, at yung pambili natin ng tiket sa sine, ipapangkain nalang natin." I wasn't sure if I made the right analogy. But simply, my point is that it is a chain, a series of unfortunate events that leads to having third world countries from being affected by the US Economic crash. At hindi kanya kanya ang ekonomiya ng bawat bansa. It is a blessing though that the world economy was not created that way, I mean in the GMA Admin, would you seriously think na sana hiwalay nalang ang ekonomiya natin from the rest of the world? But I simply could not explain this to Manong, the travel from Glorietta to PeopleSupport is just not enough to cover these all. And even if I had time, I'd still not dare to explain. I assured him though, that while the US economy is crashing, they would still opt to put their outsourcing business here, because our manpower cost is definitely lesser, so hindi naman siguro magsasara nang tuluyan at pangkalahatan ang mga call center. He'd still have his job.
Good thing he voluntarily blurted, "naku, ganun naman pala. Buti kaming mga driver, ang kelangan lang namin sipag lang. Di naman namin kelangan intindihin yun. Tsaka, ayus na rin po na hindi naman alam para hindi sumasakit yung ulo namin kakaisip. Ayus na yung tulog, gising, kain, byahe. tas bukas ganun ulit."
The taxi meter says P50. plus ten according to their sticker. I gave him P70. He thanked me by saying, "ayun may pasobra pa. Tenkyu mam."
These are one of those times when you would actually wish you were at their shoes. And you do not know much about what's going on...