Traffic, Tubig and Tang*na

There are issues that have long been solved. Issues that are ongoing and are a daily struggle. And issues that just spring up on you without warning, throwing everything into disarray.

I was never one to curse. And even putting it in the title gives me a sense of uneasiness. I tried it in High School, but it never really caught on. I guess I just wasn’t the type to speak with vulgarity. Especially Tagalog vulgar words. It is so much more intense, and when said, it cuts to the core of you. So I never did it, and I don’t intend to start. But man, the reality today really does merit it.

Then there is traffic. We have been struggling with traffic for so long. I remember the time when I was in College and the Katipunan flyover was being constructed, it took 3 to 4 hours to get to school! I ended up staying with friends in a condo in Katipunan to ease the pain of the daily commute. But now, a 2 to 3 hour commute is normal. There are no extraordinary bridges being built (the LRT, yes, but it doesn’t affect traffic now), it is just… normal. And the sad thing is, we have all accepted it to be normal. We just make the effort to leave early, avoid going to places that will get us stuck, and entertain ourselves with radio shows and podcasts. And when it rains, wow. Carmageddon. Is there a solution? Many, but none being done. There is no end in sight.

And speaking of rain, there hasn’t been any for a few months now. As is expected from this dry season. And it has been like this every year. But now… like a thief in the night, we have lost water without warning. The warning came as an announcement of water interruptions. And life has never been the same. It is day 7, and all the subsequent announcements of when we are supposed to have water, are just empty like the faucets in our homes.

But why? Is it because of an increase in population? Has there been such an incremental and huge increase in the past month that all the water disappeared? Why does Maynilad still have water, and Manila Water has none? Why do we just depend on one place, instead of using all the water around us – we are thousands of islands! If they can have water in the desert, then we can have water here too!

It is frustrating, annoying, life-altering. The kids have school. We have work. Water doesn’t come as promised. And everything changes. Water runs our lives, and this may be the start of Fury Road extinction levels. Wait for the riots in the streets.

Though it is wonderful (? yes) that this happens at this time. It is the Lenten Season anyway. Where we sacrifice those things that can affect us the most. And maybe, with whatever is happening to the country right now, God decided to help us take our fasting seriously. Instead of giving up colored drinks, or eating sweets, or playing games on gadgets, we are forced to give up the accessibility to water.

Giving up life-giving water, to cling to the Person who truly gives us life. We will live through traffic. Hearing cuss words. And even with rationed water. But we won’t live without being focused on Him. And these days, we may have forgotten that. So here is the smack-in-your-face reminder that there are more important things in life. And that is making sure we live our best holy lives in order to make it to life with our Creator.

So yes, thank you for this crisis. It makes us get up earlier to fill up pails, jugs and containers. Makes us even more patient. And makes us cling to you even more. Because, even if we don’t know it, we need to be with you 24/7.

Now time to wipe my face with a damp towel, spray some body spray and call it a night.

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