I tried to fit my usual long online work hours and childcare into insane schedules to work around the blackouts. There was a point though when I began to feel myself progressively transforming into one giant, tense, purple nerve, ready to snap at the slightest poke.
Naturally, I’ve had to control myself. To vent off some steam, I’d march to the closet and scream. I’ve since sent the bogeyman running to his mother crying, “Mom there’s a nerve in my closet.”
Staying in control is important because I get the impression that complaining isn’t fashionable here. The last time I complained was when our garbage collectors disappeared into some void, leaving us close to cultivating the first maggot farm in the city due to uncollected trash. I was told I shouldn’t have filed a complaint and that I should just wait patiently for whenever authorities choose to take action.
Wait a doggone minute. Am I not a citizen of a country with one of the highest tax rates in Asia? If I can’t enjoy reliable basic services in spite of the taxes I pay, can I at least be entitled to the right to send maggots to government officials for Christmas?
We Filipinos are famous for our ability to cheerfully and ingeniously survive the worst kinds of adversity, but there is a danger to this skill. We run the risk of always accepting that we are slaves to circumstances, whatever they may be, and that there is nothing we can do.
Just because we are a happy people and we can live through the worst times, it doesn’t mean our default response should be to accept every piece of shit thrown at us. Can we not demand for accountability too? I suggest we nominate members to the Government Association of Greedy Officials (GAGO for short) and send them on prolonged field trips to Mindanao during rotational brownouts.
Of course it’s not just GAGO members that we should be taking to task. We are after all, responsible for putting them where they are. Does that make us eligible for membership to the TANGA club?
Bonus Rant: If you want to understand how electricity is generated and distributed in the Philippines, why it’s so expensive and why we consumers sit in the dark waiting for the light long after God gave humankind the intelligence to generate it, watch this video from Rappler.