It was Saturday morning when I arrived at Vito Cruz LRT Station at Taft Avenue and decided to stay at the McDonalds while waiting for my Co-Dramaturgs to arrive. We’ve dealt to meet there before going to De La Salle University of Manila to do our research.
Sitting on the seat at the corner of the fast food chain, I looked around and saw different kind of people. Rich, high class, sossy and liberated people were majority. Almost everyone were DLSU students.
At the corner table on the other side, there were three boys and a girl laughing with each other, they looked like the one who were in the ‘well-known music band’ in their university. They were just talking, pushing each other’s arms and didn’t care of anyone who’s around them. Unlike to the next group of girls who just got into the entrance. Looking at the other people who passed by them from head to toe like they were disgusted, they looked like the ‘mean girls’. And the next group came by was a group of ‘lovebirds’. They were holding hands, kissing each other’s cheeks and lips and boys hugging their girls from the back before taking their seats. ‘How irritating and disgusting the demonstrativeness was! ’ I thought. Did they really have to do that in public? And like the group who looked like the ‘well-known music band ’, they didn’t care of anyone who’s around them. They were just living their own world. Those groups didn’t look smart at all but rich. Surely they were with how they dressed and how dyed their hair was.
There were also other people inside the McDonald, the nerds, who sits and eats alone wearing their reading glasses while holding their book. The two ‘simple-but-obviously-rich’ girls sitting beside me. And the ‘quiet and descent’ couple on the other side. Unlike the groups, these people seems smart and rich also.
Looking at those people, I knew they were a first class people. They have this fashion, the style and the guts. They were all looked intelligent. Either individual, by two’s or by group they were all intimidating.
I’ve got nothing compare to them. I’ve just ordered chicken sandwich and iced coffee while they ordered two piece chicken with rice or spaghetti, fries, pancakes and Vanilla Iced Coffee. They have this original Jansports while I don’t. They have a fair and flawless skin and I don’t. They study at DLSU and I don’t. I was really intimidated at that time even by just looking at them.
But observing people getting in and out of the fast food chain, I knew that even we have a lot of differences we still have similarities. I saw insecurities, intimidation and loneliness.
When my Co-Dramaturgs finally arrived, we had a little chit-chat before getting to DLSU Henry Sy, Sr Hall’s Library. We were astonished to see how big and elegant the DLSU was!
They were catering at the ground, elevators on the left and two high escalators left and right going to the 2nd floor of the building. I haven’t gone to any school like this before. School guards and staffs were like hotel crews! Wearing their black and white descent uniforms. One of them led us to the accounting office to pay for the library fee. After that we proceeded to the library on the 6th floor of the building and went straight to the information desk. We had given papers to fill in before the information desk manager told us to get on the 12th floor to the Filipiniana Section, for the scripts that we needed was placed there. There were only few people inside the Filipiniana Section when we got there.
While doing our research, there were students outside the Filipiniana Section having a library tour. Just like us, other students were amazed to see how big the DLSU was. While other students only have a vague expression. Those students were the rich one. Already used to that kind of elegance. They were maybe a high school student of DLSU.
After finding the scripts that we needed, we decided to have a tour in Luneta. There were a lot of people in the park. Unlike earlier at McDonalds, people at the park were all different. Not everybody was rich and high-class but an average people having fun and relaxing at the park.
There were couples, children, foreigners, photographers and even beggars.
Observing them, I’ve felt something heavy inside me, especially to the photographers and beggars. I hate seeing people like that, working hard but couldn’t even get anything. They were ignored by the people around. I pitied them.
While walking along the park, I saw an old man sitting on the garbage bin. Holding a karton while watching the group of teenagers playing on the grass. He was looking at them deeply while smiling. Seems like he was reminiscing something in the past. Maybe missing his childhood or his family. It slowly broke my heart into pieces. Until he stood up and searched something in the garbage bin. Fortunately, he got a Zagu chocolate shake. He drunk it and I knew he wasn’t contended. I knew that wasn’t enough for him. That really broke my heart into pieces. I wanted to cry. I pitied him. I pitied everyone who’s just like him. I wanted to help him but I couldn’t do anything. I also have nothing compare to those people I’ve encountered at the McDonalds that morning.
Then my co-Dramaturg shared something to me about what they encountered earlier that morning. She said while on their way to DLSU earlier, a man hop into the jeep and wiped their shoes with an untidy towel while asking for alms. No one inside the jeep gave him alms. Then before the man jump off the jeep it had whispered, “Mas mabuti pang magnakaw…”
Now I realized why other people chose to do crime instead of working hard. Because even they work hard in a descent way they couldn’t also get anything. While in doing crimes they could get anything in just one glance. People will do everything just for living. And in this life, there were no justice to anything like that. Anyone who commits crime are criminals. Were the fact was, some of the criminals were just victim of this unfair world. Some of them were pushed to do crimes just to provide the needs of their family. Some were also just seeking for justice.
Why life is never fair? Why there are less fortunate people? Why do they have to suffer from poverty?
I knew those less fortunate people I’ve encountered that morning were all good people.
‘ Likas sa tao ang kabutihan, pero pag nasa makipot siyang daan lahat ay kakapitan niya, wag lang siya malaglag. ‘
We should never underestimate the people around us.