Skip to main content

Raining cats and dogs, hailing taxicabs

Story 1.

One night, at 11:30 p.m., an older African American woman was standing
on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rainstorm.
Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride.

Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab. She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him.

Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home.

A special note was attached. It read: "Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others,"
Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole.

Story 2.

Sometime 1987: soaked to the marrow and shivering under a late afternoon downpour at Quezon Avenue, I flagged a cab.

The driver rolled up the window on the passenger side and asked me, "Sa'n ka?"

Coughed a reply: "Project 8, p're!" It was about a P40 fare then. The cab roared away.

Feeling flustered I flagged some more. Taxi driver #2 and I repeated the same skit that ended in taxicab roaring away, leaving a splash of floodwater behind. Soaked me some more.

Same skit with Taxi driver #3.

The script for Taxi driver #4 went a major overhaul after he asked me the familiarly contemptuous line, "Sa'n ka?"

The business end of an ugly Beretta .22 was jabbed between his eyes and I shivered some more, telling him in a tad piquant tone, "Putang ina mong hindot ka! Sa impiyerno na lang kita ibibiyahe kapag hindi mo 'ko isinakay. 'Tang ina n'yo, nakita n'yo nang nangangaligkig sa lamig, basang kuting na 'ko dito-- magtatanong ka pang gunggong ka! Babayaran kita!"

He went white as a sheet, I even asked him to take me to LTO, LTFRB, the police precinct at Baler St. near West Avenue-- anywhere I could present him to the authorities-- and all along the route, I bristled with verbal abuse at the hapless hack. I paid him P50.

In 2000, I bet one of the cops -- a pulis probinsiya-- assigned on guard duty at Shell House in Makati that taxicab drivers are so choosy with passengers, all they'll pick up are those headed within Makati. I dared him to arrest every hack who won't comply. It took three arrests of offending drivers before he gave up-- I was proved right.

Moral of this true-to-life tales:

[1]Don’t tack a picture and use a nom de plume for a column like this.

[2]Cabbies in Metro Manila are stone cold illiterates—they can’t read and won’t heed what’s printed boldly on the cab: ‘Manila to any point of Luzon.’

[3]In a downpour just when you want to hail a cab anywhere in Metro-Manila, the cab driver ought to be hailed with a hail of slugs-- small arms fire will do.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Every single cell of my body's happy

I got this one from Carmelite Sisters from whose school three of my kids were graduated from. They have this snatch of a song that packs a fusion metal and liebeslaud beat and whose lyrics go like this:

"Every single cell of my body is happy. Every single cell of my body is well. I thank you, Lord. I feel so good. Every single cell of my body is well."

Biology-sharp nerds would readily agree with me in this digression... Over their lifetimes, cells are assaulted by a host of biological insults and injuries. The cells go through such ordeals as infection, trauma, extremes of temperature, exposure to toxins in the environment, and damage from metabolic processes-- this last item is often self-inflicted and includes a merry motley medley of smoking a deck a day of Philip Morris menthols, drinking currant-flavored vodka or suds, overindulgence in red meat or the choicest fat-marbled cuts of poultry and such carcass.

When the damage gets to a certain point, cells self-destruct. T…

KASI NANLABAN

Viagra au naturel

IT LOOKED eerie—a blaze of fireflies pulsing like stars in the nippy air, throbbing with mating passions. That show of lights somehow eased the shadows of a Holy Thursday night on a dry river bed a few kilometers trudge up Mount Makiling.

It’s likely that no river has lain in sleep for months on that moss-grown, boulder-strewn bed—except my 20-year old kid Kukudyu and I. We were out to spend the night, do on-site learning sessions by the next day. Usual father-and-son bonding. As the late Benjamin Franklin once begged: "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."

Past noon from the foot of the mountain’s northern section, it took us four hours ploughing non-stop through prickly bushes and forest undergrowth to get to that site. We got there in one bruised piece. By then, dusk was falling; the sylvan air hummed with a trill of crickets, cicadas, critters nameless in choral orison. That incessant “sh-r-r-e-eemmm---“ layered with “k-kr-r-eeengg--” …