of old things and new

Today, as I was walking home (in the dark at 8 pm because of research), it was my first time to notice that there is a pedestrian lane directly from PGH connecting to the OUR (as in, a person need not walk to reach the pedestrian lane in front of Robinsons to get to the other side of the road). I don’t know if it’s new or if it’s just my first time to see it. Maybe they painted it recently. Maybe it was the dark surroundings that made the zebra lines stand out. Maybe I just don’t notice pedestrian lanes because in the Philippines, people are very undisciplined.

When I first started living in Manila (for my studies), I tried to really follow the rules: walking only on pedestrian lanes and waiting for the green pedestrian light. However, all my efforts were futile because vehicle drivers would either beep at me or attempt to run me over even when I am on the right. It would still be a red light for them but they would go.  Padre Faura is a one way street, but a lot would counter flow. It’s very hard to cross because there are no traffic lights for the drivers, so they never give way to pedestrians, even though hundreds of people cross there everyday. I am almost always forced to jaywalk just so I can cross the street. The drivers don’t respect the pedestrian lanes and don’t care that they’re in the school zone. It’s hard to walk on sidewalks because it’s crowded with illegally parked vehicles and street vendors. Walking on sidewalks is also a safety issue, especially now because I walk home late at night (again, because of research). That is where people attempt to holdap and/or kill you. Again, I am forced to walk on the road.

Ugh. I can’t understand people here. They want change but they don’t change for the better. I hope everyone realizes that there can be no change in the country unless the change comes from each and every single one of us. Yes, I am talking about the national elections come May 9. It doesn’t matter who we elect, because as long as we do not change for the better, our country will remain where it is now.

It’s sad for me because I never want to lose hope in our country. I know we can do better. I just searched for our country’s ranking according to corruption in 2015, and we have a Corruption Perception Index of 35 according to Transparency International. A score of less than 50 means there is serious public corruption going on, and I really hope someday soon that graft and corruption would be eradicated. Sana naman we have a little less “looking out for my own” mindset and more nationalism. I know it starts with the public officials kasi grabe talaga yung responsibility nila dito. I hope people would be accountable for themselves and for their offices na. We are ranked 98 over 168 currently. Yup, that low.

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