Showing posts with label frustration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label frustration. Show all posts

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tragedy and mockery

Friday the 13th turned out to be tragic to a faculty member of the College of Mass Communications of the University of the Philippines Diliman. Prof. Lourdes Estella-Simbulan was killed when a bus hit the taxi she was riding along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City at around 6:00 PM yesterday. By the looks of the crumpled taxi cab shown in photos and videos taken by the media, it would have been a miracle if she survived such a crash.

Adding insult to injury were reports that the bus driver fled after the incident. The name of the bus company is not familiar to me despite our Center currently immersed in a project developing a planning support system for public transportation that included a database component that required us collecting data on companies and operators of public transport in Metro Manila. I suspect that the bus is one of those fly-by-night units taking advantage of the night in operating illegally or maybe one that is part of the kabit system that would be difficult to take to task by the HPG or the LTFRB. It is indeed a mockery of traffic rules and regulations that drivers can get away with murder when they are involved in crashes such as this. It is even more frustrating that the most common reason mentioned by drivers when asked why they drive recklessly is that they are just “naghahanap buhay” or earning a living. Such is unacceptable and those charged to bring order to traffic should be decisive and assertive on acting to prevent such crashes from happening again.

To me there is some irony in what had transpired considering that a couple of days ago, the Philippine joined other countries around the world in launching a program geared towards the reduction of road crashes and victims in the next ten years. Forget about the decade – there is a need to reduce crashes and victims NOW. This is because people are getting killed (or dare I say murdered) now, and there are terrible costs even as I write this post.

The College of Mass Communications is a partner in our advocacy for road traffic safety. In fact, that college produced a video for driver education that was supported by resources extended by the private sector led by the Automobile Association Philippines and Toyota Motor Philippines. I am sure that their faculty are now wondering if their efforts have been to naught considering the proliferation of drivers disregarding traffic rules and regulations, throwing caution to the air when they drive their vehicles.

On my part as head of a Center providing training to public utility vehicle drivers, I feel responsible and frustrated at the same time as I question myself if indeed our efforts are even having the slightest influence to improve PUV drivers’ behaviors. In fact, I have been admonishing participants in our training courses about how they sit in and pretend to learn, and then go out and drive like hell. I just hope that the driver involved in the crash that killed Prof. Simbulan is not among those whom we trained at the Center. It would be a shame and one that makes a mockery out of our efforts in promoting road safety. It is our failure as educators that our students and trainees do not practice what they are taught in terms of road safety. We just take it with a grain of salt, so to speak, that responsibility for such PUV drivers’ behavior can also be linked to a flawed licensing system as well as shortcomings in the regulations of public transport services. Indeed, we have our work cut out for us and we can only hope that our persistent efforts would eventually prevail and lead to a significant improvement to safety along our roads.

Friday, January 29, 2010

One down, one to go

The Clairvoyant finally got her car after three and a half months at Mazda repair shop. Three and a half months! And to think that we even pleaded to the casa last October to have the car fixed and ready to go before Christmas! The price tag was a pocket-emptying, passbook-ripping 248,000 pesos; down from the over 280,000 peso initial bill after some discounts were given. We could've bought a nice used car for that amount. But what the heck, it needed to be paid if only to finally conclude this chapter of a still unfinished book co-authored by one Ondoy.

The Crown of course is still at the repair shop. It has been quite difficult to find parts and it has yet to go through a paint job although the body repairs have been made. When it finally rolls off the shop then probably I can start calling it quits with the first car I ever bought. It'll probably be the first car I'll sell despite the sentimental value I've placed on it. Oh well, farewells are necessary as I am now committed to another - a Corolla...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Two Months After and Looking Blankly as Christmas Approaches

It's 2 months since that fateful weekend of the deluge brought about by Ondoy. I'm still driving a car graciously provided by a friend (Thanks!!!) with my Crown still sitting and under repair at another friend's shop. The Mazda 3 languishes in Makati where God knows when essential parts would be arriving from Japan and God forbid that more damage is brought about by disrepair - the result of the casa's non-action. The costs of having 2 cars repaired have escalated. The damage is mainly due to the continuing deterioration of the newer car with the estimated costs now exceeding 200 thousand pesos for the Mazda alone. It's bad enough being hit by a flood (we survived after all) but it feels so much worse being f^%$&d by the casa.

I've said farewell to the idea of having a new notebook to replace my 3-year old Satellite. Farewell too to having our garage covered. Now, I'm eager to get my Professorial Chair money but only because we need it badly to pay for the Mazda. There are actually more important, more personal items already in the pipeline but were thanks to our finances in shambles after Ondoy. We're still luck, I continue to convince myself. So far, I've succeeded but I'm not as hopeful as what try to project. After all, I'm not the kind of person who will admit defeat though I accept it.

Th only bright spot now is the work being done at home. The contractor we hired is very good and has so far completed most of the repairs and renovations we had planned even before the inundation of late September. Is Christmas really just around the corner? I hope it isn't and I'm sure not looking forward to its material implications. 2010? Who knows what's lurking next year? I hope it doesn't beat 2009 in terms of the hurt and the sadness of losing what's left of childhood memories and the sense of security that comes from owning a home.