We were on our way home from Antipolo City when a group of men wearing yellow long-sleeves flagged us down for “smoke-emission” test daw. Turned out
they are ASBU officers. Not far away, our driver was already saying “sabi ko na nga ba eh!” (bro-tip#1: H’wag titingin sa mata ng mga MMDA/ASBU officers, dahil ang end story lang niyan eh huhulihin ka sa kung anu-anong dahilan.
Hanep! May pang-amusal na ang mga damuho!) Being “dull-minded” as I am when it comes to vehicle rules, I asked him to stop. We willingly parked our car alongside of the road since beforehand, pumasa na yung vehicle namin sa test na ‘to (I remember my kuya handed me the car’s registration with a guy on the picture posing near our plate #).
I stayed inside the car while our driver and our helper took care of the situation. Though inside, I had a good look at the “machine” they’re using. An ASBU officer went inside the car and stepped on the gas for about 5x while a guy outside was reading the results.
To my horror, we failed. Pano’ng nangyare y’un eh kakapasa pa nga lang ng unit namin sa smoke-emission test? We weren’t given the chance to see the result ourselves. They just said na bagsak daw. Later on, our driver whispered to me, “Ate, walang pumapasa sa smoke-emission test na yan. Bigyan na lang natin ng 200.”
Then there, my principles in life were put into test. I was torn between two difficult choices: tutubusin ko ba ‘to ng 1,000 sa City Hall at pagtiisan ang lahat ng abala o maglalagay na lang ako ng 200 para ma-satisfy ang mga damuhong ito?
I always said to myself that if ever I was put in a situation like this, I would firmly say NO to “kotong kings”; dahil nga naman the more I tolerate this, the more na pinalalala ko lang ang malala nang sitwasyon sa Pilipinas.
“Kuya, ‘di ba masama yun? Tubusin nalang natin sa City Hall.” I answered back.
“Ganyan talaga ang labanan dito sa Pilipinas. Pag ‘di ka naglagay, maaabala ka.”
Later on, I found myself handing our driver a 200 peso bill. For a moment, I felt like I was one of those people I hate the most: a liar, a cheater, and a thief. I wasn’t brave and firm enough to stand for what I believe in. I admit naging mahina ako, and it isn’t because we’re about to be P200 poorer.
Ayaw namin ng abala (as most would say it). Dahil sa mga taong katulad ko na may malinaw na pang-unawa sa kung anong tama at mali, pero pilit pa ring ginagawa ang mali, kaya patuloy na napag-iiwanan sa pansitan ang Pilipinas.
Hindi ko alam baka isang araw, isa sa mga ASBU officers na minsang pumara sa ‘min eh sa bandang huli mahahalal bilang isang councilor ng isang lalawigan. To tell you honestly, as much as I don’t want to engage with it, maraming lakad namin ang maaabala.
Ang masakit eh ginagamit lang nilang dahilan ang “Clean Air Act“. This isn’t about caring for the environment, this is about money-making racket!!! To those who will have the same experience as ours, please don’t make the same mistake. This country needs righteous citizens! Ang mahirap kasi sa ‘ting mga Pilipino puro tayo bato ng reklamo sa gobyerno (oil price hike? Blame the goverment! Rice shortage? Blame the goverment! Insufficient jobs? Blame the goverment! At uunahan na kita, if your toe nails died, you’re welcome to blame the goverment, too) without knowing na isa rin naman pala tayo sa mga nagiging sakit ng ulo ng bansa.
And finally, to the ASBU officers we encountered an hour ago: “Walang kasalanang hindi pinagbabayaran. May araw din kayo.”
author: justdare to think