Thursday, October 30, 2014
by Antonio C. Antonio
October 30, 2014
I had a vehicular accident yesterday along Sucat Road in Parañaque City. Traffic was rather heavy in the Manila Memorial Park area at around 2:30 PM as people were busy preparing for the All Saints Day celebration on Saturday. In a bumper-to-bumper situation, nothing made more sense than patiently waiting to move forward when a black Kia Carnival suddenly bumped me from behind. The hit was strong enough to whiplash my head on the headrest; and I heard my nape pop. I felt pain in my nape area as I got a little disoriented. I struggled to sit up straight, rested my head on the headrest, closed my eyes and prayed that it’s nothing serious.
I could not remember how much time lapsed but the next thing I remember was the incessant knocking on the driver side window of a man in a black t-shirt. Gathering my wits, I rolled down the window. He asked: “Okay lang po kayo sir?” (Are you okay sir?) I replied: “Medyo nahihilo lang pero ookay din ako.” (I’m a bit dizzy but I’ll be fine.) After I few more minutes I unbuckled and got out of the car to join the man who obviously was the driver. He seemed relieved to report that both cars had insignificant damage. Judging from the jar I took, I could not believe it but he was right… all that was there was a little scratch and a little dent that could go unnoticed.
The man apologized for the accident; I accepted the apology and returned to my car. I didn’t feel well enough to drive so I decided to pull over to the nearby gasoline station to rest some more. While I was there, I again got a knock on the window… it was him again. The man said he decided to follow me since he suspected I might need help. I handed him a PhP 100 bill and asked him to get me a can of soda from the convenient store in the gas station. In no time he was back with a can of Coke. While I was opening the can, I noticed that a 9 or 10-year old boy alighted from the Kia Carnival, went straight to the man and, in a rather belligerent tone, said: “Hindi pa ba tayo aalis? Gutom na ako.” (Aren’t we leaving? I’m hungry.) Before the man could even answer, the boy turned around and went back to their car. The man, in a visibly sad tone, narrated that the kid was the reason why the accident happened. The boy was very upset because of the traffic and was blaming the driver for picking him up late from school. The man intimated that the boy is a spoiled brat and when he tried explaining the situation to the boy, the young rascal became more upset and started hitting his driver with a notebook. In the man’s effort to parry the blows, his foot slipped from the clutch pedal causing their car to jump forward and bump into mine. I suggested that he acceded to the boy’s wish and go… before he got into more trouble.
Feeling better after about fifteen minutes, I drove home slowly. A picture of that man with that boy ran vivid in my mind. I began to wonder what sort of condition could influence that boy not to appreciate the luxury of having a driver bring him to school and fetch him after. From this incident, I was also reminded of a picture of a broken footbridge in a remote area where school children have to dangerously cross twice a day just to attend school. (Please see image which was posted Dean Inocencio E. Buot, Jr. of UPOU sometime ago.) This is a study in contrast I simply needed to understand. But as I write this article, I still don’t know the answers. All I know is, sometimes, people can’t appreciate certain luxuries in life without experiencing the absence of these luxuries.
Just my little thoughts…
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