I had another Podcast scheduled for publication today, but I decided to postpone the Podcast until next week, and instead write this. Something happened yesterday which I want to write about. I need to write about it. The information, I hope, is interesting and relevant. But, the main reason I need to write it is because it is bothering me. Often, when something is bothering me, if I write about it, it helps me sort out my thoughts and put my mind at ease. This incident is really bothering me, so maybe writing this article will help me.
Yesterday, I needed to go downtown for something, around lunch time. So, I walked up to the main road and caught a jeepney, rode it to the downtown area and took care of my business. Everything was going well, and I was in a good mood, feeling great.
After taking care of my errand, I did some more walking downtown to the area where I could catch a jeepney to go home. Pretty routine, just like I do many times. When I got on the jeepney to head home, there were only 3 others riding on the jeepney, so 4 people including me. It was a large jeepney, and with so few people aboard, we were fairly spread out.
I was sitting all the way in the back, right next to the back door of the jeepney. Around the middle of the jeepney there was a lady around 45 or so, with a child (probably her son) who was maybe 8 years old or so. Then, there was another lady sitting all the way at the front, right behind the driver.
I decided to go ahead and pay for my ride, so I got a P10 coin out to pay (P8 was my fare) and called out “bayad” as is the local custom. I then reached with my coin to hand it to the lady who was sitting with the boy. This is the normal way of paying, you pass your fare to people closer to the driver, and they pass it forward as well, until it reaches the driver of the jeepney (or the conductor if there is one). When I reached forward with my coins, the lady looked at me, straight into my eyes, and said “NO”. I have to say, I was pretty shocked. I have never seen this happen before. I have seen people not pass fare, but never come right out and say “NO”. Instead, usually, you can see people will just ignore, or act like they didn’t hear you. But, this lady just glared at me, I could see the anger in her face. I really don’t know why, I had done nothing to her, in fact, I had just gotten on the Jeepney just a minute before I tried to pass my fare.
So, I wanted to pay my fare, but there was no way I could reach to lady sitting all the way in the front, since I was way in the back. So, while the jeepney was moving, I just stood up and walked to the front. I handed a P10 coin to the lady up front, and she gave it to the driver. I was distracted because of what had happened, and because of that, I forgot to tell the driver where I was going. I had paid P10, but the fare to my destination would only be P8, but the driver didn’t know, because I didn’t tell him where I was going. He just assumed that P10 was my proper fare. So, I called out to the driver – “Sa SM lang” or “Just to SM”. So, then, the driver knew that he owed me P2, so he handed it to the lady sitting behind him. She held it out to pass it to the lady who had refused me, and she said “NO” again.
Again, I stood up and walked forward so that I could get my change. Both the driver and the lady at the front of the jeepney looked shocked at what had happened. When I got my change, I was standing right in front of the rude lady, I turned to her and said “Ikaw ang pinakabastos!” That translates to “You are the most rude”. Ha ha… I don’t usually say things like that, but I really felt offended by this lady. The other lady, the one up in the front of the jeepney got a smile on her face, I could tell that she was happy with what I told the lady.
It really made me feel bad when that happened. I felt bad about it for much of the rest of the day. Most Filipinos are so nice and polite, and I have tried to let that trait rub off on myself too. So, when this lady treated me like that, it really struck me, and not in a good way. When I got home, I told Feyma what happened, and she was pretty happy with what I told the lady on the jeep.
I think she deserved what I told her. What do you think? What would you have done or said? My general reaction would be to just remain silent, but this time I felt pretty strongly about the lady’s negativity.