an ocean of (in)difference

'man is a social being'. that's a basic tenet aside from the more sublime ones like 'man is greedy'.

kakabalik ko lang ng maynila mula sa probinsiya namin sa davao, and i'm both amused and scared by the lack of love in this part of the country.

case in point: i was on a jeepney headed for home, i was paying my fare, but nobody tried to reach out and hand the money to the driver.
ayun, kawawa ang kamay ng driver, dislocated joints and as flexible as overcooked spaghetti.
will probably end up as lastikman's double in the next pinoy movie flick.
i mean, seriously? wow people, c'mon.

another: i was there on the same jeepney, sat next to two people, probably a mother and her teenage daughter. they had their luggages on their lap.
as i sat next to them, she was pulling her daughter away from me. she was telling her daughter to look after her things, and that the daughter should be wary of me!
saying that, as if i was miles away from them & wasn't privy to their scheming conversation.
wow, again manila, great job of creating unnecessary paranoia.

third point: i was in queue waiting for my turn at the ATM. in front of me was a middle-aged woman. she was looking for something in her bag, presumably her bank card. her bag was wide open for the world to see. then she looked at me quizically, and instantly turned the other way and hid her large bag where i couldn't see. all that, while the security guard was just inches away from us.
c'mon woman. have some trust.

maybe i was just expecting a little too much. it's way different from what i've accustomed to.
or maybe, i'm just in the worst part of manila. a scary dog-eat-dog value system.

they say in a recent survey that the rudest place in 2011 for tourists were paris and london.
maybe that's why paris and london have gone cold, too much cosmopolitan air changing our values.

what's worrisome is that when you die, your immediate neighbors here in manila probably wouldn't care much. they're busy minding their own business. that's in stark contrast with the values in the province, where last week i attended the funeral service of our neighbor. the entire neighborhood & her distant relatives were there for her.

when i finish my training, which is several years away - this is me again thinking way ahead - i'm planning to retreat to the province, someplace where the people are kind, helpful and selfless.

someplace where a little love is not too much to ask.