The other day I got stuck in one of the most unbearable traffic jams in my years of being a commuter. I was inside this jeepney with six other people and we were all sweating like pigs because of the heat. Our jeepney barely moved at all. We’ve been on the same spot for 15 whole minutes and as a person who has a lot of experiences when it comes to heavy traffic jams, I kept my calm and tried not to worry so much. The heat was over 40 degrees and it was making all of us impatient. Another 15 minutes have passed when one passenger decided to just get off and walk. The driver then suggested the same thing to us since we were somewhere “near” the terminal anyway, according to him. I didn’t know the place that well enough to walk but I couldn’t stand the heat inside. Everyone alighted the jeepney so I did the same and I thought I’d see the terminal in 5 minutes tops like what the driver promised but I thought wrong.
I didn’t know exactly how far I’ve walked but I finished listening to like, 15 songs before I reached the terminal. Anyway, as I was walking, All I can think about was WHY was I walking and WHY was the traffic heavy in this part of town and on a freaking Saturday night? If it was Friday, sure, I would understand but it was a Saturday and class hasn’t even started yet for most students. I thought of a lot of possible scenarios of what may have caused the jam. Maybe there was a collision? An accident? Or maybe there was a murder that took place on the far side of the road? Or maybe, some TV production was shooting a show or something and there was a famous actor there. I was determined to find out the cause of the traffic jam so I kept on walking, looking forward for an answer. However, when I got to the place where all the cars seemed to get stuck, I saw nothing. There weren’t an accident, or an actor or dead bodies. There were just a bunch of cars who couldn’t get through because the other cars took two lanes instead of just one. None of the cars wouldn’t want to give way and everyone wanted to get ahead first. The source of the problem was non-existent. It was just the motorists and their unbelievable ability to be incredibly selfish. When I passed by that place of chaos, the road was incredibly wide. No traffic at all. You can even play hopscotch on it.
I got angry because it was completely idiotic. I walked so far just because some idiot driver couldn’t stay on his lane and decided to make his own and others followed suit. That’s just so typical selfish Filipino attitude. Then as I was fuming, I realized something. The whole experience describes the present condition of our country. This is why the Philippines is not moving forward. This is the reason why we are STILL a third world country.
We’re all inside this big jeepney and our driver, the President, though he’s trying, can’t do anything about it but sit and wait for the car in front of him to move a tiny inch. And we, the passengers resolve to complaining and getting angry for not knowing the reason why we’re stuck in traffic. The driver can’t even explain it either. There’s a car who’d take two lanes to get ahead and the others will follow his corrupt and wrong example with the goal of getting ahead too. We, the people who cannot afford cars, get stuck way behind. So, I realized that the more we stay in that jeepney, HOPING to move forward, the more we are dooming ourselves in poverty. Unless we gather our courage and strength to alight the jeepney and move forward by ourselves, we can never get away from that traffic jam. We’ll be stuck there for hours, cursing the government and the heavens for giving us such a hard time and never get anywhere.
Our country is stuck in a perpetual traffic jam and we all need to get off the ride and start walking. We’ve been trudging on the wrong direction for too long, sitting and doing nothing but complain. We must make our own path to progress and not follow someone else’s. It’s going to be a long journey to success so we all better start walking right now.