The root of our woes is our lack of discipline and respect

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ALLELUIA, Black Nazarene!!!! A multitude of devotees will be in Quiapo today to pay homage to the Black Nazarene.

I had in the past joined the devotees who wipe the holy image with my hankie, but not anymore. I go there any day before January 9 when there is not yet that swarm of people. And there are so many images within the church and I suppose they provide the same protection and blessings. The horde has become a mob. Why can’t we line up in an orderly fashion along the length of Quezon Avenue and Taft Avenue to have the opportunity to be near the image and express our passion? Why can’t we behave in front of the Black Nazarene? Why do we have to jam the area around the image and the length of the parade? Is this devotion? Will the Black Nazarene in heaven appreciate such chaos in His name? I wonder.

My friends avoided Divisoria, Greenhills and other bargain centers starting November last year. They were morbidly afraid of the perceived crowds that usually do their Christmas shopping there. I have been going to Divisoria regularly since it is just a short distance from my house. I was there several times in December, particularly on the 19th, 21st and 23rd. There was no swarm of shoppers in Divisoria. But you could hardly move around inside 168 and 999 Malls and Recto Avenue from Juan Luna St. and the other streets of Divisoria Market. The reason is the lack of discipline and the greed of store/stall owners.
Greenhills was more organized and the shoppers there are more disciplined. Yet, there was still jostling and shoving as if . . . I don’t know.

Along Recto and the other streets around, one could barely walk without bumping into any of the sidewalk vendors and itinerant vendors. The street was almost closed to vehicles. Chaos abounded.


But there were not that many shoppers. There were more shoppers on an ordinary weekend from January to October when shopping was an exciting and enjoyable experience. This time, it took me an hour to navigate on foot Sto. Cristo Street from Recto to Lavezares Street. It was an ordeal. The problem was the sidewalk and street vendors clogging the street and sidewalk plus delivery carts and delivery men carrying stacks of boxes on their heads or backs, going in both directions, plus a few shoppers carrying bagsful of goodies walking in both directions. I thought there were more sellers (owners and helpers) and deliverymen than shoppers. And when one shopper stops to check out or buy the goods, everybody stops. There is no other space for the other shoppers to continue walking. Then there were trucks from the Manila City Hall trying to clear the roads.

Shoppers and sellers give way but as soon as the vehicle is gone, it is chaos again.

At 168 Mall, it was the same. There is only limited space for one reed-thin person to walk in. The stall owners had extended their areas and were occupying the aisles and what small space is left on the aisles were jam-packed with more stacks of goods in boxes or huge bags. I experimented, and every two stalls I would stop and ask for the prices of their goods and everybody following me or going to the opposite direction would stop. Pity the delivery men with those heavy boxes on their backs or heads. Nobody moved! To each his own. I don’t care, you don’t care, nobody cares for anybody!

So it seemed like there were so many shoppers. Wrong! There were only undisciplined, greedy retailers and uncaring shoppers who didn’t mind if there were people waiting to move on. Mutual respect was sorely lacking.

Okay, prices of goods at Divisoria are really super-duper low. For example, the big and thick adult coloring book, the present choice fad, costs from P90-120 each, depending on your bargaining power. At SM, the exact same product costs P399. But you have to spend lots of time (It took me eight hours just to buy fruits, torotot and adult coloring books and spent more time in people traffic and chaotic situations), lots of patience and lots of perspiration.

Lessons learned:
If you want to shop in Divisoria at Christmastime, shop early (January-October). The root of all our woes, be it traffic along the streets of Metro Manila or others, is our lack of discipline as a people. We want to always get ahead and we have no patience to wait for our turn. We have no respect for the time and convenience of others; we only think of our own. We cause the problem, yet we complain to no end and we always look for someone else to blame (usually the sitting president).

Possible solution: Let’s contribute to the solution, and not be part of the problem. Let’s practice discipline and respect.

See you in Divisoria and Greenhills for mind-boggling bargains!

Feedback to moje629@gmail.com

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7 Comments

  1. Hail Hail, the BLOCK OF WOOD!!!

    Fooling the GULLIBLE Pinoys since1521.

    2 Dead devotees today, more next year…..LOL!!

  2. I just hope and pray that not one from these horde of devotees shall vote for either Binay or Duterte for if one does then where is the Faith. Binay as everyone knew is a revealed plunderer and liar while Duterte is a confessed killer of 1700 persons, an adulterer, wife beater, arrogant, a thief and liar

  3. The religious cultural heritage of us Filipinos is really mind boggling, considering that it has been taught in our religion subject in school, as one of the ten commandment had been written – ‘Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image’, yet the catholic church continue to promote such pagan practice of public revelry until today.

    A devotee of any patron saint or of holy being need not show it in public and be among the hoard of people, showing nothing short of fanaticism and bacchanalian festivities, which tie together such an act in any of these celebrations – the holiness of the act of devotion is lost, rather it has become a desperate attempt to seek what little else hope for redemption against personal errors brought about social malaise.

    With all these public displays of devotion and festivities, to all the saints and holy beings that we have, Filipinos moral values continue to spiral out of control – religious Filipinos really need to examine how we practice our faith and to seek answers elsewhere besides a one-day affair of instant relief brought about by the opportunity of wiping a hankie on a graven image.

  4. Edgar G. Festin on

    Binuang lang kini, Mayor Digong.
    Mayor Duterte tolod me to post this: “Pu___g ina ninyong mga taga-Quiapo at mga pareng katoliko riyan! Dahil sa inyo nawasak ang normal na taprik! Talagang masunurin kayo sa pu___g inang Pope ninyo!”
    Iboto si Duterte para sugpuin ang mga Katoliko at ang kanilang mga kalokohan!
    Hahahahahahaha!

  5. yes same probelm all over asia very rude people , try air terminals asians arrive late push in line near the front, stores with so many boxes on the floor where you walk hopeless no one cares

  6. related ang kagulo sa festival ng nazareno sa congestion ng traffic. ang traffic congestion ay simbolo ng ating pinoy na lipunan: tuwid ang daan pero siksikan. gustong mauna lahat. kaya uso ang palakasan, gulatan, lagay, siraan. ang road widening ay nagiging parking space.

    dine sa probinsya ay mas pronounced ang problema. ang destination na pwedeng datnin ng 5 minuto, ngayon ay bwenas ka na kung mararating mo ng isang oras dahil may mga harang na pwesto ng peryante at peryahan na pinayagan ng mga kapitan dahil para daw masaya ang “tao”. syempre, ang nasisisi ay ang mga traffic officers na on duty sa ilalim ng init o ng ulan.

    solusyon? alam halos lahat ang solusyon.

  7. ang traffic congestion ay simbolo ng ating pinoy na lipunan: tuwid ang daan pero siksikan. gustong mauna lahat. kaya uso ang palakasan, gulatan, lagay, siraan. ang rode widening ay nagiging parking space.