Herding Cinderellas

When the Makati standoff yesterday finally ended late in the afternoon, I thought it would be a nice way to end the crazy week by attending the office party. Not only was it crazy in terms of work, it was also such because of the crazy weather brought about by several storms and a pretty strong earthquake that left me dizzy literally on a busy Tuesday.

So I thought that it would be a pretty nice idea to get into a place where people are supposed to have a good time in time for the Christmas season. After all, a little self-indulgence should help relieve at least a little bit of stress I’ve had for the week that was, for the month that was, and to some extent, for the year that was.

I never realized how wrong I was.

At least not until the news of the 12 to 5 curfew reached me. The party venue saw scores of people leave as early as 8. By the time I left along with a companion at around 9, a little over 40 were left. I even jokingly said to other colleagues as I was leaving, “kelangan ko nang umalis. Wala akong pam-piyansa dito e.” (I have to leave already, I don’t have money for bail with me.”

I reached home at around 11 after slugging it out with other commuters. With such a sudden announcement, traffic has of course stressed the streets of the city. Flocks of other commuters were clogging up the sides of roads waiting for public transportation. The curfew was on everyone’s mouth as I passed through closing malls and establishments which were supposed to still hold people at that time.

When I reached home anyway, news of media people picked up by the police and detained at Camp Bagong Diwa were all over the channels. That and the alarming curfew announced by administration officials left me disappointed with the times.

So that was how martial law felt.

Back during GMA’s campaign the past elections, I knew I had to be wary of her. Despite the known support of the elite and supposed intellectuals of this country to her, I knew there was something wrong when her camp did everything to win at all costs, including dirty means.

Now it’s still very much the same; a difference being that this time, ordinary people are the ones at the disposal of the authority’s whims.

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