February 25, 2018, 5:58 am
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Plenty social frictions…

Arriving ahead of my date at his snooty--“Solamente Para Los Miembros”—penthouse dinner club in Makati, I offered to wait at the periodicals lounge. The maitre d’ in suit and tie receiving me hesitated.

“Madam, I’m sorry to have to tell you, but you’re not wearing proper shoes. Club rules do not allow sandals in our premises.” He added obligingly: “We keep proper shoes in all sizes. I can lend you a pair of pumps in your size.” 

Such sychophant hit me livid; ludicrous and comical. Intuitively, I flaunted myself as opulent, sosyal, belonging. I took him aside: 

“Listen fellow, my shoes are not the beach zorries which are rightfully banned from your environs. These sandals cost a thousand U.S. dollars. What I’m wearing is therapeutic shoes created by, and ordered from NASA. They will not skid even on oiled glass. Because I slip easily, doctors want me to wear only these shoes everywhere. I wear them to the President’s receptions in Malacanang. My sandals are therefore a lot more impressive than proper shoes you allow others to wear around here. 

“In fact, my sandals look a lot newer, handsomer, and more expensive than those shoes you’re wearing. If you must know, like Mrs. Marcos, I have hundreds of what you call proper shoes in my closet. So... you, my dear club manager, will have to allow me and my NASA sandals in. Or, I will have to sue you and your club owner for discriminating against a Person With Disability.”

“Of course, Madam, please, may I offer you a seat…” is all I remember him saying. His power-trip challenged by the condescending insolence of the soliloquy I threw at him. He easily accepted that I was not a proletariat prom-di to be snubbed, that I was a somebody, even without proper shoes. I felt sosyal! 


Walking from my Makati condo one Sunday to the Union Church early worship, I paused by a decrepit woman sitting on the sidewalk begging; a new-born on her lap, surrounded by three other toddlers a year apart. All filthy, malnourished.

With RH (reproductive health/responsible parenthood bill) on my mind, I walked closer and said, “Manang, alam mo ba na nagbibigay ng contraceptives diyan sa public health? Gusto mo tulungan kita para bigyan ka ng contra-buntis?” I meant well, I promise. On the chance that she does not know that contraceptives are available at the health center, and that pregnancies can be spaced, she needs help from me against her horny male. Horny every night, causing her to be pregnant every year. She needed MY help….

Her loud response: “Kasalanan sa mga pari yan! Huwag mo akong pakialaman!” (“I will sin against the priests. Stay out of my life.”) 

Good grief! The Vatican Pope’s romano message has reached everyone! My intention—if she’s never heard of family planning… she would appreciate a passer-by, me, to tell her that she does not have to be always pregnant and begging. 

Her shouted reply to me still rings in my ears. “Kasalanan sa mga pari yan! Huwag mo akong pakialaman!” 

I, a benevolent bourgeois pakialamera busybody, was put in my place. Vanquished by a pulubi. Ho boy. I left swiftly, lest, she threw her begging tin can at me. 


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