Why So Sore?

February 15, 2010 at 10:11 pm (Uncategorized)

Reflection for my English SoFA interview. I decided to post this because I miss writing this kind of stuff. 🙂

It was a long journey to get to our interviewee, Mr. Jiggy Cruz. After getting his number from Ma’am Meng de Guia, and not getting any reply for a week, he suddenly scheduled for the next day at Rockwell. We were shaken, rattled and… rolled(?). Anyway, that whole day was littered with several activities, a CSO nametag-making meeting in the morning, a visit to Mat Defensor’s office after lunch, a Music group meeting in the afternoon, then the interview.

The day was lengthy and we never had our own transportation, so we got around via tricycle, taxi and on foot. People say that the journey matters as much as the destination, so let me talk about some of the things we chanced upon throughout the journey.

We left the CSO meeting and proceeded to McDonald’s for a quick lunch, then started walking to Aurora Boulevard, a very busy street. Walking, we saw fragile little children walking home from school. If someone of my size tripped the child ever-so-accidentally, his or her tiny, delicate body would be hurled into the busy highway. Despite this, the kids were unbelievably brave, strutting down the street with their Looney Tunes backpacks. One of the boys was brave enough to run across as Wacky and I gaped, ready to yell, “OMG YOU MIGHT DIE, NOOOOOO.”

Walking down Molave St. to get to Mat Defensor’s office, we stuck out like sore thumbs (or a sore middle finger in my case, being far taller and considerably more offensive than Wacky). Clearly, there was a social divide, because I felt especially awkward walking down that dirty street to stares, some hostile and some simply curious. I even joked to Wacky, “Don’t look them in the eye. They’ll see it as a sign of aggression.”

I told you I was the middle finger.

After submitting my requirements for entry to the Ten Outstanding Students of Quezon City – 3rd District at the office of Congressman Defensor, we walked back (avoiding a lot of dog poo on the way) until we were able to hail a cab to head over to Alvin’s house in Monte Vista, which provided a very different atmosphere, one that seemed peaceful, and there was free McDonald’s cheeseburgers and painfully cold water. Here, we practiced for our song presentation for Music, while Wacky alternated between preparing our interview questions and sleeping.

After the meeting, we managed to hail another cab that took us to Makati. We knew from his blog that Jiggy hated late people, so we were making a lot of jokes about missing him or him getting angry at us for being late. In the long cab ride, we finalized our questions and psychologically prepared ourselves for the interview (which was necessary, especially for Wacky).

We arrived around 5:30, with the interview scheduled at 6:00, so we sat at McDonald’s (our third time for the day), ordered some ice cream to earn our keep at the little table and waited. You get an interesting glimpse of humanity when it is waiting for something to happen. You see terminally-ill patients waiting to die, employees off from work waiting for cabs, boys waiting for answers to prom invitations. We see how nervous people become, how their imaginations go insane with all the possible scenarios. What if the cab never arrives and I have to walk home? (What if he can’t make it and we’re left with no SoFA interviewee?) What if I don’t wake up tomorrow? (What if we’re briefly distracted and we miss him?) What if she doesn’t love me the way I love her? (What if we ask the wrong question and he gets turned off?

In the same way, you see the moment of acceptance when what is being waited for finally arrives. The cab appears and he steps in, surrendering to the fatigue that should’ve set in long ago. Death comes and she realizes she is ready to take flight. The answer comes and though it’s a no, he’s impressed by his bravery for even asking.

And so Jiggy Cruz came, with his girlfriend (which definitely disappointed Wacky) and after all our nerve-wracking waiting, we were relieved and thrilled to finally begin the interview. He was gracious and fun to interview. We asked him about his life, growing up, about advocating voting and about educating the nation so it would not unwittingly choose to repeat history.

He talked about how the future of the nation depended on the just decisions of the often ill-informed youth. He shared details about his life and some of his work, including his blog and Twitter, which always contain nationalistic insights for the youth at the digital level they understand. It was deeply enlightening and was a genuinely insightful and interesting.

We said goodbye after our photo-op and Wacky and I (tired and nearly broke from a whole-day adventure) took another cab going home. Passing the streets of Metro Manila on a long taxi ride, we processed the whole day: three McDonald’s meals, dog poo streets, fragile dolls crossing the street ready to be shattered, and my sore middle finger, that perhaps I should use a little less.

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