Filipinos Laugh the Hardest and Smile the Widest

For my third day at work, my morning task was to secure an occupational permit at the Quezon City Hall and open a payroll account at BPI West Triangle. While I have with me an NBI clearance, a cedula, and a medical certificate with me already, I decided to leave my condo unit here at Katipunan at 7:00 AM to avoid long lines (and to resist the urge to ride a cab) at the QC Hall. After three jeepney rides (the last one being the most eventful as I sat literally in the middle of the passengers, in full corporate attire.) I was able to arrive at the city hall twenty minutes past seven o’clock in the morning. I was surprised to see a big crowd in front of the old city hall building, nonetheless I just shrugged and proceeded on to my designated area. A handful of people were there already, but at least there were a few who only want an occupational permit as well.

The lines got terribly long at ten to eight, but at least everyone was hopeful to get served quick once the offices are opened up at 8:00 AM. However, thirty minutes passed and the security guards made no attempts to even open the gate by an inch.The volume of people outside continues to expand at an exponential rate and complaints murmured in whispers are very audible already.

I was really hopeful to enter at 9:00 AM or a few minutes past it, but my hopes evaporated in thin airs of disappointment. I’ve just learned that the new mayor of Quezon City has decided to stage a simple program to celebrate his first day in office. There was a courtesy call for each employee of all the departments in the city hall thus explaining why the guards won’t let us in yet. I was irritated that the program was wrongly scheduled on the first Monday of the month but I decided to keep my cool and just continue waiting.

Apparently, most of the people in line are irritated too but unlike me, they decided to be more expressive about it. Soon enough, people were shouting “Mayor, matatae na kami!” “Hoy kayong mga nasa loob! Tama na ang kain! Ang lalaki na ng mga tiyan ninyo!” “Nagtext si Mayor sa akin! Pwede na raw pumasok!” The situation seems to be terribly heating up but after the angry shouts, you can hear a healthy round of laughter. When turn my back to look, dozens of people, with and without teeth, are smiling their heart out.

Ang mga Pilipino nga naman. Nasa gipit nang sitwasiyon nagagawa pang magloko at tumawa. And yes, this is one of the characteristics I like about Filipinos. We always laugh the hardest and smile the widest. Not even natural calamities or financial constraints can bring us down. While there are times that we complain a lot, we soon realize that there’s more to life that’s worth the optimistic feeling. The happiness is very contagious. And that’s how bright mornings begin.

9:40 AM the gates were opened at last. Everyone cheered.

After more long lines and switchings from building to building, I was able to get my occupational permit at 11:20 AM. I then went right away to BPI Triangle to open my payroll. At 12:50 NN, I was on time to report for work.

Bottomline: It feels so good to be a Filipino! 😀

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