Philippine National Paranoia

There we were, a jolly assortment of academic and administrative heads, faculty, staff and students on a school bus, on our way to attend the wake of the mother of a university VIP. (Jolly yet on the way to a wake? This is the Philippines, man. You should see the photos that I took at the wake -- and nobody even said "Cheese"!)

At the San Leonardo junction, we were stopped by policemen manning a checkpoint.

It was the day before the big anti-GMA prayer rally in Metro Manila, and cops were a-dime-a-dozen along the highway.

It didn't help that the school bus was marked Wesleyan University-Philippines. The highly tinted windows didn't do much to ease tensions either. A  policeman had to go up the bus to survey the jolly scene inside.

Whether or not he spotted the two big sprays of flowers that couldn't possibly be meant for the living, I don't know. But upon getting off, he motioned the school bus to proceed.

How 50 jolly people and two funeral floral arrangements could possibly help bring down the GMA regime, only they know.

With that incident, the Philippine National Police -- PNP -- just earned its third "P" as far as we're concerned.

"P" as in "praning"... or "paranoid".

[February 29, 2008]