By Icoy San Pedro

DECADES ago, I remember there used to be a daily newspaper column written by my mom’s close friend and my godmother, which was entitled “The Way I See It” (or As I see it). Also, most often during my childhood, I would often hear grownups having discussions at the dinner table about everyday issues, and many a time, their one favorite closer to such conversations would be “that’s just their opinion” or something like that. 

Later on, during one’s growing up, when we’ve already begun to study and learn about rules and such, we begin to understand that not everything is easily translatable according to one’s wishes, much less one’s opinion. The laws, for example, cannot merely be interpreted according to how we like to view them. 

As such, inasmuch as I saw and respected my ninang’s column as a breather for her personal opinions, I’ve already understood that her views are still subservient to existing truths and rules out there.

Every day, big and small interpretations like these happen, and even now, one cannot get used to the idea that people still hope to get away with these transgressions. Things start innocently enough. I once saw a dad and his little kid of about five walk down our street with their dog. 

Casually, the kid threw his drumstick wrapper in the open canal while the dad merely shrugged and maintained a mindful stance in case the boy fell. Right there could have been a fruitful start to a lesson on littering. A few meters later, they again paused a while so he could scoop what their dog apparently deposited in the middle of the street. 

Moving on to bigger things, we might have heard how some politicians exert their power and influence so that ordinances will favor the building of roads right near their properties and places of business, thereby depriving other areas that need them the most. 

Years ago in Metro Manila, my late sister was telling me how one long straightaway was made possible in order to provide access to a big-time trapo’s properties. It seems that anywhere in the country, this just comes out naturally and cases like this are so commonplace that hardly anyone blinks an eye at it anymore. 

In a nutshell, let’s just call it what it is. Be it on a small or much bigger scale, there is always a different set of rules for others, while a different one applies to a few privileged people. Convince yourself this is not true.


Source: Mindanao Times (