Perhaps it's easier to point out all the sociopolitical wrongs in the country when you're coming from a place of convenience, say, when reading a newspaper or watching late-night news at home. But when it comes to one's actions, it's easier to turn a blind eye or look the other way.
Tony Award-winning singer and actress Lea Salonga was in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport when something happened that irked her. She took to Twitter last March 18 to share her experience, writing, "Excuse me, lady, what part of 'Wait behind yellow line' do you not understand? #Seriously."
It seems Salonga was already in the baggage retrieval area of the airport when she noticed a lady who wasn't following the rule that one must stay behind the yellow line while waiting for their luggage.
"Mga simpleng patakaran, ayaw sundin. Kahit saan," wrote Salonga further. "Kailangan pa ba tanungin kung bakit bilang bansa, hindi tayo umuunland?"
(These are simple rules and we refuse to follow, everywhere. Do we still really need to ask why we do not progress as a nation?)
In the end, Salonga shared the lady recognised her and that was when she took the opportunity to tell her she wasn't supposed to be there. "End of the story, lady recognised me, after which I told her to back up to behind the yellow line while saying she wasn't supposed to be there. Firmly, but not meanly."
When a netizen (@hopiagnes) asked Salonga if the lady was a foreigner or Filipino, Salonga replied, "Old lady Filipino. Most likely balikbayan."
This isn't the first time Salonga had been irked by people not following simple rules at the airport. Back in December 7 last year, Salonga tweeted a picture of her at NAIA once again, with people crossing the yellow line in the baggage retrieval area. She wrote then, "Why even have that yellow sticker if it won't be followed?"
Meanwhile, netizens empathized with Salonga, agreeing with her that the problem sometimes is not with the President nor the government, but fellow Filipino citizens who cannot follow simple rules.
"Minsan talaga it's not the President nor the government eh," wrote a certain Angelika (@angelikuuuhh) to Salonga. "Mga kapwa Pilipino talaga, lumalabag ng batas. Haaay, nako! How will our country prosper if ganyan ang iba? Simple rules, we cannot follow!"
(Sometimes it's really not the President nor the government. It's really our fellow Filipinos, disobeying rules. Sigh! How will our country prosper if others are like this? Simple rules, we cannot follow.)
"Exactly! That's why I really believe that the first step for the development of our country is DISCIPLINE," another (@eljaye96) said.
Perhaps before harping about social change, people should also double check if we ourselves are setting a good example as self-disciplined and law-abiding citizens. Ignorance of the law excuses no one - and this goes the same way for the simplest of rules. JB