Play it by ear PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 10 December 2018 12:58

By Rememdios Marmoleño

A widely read local columnist usually refers to our city as a "highly-urbanized city”.

I will not quarrel with that qualifier even if I am not sure that we are using the phrase with the same understanding.

I might just add my own extra phrase – the play-it-by-ear highly-urbanized city.

How do I justify my own chosen phrase? Let me explain.

In ZC, it is rather difficult to plan a small activity and expect that it can be implemented with high certainty. Somewhere at the back of one’s head is the belief that one has to play it by ear.

Take sitting down at the computer to do a bit of word processing. One is never sure this can be done because electricity can be cut at any time. When will it be back on? Who knows. Play it by ear.

Monday, December 2, power went off at our house very early in the morning but it came back on after some minutes. Then it went off again around 7 that morning and stayed off for more than hour. I told myself it will surely come back on again shortly but the hours went through the morning, and through the whole afternoon with no sign about power coming back on a definite time. I went through the local paper for the day to see if there had been an announcement about the outage but I did not see any. Some time after 6 p.m., the power came back on. You might say I played it by ear the whole day.

ZC’s version of mass transit system is the tricycle. The routes can take you anywhere you want to in the city and even out of the city center. While there is supposedly matrix for fares this is hardly ever followed. One visitor to ZC arrived at our airport and asked to be taken to Divisoria. No, not Divisoria in Manila but our own Divisoria. And guess what the trike driver wanted to charge him? P2,500.  No kidding. I suppose the best warning to give our visitors (Attention: Dept. of Tourism) are fares and the like is to simply say “Play it by ear.”

Traffic rules are another thing. To be a consistent law abiding system, it is necessary to know that what is wrong today will be wrong tomorrow and all the other tomorrows. And the opposite is true. Now try this. If you are coming from Sta. Cruz market and in the direction of the airport on Camins where do you stop if you want to go to KCC? Nowhere… you can’t stop, unless you want to be fined P600. So the answer is… Play it by ear.

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