I went to the World Trade Center earlier, 8 am, only to be notified that I can’t go in because I was carrying a lighter. Fair enough, gotta respect security measures, right? But the Pasay police by the entrance were asking me to leave my cigarettes too, no name tag, no number tag, no shit — and the tenacity of these officers to tell me this while enjoying the confiscated spoils in the form of home-made baon, liters of beverage and cartons of cigarettes. Another guard moves in from his post to grab a handful of snacks, then walks back.
“Kung ayaw mo iwan yosi mo, sige, i-yosi mo muna lahat yan, papapasukin ka namin.”
I mean, what would I do with an unlit cigarette? Break open a lightbulb and light one in the filament?! And what of the actual dangerous devices in my person at the time? A makeshift knuckle using the batbelt? A choking hazard in the form of an earring? Bruise-inducing cross and heartbreak rings???
I respect security measures, and it’s not even about the cigarettes or the distance anymore. I could’ve gone in if I simply swallowed my pride and left the cigs out — but what does that prove? That the moochers win, simply because people follow the rules? That, what the warning that goes: “World Trade Center is not liable for your belongings…” truly means is that they can’t stop the cops from getting to them? I think that’s hardly right nor fair.
So I left. Corruption leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
(Now I’m in the mood for Rage Against the Machine [pak da powlees!] — to think that most of the attendees were like under 20, and to get to experience bullshit right before their eyes?!)