Sunday, July 11, 2010

Turning Down VIP Treatment

An article in today's paper brings me to shame. It is of 2 of the Aquino sisters, Ballsy and Pinky, not wanting to have VIP treatment at the Immigration area at the airport. When Jojo and I arrived back here in 2002, our surnames were called on the overhead speaker, along with another passenger whom we did not know. I didn't hear the actual message, but Jojo did and I first thought that we were in some sort of trouble. I was a little jittery since I had overstayed in the US and I thought that it may be connected to that. But after being escorted by an airport personnel to a certain room, we were introduced to a man that said that he knew Jojo's cousin, who used to work with him and had asked to assist us. We were then asked if we wanted our passports stamped, which we said 'no' (not sure if that was a good idea). Then we were escorted all the way to the beginning of the long line where others were waiting for the usual immigration procedures. I remember feeling a little embarrassed, saying goodbye to my friends from Seattle who were on the same plane as us and who dutifully lined up.

Lines are a part of our Filipino culture. You can expect it to be with the population of our land especially in the metropolis. And we hate it when people cut in line. Our times are valuable and lines take up our time. But we also have to be respectful of other people, whose time is as valuable as ours. I salute the Aquinos and their graceful example of how to turn down VIP treatment and to be treated as equal to other less influential people.

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