Thursday, March 22, 2007

Eavesdropping on a Jeepney

As I was waiting for more passengers enough to fill the jeep going to the UP campus, a father and son (around 8 years old) sat adjacent to where I was sitting. The father then began telling his son in Filipino, "Did you see that man sleeping earlier in the bus? That man did not want to pay so he pretended to sleep.". To this the boy replied unbelieving what his dad said, "No way! Really?". The father, determined to prove his point added, "Didn't you notice how he suddenly woke up when the conductor said Ayala?". The boy just had to nod and that was probably enough to convince him.

When I heard the father say all these things, I was indignant. Why is the father corrupting this child's mind?

Before I can further berate how this man is leading his child to a path to hell, the father explained to the son, "The jeep won't leave yet because we are still waiting for another train to arrive. When a train gets here, more people will be riding the jeep. When the jeep is filled to its capacity that is the time we will move.". The son just listened intently to what his dad was saying. The father, eager to share so much to his son pointed to the direction of a small wooden structure and said, "That's where the goat lives.". The son peered out and was pretty impressed. The father began talking again and brought out one of the books he carried in a plastic bag, it was a book about volcanoes, "Did you pick this out yourself?...".

Then it dawned on me. All the father was doing was to teach his son about things that the father feels he needs to know. I understood now why he had to say the harsh realities of the world to a child so young for how can a father teach his son the ways of the world without corrupting him?

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