According to Nelly, locals will be endangered when the foreign ministers blow into town.
Nelly is the lady taking care of my mother’s ingrown toenails. Her day job as an on-call manicurist requires her to commute to this hotel outside the city.
Two months ago, she and her co-workers were briefed that the authorities wanted fewer assembly points in the city. A scheme was hatched to transfer Nelly’s usual pick-up/drop-off point to ease “security monitoring” during the Asean meet.
Nelly’s worries were not for the police and their concerns that terrorists might exploit crowded places to stage a stunt.
Not for her the shadowy tango between terrorism and security. Nelly just wants to know how she’ll go to her day job.
The girl has yet to realize that, on the second week of December, all locals are sentenced to take a holiday.
It hasn’t occurred yet to the official imagination that an enforced break, without pocket money, is more dislocating than refreshing.
Housewife Leny heard from her tricycle suki that Mactan drivers were told to go on a holiday during the summit week.
How will I go to the market, Leny worries. Multicabs don’t enter her sitio.
How will we eat, Leo worries. The tricycle driver and family man envies
Leo will be happy just receiving P100. It’s good only for 4 ½ kilos of No. 14 corn grits.
That’s better than nothing, which Leo expects he will get from his City Hall.
Corporate headhunter Roy plans to go on holiday, too. Although unsure yet if it will be to the mountains or to the sea, his family just wants to get out of the city when it’s “Aseanized.”
The dispersal of Cebuanos in the exigency of the international meet is given the positive political spin of promoting “provincial” tourism.
Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmena offers to fund any local government that can keep its constituents from coming to the city.
Of 47 municipalities and four component cities, only
For P200,000 from
Mayor Tom didn’t invent diversionary tourism. In
It’s a holiday, too, for cops riding jeepneys without paying. An irate Cebuano texted that some members of the police reinforcements think that jeepney drivers plying the routes to export processing zones can show their appreciation of the cops’ peace-keeping presence by ignoring the fact that cops are ignoring to pay the fare.
Some things though remain the same with the new holiday tourism.
Ian’s college students are volunteering for the summit. He fumes that organizers have trained the coeds to refer any delegate inquiring about the euphemistically titled female escorts to the equally euphemistically named official committee on nightly entertainment.
Ian’s just being naïve, of course. All manners and excuses of diversion are expected in an orgy of holidays.
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* Published Nov. 19, 2006 in Sun.Star Cebu