I could have let it pass. You know, just let the thing die, a natural death.

But noooooooo. These guys started playing semantic games. And I wouldn’t have it. Instant Noodle Mentality in full swing.

Okay, I read a travel blog about the Annual Hot Air Balloon in Subic. I hear it was a great  experience, having been there. My Indio friends were among the throng, a couple of times these past years, and yes, told me it was fun. Like watching behemoths float in the air. But what irked me was, a certain DG and Tze, after experiencing the event, badmouths the men in uniform. The enlisted men who were there to facilitate, because the AFP is  the major sponsor, and they kept harping about they paid and got passes, but still waited on line, while some “kamag-anaks” of service men got in with nary an effort.

The Extras

Wanna grab a bite? Buy me lunch?

Envy? Maybe.

You see there is a such word as “privilege”. Bus drivers and conductors can have their relatives ride with discounts or for free. A supervisor can take a break longer than the average worker. A fisherman gets first pick of his haul for the day. Privilege is when you take 3 instead of one of the corporate giveaways you so shamelessly flaunt to your friends.
Privilege is when you get to snap back at people without a sound, in which case I’m doing  right now.


The travel bloggers comments on the slow processing at the line, complains about how they shelled out a thousand bucks, which is not bad considering that it entitled them to a Php500 gas fill and a t-shirt, and sees some people entering way ahead of them, while they, the paying public and wannabe photographers gets to stand in line. I have nothing against people buying expensive cameras, memorizing the specs and quoting aperture and bokeh like it was second language. But to complain that you were delayed because of the line at the entrance? And you can’t take enough shots? Hey, the event is on its way to their 17th. Hot Air Balloon shots are pretty much regular fare now. A gazillion people must have taken the same amount of photos, so what’s to miss? And you badmouth the enlisted men there because they let in some relatives? Wassamatter? You think your new DSLR and kit lens proves you have a right to be there? Maybe you just want to put a watermark on your photos, probably not much better than mine, and my shots are absolutely horrible, just so you can chat with real photographers and talk the lingo while your watermarked photos gets uploaded on Multiply where camera enthusiasts think they own the network.

I was lying a while ago. I have something against people with expensive cameras and not much talent to use them with. So there.

Hey, gurls, that’s why it’s called privilege. Don’t tell me you haven’t done that before? Hey, I bet you have muscled a  friend for the privilege of buying you lunch and complained about not having desserts,ordering the costly fare, and then leaving half uneaten, saying you are on a diet. I bet if you had been ushered in for free by an Airman whose kamag-anak just happens to be  your friend, you would be yelling ” I got in! I got in!”. I bet, though I don’t gamble, you
gurls would be gloating right now.

And it is a good thing I am a dropout at FEU ABMC, or else, I would have to be questioned about my degree should I post something, like these gurls did, and then bending the fact out of shape just to sound . . er . . educated and civil.

The itch is this: those airmen, enlisted men and women, standing in the sun, offering help to those who need, assisting, guarding, monitoring the event are not paid to do that. Maybe there were some incentives, but the fact is, they are not there to babysit oggling tourists and pompous travel bloggers. Heck, these marshals are the ones who made the thing happen! They let us puny mortals enjoy the sight of flimsy fabric, shaped like giant incandescent bulbs, or whatever the participants prefer, get filled with hot air and fly. While we expectators, paying a small amount, expect to be treated like royalty. My uncle was in the AFP. Believe me, the word respect you gurls so freely dispense in your Facebook posts is lost somewhere. The fee you paid doesn’t give you any single millimeter of right to talk down service men. Go take it up with the DPP. They were the ones who botched the whole entrance thing.

Privilege. Everybody wants one.


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