I honestly lost my temper on the 25th day of December, a Christmas day. It’s not that I have high-blooded or high sugar. Something had just provoked me. It’s quite inappropriate, but my accumulated anger had caused me to rather flare up against somebody, or against a system or practice.

You see, for many years now, our subdivision has been neglected, I would say, by the garbage collectors. Garbage trucks used to come to collect our trash, with a fixed schedule every week; but that was several years ago. This time, drivers of said trucks no longer regularly enter our subdivision for the purpose. It’s very rare, and very inconsistent, too. Now you see them, now you don’t.

They have assorted reasons to cite when confronted: the road leading to our place is badly damaged; the road is very narrow for their big truck; they can’t pass through because some cars are parked at the sides; the residents are not usually ready with their garbage bags, etc. While some of these reasons may be true, they also prove to be just alibis.
Occasionally, they do come. But they do not consistently do it. They just stop at a certain point near the subdivision entrance and do not go inside the subdivision proper. So many homeowners do not know if they are around or not. In the past years, garbage trucks would come as scheduled, and once inside, they announced their presence by sending some of their men to the streets inside, shouting out to residents that they were collecting the garbage.

The present collectors do not do it, reasoning out that it’s the homeowners’ job to watch out and wait for their coming, as though waiting for them is the only job of residents. It seems as if they are happier if some obstacles block their way so that they would not have to come. They are just after justifying reasons that could explain their failure to come.
Fed up by this attitude, some homeowners have just hired a man who could collect the garbage using his old tricycle. Each household pays him a certain amount every month. This we did since the official garbage collectors from the city are not doing their job as they should. Too bad, but every year-end or new year, the city residents in subdivisions are obliged to pay for garbage collection in the city hall. We are paying for it, yet we are not able to avail of their services. We then have to pay doubly—to the city garbage collection services, and to the guy who collects our garbage for real.

Last December 25, the garbage truck came to our subdivision and parked somewhere. Then members of their group went from house to house trying to collect the residents’ garbage with loud announcements. But besides the garbage, they were also collecting money from the residents as their “pamasko”. When one of them came to our house, I lost my temper.

“So you just come when it’s time for you to collect “pamasko”, but through the rest of the year, you do not show up!” I half-shouted angrily.

Well, I was just acting from instinct. I guess you would feel the same anger if you were in my shoes. It just heated up and accumulated through these past years.