The word “poor” thus appended to the “NINOY AQUINO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT” has nothing to do with poverty, destitution or the like. It simply means that the place is the rightful object of pity in the same way that it is the subject matter of both disdain and anger, joke and laughter. People are either perplexed, amused or insulted. Multi-media are either angry or having fun. Meantime, Malacañang – as usual – is the master of but talk, talk and more talk. Define and defined resolve and pursuant action there is none. The resolution of the predicament is nowhere expected soon – if ever.
Named after a good father and affirmed by a well-known mother, the son now has the rare distinction of being the highest public official responsible for nursing the proclaimed “Worst Airport in the World” - all futile arguments to the contrary notwithstanding. No. It is not simply a matter of a building the once falling apart airport plus the filling in the absence of standard services for standard human needs. Nor is it merely because of the maxim “Plane Always Late” – among other negative observations, be these realities of jokes. The infamous airport is now in fact wallowing in the infamy of the so-called “Tanim Bala” distinct and gross phenomenon.
The airport is paralyzed. The airport employees are shamed. Even the porters – taxi driver included – are now made suspects. And the passengers? They are afraid. They have their luggage well-locked. They even have them wrapped tight and well with plastic and the like so that nothing could be placed therein – nor taken out therefrom – looking at the check-in counter employees as all suspects.
Elementary questions: Why will a passenger place in his or her luggage one, two or three bullets? If he or she really wants to make trouble in or out of the plane, what the same will bring is a gun, a grenade, a bomb. But one, two or three bullets? If a passenger is someone who kills people, wants a plane destroyed or has other mortal designs, he or she would not be but an OFW, a common tao, much less a visiting foreigner who is told that “It’s more fun in the Philippines”.
There seems to be something at par with the “Tanim Bala” that neither people are told of, nor mass media talk about. This is the “Hugot Bala”. Translation: While there are certain individuals connected with the NAIA who are planting bullets out therefrom. These are those airport checkers who do the pulling out for the right fee. Translation: “Lagay”.
Notwithstanding all the compound and complex incongruities now obtaining in the Country under the still ruling incompetent and insensitive administration – including even such issues as the problem of traffic – it is good to note that its ending is ultimately in sight. So it is that there is still hope for a better Philippines!