For those of you who are reading from outside Metro Manila, the “odd-even scheme”, or more popularly known as “color coding scheme” (even if this doesn’t have anything to do with colors anymore) is a vehicle volume reduction program being used by the road authorities. Simply put, you’ll have one day holiday (read: your car is banned on the road) out of the 5 working days. Mine is Monday.
Here’s the thing — most of the time, I disobey this rule. Ok, I admit, this is wrong dudes! But I’ve justification for it, a good one (or bad, depending on who will look at it). You see, my office building (located along Shaw in Mandaluyong) is about 1 kilometer away from Shangri-la mall (also in Mandaluyong). At Shangri-la, I do most of my business meetings with prospective clients and partners. Joy and I also spend our time together on Mondays in that mall. “Color coding” is up to 7 pm. But I have to meet clients in the afternoon. Sometimes I meet Joy at 6. I was thinking, 1 kilometer will not hurt the traffic.
Whenever I see a Mandaluyung traffic enforcer, I’ll try to *hide* behind huge trucks or go around small streets to avoid them. You can imagine the discomfort it brings me.
Then one afternoon, hiding didn’t work. I got caught. I tried to talk the enforcer out of it. Sir, it’s already 6 pm, see, we have only about 1 hour to go before the coding expires. Let’s just make this pass. But the good enforcer knew no mercy. He asked for my license which I readily gave. I conceded to the thought of spending P500 penalty again for color coding, plus the hassle of going through the process.
The enforcer looked at my license, paused for a while, then said, “Teka, taga Mandaluyong ka pala eh. Exempted ang mga taga-Mandaluyong sa coding within Mandaluyong. Next time, sabihin mo lang na taga-Mandaluyong ka para walang abala (Wait, you didn’t say you live in Mandaluyong. Mandaluyong residents are exempted from color coding within Mandaluyong area. Next time, just tell the enforcers that you’re from Mandaluyong to avoid the hassle).
After knowing that priviledge I now drive around Mandaluyong on Mondays without fear and guilty feelings. Kool, eh! :D
* * *
The Bible says, “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free”. A lot of us are hidding from God. And we all know the discomforts that this brings — broken relationships, painful decisions, foolish errors, guilty feelings. If only we know that a God so loving and merciful is always ready to listen and accept us for who we are, for what we’ve done in the past, whereever we are in our lives right now.
Heb. 1 says, Jesus is the complete representation of God’s character. If we look at Jesus, we will see that he’s never angry at sinners. If he was angry with anybody, it was with the hypocrites of his time. Whatever our sins are in the past, don’t feel like God will reject you for it. Come to him and you find rest (Matt 11:28). Rest from fear and guilt. Then he will start fixing the errors and the pains and the guilt, lovingly, slowly but surely.
I love Mandaluyong, really. But I still don’t go to Makati on Mondays. :D