There I was trying to beat the crippling heat in a coffee shop with an ice cold americano with a friend I haven't seen in ages. My newly operated ear is healing quite nicely that I can actually 'hear' through it already and I am resisting the urge to scratch the itch in my lobes, when I overheard a very irritating blabber.
They were three tables away but I can still hear his blab from my table. He was a bit skinny, a bit makinis, very jologuic and very bakasyonista looking. He was speaking in a mixture of Manhattan twanging English and Imperial Manila Tagalog. And what was this all about you ask?
His unwilling victim is his 'insan', with whom he poured out his litany, hailing his school's superiority. That his school has the best this and that, and that the facilities were this and that, the professors are this and that ad nauseum...
Now, really... I have been to a lot of schools, and while school pride is good, it is at most overrated. After all, to outsiders, any given school for that matter is just another one of those school. Trust me. I know five school songs by heart, including that one which goes hail hail hail.
Now mister bakasyonista went on to better things... or were they? He started talking about his school's fraternities and I jumped a bit. My good friend gave me a smile. He is a fratman and has been trying for the longest time to recruit me. I always rebuff him by saying that I went through high school, college and even law school without a frat and I'm as good as it gets.
During high school. my school was notorious for the many frats it has, and stories abound of how freshmen are being terrorized or recruited by these frats. Well, I went through such unscathed. By my good looks and charm I was befriended by almost all senyores in school. Looking at the fact now, they are all a bunch of sore losers, with kids and back breaking work preceeding their glory days in school.
He said, I did not know what I was missing by not having it. I counter that I know exactly what I am not going through by not having one. Besides, I jokingly tell him that I will only allow myself to be 'initiated' if it would be a way to attain world peace, which, at the rate we are going, is a near impossibility. Besides, I kid him, I refuse to be beaten up shit less by some paddle wielding senior frat man who's IQ is arguably lower than mine. Besides, I have a very low pain threshold, and I bruise easily, so, no, thank you very much.
My friend argues further that this is not just a frat but also a socio-civic group. I tell him that if your idea of a civic group is that which does clean-up programs, medical missions and tree planting activity, then I have a number of groups that do that too, and one of my civic action groups do paralegal services and other developmental legal services. My church does human rights activism and socio-civic actions. My company does that too in the name of corporate responsibility. Why would I join that frat? Stumped as usual, my friend just smiled at me.
Now, back to the bakasyonista, I finally was able to guess correctly which school he goes to. I flip my curly hair back, wipe a sweat and sip my ice cold Americano... well hail hail hail, indeed. I stifled the urge to shut him up for good, by going over to their table and asking him...
"Hi... excuse me, your school's patron is a saint, right?" "Well you know what, that's just a bummer, because my school's patron is the mother of god herself."
Then again, it's so hot, I did not wanna bother!