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Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Guards are Sleeping

I used to work as a pool boy at my friend's resort near Baguio. It's an hour drive from the City. As a pool boy, I was obliged to wake up early at dawn to start cleaning and vacuuming the pool. Cleaning the pool needed four to five hours of patience. It was a tough job other than the all-around responsibility I had for the maintenance of the resort. That was the time I had dropped out of school and felt my life had no direction. My high school teacher talked to my mom's bestfriend and recommended me to work there to have some earnings for a possibe re-entry in College. Ironically, my eagerness to work and save for the future allowed me to earn 70 pesos per day. A day spent regularly under the scorching heat of the sun. That was in 1999 and to my recall, I only lasted there for two months. I stopped schooling in my third year as a Mass Communications Student. This is one problem that the Philippine government should have looked into even before. Until now, many students rally and clamor on the streets because of the expensive education in my country. Until now many students can't afford to go to school and tuition fee increases continue to roar. Just like me, none of my brothers finished a degree because of financial straits.

In the resort, I got to meet a married man who worked there as a guard. He would report in the evening at around 6 pm and would go home at 6 a.m. I envied that security guard, he was earning more than double my pay though I would see him sleeping most of the time instead of roving around to maintain the safety of the resort. He shared a lot of stories with me and I with him. We became close for a while as he considered me his son. He was a kind man I guess. One night though in the middle of the lashing storm, I saw my friend's sister with her flashlight and her pistol. Why did she have a pistol? Her dad is a military officer. Her parents had gone out of town so it was just her, the guard and me in the big resort. I was enjoying my sleeping quarter near the pool adjacent to the reception area and the cafeteria. She approached me and told me that she had gone roving. She whispered to my ears' I will tell my mom and dad to terminate the guard asap.' She told me that she caught the guard sleeping in his post. I didn't say anything. I just went back to sleep. The next day, the guard was relieved of his post. I couldn't blame the guard. It was hard to go roving at that time because of the storm. Being a guard is a dangerous job. In the past I used to think that being a guard is rather facile because all they have to do is stand up or sit down most of the day. Later on, I realized that their life is always at stake. I have seen guards who died in robbery incidents, and some heists, etc....

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