Sunday, December 18, 2005

i like to move it, move it!

last night, our community, Servants of the Lord's Vineyard (SOLV), celebrated its 21st year anniversary with a dinner dance.

Road Kill

i was one of the offerers for the 5 pm mass so i knew i had to be early. i left the house before 4 pm to give myself allowance. i even texted some of the sisters to ask if there was available parking space in the hotel so i'll know if i have to park in Shangri-La instead.

so there i was, calmly driving the streets of Ortigas and Shaw, gloating to myself that i was such a genius for planning ahead. pshft. i should have known it wouldn't last long.

by sheer idiocy, i missed Richville hotel and drove past it. it was supposed to be near Shaw Blvd...but there were too many buses blocking my view. when i saw the next MRT stop, my gnawing dread finally hit me on the face.

i actually missed the hotel.

i was in EDSA.

there are no U-turns.

i have to go back.



i felt my conscience sprout horns and a tail. Sooooo, care to gloat again?? Think you're so smart, huh?

yeah, yeah. full speed ahead.

i made a right turn in Guadalupe. now, i've only passed that way a few times, all of which i couldn't even recall unless i was hypnotized or had a gun pointed at my head. so i had to trust my driver's instincts (if i actually had one) and pray for the best.

miracle of miracles, i found myself back in EDSA, south-bound. yipee!!

i was fighting the urge to gloat that my brilliance has saved me yet again.

but do i ever learn?? do i??? DO I???

i thought to myself, if i stayed on the left side of the road, it'll be easier for me to spot the hotel on the other side. yes, that's my plan. that's a good plan.

i was rushing towards Shaw, praying that i wasn't late for the mass. my eyes were constantly glancing at my left to check if i passed the hotel already. when i looked forward, i realized that i was nearing the fork. you know, that harmless division where the left road will take you through the tunnel and the right will lead you to the intersection. and to that really important U-turn that i had to take.

but then, my spider senses told me that i was on the left side of the road.


checking my right side mirror for any maniacal drivers heading my way and glancing for any MMDA guys watching nearby, i realized it was safe to make a sharp right and head for the intersection.

tsk, tsk, tsk.

reckless driving + stupidity + an overdose of pride = traffic violations that can make your head spin

i was staring blankly at the MMDA officer, who was trying to explain what i did wrong.

can things get any worse??

when i gave him my license, i thought i still had a chance to negotiate. after all, it was Christmas, i was wearing my favorite gimmick blouse, and i had gotten away with things like this before (oops, did i just say that???).

"Aba, Miss, expired na pala lisensya nyo e!" ("Hey, Miss, you're license is expired already!")


yeah, *baka, things CAN get worse.

even if i felt i might get away with swerving, there was no chance in hell that they'll let me off the hook with THAT offense.

i was in trouble. serious trouble.

how can i have forgotten to renew my license?? now i know i'm really getting old.

ok, my mind was working in overdrive.

gotta think. gotta think. gotta think...i am SO dead.

i smiled at the officers. (yes, somehow that fiasco of mine grabbed the attention of two more MMDA guys.)

the first guy was explaining the damages:

- 500 for reckless driving on the first offense. what he didn't know was that this is my second. so it's really 750. but i wisely kept my mouth shut.

- 750 for driving without a license.

- 6,000 for releasing my car in the impounding station.

that last amount was giving me such a headache that i didn't absorb the last two words fast enough.

when he said, "So, pano yan, taxi nalang kayo?" ("So, how's that? You'll take a taxi instead?") i did a double take.

which part did i miss??


oh crap.

i will not, absolutely WILL NOT, give them my car.

one of the guys had a pleading look already. i knew he was worried that he'd lose his job if i didn't comply. but i remained seated and safely tucked in my car.

i know i did something wrong but please, PLEASE, don't take my car away. i kept praying that in my head.

after a few minutes of begging and negotiating, i had to face my last resort - asking for help.

admitting i needed help is such a big deal for me. really. particularly if it involves:

1. my driving,
2. being a female driver, and
3. my papa

but i was desparate and had no other (better and wiser) choice.

swallowing that stubborn lump of pride, i called my papa and explained what happened.

he calmly told me he had to speak to the MMDA officer. i wordlessly gave him the phone. i didn't need to explain who i was talking to. he heard the whole thing.

ah, so much for trying to prove women drivers are smart and competent on the road.

i felt like such a baby and wished that my car seat would swallow me whole.

when he gave me my phone back, i asked my papa what they talked about.

"Kunin mo na lisensya mo. Pwede ka na umalis." ("Get your license. You're free to go.")


to say i was stunned was an understatement.

i was FREE TO GO???

i talked to the officers. one of them was actually nicer to me after speaking to my dad.

"O, sa Monday, i-parenew nyo na lisensya nyo ha." ("O, on Monday, have your license renewed ha.")

as he was giving me advice on which LTO station i should go to just to avoid fixers and the like, i was still in a daze.

my papa is a member and officer of REACT Philippines. i knew it was a big organization but i realized i had underestimated their power. after i heard one of the officers tell his companion, "Taga-REACT yung tatay e,"("Her dad's from REACT.") it dawned on me that the fact that he was a member of that organization was enough reason to let me go, expired license be damned.

wow. God is good.

Shall We Dance?

the next miracle was that i was in time for the offertory. (although i missed the gospel. but i didn't keep my hopes up anyway.)

after the mass, we had a break to prepare for the worship, talk, then dinner. i recounted my (horrifying) story to my friends. they couldn't believe my rotten luck. hahaha!

after an inspiring worship and talk, it was finally time to chow! i was so hungry, my hands were shaking as i placed food on my plate. ah, i just love buffets.

dinner was followed by a slideshow of SOLV during the good ol' days and the more recent photos. after a few announcements, it was time to dance!

they kicked off the dance portion with a bit of ballroom dancing. our elder, Ate Malou, showed off her dance prowess as she did the swing with one of our brothers and "resident DI," Ramil. soon, everybody was swinging, cha-cha-ing, and boogie-ing their bodies.

it was a great night, full of dancing, laughter, and more dancing...
"Just got lucky... " (there's nothing like good ol' 80's music. hehe.)

by the time we were done, my feet were hurting already.

i left the party past 11. i still had to stop by Cost U Less to redeem our freebies from the gift certificates we receieved for Christmas. i just love going to 24-hour groceries, particularly late at night, when there are less people and the airconditioning is cooler. too bad i was only able to get our fiesta ham. they ran out of Tender Juice hotdogs and stocks of queso de bola.

past midnight and i was home at last, safe and sound. and more importantly, i still had my car. :)

*baka - a Japanese term for idiot ^_^

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