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When things do go awry and one is left shaking one’s head in bewilderment, I have found during my present vacation in the Philippines that the Filipinos euphemistically accept the uncalled for and uninvited debacle as an “isolated case”. How so convenient when the ball is dropped and one is left defenseless.
For those of us who have visited the Philippines and opted for the Hotel airport transfer mobile on arrival, it is an onerous option and one that is destined for failure. Here are my reasons why…
The Hotel mobile driver does not await for you with a placard bearing the Hotel name as well as your name as you approach the exit. No Sir, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), you have just arrived to join in the fray of “Treasure Island”.
At the furthest end of some part of the Airport premise is a room called the Hotel Lounge where the Hotel mobile drivers gather and wait for you to reach them. I mean literally reach them!
The Hotel mobile drivers do not stand at the exit point displaying the placard. Rather this is what I found several of them doing; the walk with their placards placed under their arms and loiter around or have small talk with other hotel mobile drivers totally oblivious of their primary agenda and arrivals making their exit.
After seeking directions to the location of the Hotel Lounge, I stepped into a poorly air conditioned room filled with seated Hotel mobile drivers who sheepishly gave me a frustrated smile. I mentioned the Hotel name that I was heading for and one of the men pulls out his walkie-talkie and then says to me that my mobile driver will be leaving the car park and be available shortly. Excellent!
So I waited. Nothing happened. I asked the same man what happened. He makes another call on his walkie-talkie and repeats the same message. I waited again. It is past 20 minutes at this juncture.
I stepped out of the Hotel Lounge and met a few more frustrated looking drivers. Out came the man with the walkie-talkie and I asked him how long does it take for the mobile driver to reach me? He answered, “it takes three minutes”.
I blurted out at his ridiculous answer and told him that I have already been there waiting for over 20 minutes. How could he tell me that it would take three minutes? And he said to me that maybe the mobile driver is having a problem…it is an isolated case.
In the week that followed, at one of the prestigious Robinson’s malls, I missed having my head blown off.
Armed robbers attacked a Money Changer’s Booth inside the Mall, fatally shot a guard and left another guard seriously wounded. One of the robbers threw a hand grenade and the explosion injured several passers-by who were not even shopping at the Mall.
And guess what? The media reported it as an isolated case of armed robbery.
Like I started this Post about euphemism, the act or an example of substituting a mild, indirect, or vague term for one considered harsh, blunt, or offensive.