Thursday, April 23, 2009

Umbrella Theft!

If there's one thing that irks me its the loss of my umbrellas. Back in college I had really huge umbrellas. Those were the ones called as "golf" umbrellas. If you are in Ateneo de Manila you have to own your own umbrella.

In AHS when the rainy season hits the whole of EDSA (the long corridor spanning 1st year wing (now includes the new Math and Science building) and terminating at the old lab area or caf)becomes a waterway. There are dripping ceiling tiles, gushing drain-pipes and very few dry spots to walk on. Outside of the AHS compound if you have to walk or ride a tricycle out to Katipunan you'd have to brave the flooding near EAPI. An umbrella was a necessity even then.

In college there were a lot of covered buildings with few dripping areas. But the covered walks between buildings were few and far between, canopies are still not present in most of the Loyola Schools' driveways for students waiting to be fetched. You will really get drenched when caught between buildings (think of the distance between Bel and Xavier hall.)

So you see, you'll need umbrellas in school. Even outside of campus Katipunan provides little to no respite for the lashing rains that hit Manila. Flooding will quickly douse any hopes of sheltering under the pedestrian overpasses along Katipunan.

In fact I think that you'll need umbrellas anytime you'll step outdoors in the Philippines. We're mostly hit with two (2) kinds of weather, dry and wet. So for at least half a year we should be sweltering and the other half we'd be drowning. So we'll absolutely need our OWN umbrellas.

The last paragraph brings me to the point of this post. Owning an umbrella in the Philippines should be a normal thing. Unfortunately, a good number of umbrellas that I OWN were taken from me back in college. I'd lend some to my classmates and they'd leave it at another friend's place. This place is notorious for being a Bermuda Triangle of personal items. I lost my favorite pharma company donated umbrella to his house. There were other instances when I lent my 300 PHP umbrella to a HS classmate and he failed to return it (I got drenched thanks to him). He told me it went missing and he couldn't find it. So he replaced it with I think a 50 PHP one. It broke after the first rainy day I used it.

To lend an umbrella without expectation of it being returned is being kind. Lending an umbrella expecting it to be returned is not a decision arrived at because of largesse or kindness. You expect an item so personal and necessary to yourself to be returned. Lending an umbrella with the expectation of it being returned is like lending money with interest. It is a business decision arrived at through the study of the risks involved and the degree of trust that the lender has with the borrower.

I am pained greatly when the borrower does not return my umbrella.

Now I have changed, I will no longer return umbrellas. I will no longer forget the favors I have done for others. I will take from the world what it has taken from me!