From Madras to Manila

Monday, March 27, 2006

State of Emergency

A belated post but as all of you would have known from the endless ‘breaking news’ on CNN there was a state of national emergency out here recently.

Watching the news got us worried!!! That’s when we decided we needed a ‘COB’ bag – for all ye bankers & people in equally boring professions such as mine :-), a COB is a continuity of business or contingency plan….so off we went, meticulously packing passports, important papers, some pesos and the last few dollars we had into our trusty COB bag. Amit went as far as to pack toothpaste & a change of clothes just incase we had leave country in a hurry…Always the well groomed one in the family:-)

But seriously, just goes to show how exaggerated the news can get( and ofcourse, how well prepared we are:-)). The armed gunmen they showed on CNN were only in few select spots around the city. Life continued as before. Yet the coverage made it seem like the whole nation was in a state of fear.

Indeed, the last time there was coup near a major shopping mall, people continued to shop and normal life was not affected at all. Rallies also hardly ever get violent around here. The last time, when Estrada (Erap as he is called here) was ousted, people took to the streets, singing him out of office!!! Like that about the Filipinos!

Even if it was indeed serious, having survived many emergencies, my colleagues were blasé about the whole deal…This time around, they were a little tired of continued political instability and the disastrous impact that it has on their economy & the resultant bad press...

The only good thing about the emergency was traffic was a lot less and I got home a lot sooner those days I think….We also got adventurous and took a friend to Greenhills (awesome pearls for CHEAP!) and then to Lake Taal for a coffee on the Sunday there was a Fort Bonifacio Military standoff!

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