How does it feel to lose something precious which doesn’t belong to you in the first place?
The Magic Seat
Our lone passenger arrived after about half an hour of endless wait. I watched the staff car stopped meters away from the chopper and I saw a 6′2” frame of a man dressed in the traditional blue General Officer’s Attire (GOA) with twin stars on the shoulder. I saluted when I met his gaze and approached to take the attaché case from his aide walking next to him with two Anahaw leaves on the shoulder. I was however prevented to do so having been told that the guy had paper contents to be read on flight. I dropped the point of arguing about loose baggage in the interest of flight safety. It’s a futile attempt to ever consider arguing the matter with a star officer(a general). Instead I was called to take a golf bag at the back of the staff car that left me at the rush of dragging the thing inside the left side baggage compartment of the chopper as I heard the pilot prompting me to clear the area for take-off. I closed the left side compartment and took my stand on the front right side of the aircraft making a thumbs up sign to the pilots after assuring the rear portion clear for engine start. I was reminded of an incident involving a curiouser being chopped to death by the tail rotor when a private helicopter landed in Luneta and I couldn’t imagine such a petty act of negligence make me feel responsible. I slid the right side door closed when the turbine assumed the steady hum. I took my entrance at the left side door and pulled the access to lock from the inside eventually making the final clearing for take-off. The ground receded from view and I had the bird’s eye view of the National Headquarters serving as the grand safehouse of Law Enforcement. A hundred feet up one gets to see things below in the true light. The Camp is merely an installation trying to cover up its building with new paint but the old framework struggles to reveal itself, the rusted roof, the detached paneling, abandoned offices, etc. It’s another typical government facility caught amidst poor maintenance out of unprioritized budgets. Then you get to compare the towering private buildings sprouting like mushrooms alongside and law enforcement would seem to have been dwarfed. Ironically playing a vital key to neutralize the ever worsening peace situation but is met by the mighty giant in the general public that always claims everything in disorder, chaos. It is quite early at the 1st quarter of the millenium to prophesize what possible future I may lay my eyes on if I ever get myself flying 5-10 years hence to watch over the possible changes that would shape or bring destruction to what I see below. I behold the image of the capital city (Manila) which may have been identical to some country’s past a decade ago or “the would be” present of a country that is yet to get up from its knees in embracing the rigors that goes with globalization. The ever-increasing problem of waste management in the advancing state of land, air and water pollution, the denudation of the forest and the conversion of agricultural lands for commercial spaces offering ample space for its citizens to avail of an unwelcome option to build shanties amidst towering commercial buildings and theme parks. A quite incommensurable price to pay in exchange for a fast life with the promise to reap the fruits of advancement; speedy air and surface transportation, monumental buildings and state-of-the-art factories (with primitive waste disposal system), a web of electrical and communication cables messed up above the streets and highways with a promise to enlighten the lives and connect its citizens nearer to each other. I was caught at the magic seat to think about the implications if the technology that allowed me to enjoy the conquest of the air was all worth it. The hazy air began to assume a clear path ahead as I drifted to the minutes of the journey that would shorten the length of travel by land. Our destination was an approximated 230 kilometers by air on a straight line, imagine the dilemma of taking the trip by land having to be subjected to endless curves, elevations, traffic, dust and smoke at the peak of the summer heat. So one could just make a sigh of relief sitting on board a helicopter cruising at 220 kph free of the earthly obstruction, on that magic seat that gets you at places you never had been.
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