One government office almost didn’t fail me today. Last week, I realized that my driver’s license has been expired for a long time. I even only accidentally found out when one of our staff asked me for a valid I.D. That’s when I found out my license has been expired for more than a year, since January 2013.
I dreaded having to renew it because one of my most hated things is visiting government offices. I had a couple of pretty bad experiences in these offices. I was once asked by a weird looking guy inside the airport if I wanted a pinipig crunch while waiting at the check-in counter of the old NAIA terminal. Really? Biting on pinipig crunch while asking for the best seat on the flight? Well, maybe I couldn’t really blame him; I was heavier by 70lbs when it happened.
This morning, my Wife and I went on our usual jog and took a quick breakfast. My sister messaged that my dad is asking if I managed to renew my license. I told her that I would try my best to do it today, again because I did not look forward to the experience. But then I decided to spend the morning doing it, even though this kind of thing is the least of my priorities right now.
So I asked my wife to drop me at the LTO office. I brought my battery pack, expecting that this would be a repetition of what happened 4 years ago when I renewed my license at another LTO branch. Surprisingly there were only a few people renewing their licenses.
I went to the medical test and was examined (if you can call it that) by a very young doctor (I hope he really is one) who spoke in straight and very accented English. I then went to another window to submit the medical requirements. After 15-20 minutes, my name was called and my picture was taken. I was then instructed to wait for my name to be called again for payment.
I was surprised and a little amazed. Wow! This was turning out to be a really good day. I could possibly renew my license in less than an hour! This was the first time and I actually became really happy. But it was too soon.
After 10 minutes my name was called from a window labeled as Cashier. I clearly asked how much I needed to pay. The guy behind the window said very clearly that it was P670.00. I handed my P1,000 then quickly realized that I have exactly P170.00 in my wallet. So I gave it to him to make things faster. Immediately he gave me P500.00 as the change for my P1,170.
While waiting for my license to be released, I happened to look at the receipt. It was then I noticed that the exact amount printed on it was just P667.63. That guy didn’t give me my change of P2.37. He didn’t even ask for the right amount.
It’s a habit of mine to multiply numbers in my head. So I did the math. During my one-hour stay, the people there were around 30. If the guy was processing an average of 30 people during a 9-hour period with the no lunch break rule in LTO, the total would be around 270 people. Multiply that by the excess payment of P2.37, it will be an easy P639.00 per day and an easy P12,780 for 20 days.
I’m not saying that the Cashier guy does get to keep the extra P2.37. But really, given the circumstance where do you think it will go?
#drawerfullofchange #freemeryendahits #whynotaskfortheeaxactamount
It started 3 weeks ago when my wife asked if we could go to the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis concert. I recalled that Rye told me Macklemore is a good friend of Bambu and Geo. So I told my wife that there’s a chance we can get a hook-up from Rye and Bambu to watch the concert.
Still I was surprised last Friday when Rye told me there was a possibility that THE BAR, a.k.a Bambu and Prometheus Brown (Geo) will front for the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis concert.
8:00 am on a Sunday, March 16, my phone rang and it was Rye asking me where I was. I told him, we’re in the house. Apparently, Bam and Geo were already in Manila. After grabbing some adobo and beer from Whistlestop, they were waiting for 10:00 am for Rockwell Mall to open so they could get haircuts. They wanted to pass by our house to chill before the mall opened. So they brought some beer and of course our local vodka, “THE BAR.”
Some kumustahans over beers, vodka and coffee happened while they reviewed the tracks they’d perform that night. After 2 hours we headed to Rockwell for the haircut. We passed by the Team Manila store to pick-up some balikbayan pasalubongs for them, bought some coffee and went straight to lunch at Dampa. We bought a lot of seafood, went to a nearby palutuan to prepare our lunch, and ordered some more Pale Pilsens while waiting for our food. Our food took sooo long to be served, maybe because of it being Sunday-family day and a payday weekend. But finally we enjoyed that big lunch.
DJ Nphared, Geo and Bambu
After that we split up so Bambu, Geo and DJ Nphared could settle in at their hotel. My wife and I went home to prepare for the concert, and found some time to pass by Manila Fame at SMX. At 7:00 PM we met up with Rye, Alaric, and Jolo to wait for our tickets.
Got the tickets, ran inside thinking The Bar had already started but saw DJ Mars Miranda was just ending. Then The Bar finally took the stage for some 6,000 people and killed it. Despite performing in the Philippines together for the first time, the crowd was really digging them and we were happy for them.
Then it was time for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. They put on quite a show and my wife enjoyed it. I might be about 6-7 years too old to appreciate the music but the show was really good. Regardless of genre, an artist who really loves what they’re doing is able to establish the purity of music. Together with Kev from Miscellaneous and Kjah, we waited for Bambu and everyone else outside the venue.
You see while we were having lunch, Bambu had this idea to hang out at Yoohoo in Burgos, Makati where they had hung out before and had a good time, and bring Macklemore there. So we waited to see if it would happen. At first messages exchanged between Rye and Bambu said Macklemore’s Management were unsure to allow him to venture out, to Burgos of all places. But finally, the go signal was given and we were off.
And there we were, in the dark corner of Yoohoo, ordering barbecue, inihaw na bangus and cold Pale Pilsens and San Mig Lights. It could have been any other night except seated right on our long table were none other than Macklemore, Ryan Lewis and the whole crew. It was definitely surreal, surreal and even more surreal to see international celebrity known all over the world, sitting in a regular barbecue joint instead of some posh club you’d normally expect.
Not that their Management had anything to worry about. Save for my wife, no one even approached them for pictures. However, several people did approach Alaric or otherwise known as Anygma to millions of people. He was even asked to referee for the Lady and Midget Boxing event everyone went to after having some beers at Yoohoo.
Since it was a Sunday, we said our thanks and goodbyes to Rye,Geo and Bambu for the entire experience at an early 2:00 a.m., leaving behind Grammy winning artists watching ladies battling it out on the ring. Surreal.
Ben Haggerty AKA Macklemore and Geo