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A Poor Man’s Police Patrol

If only the little machine could speak, it would complain how battered it had been from working nonstop from sunup to sundown. Sadly, there seems no respite in sight for this tiny vehicle.

Frustrating Response

Its siren fills the densely populated street, prompting the residents to clear the road. But no matter how loud the engine roars, it simply could not keep with the burglar’s quick feet. PO1 Dela Cruz could not help but curse the slow and noisy tricycle. “Of all the vehicles available, why am I stuck with this stupid mobile patrol?
How can I perform my duty well?” His fellow policemen could not help but grin, agreeing about the poor tricycle’s condition. They could only sigh as they watched the burglar make his way through a small iskinita (side street), where the service patrol find difficult to fit in. They are all in awe as the sidecar wheel got stuck in broken asphalt flanked by garbage.

The tale of the trike began a couple of years ago when several concerned citizens donated a brand new tricycle to a police station to help them serve the people effectively and efficiently. In the early days, the mobile patrol was very effective in responding to the needs of the people, enabling them to sleep tight at night.

Peak of its Career

During the tricycle’s heyday, it was being used by PO2 Juan, to whom the mobile patrol was entrusted. Like a newly wooed chick, the tricycle was maintained fair and well. PO2 Juan proudly patrolled the vicinity diligently with the trike.  Like a little boy with a new toy car, he brandished his mobile patrol with such ardor. The mobile patrol was very advantageous, especially during heavy traffic. With its mini size, it could pass through the roadsides in any opportune situation to get ahead of the traffic and catch delinquent criminals. PO2 Juan was very proud of his mobile patrol, although some comrades and dim-witted people looked down on his lowly service vehicle.

Parting Ways

Time has passed and PO2 Juan had left the station for another assignment. Subsequently, the three-wheeled mobile patrol was entrusted to someone else. Since then, no one took care of the trike’s maintenance as different people would use it to and fro, until it deteriorated. Just like everything else in the government, it has to stay for a wee bit longer continuing to service many people. Although it can traverse the road, albeit slowly. It is not yet time for it to retire as they thought.

Losing its Glamor

Wear and tear took its toll on the three-wheeled hero. Its once mighty stance has faded eventually and nobody dared to touch it. Many lives saved, many crimes solved and justice has been served with the aid of the mobile patrol. But nobody would fix it when injured. It was the end of the road for the lowly tricycle.

Living Legacy

Today, the tricycle still stands: bold and proud of its contribution to the police station and the Filipino people. Time has rusted every piece of its metal, scourged by the scorching heat of the sun and drenched by heavy rain falls. Some children would play on it, simulating tricycle drivers or make bahay-bahayan (house-playing). Even if the service patrol trike becomes immobile in transporting people, it still paints a smile on people’s faces, especially those it had served.

Irony of Life

Today, we seldom see tricycles in the main roads. Taxicabs and buses ply the roads along with the fancy cars of our government officials, capitalists and bureaucrats. These people enjoy the perks of riding on luxury cars but most of them did not realize that the very reason they were seated in power was to govern and serve.

In stark contrast, our people have to content themselves with what they are being fed with—in this case, a poor tricycle that couldn’t even keep up with a burglar on the run.  Is that fair? It is a sign of how bad things have come. Don’t we deserve better? Picture our cops in high-speed service patrols, ardently pursuing criminals on the loose, traversing the streets and ensuring that everything is okay. Think of our rescue teams responding quickly with fast and well-equipped vehicles. Would not that be a sight to behold?

Facing Reality

Sadly, some of us are as unfortunate as the humble tricycle. Such poor facilities that we use reflect the state of our nation. Poor. Rusty. Deteriorating. Most of us feel we are helpless and useless, without a better opportunity ahead and the perseverance to give life a go.

On a brighter note, we can also dream of the once useful tricycle. Skilled, diligent, helpful, hardworking. A picture of pushing ourselves to the limit and striving hard to make things better. If only we have a PO2 Juan to take care of us, inspire us to help better ourselves. Sometimes, it is all a matter of getting a push here and a shove there.  The lowly tricycle was fortunate to have a gallant man behind it. Isn’t it what we all are hoping for? Some sense of inspiration. A tap on the shoulder that seems to tell us we are doing great, loved and cared for.

Standing Firm

But many of our leaders are no PO2 Juan. They seem not to care for our welfare. They think only of getting rich while in power. But the the good thing is we are like the valiant trike, which is resilient to overcome all the odds.

Our leaders do not define who we are. We simply do not fold up easily. We stand firm, work hard and take advantage of what we have.  We still continue to serve our nation in our own little way.