Having survived those horrendous Edsa jams, I am naturally patient when I happen to be caught in the middle of a pileup. After all, traffic in these parts translate to nothing more than five minutes on the L-shaped business center. Barring the usual rush-hour traffic--caused mostly by tricycles in an illogical rush--our main streets get clogged only when there are parades and processions. Or during the Holiday and Holy Week breaks, when cars crowd out the tricycles.
Last Tuesday, I was caught in a particularly long queue on the outskirts of town. The Sorsogon State College had its graduation ceremonies, and the graduates and their parents and probably entire clans really made navigation impossible. There was an unusually large number of kibitzers as well, and when I saw the humongous streamers I understood: the SSC invited Jinggoy Estrada as its "commencement speaker."
A celebrity--make that any celebrity--who happens to venture this far south, is sure to draw traffic. Toffee Calma can, even though nobody is really sure who Toffee Calma is. In the 80s, I went to school with a girl who did a cameo role in some Tagalog movie. Naturally, she was a celebrity for the rest of her grade school days.
I am sure that the crowd that trooped to see Jinggoy wasn't there for whatever "inspiration" he might impart to the new jobless. I have sat through graduation speeches before, and in all, I was too busy dreaming about the future to care about semantics. I don't even remember who spoke at my college graduation.
I asked a friend's son who was part of the crowd what Jinggoy said during the ceremonies. He couldn't remember. All he could say was that Jinggoy didn't look like an artista at all.