Piece of Cake

By in

Shaw Boulevard/EDSA, 10:00 AM, August 21


I thought it was a working day.  I walked back to the terminal to catch a bus home – or to wherever I was going – when I saw the old woman carrying the cake, wrapped in ribbons, placed in a red box.  She didn’t look like a little old lady who can afford cake.  Maybe some kind soul gave her the cake.  Or maybe looks can be deceiving, and that her barefoot, gaunt, and frail body actually has some deep pockets, and can afford the cake.

I boarded the next bus, and she followed.  It took her a while to board the bus; cane, cake, and all.  By some accident of fate, the box slipped from her arthritic grasp, and fell on the pavement below.  The bus gave a little heave upward.  The cake was smashed underneath.

I kept walking to the back – the very back – of the bus, and jacked up the volume of my iPod, knowing that the old woman was crying.  The conductor can’t do anything about it.  I couldn’t do anything about it.  The bus has to move on, we can’t go about crying and moaning and complaining about cakes given to old ladies when they’re run over by buses that simply do not care about anything else other than fares, destinations, and moving forward.

Apathy and indifference.  In that very moment, I realized exactly how the world works.  How privy I am to it.

Such a piece of cake.

14 comments on “Piece of Cake”

    • meia
    • August 23, 2009

    You really should’ve helped her get on the bus in the first place….I mean you took the time to take a picture of her.

    • meia
    • August 23, 2009

    At kung ako yun, I would’ve bought her a new cake. No lie.

  1. Reply

    I know, and I absolutely suck for it. Irony is not just something written. It is lived. Could I kick myself in the ass for the rest of my life for not doing anything about it? Nope. There I realized exactly how the world works, and the world works sucks.

    • meia
    • August 23, 2009

    Yes, you do. Actually this entry makes me mad. Don’t blog about things like, railing against apathy, na di mo pala kayang gawin even in the smallest measures.

    I don’t go to rallies but I still believe in small kindnesses like that. Kahit dun man lang, panindigan natin.

  2. Reply

    You know what, I’m angry at myself too. Very, very fuckin’ angry. It made me realize that I’m not above the very same things I write against, the very same things I complain about, and I’m not above what other people do. So I guess I’m just gonna have to live with that for a very, very long time, and realize that I’m not a savior, I can’t even save myself from my own mistakes.

    One thing I realized: no matter how shallow or profound a confession may be, the pain of making one is underrated.

  3. Reply

    hu hu hu 🙁

  4. Reply

    Sobra ka pare, para sa mga apo nya yun. Baka may birthday. I would’ve bought her another one if I had seen this happen in Shaw, especially since hindi naman mahirap bumaba at sumakay at malapit Shang where you can buy another cake. 400 lang ata.

    And where did you learn to write like this:

    “It took her a while to board the bus; cane, cake, and all.”

    Kala ko ba nag-workshop ka. Didn’t they teach you to edit superfluous cliches and to curb the melodramatic and let the story speak for itself?

    1. Reply

      Hokay, Brian:

      First of all, I appreciate the fact that you’re pointing out that I did something wrong. It was absolutely wrong of me to leave that woman be. I won’t justify it: I could have made-para at the nearest bus stop when this happened and took the woman to the next Red Ribbon at Boni, or Rob Pioneer. Unfortunately, that mistake cannot be corrected or rectified. All too often, we are judged by the mistakes that we make, at the moment our good judgment stumbles, when our conscience betrays us. Especially if you write a confessional-type entry.

      Since you did bring up the workshop and “where I learned to write like this,” here. My high school English teacher taught me that I should write with soul, that feelings are important. I don’t get that right all the time, but I try, so if it makes you any happier, I’ll delete that. Then again, dude, I won’t. I think it works. I think I learned a lot from that workshop for me to have the liberty to develop my own style, and I’ll learn a lot in my journey.

      Yet here’s something from “the old boys’ club,” Brian: I wouldn’t have been in the workshop if:

      1. I didn’t have the guts to submit.
      2. I didn’t know how to write.

      So I guess that as horrible a writer as I am, compared to a Palanca-submitting nitpicking writerly-type person like you, those guys told me to write, and channel every anger I have against “you can’t write” people like you to make something good. So Brian, I can, I will. I’m gonna keep on writing.

    • thegreatest
    • August 27, 2009

    I actually liked that part. Unlike ALL the lame shit you write, Brian.

    • Ako Si Lando
    • August 27, 2009


    Sobra ka, pare, akala mo kung sino kang santo. Baka may tama ka. Knowing how you like dangling your e-peen on the net, I’d have bought you cialis for your condition. Hindi naman mahirap bumili ng cialis para sa iyo.

    And where did you learn to act like a douchebag?

    The world would be a better place without pompous pricks like you, and your superfluous, self-important, aggrandizing, sanctimonious ego.

  5. Reply


    Yeah this world sucks, like all the comments here. They would surely buy that old lady a cake. I surely would, “kung may pera, at hindi nagmamadali”. But life sucks and hindi kami yung nakakita at nakasabay dun sa ale. That is your life you’re talking about.
    Madami lang kasing taong magaling maghugas ng kamay.
    Probably isa na rin ako dun.


    Cmon, when it comes to this, the web, are you the authority in writing to say something like that. He’s expressing variability. Is this blog subjected to proper forms? May contest ba? Dalawa lang yan eh. Hindi mo naintindihan what he tries to convey or umiral ang inggit dahil he thought of it first. Pure stupidity.

    Well, im am stupid also, but not as stupid as you.

    • Rico
    • August 28, 2009


  6. Reply

    When I didn’t give up my bus seat for an old lady, a battle happened inside me. One part said “Give the old lady your seat.” the other was making excuses, “I’m tired” “It’s a long day” “I have a bad knee”. While this was happening, a man finally gave up his seat. Whew! A sigh of relief but hated myself for rationalizing helping.

  7. Reply

    This is when we realize the true nature about ourselves and society.
    “A society is judged on how it treats its worst”

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