A city road cuts through our village. Our version of the social contract allows non-residents to enter the village on one side and exit on the other at reasonable hours; many use the road as a short cut that brings them from Quezon City to San Juan, or closer to Makati, from 5 am to 10.30 pm.
It used to be, when the road was still a two-way street, that the Christmas season would find us, the residents, trapped inside the village, with the roads clogged with transiting non-residents in a rapidly souring holiday frame of mind. Several years ago, however, the city government converted the road into a one-way street — solving most of our traffic problems overnight.
Earlier this month, the road was closed, to make way for the rehabilitation of the small bridge that crosses the creek in the middle of the village. Road Closed signs were posted at strategic locations, including the main village gate. No passing through, the signs add, naming the streets affected.
It seems that for many Filipinos, however, traffic signs are nothing more than suggestions. Up till today, many non-residents enter the village, despite the presence of the Road Closed signs. In the middle of the road, they are forced to double back (sometimes causing heavy traffic) or make a detour. Perhaps they don’t think the signs apply to them?