I'm running late for work one Thursday evening. It was almost 21:00 and I still haven't decided what to wear (read: waistline issues). For the past couple of months, I have my ears subscribed to Papa Dom's reggae show over the radio, except that certain Thursday night Milenyo was in town. Unwilling to miss that night's show, I turned my phone/radio into loudspeaker mode as I went on with my quest for a decent getup.

When I finally had my Eureka moment, it was already way past 21:00. I highly doubted if I'd make it on time for work. Yes, I dashed.

It was only until 5 minutes after I hopped in the FX when I realized I failed to go on headset mode! Not because I heard myself but because I fished for my phone from my bag to send someone a text message then I saw the shocking icon of loudspeaker. Immediately turning it off, I felt guilty to be the deliverer of hardcore reggae in full blast.

Everything was a painful slow motion since that realization: My decision to turn down pedicab drivers that night for a sprint walk, my 8-minute jeepney ride to Bayanan, the understandable hesitation of fellow FX passengers to make space for me. With my hands on my flushed face, I wanted to die.

In an attempt to channel out my embarrassment, I pushed my keypad with anger and confronted my brother Louie over text for not letting me know. He stopped me before leaving as I'm wearing his LPG (League of Pogi Gentlemen) shirt, fer gawd's sake! How heartless!

But then again, I also felt bad that nobody among the people in our neighborhood or village or fellow passengers poked and admonished me for being on loudspeaker mode. I would gladly tone it down, you know.


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