Missing White CoatsApril 1, 2008
Something seemed strange while I rode the jeepney around my city.
I could not put a name on that strangeness. The same kind of litter lined the streets, as usual. People were walking around, as usual. Jeeps were doing their rounds, as usual. Cars were zooming lazily, as usual. Vendors were selling their wares, as usual. Schools were noticeably looking empty, but not as usual, which is strange but not so strange as to actually be the strangeness that I felt.
Then it hit me. Students do not have to go to schools at this time of the year. They do not even want to be reminded about school, since today is part of the merciful period between class terms. During this period, they are not even bound by school rules. They do not wear school uniforms, hence the absence of the ubiquitous white coats of the nursing students.
Iligan is a city disproportionately populated by nursing students. The city proper is usually filled with them. They strut about in their white coats, and hurry off to class or to hospitals. There is no hour when they are absent in the city proper. Night and day their white coats shine because whether it’s night or day, hospitals still don’t close.
So the mystery of the strangeness was finally brought to light. The city lacked nursing students who usually grace its streets. They would return in a few days time, considering that summer classes would be starting then. Yet I do not know if others would agree, but I think the city looked cleaner minus the white coats.