Sourced from the Web by Tracy Cabrera
ROME, ITALY— We’ve seen them before on some street in Metro Manila—those dancing policemen and strutting traffic enforcers of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority—and in Rome, there are also similar cops who dance and strut and they’re now making a comeback in the Eternal City.
The new commander of Rome’s local police had decided to break with the all-male tradition and for the first time, a woman has joined its ranks with Cristina Corbucci, 43, seen waving theatrically at cars and buses from a raised platform in the city’s central Piazza Venezia.
“It’s (a) bit like conducting an orchestra,” one of Corbucci’s bosses, Maurizio Maggi, described Rome’s first dancing policewoman.
A political science graduate, Corbucci became a traffic warden three years ago but she started her new position this week and told her she loves it, she says.
“Up there, you really feel like in the center of Rome,” the 43-year-old enthused, adding that (most) “people smile” while she is on the job.
Where Corbucci stands picturesque while directing traffic, Piazza Venezia is the well-known busy roundabout in the heart of Rome, dominated by the huge Victor Emmanuel National Monument is known to locals as ‘the wedding cake’.
Rome’s historic shopping street, the Via del Corso, leads to the famous plaza and it is close to landmarks like the Capitoline Hill where the ancient Roman Empire was born, the Roman Forum where plebs gathered to discuss political issues of the day, and the Colosseum where gladiators like the rebellious Spartacus fought to the death.
The raised traffic police platform at the plaza’s center is electrically operated and it went back into service just this month with Rome mayor Virginia Raggi calling it “a symbol of Rome.”
Loved by tourists and locals alike, the podium was once featured in Woody Allen’s To Rome with Love, as well as in the classic children’s illustrated book This is Rome.
Ten years ago, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported how MMDA traffic enforcer Ramiro Hinojas, 55, had injected some holiday cheer into his tasks and in an effort to cheer up commuters, he had worn a Santa Claus suit while directing traffic and on top of that, he also displays his Michael Jackson dance moves every time he was out in the street to direct traffic.
The AFP report quoted Hinojas, who said in Filipino, “It gives me joy to see people happy while they’re stuck in traffic, because I know how the rush hour can make anyone crazy.”
Hinojas added that he decided “to introduce the Michael Jackson dance routines in an effort to get motorists to take notice and follow his instructions.”
According to the report, motorists show that they appreciate Hinojas’ efforts by honking their horns. Some buy him food or offer cash donations that augment his ‘measly’ take-home pay.
Now 65, Hinojas appreciated the fact that even abroad, there are those who feel he is worth emulating as a devoted public servant.
Another MMDA enforcer, much younger at 28, remarked on see Corbucci in action in a video footage posted in social media: “Maganda siya . . . Pero hindi niya kaya iyong mga ‘moves’ dito sa ‘Pinas . . . Dito may nagmu-‘moonwalk’ . . .” (AI/MTVN)