from the commuter

The photos which I took myself are random images of commuting and life. Enjoy the ride!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


On a rainy day

There is nothing to post. I have not been going out, and besides it's raining most of the time. No commuter post to post. However, this period that I'm in between jobs and that I am a bum has not failed to remind me a few things:

1) stay at home when you don't have money to spend
2) you have all day to think where to source your next spending money from
3) you become more grateful for the presence of relatives and friends who help you
4) you need not take a bath when you just stay at home
5) you get to think of a lot of things
6) you get to know every show on TV
7) every day is a day closer to something great OR
8) every day is a day closer to your bill's due
9) you realize the worth of P20
10) poverty helps support your weight goals

There! Just some of my thoughts on this rainy day.

A lady passenger home bound

Friday, June 17, 2011

RE-POST: FEET (Happy Birthday, Rizal!)

I managed to inherit my dad's Chinese genes, thus, my complexion - not yellow, but lighter than most. It follows that my feet are white, and I love these mobile appendages that carry my whole self. I enjoy seeing my soles redden after a long walk or from the immense pressure of the whole 149 pounds of me. I don't need 'mertiolet' (if that is how you spell it). Aesthetically, I don't have a bad pair, in fact, my college classmates' sole recollection of me is my white feet! hehe. But what I am very thankful for is that they take me everywhere. Walking is my passion. I simply love walking. I remember in college, I go to Intramuros for walks; to be around history was a spiritual journey. In my one of my walks, I decided to go to Fort Santiago. We were to have a 'Rizal' test the next day. I told myself "there is not a place more fitting to study Rizal than in Fort Santiago." Clutching my Rizal book and a few pesos and using my ever-dependable rubber slippers, I headed to the the park.

"Ok. I shall study here" I said.

The lady by the gate asked for an entrance fee. I refused to give her that much. I told her I was a student but couldn't provide her with an ID. Will I bask under history and go home penniless or keep whatever money I have? I decided on the latter. I was a poor student!

I was a bit frustrated; I continued walking along A. Soriano Street; Manila Cathedral, Palacio del Governador were in sight. I saw an exit; its name I can't recall. The 'puerta' was an unchartered territory for me. Beyond the gate were big trucks which I infered came from the port. I heard stories about the port area; the stories were not very friendly to red-soled teenagers. But by some instinct, I trod to that direction. There was fear I had to admit. From a distance, I saw streetchildren and some 'streetadults.' How I could possibly protect myself from the forces that be was a concern of mine. I was checking the dust that had enveloped my feet from the walk when I noticed bronze footprints on the pavements. I took a few steps farther to realize I was walking on the path Rizal took before his execution. I was enthralled at this thought. I couldn't hide my smile from the good fortune I was experiencing. Every few meters or so was a marker highlighting Rizal's accomplishments and life experiences. "Boy, I am lucky." Not having anyone to talk to, I kept these comments to myself. Every marker I saw, I read; I was reviewing for the test. Rizal's steps took me to Rizal Park. His journey to Bagumbayan marked the end of his life; my journey was a greater realization of how I love my feet! hehe.

As for the test I took after, guess what happened?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Night Shift

Ayala bus stop at night

"Night Shift' was all too foreign to me until several nights ago. It's not something that I want, so I tell myself "if I can avoid it, I will." One night shift has made me close my doors to any possibility of working as a call center agent  or anything that would turn my night into day and vice versa.

Our shift started at 8 pm. By four am, I could no longer think straight; it was difficult being alert. By five, the end of the shift, I could not wait to hit the sack. I was too sleepy to notice much of the metro. I played a game with nature, though. I told myself that I must get home before sunrise. Throughout my brief travel back home, I was trying to be a vampire, not wanting a ray of sunlight on me, trying to beat time. Well, I lost. Although I got home twenty minutes before six, vitamin D's healing power was nourishing me. With sunshine outside, going back to bed would be difficult. In a few minutes, my brother and sister would be making noise as they prepare for work and school.

Since I have always been a day person, and staying on the bed for long is not a habit, I rose three hours after I slept.Thankfully, the rest of the day was light.

I made up for lost sleep the next day. In a few days, I might do night shift again.Again, as I do that, I shall only be thinking of the money I am making afterwards.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Temporary job, permanently grateful

Opportunity came knocking at a time when I needed it. The Lord has His ways of making me feel that He listens still.

Let me give you a background. Money has been scarce lately, I have to admit. For someone who has been accustomed to receiving salary bi-monthly, I developed the habit of 'not saving.' Now, since I am technically in between jobs, that habit has been giving me nightmares! It's difficult being poor. I tell myself I'll never let myself be one again! Although I still get to eat complete meals every day, I am not at ease at the idea that I don't have money in my bank account. I have been irresponsible on that aspect. So, just imagine the kind of frugality I am practicing now; it's not fun, I tell you.

Three more weeks before I officially start my work with the government, my resources are dwindling. Luckily, I got a call, an answered prayer. The call meant that the much needed 'moolah' was coming. Although my contract prohibits me from disclosing what I am doing, this is what I can tell you - it has made me feel like one of those Makati office people although I report in Boni in Mandaluyong . I put on a nice shirt and parade the streets where tall buildings stand proud. It is still strange for me, for I have never done corporate before. It is so different from the school set up I have known for years.

Inside the train
Back when I was a teacher, everything had become familiar. Now, everything seems very strange. I take the bus along thousands of office workers of the metro. It was overwhelming. Squeezing into crowded buses  had to be re-learned. At night, as I go home, I am at awe at the multitude of red lights snaking their way into their owners' destinations.

Many posts ago, I wrote about long-sleeved-wearing people taking the bus or jeep to work. This experience has made me reflect on my previous beliefs. The everyday people I ride with are just doing what is expected of them. Everybody needs a job. I'd certainly put on a wig and wings if my job called for it. The whining had to be set aside; gratitude is now taking the limelight.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


For my first ever paid-lecture outside of the school, I was brought to Cavite. I was wearing a Burberry-print shirt, which was not Burberry, to the seminar-workshop I was giving to  a crowd of college instructors there. Although Cavite is just a few minutes from NCR, it has its distinct feel to it that tells you it’s Cavite. One of those things that sets it apart from the others is the baby bus. I was thrilled to see them along Tirona Hiway. Boy, I wanted to ride one of those, and I did.
It was my first time and it was an enjoyable ride. It had the feel of a jeep and the lay-out of a bus.
Inside the Baby Bus.

I have not explored much of Luzon, I tell myself. I wonder what other novelties I haven’t experienced yet. I suddenly came up with a list.
1.       PNR train
2.      Ro-Ro
3.       Pasig River Ferry
These three I aim to experience before the year ends. I hope you’re still there when those trips are made. Hehe.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Non-commuter Post: On Reproductive Health Bill

In one of those government exams I took many years ago, I was asked to give my opinion on the state of our population. I remember writing, “The Church should provide a lifetime of support for every child baptized into Catholicism.” I thought I came out with an ingenious idea to suggest to the government. If this suggestion was ever made into law, the Church would probably  be backing up any measure to curtail population growth. 
But none of those ideas will ever happen.
The Church shall not see the day when condoms and contraceptives  are readily available for anyone who is planning his or her family. The Church shall not clothe, feed nor educate anyone for free. The Church, however, shall continue to meddle in the affairs of the state even when the state and the church have always been separate.
The church’s influence is undoubtedly immense. The late Cardinal Sin through his call helped mobilize millions of Filipinos to march against a dictator. The church has been behind some of the country’s important issues and decisions. This particular issue on the passing of Reproductive Health bill seems to be won by the church singlehandedly because it deals with the issue using a tactic it knows best – disturbing one’s conscience.
Why would  a person like me be in interested in all of these? Because when one is so exposed to the harsh realities of life, one tends to ask, “What can be done?” The Church has been doing nothing but pointing out why the bill is wrong, and it is doing a wonderful job every Sunday at mass. This post, then, is a futile effort; no amount of ranting can alter things.
When this bill won’t make it to law, I pray that the government starts growing its bone. If that happens,  I’ll like to be part of the growth.

Parenting. A young couple feeds their baby with Mountain Dew inside a Tricycle parked along Baclaran.