from the commuter

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

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Fun Walk at MOA
Early Sunday morning

Waking after barely three hours of sleep from a night out (in Eastwood), I hurriedly took a bath to make it to the Mall of Asia (MOA) at six in the morning to meet up with some groupmates for a project.

I got off in Baclaran in front of a gay bar, which, some few hours ago, was the venue of naked men gyrating to Careless Whisper and whatnot. This was where I was to take my jeepney ride to MOA. The jeep was half-filled. Middle-aged women all wearing red were already there. I assumed they had been there for a few minutes. They were to take part in free aerobics session in the mall grounds. It was six in the morning and there weren't many people around.

"Ma," addressing to the driver, "pag-Lunes na at hindi pa gagalaw mauuna na kami, ha?" said the most boisterous of the group. The rest laughed.

Maybe out of impatience as it was past six already, the same woman blurted at the top of her voice, "MOA, MOA, MOA, MOA!" eliciting further laughter from the passengers.

There was an organized fun walk at the MOA grounds. "May libreng tubig d'yan. Save na tayo sa tubig," one of them said.


Monday morning

I was running late. The FX that passed were all full. I shall take the jeep, I told myself. I did, thinking it was an experiment. However, I reminded myself that experimenting on a different route was not a very wise idea to do on a busy work week, a Monday to be exact. I did not heed my own reminder because I wanted to be stubborn.

I got off in Baclaran. I waited for anything to pass along Roxas Boulevard. There was none. I didn't take a cab for I could not. I hailed a MRT/LRT Pasay-bound jeep. I witnessed an overwhelming foot traffic everywhere. I never thought that the foot bridges could hold so many people. There were as many people down as there were up. I must find my way soon. I had an hour to go before I'd be marked late.

A jeepney marked "DFA" came to view. I am saved. I took it and kept an eye for an 80's structure lording over Pasay-Libertad area. It came to sight as the driver said "DFA." He must have noticed my gawking look as he drove.

I walked thirty meters more than I would on my normal route. I arrived in the office twenty minutes before the time. I immediately hogged the air coming from electric fan as I was drenched in perspiration and exposed to Pasay-Paranaque pollution. It was an interesting lesson on a Monday morning.

I told myself to stick to my regular route from that moment on.

C5 Extension Paranaque: Sunday Morning. Cars emptied for Brother Mike Velarde's Sunday Service

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Passenger Series 4: Solicitor

The teacher in me would have wanted to put my red pen out and put it to good use, but I did not. The guy who gave this to me while inside the bus needed my support and not my lecture. I did not give him anything; I never agree to solicitations done inside moving conveyances. He got off taking with him this piece of paper and his merchandise.

This is not new to me anymore. I have received similar messages and envelopes with matching performances while I am on transit. I do not judge them. People do what they have to do. I would only react negatively if some form of coercion is done; almost all the time, I ignore. I don't feel bad about how I usually react towards this because, I think, genuine show of charity should not be solicited.

Taft Ave corner Kalaw. Formerly Masagana Mall in my college days.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Working Series 2: Metered

(This must be along Taft Avenue...not sure where exactly though)
That roads lengthen at night is a known fact to Zamboanguenos whose popular mode of transportation is the meterless tricycle. It is the tricycle that serves as the 'taxi' as there are only two or three cabs servicing the entire city. Those who want to go home safely and be brought to their house directly could not complain if they are charged more. I wonder, though, how these drivers determine the rate.

With my new work in the nation's capital, however, the FX is my preferred mode of transport. It has been a habit of mine to prepare the exact fare of P25 every morning. On days that I don't have the exact fare, say fifty, I get P25 or 20 as change. The shy person that I am do not care to ask what the actual fare really is. Actually, other than being shy, it is more of the fear to find out what I must actually pay. The thing is I am getting very comfortable paying P25! It looks like it's just worth P25 really; I get to work in less than 40 minutes on a busy Manila morning. I strongly feel it's just a P25-peso ride. But drivers may have a different 'feeling.' This leads me to ask, why are there two different fare rates?

When they charge me thirty, I usually keep quiet. When I hand a P25 and announce my destination, I am sometimes asked to add five and I follow. When I get the 'right' change, I am happy. Five pesos is a big savings; multiply it by two, you get ten pesos!

I do not mind paying the right or higher fare only if everything in the FX transport service is regulated. I have yet to see a printed out fare matrix that is observed everywhere and conspicuously displayed. There are shuttle services that charge exorbitantly, I think. But despite my silent complaints, I continue taking the FX. It's still the choice of many  salaried barong-wearing office workers unless they want to be smelling of Manila air every morning.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Working Series 1: Paid!

My financial (re)dependence on my mother ended when my ATM card yielded those precious pesos. A smile proudly displayed on my face as I held my hard-earned money. I quickly told my mother and close friends of my new-found fortune."You're the property of the people now" was what they said. I understood what that meant. It scares me, I have to honest. Others said, "Palibre!" I smiled. Much as I would want to share the first fruit of labor, I simply couldn't because I had bills to pay. Close to four months of unemployment left me poor and with delayed payments! I had monthly responsibilities to my housing loan and the credit card companies. Only when I have fulfilled those responsibilities would I be able to truly flash my close-up smile again. But I am smiling nonetheless.

The thought of regular income gives me the kind of security that I have been deprived of for many weeks. I have been assessing my spending habits. I must save! A new workmate of mine, an intelligent fellow, presented me with an equation on savings. He illustrated that most Filipinos' idea of saving, and I adhere to this, is

                               SAVINGS = INCOME - EXPENSES

when it should be this:

                               EXPENSES = INCOME - SAVINGS

 Smart fella, huh? or Bobo lang ako?

The fact that it lingered on me meant it had a purpose. I just had to act on it. I thought that my scrimping on things would do it, but, definitely, it's more than that.

View from the overpass in Roxas Blvd
Roxas Blvd

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


The title, "Working," is supposed to mean "Busy," thus, this post, that is many days late. 

It has been a month since I officially entered the service. So far, we have been making our trips to places that are supposed to be relevant in our training. We visited the Museum, the Airport, and a movie house even! Needless to say that our cadetship, as what they call it, has been full, but this does not mean I have not been doing my observations.

A lot has happened.

(to be continued)