from the commuter

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

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

An airport lesson

While waiting at the (better) Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Terminal 3)
The last plane ride before my Palawan trip was in January 2011 for my Vietnam trip. The Palawan trip was going to be work, but a fun work, it turned out, something that I could do for the rest of my life. But a work that good truly does not exist for someone like me. So, I , together with the rest my batchmates, was nothing but grateful for the experience.

Prior to the trip, we were all excited, thirty- and twenty-year old gals and guys could not hide their excitement. We googled for places of interest (meaning, drinking) and had some difficulty in searching for one. We were probably looking at the wrong website or there could be nothing like that in existence there. But we were not completely frustrated. We cannot complain as everything in the tour was free. We did not even think of the low pressure area looming in the western part of the Philippines.

The day came when we had to leave Luzon. I brought my ever-trusted backpack that could well carry my entire house. I was not to check in my stuff; I was a light traveller, I tell myself, although I had 15 kilos of free baggage space.

Everything was running smoothly as expected except when I was stopped at the entrance to the pre-departure area because an umbrella was seen in the x-ray machine. Oh no, it was MY UMBRELLA!

"Bawal po ang payong," the security officer said.

A frozen face.

I was not going to give up my umbrella. Few weeks ago, I bought it at a price that could pay for four cups of Starbucks coffee. 

"Hindi mo na yan makukuha."

Another frozen face. Then an obedient umbrella-possessing Palawan-bound passenger unwillingly pulled an umbrella out of his bag.

Welcome to Puerto Princesa City!

I proceeded to the boarding area with a quarter of a kilo off my bag which made my trip easier as we experienced Palawan weather which was mostly fine and dry during daytime. There really was no use for an umbrella after all, and I was not really to use it as weapon and kill or injure someone; I really was not.
The plane that brought us safely to Puerto Princesa City

Monday, November 21, 2011

Commuter sets foot in Puerto Princesa City

Barefooted in the city

I was in Puerto Princesa when its Underground River Park inclusion to the New Seven Wonders of Nature list was announced. The entire city celebrated its entry to the famous list. Fireworks illuminated the peaceful Palawan sky at three in the morning, I was told. I was sound asleep in my hotel room, recuperating from the fun-filled week that was, when the entire city reveled in its glory.

That really was a reason for a celebration among the many other reasons why Palawenos should be celebrating all year-round. It's a great place to be in - greens, nature, fresh air, fresh seafood and nice and warm people.

The city proper can be toured in less than half a day. The tricycle ride is cheap; going around was easy.  The local folks are trained to be nice to strangers and tourists.
Puerto Princesa City's not so busy intersection

The garbage truck collecting the trash on the street did not smell like a Manila garbage truck. I told myself and my companions to take a deep breath as we passed by a parked a truck. Nah, it was a suggestion not worth taking.

Tricycle designs differ from city to city. It could fit five grown up men and a lady heading to a club to party.

My idea of progress was a modern urban landscape, and Puerto Princesa does not fit this kind of progress. However, it has progressed greatly in the area of environmental protection, something that the rest of the country and the world have failed miserably. Puerto Princesa sits well in its rightful throne as the princess of the  all things fresh and green, and she deserves a homage.

I left Puerto Princesa with a bagful of memories of its Underground River, Honda Bay, Badjao Restaurant, monkeys, greens and many more greens, crocodile meat, bearcat, food, lots of it and many many more. I can go on forever....

To end this post succinctly, it was fun. It really was.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Long weekend

The mass ended a few minutes earlier than usual. There were not that many people in the church; the choir sang only one song instead of the usual two during the the entire communion. The more fashionable ones who come extra well-dressed for mass were strangely absent. So were the beautiful people. These were my observations during last Sunday's mass.

Yes, they have gone elsewhere, out of town, maybe; long weekends do that. They also create opportunities for domestic or international tourism to flourish. They decongest Manila streets as well. But I remained at home. As much as I would like to have my little rendezvous around the city or elsewhere, I simply chose to confine myself in my abode. Paranaque happens to be the home of Manila Memorial Park and and the small Loyola. Braving the streets during All Saints' Day is not something I would be doing although my feet have been itching for Makati or wherever.

Besides, I have to rest. The past few days have been very busy, thus, the lack of a new post. I spent a week researching for and writing a paper, and another three days providing service as a liaison officer to nine foreign delegates and one local in an international conference at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The liaison work was work, hence, boring, but the hotel experience was great. I have to be honest when I say that it was my first time to sleep in a five-star hotel room, which I shared with seven other men, three who snored. I did not even realize there were some snoring that took place since I slept the earliest. It was a good sleep - airconditioned, soft yet compact pillows and smooth bed.

It was my first and last time to sleep with my male friends. The tiring work during the day made me snore as loud as the others. I volunteered to sleep in the ladies' hotel room, on the extra bed, of course. One less snorer in the male's room was one snorer addition in the girl's suite. Guess who didn't get to sleep well this time? Poor Candy.

And of course, I can only reminisce privately the overflowing food I enjoyed during breakfast and lunch. I shall not write them down since I salivate at the thought of it. Let us just say that my breakfast and lunch experiences made me dream of living in hotel rooms for the rest of my life. But I woke up in my simple and colorless room after the three days. The hard bed, the electric fan and the scattered shelfless books all reminded me to get up and prepare my own breakfast. This I did. It turned out I was cooking for a full day's meals. I had fried chicken for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is the life.

Tomorrow will be something else.