from the commuter

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

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Glorious Sunday

"When the whole of the Philippines was glued to the TV and the numerous pay-per-view locations to watch the Pacquiao-Margarito fight, my sister and I went to the mall. As expected, the road was clear and the mall had fewer people. Like most Filipinos, we windowshopped and windowshopped some more only to stop when a bulk of people started coming out of the theaters. Although not a boxing fan, I was excited to learn about the outcome. I couldn't quite read the expression on the faces of the people exiting the theaters. All I could see were blank and expressionless faces. I was getting worried. I had to go to a guy to confirm Pacquiao's loss. He responded, "Pacquiao! Unanimous!" He answered victoriously as if he won the match himself.

"Pacquiao's win didn't surprise me anymore because of his unblemished record. There seems to be nothing that he cannot win nowadays. I shall advise him to bet in the lottery, then. My advice might be worth something. hehe. I wish I had his luck, but, winning boxing matches and a congressional election is not entirely luck."

I was checking my drafts in my blog and found this unfinished post with reference to the November 2010 match of Pacquiao. The draft's title was "Glorious Sunday."

I am not to talk of Pacquiao at length; the past week has been filled with Pacquiao stories detailing his not so apparent loss to Bradley. I just thought of utilizing the Pacquiao account, since it is acceptably written, as my introduction to an equally glorious Sunday I had. hehe.

I was invited by my volunteer friends to go with them to Corregidor. So on 17 June 2012, a Sunday, I braved early in the morning the unfriendly waters of Manila Bay for close to two hours to reach the famed island of Corregidor. Prior to going there, Corregidor was nothing but a "significant place in  World War II history," according to the books, and a reference to losing one's virginity : "Isinuko ang Bataan!"

The craft taking us to the island took longer to than usual; the waves were big and the clouds were foretelling us of a wet day ahead.  The craft's crew members were ready with barf bags and tissue for those having discomfort, and they were busy during the last thirty minutes of the trip, I have to say. Had the weather been fine, we would have made it to the island earlier, and the ship's management would have saved a lot more on tissue and motion sickness bags!

We arrived safely, nonetheless, and were led to tranvias that run on engine. Before the island was obliterated during the war, the entire island was accessed through  the railway system. The Americans did a fine job in equipping the whole island with modern world facilities during the pre-war period. Only a few railtracks are now visible.

The fastcraft that took us to Corregidor
I didn't bring anything with me except my phone and wallet. I wasn't expecting much; I had very little idea of what I was to see and experience. Getting out of Manila was already a treat by itself.
I am used to seeing flight attendants doing safety demonstrations, but not this one.

All aboard the 'Tranvia'
I was to get the surprise of the tour the moment hopped on the tranvia which was to take us all around the island. A minute into the ride, we were welcomed by the picturesque scenery. Little by little, stories of heroism and power were told, sparking interest from even the most disinterested passenger on the tranvia.

I was beaming with pride that the Philippines had a tourist destination that truly spoke of history. The ruins, the barracks, the shrapnel-hit cannons, bomb craters, all presented the horrors of war, a concept which, up to this time, is very unfamiliar to me. Yes, I may have come from Mindanao, but I have never experienced exchanges of gun fires and bullets in my life.

Corregidor may be a symbol of the Philippines' resistance to the Japanese occupation, but for me, a person born after the war, it is a reminder of what I don't want ever to happen in my lifetime or in my children's. I used to proudly announce that I am from Mindanao and nothing should scare me anymore; I was being an as***le when I said that; I have not seen war unlike those who braved the bullets of the insurgents and secessionists in the various parts of the country. I cannot claim courage in war, but I can be honest and brave in my words.

This is one of those trips that I truly enjoyed and learned from.  It's worth taking, really.

Heading back to Manila

Friday, June 15, 2012


There are times when I don't know which is right. Or left.

My spatial intelligence is close to non-existence. Because of this, I might not even be able to learn how to drive. You see, I am seeing the necessity to have a car now because of the demands of my work. Other than not knowing how to drive, the OTHER BIG obstacle is buying one. I was being brave when I checked out a car store near my place. I was looking around, asking the right questions and looking very interested. In all fairness to me, I was eager to have my questioned answered, and I did not waste the car dealer's time. Blah, blah, blah.... he talked of the differences of the cars, the functions, the speed, and finally, our talk came to the money part.  Well, he did not exactly  blurt all the money details; instead, he wrote them down. I left the store with that tiny piece of paper in my hand. My car of choice was Hyundai i10. Small and 'cheap' compared to all the other cars on display.

I was doing my math : downpayment + (monthly installment x 5 years)+ parking space + gas + maintenance. I may be lacking in spatial intelligence,  but my arithmetic is certainly not as bad. The sum made me scratch my head.

I was thinking which of the things I enjoy doing I should sacrifice. I listed them down:
  1. movies
  2. massage
  3. eating out
  4. home appliances and furniture
  5. vanity (moisturizer and lotion)
  6. occasional shopping
  7. chocolate and ice cream
  8. travel
 Let's stop at eight. 

I think between buying a car and not, it's best if I am able to distinguish right from the other right first

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I'm serious about commuting, however

Okay, so I am not a serious blogger; my lack of post says it. If it’s any consolation to my three readers, I am so disappointed with myself. 

The past month has been a tough one for me; work, which I don’t wish to discuss here, got in the way of things. It’s been really hard that I have yet to allot time to talk to myself, a hobby of mine which gets people to doubt my sanity. But as a personal rule, I shall limit my discussion to just that, my talk about work, I mean. 

The Philippines has just witnessed a defeat, Pacquiao’s. Weeks before this was Jessica Sanchez’ close quest for the American Idol tilt. Despite these, the Philippine flag will wave proudly, even beyond the 114th  Independence Day Celebration. 

As I observed the lined flag poles bearing the flag around the city and at work, I went on asking myself “Will there ever come a time that the flag’s colors be inverted?” The question terrified me. Although it’s in the flag’s design to symbolize war, I dreaded the thought of seeing it that way. Not in my lifetime I hope. 

I place my faith in the Supreme Being. Let no harm come our way.

Now, some commuter notes.

I am pleased to announce that there is a growing number of people who say “Waiting Shed” now. I used to hear a lot of “Waiting Shade.”  Come to think of it, the latter makes some sense, too, but I welcome “Waiting Shed” more. 

I have experienced walking quite a great deal of length when all modes of land transportation wouldn’t take me home even if I had money to pay. It rained one Thursday afternoon and left some major roads, particularly those leading to my abode, impassable. Boy, I had to walk, but it was okay since there were many of us treading the same wet path home. It was during that time that I wanted my own car. Every cab I hailed said no to me at every mention of “Sucat.” It became like a cuss word that deserved an equally bad treatment from all cab drivers. During my walk, I realized a few things:
  1. It’s not fun walking a great distance in leather shoes
  2. Excess baggage is never good
  3. Sucat is far from Pasay
My companions during that jeep-less Thursday evening
Other than those, my walk made me observe life in general. I saw couples, particularly the younger ones, who were quite enjoying the walk. It bought them more time to be together. It was quite noticeable how young men tended to be more gentlemanly towards their girls, offering the girls caddy service. I saw fashionistas donning  the “Dry Season” look ,who were left without a choice but to go for the wet look. I was entertained by young office ladies unashamed to be seen in dump trucks and beer delivery vans. I cringed at the cab drivers who refused passengers.  Most of all, it was a humbling experience. Since I started earning money, never had I experienced anything like it. That incident served as a reminder; I should never forget.