Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Jeepney Experience

I barely can remember when was the last time I rode a jeepney. Maybe it was three or four years ago.

One day during my Manila holiday, out of the blue I wanted to take a jeepney to anywhere. I wonder what it feels like to literally be in Manila, again -- just like the usual lifestyle I've had before.

So I sent a message to J telling her I wanted to go their house and asked her if I could get directions on how to go to her place by commuting. I planned to just cook dinner and enjoy our own time.

She replied, "Sure ka?"

Finally I got the directions saved on an old mobile phone provided by my younger sister. I wore almost "pambahay"-like outfit because Mom said so. I got a small old bag to put in the phone and 700 pesos. Inside my pocket was 30 pesos. Youngest sister told me to act and speak jologs. It was as if the first time I will ever commute in my entire life.

I was quite scared but I have a gleam on my face and very excited. This is going to be memorable.

I want to conquer you again, jeepney.

So from Espana, I rode the Project 2-3 jeepney. I sat behind the driver. I missed saying this, but yes, there was an awkward smirk on my face when I said, "Ma, bayad ho." I gave 20 pesos since I am not quite sure anymore how much is the jeepney ride. It was quite a long journey heading to Anonas, and in between people watching, I somehow tried a few times to open my phone to make sure that I am following the right directions.

Passed by E. Rodriguez, Tomas Morato, Kamuning. I'm so happy I can still remember these roads.

J's directions say: "Text mo ako 'pag nakita mo na ang second Jollibee from EDSA. After kumanan ng jeep, there's a public school on your left, then a pawnshop. Baba ka na dun. Hintayin kita sa babaan."

I was enjoying the ride when I saw the second Jollibee so I was rushing to compose a text message. The jeepney was almost full as I was trying to type away on the mobile phone inside my bag.

It was already too dark at 7pm. I got used to living in a city where the sun only starts to set at around past 7pm. It was too vague but I was quite sure I already saw the public school, then finally the pawnshop! I breathed deeply for one moment as I knocked the ceiling of the jeepney and uttered, "Mama, para ho."

I got off the jeepney, with cold hands. I was screaming in my head, I'm so proud of myself. I made it!

During my travels, I always take public transports. It makes me, belong. And that's the ultimate reason why I wanted to ride the jeepney again.

Though I felt like a foreigner enjoying the jeepney ride, I felt a sense of belongingness again. Finally, I am home.

It was not really scary as I thought it was. :P

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