Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My Life as a Commuter

I have been commuting since I entered college two years ago. I'm in 3rd year now and as expected, I'm still commuting. I live in Parañaque City, by the way.

During my elementary and high school days, I wasn't used to commute because I have a school bus (though it's not really a bus, it's more of a van or a jeep-type vehicle). I actually hated riding my school bus because I always have to wake up very early because the bus will pick me up FIRST, and bring me home LAST. On top of that, I have to wait inside the sizzling school bus (LITERALLY since they don't use the air conditioner most of the time) for a very, very long time, despite the fact that we pay the same exact price as my busmates. There are actually times that I ride the tricycle going home because I really want to go home early. And from that idea, I said to myself, "I can't wait to commute!"

Until I graduated from high school. AT LAST! I'm free from my hell-like school bus! Yahoo!

Now, I attend University of Santo Tomas in España, Manila. It is like an hour or two just to get to my school. I wouldn't forget my first day going to school since I have to commute from Parañaque to Manila. I did not worry since I was with a friend (I honestly don't know how to get to UST alone, so it was a relief). During my first days of commuting, I trained myself to commute alone and I familiarized myself the route going to school and back home. My feet hurt a lot during those days because commuting requires a lot of walking. I actually did have calluses. But after some times, I got used to it and, fortunately, I'm surviving.

How do I get to school?

Well during my first year, I only knew one way of getting there so I do it in a daily basis. First, I walk, exiting our village, walking pass through another village, and reaching the tricycle (or trike as I call it) terminal. Honestly, I hated riding tricycle in that terminal because majority of those tricycle drivers are overpricing, the fact that there's a discount for students like me. Well that's another story. Going back, of course I will grudgingly ride a tricycle (no choice!) going to a jeepney terminal which is known as Caltex (it was actually once a gasoline station). And from there, I will have to ride a jeepney bound to Pasay City via Skyway. After that, I will walk, battling my way to the LRT Edsa station. I will have to ride LRT Edsa, reaching Central Terminal. And from there, I will walk again and wait for a jeepney. I will again have to ride a jeepney bound to España, and voila! I'm at UST.

It's actually a very long ride to UST from Parañaque. If fortunate and no traffic, it will only take me an hour to get there. But if there is, then good luck to me. (O_o)

I hated that route. I really hate it because it brings back bad memories of my stolen cell phone (Nokia 5300). I really liked that phone, and it was actually a gift from my parents! I didn't know where and how it was taken from my bag, I just discovered that my bag was open when I reached a certain mall on my way to school. I was really devastated and I didn't know what to do during those times. I was like, "where's my phone? where is it? WHERE?!" For some minutes, I was losing my mind! But of course, I still need to get to school. As the saying goes, "the show must go on." And now, I got over it since I have a new one. (^o^) \m/

(Awww... I miss you so much!)

I had experienced a lot of bad memories on my way to school via "that 'cursed' route" like being stuck in the LRT station because of their so called "Red Code" or some color code, which I really don't understand. Because of that, I was late twice for my French Class!, which pulled my grade BIG TIME! (Je suis desole Monsieur Narvaez!)

Talking about LRT, I really hate it when people in the station gets really wild as they enter the train. It's like a jungle out there!!! As if it's the last train. WHEW! In addition to that, most of the time, we're like sardines inside! UNBELIEVABLY crowded! And if you're lucky, you get to smell the hideous, terrifying body odors of some people! Goodness! I actually experienced those unfortunate happenings, and I had a trauma... kidding! Those are the things to be expected during rush hours so be ready... :'D

After a year and a half, I finally changed my way. From that very long way, I finally manage to use the shortcut (for 50 cents) where I have to pass through a depressed area (you know what I mean). Surprisingly, some people in that area do know my name (though I really don't recognize them)! Oh well, moving on. After passing that shortcut, I have to ride a tricycle (and take note, I like riding tricycles in that area because they're fair and fast). After riding a trike, either I will ride the pedicab or just walk since it can possibly be done. And from there, you will just wait for an FX bound to Lawton via Roxas Boulevard. And from Lawton, I will ride the jeepney, and voila! I'm at UST. It was actually the easiest and the most convenient way for me. Besides, it passes through the Airport, where I get to see planes taking off and landing, which really inspires me a lot.

I also take the same route going home, and while on my way, I usually take a nap in the FX. I actually had funny experiences in the FX like sleeping while my mouth is open, or sudden movement while I'm asleep. I also experienced a girl beside me who keeps on swaying in a circular movement while she's asleep. It was really funny! I just couldn't contain myself and ended up giggling. And sometimes there are some people who snores loudly as they sleep in the FX. I also experienced being stuck in a traffic jam on a hot afternoon. It was really F*CKIN' HOT inside, like an oven toaster!!!

I also tried riding the PNR train for your information. The new ones actually. Just 30 minutes and you're home! However, it follows a schedule, which, unfortunately, contradicts to my schedule at school. My only concern is the view you get to see as you ride the train. Depressed area, poverty, and litters. I even saw a man pooping in the grass! Now that's a serious problem--especially regarding their sewage disposal. It saddens me to see that kind of surroundings and I couldn't bear seeing it.

I'd say commuting is really tiring yet fun. You get to experience the outside world. It's challenging as well because you never know what to expect. And also you get to see and meet different people everyday. And as for me, I believe I still have two years to travel that same route going to school, and after that, I'm off internationally! (cross my fingers!) Bon Voyage! (^o^)V

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  1. Hi. I see that you're a graduate now. Congrats! :) I'm a Thomasian from Paranaque, too. I take the LRT route also, but I get off at Tayuman station. I am also contemplating on trying the PNR route. Do you know its schedule? And what at what station should I alight?

    1. Hello Yohanna! Glad to know that we're both Thomasians! I don't really know the schedule of PNR from Bicutan station, and I don't think I would recommend it especially if your schedule of going to school is during rush hour. You might miss the train and you'll have to wait for the next one for approximately 30-45 mins. But if you really want to try it, you have to drop off at Espana station. Good luck! (^^,)d