Thursday, June 7, 2007

my first jeepney drive to work

Earlier, I have decided to ride a jeepney on my way to work. Aside from the fact, my budget is running short, I thought it would be useful and practical just in case, to familiarize myself with the jeepney routes instead of taking a cab everyday for the rest of my office life.

A friend from work gave me the directions to take from Katipunan going to the office. She told me to get a jeepney ride from Katipunan to Anonas. In Anonas, enter a small alley that is beside UCPB. Then on the other side of it will be another road, where jeepneys pass going to Morato. And from Morato it will be just a short walk to the office. The directions are easy. Since I already have familiarized myself with the places mentioned. It is just the jeepney line that I am not confident about: and this was what I have proved to be right.

By the time I reached Anonas, I immediately hopped in on the first jeepney that passed. I knew the fare will be P10. I have already prepared for it. Bahay pa lang. So that I will not be magugulangan by driver if I am going to pay him a higher bill.

The establishments and places which the jeepney passed through are (quite)familiar. So I have told myself, there was still no reason for me to panic. Until, the jeepney suddenly made a left turn on the last traffic light before Morato coming from Kamuning.

From that moment, I felt my self suddenly parting in to two. One told me, to jump off the jeepney and just ride a cab to the office. While the other one told me, the public vehicle just made a detour. Thinking for the lesser evil which were additional expense for the cab and time already consumed inside the jeep, I chose to trust the jeepney driver. But that happened to be one of the most fatal mistakes of my life.

After several blocks (meaning almost one mile) away from the traffic light to Morato (which I already considered my guiding light), I finally decided to jump off the jeep without even a hint where exactly I am. Then, I began to realize that I was on deeper trouble. It was actually my first time to see that street. I even don't know if I am still in Quezon City.

Without any idea to go or any idea to do, I looked for any cabs or jeepnyies that have familiar signs around. No available cabs around. While most of the jeepnies that passed have signs that read: Cubao. On that moment, I never knew Cubao was that big: that it has different places aside from the Cubao Gateway or Farmers, I knew,

While waiting and keeping myself from bursting to tears, I saw a jeepney driver changing his jeepney tire.

No, I am not wishing that it was the same jeepney driver I rode nor hoping that the same fate would happen to him. I thought that would be too rude. Yeah, right.

Nothing unusual at first glance. But when I tried to focus myself back again to the driver, who was trying to pull the tire off the vehicle, I just then realized he was actually a she. On my surprise, even I am aware about gender sensitivity, my initial reaction was to look for a man who might be the actual jeepney driver. Thinking the woman was just the typical wife who serves as the conductor among jeepneys. Yes, I knew that was so insensitive of me. Excuse moi!

But I think, the usual/initial tendency of someone reared in a patriach-heteronormative society (naks!) like ours, is to be slipped over by their unconscous state. Isn't that a good excuse.

But kidding aside, it actually holds true. Such believe in some way had already integrated on our society and even on our selves. As long as there is a conscious effort to break away from these and the concept of process is not there just as a personal excuse, I think it would be considerable.

It surprised me to see how traditional occupations dominated by specific sexualities are beginning to be neutralized as time goes by. Looking at it, made me proud. Thinking that I am lucky enough because I was able to witness such event during my life time.

Looking at the woman carrying those big rubber tires that even I will take great efforts to replace it back to the jeepny made me admire her. At first, the other half of myself was pushing me to offer a hand but the other part was pulling me back telling me, it might offend her. Another choice of lesser evil and a new excuse for my unconscious insensitivities. So I chose the later.

There were lots of probable causes circled my head during that time. Thinking, what might lead such neutralization? Would it really be that our society/culture is beginning to accept the concept of gender equity, that is not based on mere tolerance? Or would it be that women nowadays are more aware and conscious about their rights and potentialities? Would it because of modernization? Or would it just simply because of poverty?

Before I could actually rationalize those questions, a jeepney passed with a Cubao:Yale sign. Although not really sure where Yale is, again, I just hopped in and gather all my guts and asked the driver if the route would pass Morato. The driver answered "Oo'" with a blank face. Eventhough I was not totally convinced, a minimal amount of security during that moment, was just enough to get me on a jeepney again.

I was seated infront of the jeepney as it ran away from the place. I realized, sitting in front position gives you a more advantageous position of not missing the traffic light, I thought. Unfortunately, it seemed like the issue of an advantageous position was not a matter if you are either in front or back of the vehicle alone. But also a matter of which side you were : if you were in the left or right side. Then, the speed of the vehicle should also be considered: if everything was either moving in slow motion or moving in light speed. Moving forward, I think you already have an idea of what will come next. The supposed to be 15minute late actually became an hour.

Oh well, atleast I have something to ponder on later again before going to bed.


Mugen said...

There are even lady pedicab drivers as we speak. That's how progressive our society is when it comes to gender-word distribution.

Thanks for dropping by my blog.

kubiyat said...

erik, bakit meron pang 2005 itong blog na ito? matagal ka na bang lumipat mula pulang chico?

nakakapikon kaya ang mga driver na humihingi ng barya sa hapon. ikaw pa yung pine-pressure na mag-produce ng chnage. at kasalanan mo pa kung wala. amf-ness talaga.

nakakatakot nga ang jeepney lines sa manila. parang napaka-intricate. afraid! however, i-e-explore ko yan nitong first sem. magdadala ako ng mace, haha.

gustung-gusto ko sumakay sa harap. minsan, sumakay ako sa harap na one-seater lang. e may nakaupo nang girl dun, haha. e di ko naman kasi nakita na pang-isa lang yun. pahiya diba? pero dun parin ako naupo hanggang nakauwi. nakairap yung girl. owel papel.

wanderingcommuter said...

i just mnigrated some of the files i like here.
i second the motion. nakakinis pa kasi duon yung kahit hindi naman talaga sila dadaan sa pupuntahan nila. pipilitinb ka nila. pero kapag minsan hindi ko na rin masisis dahil sa hirap ng buhay... more time...haaay

kC said...

ewik...from katipunan mag trike ka na lang... sabihin mo sa may anonas tapos ibaba ka sa may kawilihan bakery tas from there marami na jeep papunta ng morato :D