Skip to main content

Public transportation


I have no car here in Roxas City, my new (old) home. I have to depend on relatives to take me around the first week I was here. But this gets old so I am learning to take public transportation.

There are two choices: a tricycle which is a Nazi type vehicle with motorcycle and side cab and there is the minicab.

I am not tall but here in the island, I tower over people's heads. When I get inside the minicab, I must bend very low so I do't hit the roof. This small cab fits about 12 tiny local residents. One day I was pushed all the way inside the cab. I couldn't see my stop because the windows were below my eye level. When I saw the blur of my cousin's blue house next door, I realized I was way past my stop. Imagine getting out of this cab! When I asked the driver to stop, it was all too sudden, the people around me were taken by surprise with the unexpectef stop and my loud voice asking the driver to "Para" (stop). Then as I tried to get out of this cramped, modified jeepney, I kept saying, "excuse me", "excuse me" until I could push past all the legs on the very narrow aisle while keeping my head bent to keep from hitting the roof. It is the most awkward position.

I think the tricycle is a better deal. If I pay three times the regular price, I can ride with my assistant and we could have the tricycle to ourselves. If not, I could be riding with 8 people, two of us inside the cab, 2 behind the driver, one sitting on the right wheel, and two or three standing in the back. It all sounds impossible but I happened to be riding with 8 or more people because my assistant taught we could save a lot of money. And I appreciated her concern but for 50 cents, we can travel comfortably. But not that comfortably. Because the tricycle almost hugs the ground, you feel every bump. And this means you hit your head against the thin, metal roof every time there is a dip in the road. Getting out of the tricycle is a feat because it is so low that I have to bend down, let my legs touch the ground, pull myself up by clutching the sides of the cab, then stretch out. It is always a relief to stand up again.
* * *
Image by Rosario Charie Albar

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Carlos "Botong" Francisco, A Nation Imagined

Carlos "Botong" Francisco, FILIPINO STRUGGLES THROUGH HISTORY Oil on canvas, 1964, (located at ManilaCity Hall) A National Cultural Treasure owned by the City of Manila
Carlos Botong Francisco: A Nation Imagined is the latest art installation at the AyalaMuseum in Makati to celebrate the 100th birthday anniversary of Carlos “Botong” Francisco (1912-1969), a Philippine National Artist. Forty paintings and lithographs were culled from various private collections to form this exhibition. Of the large scale paintings on display, Maria Makiling and Fiesta, both oil on canvas, are representative of the indigenous genre which Botong loved to portray. In Maria Makiling, Botong reveals a relaxed and recumbent woman with her legs dangling in the cool waters of the stream and playing with an exotic deer by her side. Fiesta is about how the Filipino people gather to celebrate an important occasion, be that a religious feast or a wedding. The central figures are dancing the tinikling, a po…

See Sicogon Now

Buaya Beach
It was summer in the Philippines and we really wanted to go to the Gigantes group of islands. But we had no desire to join the throng of beach pilgrims who wanted to take the iconic selfie from the hill above the white sand beach of Cabugao Gamay. So here we were on Buaya (crocodile) beach in Sicogon, waiting for our lunch to be served, enjoying a cool drink under the shade of this old Talisay tree and looking at the Gigantes islands from our comfortable roost.

Greenhills Shopping Center Revisited

Religious articles
It's been years since my last shopping trip to Greenhills Shopping Center. We were looking for some giveaways for a big meeting and Greenhills has an incalculable array of gift ideas. We started in the jewelry section and found a fresh pearl bracelet with an attractive and colorful accent stone for P95.00. We were able to bargain with the vendor since we were buying 50 pieces. She marked down the price to P70.00 for each bracelet.
Souvenirs
Greenhills is divided into sections - handbags and accessories, clothing (separate sections for men and women), jewelry, home decor, souvenirs, Filipiniana arts and crafts, shoes and knick knacks. It's especially fun to shop here in November for Christmas decorations and gifts though the crowd might be unabearable. 
Knock-offs
Many shoppers come to Greenhills to buy knock-offs. And there are gobs to choose from. Be careful though if you are bringing this to another country because Customs at your destination may fine you…