Today marks the implementation day of the provincial bus ban which the local governments and MMDA deem to be the best solution to address the heavy traffic along EDSA. This means no more province-bound buses are allowed to enter EDSA. For a Caviteña like me, this is heartbreaking news. Gone were the Jasper, Saulog, San Agustin and Erjohn & Almark buses that save us time and money from the typically tiring travels from the metro. To top it off, this Kapamilya just decided to cease renting space in Project 4 and go uwian to Bacoor City everyday.

Actually, leaving Cavite is not an issue for me. From Zapote Kalinisan, I can take a jeepney that would take me to Baclaran (P15). From Zapote Kabila, I can take an airconditioned bus (P18) or a jeepney (P15) that would reach the same destination. From there, I'll take a jeepney to Taft-MRT station (P8) then alight at Quezon Avenue-MRT station (P15 currently and I dread the impending MRT fare hike). But what made me feel upset is the sight of fellow pedestrians crossing from the foot bridge, waiting for buses and taking a long walk to Baclaran. Under the rain, mind you. I could just imagine the hassle this had caused - from employees trying to get to their offices, students to attend their classes and call center agents wanting to go home and sleep right away. I wonder if Chairman Francis Tolentino can still smile like that if he's tried bus-hopping himself on a daily basis.

Stranded here, there and everywhere! Photo obtained here.

Now let's talk about my commute home earlier. Before the bus ban, I normally board a Batangas-bound bus (BSC) located just below Taft-MRT station and alight at Talaba. (P25). Out of curiosity, my best friend and I took a jeepney to the SouthWest Provincial Bus Terminal in Coastal Mall (P10) then took another airconditioned bus to Dasmariñas City (P25). Imagine taking this re-route for a month (P10 x 20 working days) and you got yourself P200 deduction from your budget.

What even appalled me is the absence of light posts along the walking grounds from the jeepney drop-off point to the actual bus terminal. Seems like an encouragement to the pick-pockets in the area. And to think they thought of putting up this installation of a provincial bus a few feet above the ground (sorry, I don't have photos to back this up)! Function muna kasi bago aesthetics!

Inside the provincial bus terminal. Photo obtained here

The interiors of the bus terminal seemed spacious enough. But I stopped inspecting as soon as we've found our targeted bus. Actually, it felt chaotic as there were too many familiar buses and we didn't know which one to go to. "Should we go to Saulog or to San Agustin? Wait, Erjohn & Almark still have vacant seats! Ok, let's go for it!" And when we finally reached Talaba, we did a time check and realized this new route costs us the same amount of travel time (45 minutes). 

I therefore conclude that, next time, we'll just take a jeepney bound to DBB-C across Heritage Hotel. It's much less of a hassle. 

Change is good, they say. But I'm hoping THIS would pave the way for better traffic flow and, most importantly, speed up the extension of MRT to Cavite. As far as I am concerned, that's the only great news that can mitigate this issue. 

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I've been quite busy the past weeks that my back[b]log continued to pile up. So I'm not surprised that my page views for this blog and the engagement on my fanpage dropped. My friend provided me with great suggestions on how to address it, but I really need to find time for it. Besides, my favorite way of promoting my blog is still by keeping it updated. Whether effective or not.

Imagine my delight upon seeing this new way of promoting one's blog on MRT. How clever! Way to go, Neil Arvin Javier





I dislike how uninspired the woman in the mirror looks like for the past weeks. Past months, to be accurate. The top of my hair shows its natural curls while the bottom half presents evidence of rebonding past. It is an absolute shoo-in as BEFORE photo for Brazilian Blowout advertisements. My face is an unevenly bronzed canvass where cystic zits decided to make re-appearing acts on. My eyebrows are crying for threading, my legs and the nether regions for waxing, my nails for manicure and pedicure and my whole body for a four-hour massage. Who would have imagined I'll attract somebody's attention?

I was about to go home to my rented space from Cubao when this frail guy politely asked if he can take refuge under my umbrella. El-la el-la eh eh eh. Under my umbrella. I agreed and let him squeeze in close as we headed together to the jeep terminal. I informed him I was off to Kalantiaw, expecting him to state his destination, too. Instead, he initiated a small talk and shared he used to live in Project 4. He even probed where in Kalantiaw I'm residing. Strike 1.

His inquiry fell on deaf ears. He didn't seem to protest when his temporary canopy was taking him somewhere beneficial to me alone. So I asked again to which point I should escort him. After all, he can't read my mind why I stated I was off to Kalantiaw, can he? He ignored my question again and I noticed how his eyes darted from my little white dress (often dubbed as pangtulog by some officemates for its flowy feel) down to my legs. This sideway glance made me imagine his accomplice/s behind me, waiting for their cue to attack me and rip off my pussy red bag into tiny shreds upon finding my empty wallet. Strike 2!

Before I got the chance to ask again for his destination, he was already asking for my beautiful name. That was the last straw. Without even meeting his eyes, I almost sprinted to terminate our conversation. Should I take the Kalantiaw jeep or mislead him? When the Kalantiaw jeep finally left the terminal after an agonizing long wait, I launched a heavy sigh of relief.

But it wasn't a smooth ride for me. I felt pangs of guilt for leaving a poor guy under the rain. A part of me assures me he's a big bo now and his adrenalin can aid him dash to the nearest shed anyway.

A female student interrupted this mental tug-of-war and asked me for the fare. I confirmed it's still P8.00. She asked how much it would be for students like her. Was it P6.00 or P7.00? I shrugged in response.

Then my lips curved into a small smile. To her, I might look like a street-smart lady. To my suddenly-inflated ego, I just look like a college student who face similar budget concerns. Ha!

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I was running late for the Sunday service. Upon arrival in Libertad, I hailed a cab and asked the driver to take me to Greenbelt 1 the fastest as he could. To my satisfaction, he did speed up while I busied myself sending the cab's plate number to a number of friends. Then, the vehicle came to a screeching halt. I looked up and saw a pedestrian clumsily pick up what's left of his bagful of bigas (uncooked rice) in the road and limped his way to the sidewalk. We were somewhere in Buendia, before LRT.

What's going on? The cabbie informed me that the CR-V flying ahead of us hit the poor guy and left him as rapidly as the driver could in broad daylight. The next thing I knew, we were already chasing after WJW 386 as the cabbie was curious if the person behind the steering wheel happened to be the owner him/herself or a hired driver. I didn't know what to feel upon the discovery that the passengers inside looked like a family. With their sunglasses on, it's hard to predict if they were feeling guilty or if they were simply clueless about what just took place.

I pinged a friend about it and she encouraged me to report it to the authorities. However, I didn't witness the hit-and-run incident myself. I just saw the aftermath and, sadly, I didn't ask the cabbie to stop over and extend a helping hand to the victim. I asked the cabbie what his plans are about this lead. He didn't see himself recounting the details to the police either. Instead, he was firm to reach out to newsman Tulfo for action.

Now, I'm not sure which of the Tulfo brothers he intended to approach. I hope it's NOT Mon Tulfo. He has bigger issues to take care of.

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When I hailed the LRT Ayala-bound bus in Libertad, I was the lone passenger. I took my favorite spot - the front seat. The cute bus conductor inquired for my bus stop and I responded. I was about to ready my fare but he didn't reach for the ticket yet. Busily composing a text message, I absentmindedly provided answers to the back-to-back questions regarding my civil status, my place of residence, motivation for having my tongue pierced, frequency of visiting Ayala Avenue and so on. The last question made me cease pushing my keypad and realized how unnecessary the interrogation had become. I reacted with a question where would this probing lead.

It seemed he didn't hear me the first time so I repeated I'm currently in a relationship. The bus conductor went on to say that the grinning bus driver, seated next to him and thankfully fixated on the road ahead of us (the bus had other passengers already by this time), would like to obtain my digits. I declined, saying my boxer of a boyfriend would not appreciate it.

Then the driver stopped playing a mute role and hinted that if he were my boyfriend, he'll make sure I don't go unescorted to places. I can't help but laugh. The last time I checked, I'm far from being a clingy girlfriend plus he's engaged saving the world one boxing student at a time. The bus conductor was convinced that there's no competition at all between this boxer vs. bus driver bout. He went on to remind me of that annoying cliche that drivers are sweet lovers and asked how was it to have a boxer as a boyfriend. With much conviction, I told them: "Yun ang totoong sweet lover!"




Remember this entry? I ended up cancelling my plans for a long walk from PBCom along Ayala Avenue to Tropical Hut along Sen, Gil Puyat Avenue when I spotted a BSC Golden Dragon bus with a signboard that reads PALA PALA, DASMARIñAS this morning instead of the usual Erjohn & Almark. I had to ask Marz if I were imagining things.

Bat Man
My new best friend! Photo lifted here.

This was definitely good news! This means that we Caviteños have a growing number of buses to take us to and from Makati. With Erjohn monopolizing the yuppies and not-yuppies-anymore market in Cavite (until today), you could just imagine the violent scenarios when commuters squeeze themselves inside! Aside from that, I've always been a fan of BSC Golden Dragon for its consistently clean interiors and ample legroom. To my surprise, the Ayala Avenue-Talaba, Bacoor fare amounted to only P25. I remember shelling out P28 for the Ayala Avenue-Baclaran distance eons ago. Competitive pricing, it is!. Clap, clap, clap!

I had a hard time taking a nap during the ride home. It was too good to be true!

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It was our lunch break. For nocturnal corporate slaves like us, that's sometime between 1:30-2:30am. Abby, Lady, Edric, Gary and I all agreed to give the so-near-yet-so-far Tokyo Tokyo in People Support Center a visit. I'm typically up for the long walk, but that early morning, I'd rather squeeze my eyelids shut, snap my fingers and get transported to the mentioned fastfood joint even before I get to say, "Nuknukan sa liit ang kani salad niyo!" Fortunately, they echoed my desires.

As the biggest among us, I got myself seated next to the cabbie. I told him we'd like to get to Tokyo Tokyo. Considering our office was just along Ayala Avenue, it should be as easy as 1-2-3. Then, Lady changed her mind and said we can dine in Tropical Hut instead. I repeated what she said for the cabbie in my typically loud voice and assumed that he understood where we're headed.

And so we continued with our chatter. I noticed the cabbie made an unnecessary pause and directed his car as if he'd do a left turn to Salcedo St. I don't claim to be an expert in Makati short-cuts, but I am yet to see the best way to Tropical Hut from that area. I remember "suggesting", "What if sa Army Navy (in Dela Rosa St.) na lang tayo mag-lunch?" Somebody laughingly reacted, "Nag-cab pa tayo kung doon pala tayo kakain!" And so the cabbie turned to the left. OK, fine.

We got engaged in an animated conversation again until I noticed Edric started to play a mute role and suppress his occasional tendency to transform a la The Hulk to happen. I turned around to see the view outside and realized we're headed to the wrong direction. Me and my big mouth can't help it. "Kuya! Hindi po sa Little Tokyo! Tokyo Tokyo dapat tayo kanina! Pero Tropical Hut na!"

Looking back, I don't remember if he offered an apology or just scratched his head and asked for directions or what. I remember Abby mockingly suggested "Dyan na lang sa King's Court! Kina Gary na lang tayo kumain!" while we're en route to Pasong Tamo. At that point, Edric continued to act like a volcanic eruption waiting to happen. When we finally arrived, the fare amounted to P70+.

After enjoying our meal, we initially decided to go for a long walk to avoid any Tourette's Syndrome-inducing encounters with a cabbie again. But it started to drizzle and, for Lady's benefit, we hailed the first cab that emerged out of the darkness. Guess what? Our trip to Valero St. was a breeze and the bill just amounted to P50+.

Insert cuss words here.