Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Walk With Rizal

These days, when a promdi (from the province) will go to Manila,
going to the mall would probably be in the agenda. MOA (Mall of Asia)
is a favorite destination, the third biggest mall in the world.

There was no MOA when I was a kid. No Megamall, no Glorietta.
For our pasyal, the family would rent a jeep for a day trip to Manila.
While the adults go about their business, me and my cousins were
toured in Manila Zoo and Luneta.

As an adult, I still love visiting Luneta. My sister and I have our own route. Quiapo-Intramuros-Luneta. We were able to do this trip a few times.

We would start with an early bus ride from Laguna, making it a point
to be in Quiapo Church  around 7:00am. We always visit the church
whenever we are on that side of the metro. Then we have our favorite
Jollibee breakfast, corned beef. The first branch of this famous food
chain is in Quiapo. 

Of course we cannot leave Quiapo without buying scrap ham
from Excelente,  just across Quinta market at Echague St.

From Quiapo, we would take a jeep to PIER, this will cross the
Quezon  bridge, passed the Philippine Postal Corporation office 
building and emerged  at Sta. Clara St. and get off at Fort Santiago. 
We would spend about an hour here, making sure we have our picture 
taken at our favorite spot: on top of the wall inside the fort. This has 
the perfect view, with the Manila Cathedral and Palacio Del Gobernador 
building at the background. One would think you are in a European 
country, Spain maybe.

A life-size statue of Jose Rizal sitting in his cell and the famous
“Mi Ultimo Adios” written on the floor is my favorite attraction.

Near the entrance of the fort, you can see tunnels that used to be
the soldiers barracks during World War II. Mom was born
in Intramuros and says they used to live in one of the tunnels 
when she was about  six years old.

After the fort, we would visit Manila Cathedral just across the fort,
to San Agustin Church and Casa Manila all along Gen. Luna St.
These are all walking distance so it’s good for the health.

I have yet to try the newly opened Mitre restaurant. I have read good
reviews of the place. The menu are based on the favorite food 
of the bishops. That time, we settled eating at Max’s Restaurant 
along Sta. Clara St.

We then took a jeep to Quiapo and got off
at Luneta. We always start our walk from
the " 0"  kilometer landmark. Did you ever
notice this landmark? It is located across
the street in front of Jose Rizal’s statue.
Distances of places from  Manila are
counted starting at this point.

From Rizal’s statue, one can visit the Chinese Garden, passing the
heroes’ walk were different  head bust of heroes are lined,
to the giant statue of Lapu-lapu and the Philippine map in a pond.

We would then walk towards the Manila City Hall  to take the jeep
going to Buendia/Baclaran or take the Baclaran bound LRT at the back
of the city hall.

Getting off at Buendia, we then take a bus going to Sta. Cruz, Laguna.
There are DLTB and Greenstar buses that ply the route.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chicken Lollipop for the Cat

I had a wonderful time at the workshop. It was a confidence booster
for me.

But throughout the day, fear lingers. How will I get home? I don’t want
to take the Guadalupe route. It’s a long way and time consuming.
And I am expecting heavy traffic.

The workshop will end at 5:00pm. I estimated I can leave by 5:30pm.
I know I can always take the FTI jeep I took in the morning. Get down
at FTI, take another jeep to Bicutan and from there I can take the bus
to Alabang. But I don’t like to try out this route knowing it will be dark
soon. And traffic is always heavy at the service road. I told myself,
if nobody can tell me the exact way to Alabang, I will just take the
Guadalupe  route again. Never mind if I get home late.

I was prepared for heavy traffic going home. I forced myself to use
the restroom after the workshop. Brought with me the mineral water,
2 pieces of garlic bread and 2 chicken lollipops provided for snacks.
I left together with the other participants. Everybody was telling me
to take the Guadalupe route. I even ask the guard at the gate,
the Guadalupe route, he said. I was resigned to take the Guadalupe route.

A good Samaritan came to the rescue.  Manong tricycle driver
heard me asked the guard. Halleluiah! He knows. I followed
his instructions. He let me off at Petron gas station with these words, 
Ingat, Mam!

I took the overpass to get to the other side of the C5 road.
I had to lean forward going up the stairs. Otherwise, a whiff of air
will push me backward and I will be tumbling down. I was carrying
a very heavy laptop computer. A wide screen 15 inch HP Pavilion
DV6200 which weighs a ton! I feel like carrying 2 UPS
(uninterruptible power supply) in my backpack. On the other side
of the overpass, I felt like I shrunk an inch.

I took the FTI-Taguig jeep. But didn’t reach FTI. Instead, Manong
told me to get off at Tenement. Fare was P8. At Tenement,
below an overpass, there are jeeps going straight to Alabang via
the expressway. There’s a table with the sign Alabang Express,
you have to pay P21 for the fare. You will be given a used baraha
(gambling card) as ticket. These will be collected before the jeep leaves.

The only traffic we encountered was when the jeep cross above
the expressway in Bicutan. We were in Alabang by 6:30pm.
The jeep made a U-turn in front of Sunstar Mall. I got off
with the other passengers, took the overpass to get to the other
side going to Festival Mall. There’s a bus terminal before reaching
Festival Mall. I looked at the buses. Batangas, Lucena, Sta. Cruz.
I exhaled deeply. Sta. Cruz passes by College, my destination.
The fear was gone. I bought Siopao at Henlin’s.

Traffic was heavy in Real, Calamba. But I was home before 9:00pm.

Dad ate the Siopao. Mom, one chicken  lollipop. Our cat, Labay,
one chicken lollipop. I had the garlic bread and shared it with the
other cat, Taba.

It was a fulfilling day.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Good samaritan

I woke up early that day.
I have a long trip ahead.
To Manila, Rosewood Pointe
in Taguig City to be exact.
I was expecting heavy trip
since it’s Undas. I left our house
5:30 am. Took the Cubao bound HM bus.

I had two plans. If I reach Mantrade before 8:00 am, I will take
the bus to Guadalupe. If beyond that, I will take a taxi going
to Rosewood, which would be easier. If by taxi I also have
two choices. Either we take McKinley Road (I know traffic
will be heavy here since this leads to the American Cemetery
and Libingan ng mga Bayani)  or Kalayaan Ave. Both will
take me to Market Market and exit to C5.

I arrived in Mantrade 7:25 am. Took the ordinary bus bound
for Novaliches (I asked the bus conductor if it will stop
at Guadalupe, I just had to be sure) and paid the P10 bus fare.
I had time to enjoy breakfast at Jollibee.

Guadalupe discovery: 2 Jollibee and 2 Chowking restaurants
both a few meters from each branch.

At the back of Jollibee, there was a jeepney terminal. I took
the jeep going to FTI-Taguig. I asked Manong driver to get me
off at the Palar tunnel via the service road. Jeepney fare was P11.
My seatmate (jeepmate?) was also going to Palar. He was kind
to tell me that the jeep would not pass by the service road
because of road construction. I got off with him and he even
showed me where to take the tricycle to Rosewood.
Good Samaritans exists.