Tuesday, November 15, 2011

the commuter

I have always wanted to write about commuting to places.
I envy those who own a car. They can go to any place 

they want anytime. Since we don’t own a car, my mother
taught me some few tricks on how to go to new places.
Specially in Manila.

     • Ask persons who has been to the place.
       Ask the jeepney drivers and barkers. Don’t be shy.

     • Remember the buildings(banks, schools, gas stations ,
       government buildings, etc) you passed by.

     • Read jeepney signs that you encounter. That way you
       will know which jeep to take when you go back.

     • The internet has helped a lot. Google map can only show
        you the road and familiar landmarks. So you need to research.

My first time to commute alone to Manila was to visit Quiapo church.
I was so nervous. I took the wrong bus. I was supposed to take
the Lawton Bus but took the Pasay bus instead. There was a kind
mother with her child who told me to get the jeep to Baclaran
and get down at Taft Avenue. From there I took the Cubao jeep
and got down in Quiapo.

From that experience I told myself to learn other routes of my
destination besides the usual way. Always have a plan B if possible.

My work has given me the opportunity to travel to Manila weekly.
But we used the company car to pick up computer supplies from
different distributors. I ask the guards from these warehouses but
they can only tell me so much. I befriended delivery drivers and
couriers.  From them I learned some shortcuts to these places.
They tell me where there are heavy traffic and sometimes they
are kind enough to give us their parking space.

I wanted to share my experience so others will not have difficulty
in commuting.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Creattitudes, the workshop

This blog started as a challenge for me to show my writing skills.
I always thought that I  am not good in writing compositions.
I have trouble expressing myself in writing. Even business letters
I have difficulty in composing. I usually ask my mom to write them
for me, he he he.  I  created a recipe blog (my sister convinced me)
to earn extra money like her. I thought of just writing recipes,
thinking it would be easy. Write the recipe, place a picture and
that’s it. It’s was only after reading other food blogs that I discovered
my blog is not so interesting. How I wish I could write like them.
A Scientist in the Kitchen, MarketManila, Burnt Lumpia,
Is My Blog Burning

Then my sister enrolled me in a workshop for creative writing
by Mr. Frank Hilario as a birthday gift. An opportunity to improve
my writing skills! Thank you, sis!

During the workshop, Mr. H asked us to write 3 compositions.
Not one but three! T-h-r-e-e!
I was expecting to write one composition only. I’ve been preparing
for it two weeks before. I plan to write about All Souls Day
celebration in our town. But when he said the magic word,
three, my mind went blank.

I looked at the medal he gave to each of us at the start
of the workshop: Be Bad. Be Good. Be Gracious.

Let it flow, Mr. H said (Easy for you to say. You just received the 
Most Outstanding Creative Writer award from UPLB!).

Write about your experience (my mind was still blank).

Write about something you love (still blank).

Relax (How can I relax?).

Do not force yourself to write
(You just told us to write 3 compositions!).

I look at the other participants. Everybody was busy typing
in their notebook computer. Maggie, my seatmate,
will she write about her call center experience? Jen,
the journalist, will she write about the news? Erwin,
the teacher, will he write about his students? 12 participants
from different places all came for this opportunity. How did
each of us came here? By private car? By  jeep? By bus?
By tricycle? By teleporting? Did they have difficulty coming here?
Did they got lost? I would love to know it.

I didn’t have difficulty going to the venue. The instructions
were clear. If you are commuting, take the jeep going
to FTI-Taguig from Guadalupe. Get down at Palar,
pass the tunnel and take the tricycle to Rosewood. Easy.

But one thing frustrates me is the virtual assistant
couldn’t tell me the commute from Alabang to Rosewood
Pointe which would be easier for me since I will be
coming from Laguna. And I didn’t know anybody who can tell me.

That’s when I knew what to write.

My first composition: the commuter. I will tell about
my experiences commuting to places at the same time
give directions on how to get there.

I didn’t get to write my All Souls Day composition that day.