On the contrary to my entry, Commuters are Survivors, there are some commute experiences that aren’t so bad. Take, for instance, my taxi ride to school this morning.
When I got into the cab, the old manong driver spoke in English, asking me where I wanted to go. This went on with him making observations on a passing motorcade of cars with adverts taped to them, while I mostly kept quiet, smiled and nodded politely, and wondered if he usually acted this way with all his passengers.
Somewhere along EDSA, he turned on the radio to DZMM and listened to the radio show there. Oldies were playing and Rico J.Puno’s rendition of Barbara Streisand’s Memories came on. The man started to sing enthusiastically. It was a hoot.
When the song ended and the DJ commented, “Ang galing ni Rico J! Di mo akalaing bastos! (Rico J. is good. You wouldn’t think he’s obscene.)”, Manong laughed and launched into his own commentary about Rico J. and this 70’s action star/politician who was known for making jokes about how much a button on his suit cost, much to my amusement.
He carried on to muse lightly on the Marcos administration and how Rizal Park used to be quite a national treasure during the Marcos regime. Some of the things he said:
On Rizal Park
“Dati may mga speaker pa. So kahit saan ka pumunta, may music. Tapos, every hour iniiba yung music: minsan may rock, minsan soft music… Yung CR malinis pa! Halos pwede ka nang kumain dun sa loob… Ang mga restaurant doon, hindi fastfood. Yung class na class, pero mura… Napabayaan eh. Ngayon, ang dugyot na!” The last part said with disgust.
-which became about Nayong Pilipino and Intramuros:
“…Alagi kasi ni Imelda yan dati eh. Pati Nayong Pilipino may mga aquarium na panay exotic fish. Tapos may mapa pa ng Pilipinas… Ang Intramuros dati wala pang iskwater yun!”
“Dati MIA pa yun: Manila International Airport. Ang linis linis at maganda pa. Number 2 sa Asia. Katumbas ng Japan.”
From C-5 (Pasig) to Taguig, he started pointing to buildings and factories:
“Dati lahat iyan mga pabrika… Ito, sa mga Concepcion… Dati yan gawaan ng electronics. Pinopondohan ni Marcos ang mga nagpapatayo ng pabrika para lahat ng nakatira malapit dun may trabaho na… Dati, base ng Army lang ang Taguig… Gobyerno ang may-ari niyan dati. Bandang huli, binenta na. Pinagpilahan. “
Basically, I gathered that Manong is maka-Marcos, and that some cab drivers have a lot of interesting things to say.
It’s like that other time when I was in a cab with Zeny and we were trying to psychoanalyze Hyden Kho’s actions. We chalked it up to kamaniakan, when the cab driver suddenly jumped in and started talking about how it wasn’t really all that different from what other people do for kicks. He went as far as to give an example: “Parang yung mga tao na may malaking salamin sa kisame sa ibabaw ng kama.”
You can imagine how awkwardly that trip went.