June 1, 2009.
“SM North / Trinoma / Proj. 6”
The signage of the jeep says. As a probable prospect, I got attracted by the signage that will eventually lead me two jeeps away from my home. I waved at the jeepney driver to signal my entry to his PUV. I first noticed that no one’s seating next to the driver but since the entry point of the jeep nearest to my location is at the back, I entered there with no questions asked.
When I sat down, I bumped my head on the ceiling of the jeep. Good thing it’s soft that’s why I had acquired no damage at all.
“Thank God” I said to myself. Funny thing is that I started bumping my head again to try if it is indeed soft and that I’m not dreaming. Alas, it’s real.
After a while, more and more passengers came in. I moved a little bit to give way to the coming passengers.
I picked up my nifty green coin purse inside my bag and digged a 20 peso bill to pay my fare from City Hall to Trinoma. I handed a 20 peso bill not because I don’t have coins, but because I don’t know the exact fare. HAHA. I know many of us does this. I handed it to the passenger next to me and she gave it to the driver. In return, the driver gave me 4 peso coins.
The sound of the horn with the uncanny music filled my ears. We, the passengers noticed that its the jeep next to ours.
“We’re already being shot. I think we got to go now. HAHAHA” one passenger said.
And that guy I do not know made me smile for the idea he just shared.
As minutes went by, we’re still at the jeepney stop, waiting for some passengers to come and suddenly I realized there’s something wrong.
“Is it just me? Why is it that my legs seemed long now?”
And then, I heard the other passengers saying, “Why are the seats so low?” And some side comments here and there.
Oh. I see it now more clearly. The seats are so low and the only way to seat comfortably is to have your body on a side view OR sit properly and create a hunch in your back.
I first thought its complicated to sit in a situation like that. I thought it would give me so much pain in the back because I can’t sit comfortably and its giving me backaches even if the jeep is still like 1kilometer away from my starting point and it will take me 1 hour or so to be in my destination.
“Goodluck to me!” I said to myself.
And as expected, the one hour journey has been very long, rough, uncomfortable and painful. I can’t stay in one position. I feel like I am starting to be a hunchback.
At some point, I can’t get enough of looking at the passengers in front. I realized that if only I knew how hard the situation could be, I wish I chose to seat in front. I also entertain the idea of asking the driver whenever the people besidehim gets off the vehicle, that if I can go down and move to the front seat because of petty reasons like:
I’m so tired and dont want to feel another tiring moment now.
I don’t want to spend the next 59 minutes like a hunchback.
I have scoliosis so I need to stretch my back because a mountain behind my back is not good you know?
But, the courage inside me didn’t strike that moment. I thought that I am not just the only passenger in the vehicle having the feeling of that same situation. So, I just watch as the time pass us by and wished to be in my destination in the quickest time possible.
Along the journey, I look out and saw the Red Ribbon shop in Timog.
“I’m almost there. In minutes I’ll be in Trinoma. Patience my dear, patience.”
And then we took the U Turn going to West Ave. And then U Turn again in MRT going to North Edsa.
“Ah! At long last. I can clearly see the view of SM North and Trinoma waving and saying ‘You’ve made it here!’ ”
But, traffic comes along the way. There is a mini traffic in front of SM North. My actual destination is in front of Trinoma, in Veterans. There lies the jeep I need to get into on my way home. Still, at that short span of time, patience tested me again and luckily, I managed to used it.
When the jeep made the left turn on Visayas Ave., I asked the driver to stop but he seemed to not hear me. 3, 2, 1. I asked him to stop again and the other passengers helped me in saying it and so the union happened. The jeep stopped and finally, at long last, I came to walk and stretch my body and rode the next jeep again.
When I come home, all I can say to my Grandma is that I have some real hard backaches. She asks why and I started relating the story. She said I rode a military jeep. The ones that are then used for war but turned to be a jeep for public usage that is why its low. And eventually, like I earlier said, things got clearer and clearer as time pass by.
If I did not finished my journey or moved from back to front seat on that particular jeep, I would never knowhow the story will end. I’m glad I managed to know how the ending ended. At least, I earned an experience that may reflect life in general.