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Cruisin’ on a Cloudy Afternoon

I recently started rereading a book which was distributed to our class, for free, by the city of Manila back when I was in high school. The book, “Manila, My Manila,” was written by the late Nick Joaquin, National Artist for Literature.

The first paragraph reads, “Manila took a long time to make. What is now its ground used to be sea. The sea reached as far as the present towns of Mandaluyong (‘a place of waves’) and Makati (‘a place of tides’).” Then Nick Joaquin went on to write, “No one knows how long it took to turn sea into land. But we do know who built a site for Manila. The builder was Pasig River.”

These words inspired my itchy feet to try taking the Pasig River cruise. Accompanied by a very good friend, I went to the Guadalupe terminal last week. Unfortunately, we were late for the ferry going to Escolta so we had no choice but to take the last ferry going to Pasig.

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It was a nice day to take the trip. Nakisama ang panahon. Cloudy.

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At 26 kilometers long and 50 meters wide, Pasig River winds through the heart of Metro Manila. It was once the lifeline of the metropolis, being the principal means of transport. In Rizal’s “El Filibusterismo,” he wrote about “Bapor Tabo,” a big ferryboat plying the pristine waters of Laguna de Bai to Manila through the Pasig River. I wonder what Rizal would say about the Pasig River of today.

We were impressed by the catamaran-type ferry that serviced us. It was air-conditioned, clean, and had comfortable seats with lifejacket for every seat.

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Although the entire stretches of the water have a dark, murky color, hindi naman kami nakaamoy ng offensive odor, except in one area where we smelled pupu ng pig possibly from some houses nearby na meron sigurong mini-piggery.

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It was nice cruising along the Pasig River. There were lots of nice sites to see. And I realized it is a good way to avoid the traffic jams in Metro Manila’s main thoroughfares. I think it will just take less than an hour to ply from Intramuros to Pasig. Plus it’s more economical than jeepney, bus, or taxi rides

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However, I couldn’t help but notice the factories and colonies of makeshift shanties that line the riverbank. All I could do was hope the factories are not contributing anything more to the deterioration of the river. Also, I hope there’s an alternative dwellings for the people who live in the makeshift shanties.Delikado kasi para sa mga tao na tumira doon.

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I enjoyed the Pasig River cruise. Next time I’ll see to it that I’m able to start the trip from the Intramuros station.

I hope you can also experience the Pasig River cruise. I’m sure you will enjoy it, too. Super cool ang sakay, super trip walang kapantay. Laging maayos at malinis. Takbo’y super bilis. Super ferry–talagang trip kita. Sakay na! Ahehehe, sorry, patalastas pala yun ng Super Ferry ni Ate Mega 😀 😀

Posted 8 years, 7 months ago at 5:34 pm.

46 comments

Playground (2)

So here is the continuation of yesterday’s post.

There are three airlines that fly to Catarman.

PAL flies every day.
Cebu Pacific flies on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays
Zestair (formerly Asian Spirit) flies on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays

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These airlines land and take off in the morning. So from 6AM to 8PM, no one is allowed to loiter. Kapag wala pang parating na airplane, pwedeng mag-jog at magwalk dun kahit pa HHWW LOL! Pero kapag parating na ang eroplano, you will be politely asked na tumabi hehehe, to go to a safe distance. You will hear an alarm, yung parang sa ambulance, from a roving vehicle. Yun na ang senyales na kailangan mo munang lisanin ang airport pansamantala. Along the airport, maraming lusutan dyan papunta sa mga bahay na nasa malapit lang.

Ganito ang itsura ng airport kapag wala nang tao. Biglang nagiging ghost town na hahaha.

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Sorry I couldn’t take a shot from the same angle as that in the picture on the previous post.

Tapos, kapag nakalipad na ang huling eroplano for the day, tuloy ang ligaya hehehe.

The national highway crosses on one side of the airport. Pero binubuksan lang ang highway na ito at 4 in the afternoon. So from 4PM to 6AM, pwedeng tumawid ng airport ang mga vehicles.

I really find this airport interesting. Dahil sabi ko nga sa previous post ko, ito pa lang ang airport na nakita kong pwedeng gawing playground ng mga tao. But if you know of any other airport that also doubles as playground, let me know. Susubukin kong dalawin 🙂

Posted 8 years, 7 months ago at 10:59 pm.

28 comments

Playground

I took this picture last weekend on my trip to my home province. Specifically, this picture was taken in Catarman, the capital municipality of Northern Samar.

Catarman Airport

If you will look closely into the picture, I think this road can accommodate more than a dozen lanes, and at 1,350 meters, this seems to be a pretty wide and long road for a second class municipality.

But this isn’t just an ordinary road.

This is a park.

This is a playground.

This is a lambingan lane.

This is a barkada stop.

This is a jogging lane.

This is a place to walk your dog.

This is a place to strut your new bike, tricycle, or car.

This is a place where ati-atihan groups practice their routines before competitions.

At one end of this road, you will see the ocean. At the other end, you will see mountains. So this is really a perfect place to sit back and lounge around, or dream no matter how impossible those dreams are.

Marami rin akong pangarap na binuo rito bilang bata. Dito ako nagsimulang maging daydream believer LOL :D. When I first went to this place, the first thing I did was rush to my friend’s house (which was just a few feet away) and borrow his bike. Then I started pedaling from one end to another.

But this road has a more important role in the economy of the province because, ladies and gentlemen, this is the Catarman National Airport, a minor commercial domestic airport which now serves three airline companies.

Kakaiba, di po ba? I’ve been to many other parts of the country but this is the only airport I know of which can serve purposes other than being a place where airplanes take off and land.

Paano at bakit may may mga taong namamasyal sa airport araw-araw? Sasagutin ko po ‘yan sa aking pagbabalik hehehe.

Posted 8 years, 7 months ago at 10:36 pm.

33 comments

Off

I’ll be off from blogging the whole weekend because I am going to my home province to attend to a very important matter. Will be back on Tuesday.

I am now beginning to have a warm, fuzzy feeling in my heart. I always feel this way whenever I schedule a trip home. And the feeling becomes intense kapag nasa airport na ako :). Hindi naman ako excited masyado, ano po?

Enjoy your weekend everyone! God bless!

Posted 8 years, 8 months ago at 11:22 pm.

31 comments

The Old Stump

tree

At the back of my late grandfather’s house is an old stump, the base of a big tree that had remained standing after it had been cut down. As I sat one day on that dry stump, its barks peeling off from its body, I remembered how it looked like the first time I set foot on my grandfather’s home when I was a little child.

The tree looked muscled to me. It was tall, proudly towering amongst all other trees. Its branches, home to the weary birds and chickens when the sun set, boasted of lush, green, healthy leaves, and golden fruits. Its leaves swayed occasionally in glorious enthusiasm to the music of the wind, blessing the nearby houses with cool, gentle breeze.

For many summers, its branches steadily held each duyan that my friends and I would hang. Its thick foliage provided cool shade during our eskwela-eskwelahan sessions.

What kind of tree it was did not concern me. To my 6-year-old eyes, it was not a tree. It was a toy, a play pen, a tambayan, a tower where the taya of the taguan game would lean against its sturdy trunk and close his eyes while counting, and a refuge for my young heart whenever it felt troubled.

I wondered how many generations of children have the tree witnessed playing, what stories would it tell me if it had tongue to tell them, how many games could it have taught me from many years of watching children play, how many troubled hearts had it heard and understood if it had ears.

I gave the old stump another look before I left my grandfather’s house. I wanted to have a memory of what was left of it, before the soil eats it up and it becomes part of the earth again. I silently thanked the tree for sharing with me so many happy memories of my childhood days, memories that often ground me and keep me sane in the troubled world of adults.

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Photo was given to me by a friend who once prepared a brochure for a tree planting campaign.

Posted 8 years, 8 months ago at 5:30 pm.

44 comments