Friday, August 24, 2012

Commuter Chronicles: No more taxis for me

As much as possible, that is.

If we had an efficient transport system, I'd be a really happy commuter. Still, despite not having that just yet, I'm finding, once again, pleasure in the long commutes I take to work and back.

This month, I vowed to take fewer taxi rides and find alternative ways to get to (1) Eastwood from Project 4 (easy!) and back and (2) Eastwood from Las Piñas and back (tough, boo).

So far, so good. I've rediscovered the Citylink bus, figured out where to find the shuttles to Ayala Avenue from Eastwood, and signed up as a Resorts World member to get access to the free rides to Resorts World. I haven't tried the last option yet, but I'm just waiting until I have more time for a little getting-home adventure.

How did I come up with the decision to ditch taxi rides as much as possible? I love comfort like any girl in her 30s, but it has made me feel more of an observer than a participant. To borrow a line from a book I recently read and loved, I want to participate.

Commuting in Davao

When my friend Marchie and I went to Davao City at the end of July, we tried to take public transport as much as we could to minimize expenses. If we could walk it, we did. If we could take the jeep, we did. I loved every single moment of it.

I experienced the place more than I would have had we been comfortably viewing it behind air-conditioned windows. We made some new friends commuting. We tasted some good street food. And yes, we saved money -- which we then reallocated for other things, like a trip to the Davao Pearl Farm and an all-you-can-eat crab buffet.

Sometimes, we had to discover shuttles the hard way. Going to the Philippine Eagle Center, for instance, we had to take a two-hour-or-so hot and sometimes uncomfy jeepney ride to the foothills of Mt. Apo in Calinan. On our way back to the city proper, we found out there were (airconditioned) shuttles we could have taken. A happy discovery, despite being a couple of hours too late! Next time, next time.

Eastwood to Makati to Las Piñas

I'm typing this from a shuttle van from Makati to my village in southern Manila, but I started writing this post in the shuttle from Eastwood to Landmark in Makati. It's my first time to try this route. I'm pretty pleased with myself. In between shuttles, I picked up some herbs for my tiny garden, and I already know what I'm doing tomorrow morning.

My old Friday night commute would have seen me taking a taxi from Eastwood to Makati, and, feeling drained for some reason I can't figure out (lack of stimulation?) I would just trudge to the shuttle van and conk out until we reach my village.

Now I'm excited again. Cheap thrills, perhaps, but I'm always grateful for any excitement I can get. And I'm doubly grateful for whatever excitement I can create for myself. Those are the best kind.