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When I first moved to the Eastwood office, and when I leave

When I first moved to the Eastwood office from Alabang in 2009, I stayed at my uncle's place in Serendra and took the taxi to work. Every day was a challenge because I'd had a bad experience during a cab ride in Manila and was still experiencing some form of post traumatic stress disorder.

Almost five years and a move to Project 4 later, I'm still a very careful cab rider and slow to trust, but I've also developed an appreciation of how hard honest taxi drivers work. I've had wonderful conversations with drivers; I've been on the receiving end of their kindness as they waited for me to enter my apartment before driving off with my fare.

Because of my many cab rides I know many of the taxi drivers work 24-hour shifts and often can't help but catch some sleep. I know that not every place is safe for them, so they have their favorite spots where they can get safety for themselves and the vehicles entrusted to them, security for the day's earnings, and some rest.

On my usual route, I see them parked in front of the Eastwood City police and fire station. They converge at eateries near the corner of 20th Avenue and Bonny Serrano. Many times, I walk past a few of them sleeping soundly along Rajah Matanda.

When I see a taxi driver grabbing a meal or taking a nap, my first thought is "God bless you." I silently thank the likes of them for their service, for bringing me home safe at all hours of the day, in the 1,500 days or so since I started working in Eastwood.

My post stress anxiety has given way to appreciation and a gratitude that is almost automatic.

I'm due to leave Eastwood and my place of work at the end of March. There's a six-week goodbye to people and places and friends and routines and things, six weeks that ought to end in what five years of daily cab rides led to. As I take that last cab ride home, I want to be saying thank you, I really want to.

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