Most of us got thrilled when P-Noy signalled the end of the rule of wang wangs (sirens) on the road in his inaugural address. Who wouldn’t be? Aside from ambulances and police vehicles, it is a privilege bestowed only to a chosen few, particularly government officials. I believe that the wisdom behind that was noble but was later on abused as it only makes for them a convenient tool to speed through even the heaviest of traffic jams most of the time.
Like the rest of us it has also inconvenienced him before, he said. And so he vows not to use it while in power and exhorted the same from his fellow government servants. This he maintained despite being late on occassion and in spite of those who strongly suggest that he use it.
Who said that doing the right thing will always gonna be easy?
This morning I set out on the road at around 8:20 AM. I got to the usual spot where I wait for the busses at 8:25. I was carrying a heavy backpack, two broadsheets on my right hand, and my iPad on the left (this is the only time I hand-carried my new toy as my bag was fully-packed). It would’ve been a good start somehow if not for the presence of two of my pet peeves: high humidity and too many people competing for a bus ride. Just like that and my morning breaks.
Unusual is how I would like to describe the mornings around my sphere since classes started. Please look at the illustration below as we need it to support my ramblings below.
Bus rides to work had been a breeze pre-June 2010 era. Five minutes is the maximum waiting time to get an air-conditioned bus and busses almost always had empty seats when I board. This is so because the area where I wait is where students at a nearby school and those who are applying for passports who come from Las Piñas would usually alight. And I’d be in the office 10- 15 minutes later.
But everything changed when classes this school year started.
First of all, the number of persons at the waiting area noticeably increased. There were only a handful of us there before (even when there were students on the road) but now, the number doubles every time a bus from Cavite would stop to unload a busload. It’s like they are dumping people in the area. Collectively and for easy reference, I call them the “Cavite Block.”
Second of all, corollary to the previous observation, it’s very seldom now that I get a chance to have a seat upon boarding a bus. I usually have to endure standing at the aisle, balancing my self, and being careful not to connect body parts where improper, all at the same time. The bus conductor oftentimes adds to the ordeal when they glide back and forth to collect our fares.
And lastly, because of the increased volume, travel time also significantly increased by five to 10 minutes in my watch.
What brought all of these?
I was told that busses from Cavite are no longer allowed to enter Manila. So, busses that used to ply the Dasmariñas-Lawton route (gray arrows) now takes a short cut at the Buendia-Roxas Boulevard flyover to go back to Cavite (black arrows). As a consequence, the Cavite Block who studies and works in Manila now has got to find another way to get to their destinations. Unfortunately, they did it my way.
Having learned so, I can’t help but attach expletives to Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim. What’s up with that anyway?
I was so inconvenienced this morning that while I was doing some tactical planning on how to finally get on a bus, I thought of writing him a letter and ask about his beef against provincial busses. I vowed to do this first thing when i get to the office.
While researching, however, I instantly found this article from GMAnews.tv: Provincial buses ban in Manila to start April 1. I read the short article and had a change of heart so suddenly. Apparently, the bus operators didn’t keep their end of the deal and the ban was sort of a disciplinary action to the bus operators. It was just unfortunate that I am part of the collateral damage. No use arguing.
Who said that doing the right thing will always gonna be easy for everyone?
I was actually lucky this morning when after 30 minutes of waiting and being soaked in sweat, a speeding bus miraculously stopped right in front of me, allowing me to dash to the door one second ahead of everyone else. I got myself a good seat and a chance to hog the aircon vent all to myself. Deadma na ang pulmonya.
The President’s ban on wangwangs entails sacrifice, even from him who occupies the highest seat in the land. I think Mayor Lim’s ban on provincial busses also asks for the same from us who are commuters in that part of the metropolis, even though it’s not directly our fault.
Adjustments need to be in place and no amount of fuss will change it now. It’s for the greater good, I suppose and I hope.