Pedestrian Panderings

I came home last night, midnight, the way I came to work yesterday afternoon – walking. Seventeen minutes of putting my right foot in front of the left seem to be a good, practical way, since my apartment is not that far from the tv studio. Of course, most of the time, I’d have to take a tricycle to the main road, and catch a jeepney for a quick trip to work.

What am I saying?

This is Metro Manila, after all. There are no quick trips to anywhere. Every place you need to be, you have to leave early, depending on the distance. Gates of Hell, and all that. Anyway, I could really use the exercise, whenever I can. Yes laundry can be a formidable exertion of sorts, but nothing beats walking. More so now, that I still have to gather enough dough to build me another mistress, of sorts, a hybrid bike for my needs.

Good luck with that.

I’m still paying for a motorcycle I haven’t enjoyed riding. That makes it worse.

So I walk. Whenever the opportunity presents itself. The clouds up there promises a bountiful rainfall, and that makes the decision exciting. Better to risk being wet, than getting stuck in traffic, inside a jeepney where most passengers forget they only paid for one, but occupies space for three, a booming stereo system that is neither entertaining nor soothing, given the fact that the driver have chosen the irritating FM radio station or a playlist that has fewer lyrics than cha-cha music.

And I walked, avoiding the errant elbows and arrogant knees of daily commute. I get to scout if there are new Lugaw stands, or if QC garbage collection has improved as of late. Still no luck with that.

I put on my earplugs and listen to Michael Crichton‘s Congo on my mobile phone. But the darn thing is so cheap, the earplugs, I mean, the audiobook get overpowered by the noise, I give up and adjust my backpack, and just stroll.

Backpack? Yes. I started carrying extra clothes again, a pair of flip flops for those impromptu water wading moments when it rains, and a change of underwear and trail shorts. Either I get splashed by vehicles driving hard on puddles on my way to work, rain may fall without warning. It’s like having prophylactic in your wallet, better to have them around and not use it, instead of needing one and not having any. Better this analogy than that gun reference. I hate guns.

Halfway through, my eyes zeroed in on some delicious looking isaw on sticks, frying on used cooking oil, exposed to the elements, with vinegar for dipping ready on the side. Sliced gizzards, pork kidneys, day-old chicks. Man, I had to gulp air, holding back.

I may have forgotten to mention earlier: I am deadbeat broke.

Amusing to find one’s self surviving on coffee, and a couple of instant noodles on my depleted pantry. My rice supply just went. Working for a big ass tv network and I end up broke weeks before the next paycheck comes out.

And so I walked.

Never mind that I miss a few meals. I’m a big man, I won’t die instantly. And of course, there’s always water. Good thing I grew up marginally poor. I know when to curl up, tighten the belt, you know, those clichés we tell ourselves when we have to be stronger.

I ended up borrowing money (again) from my co-workers, something I thought I have long put past my way of living. Still, that pinch on the ego when I do this. Just smacks of being stubbornly stupid with my finances.

Good thing, I might have to reason out, is that the girls back at home have their budget laid out. I’m the only one having to go through the humiliating phase of having to really scrape the bottom of the barrel.

And I worked. Actually, it doesn’t feel like work. When you love what you do, it’s no longer work.

And I came home last night, midnight, the way I went to work yesterday afternoon – walking.


Feels good to stretch these aging legs from time to time.

48 Hours and 3 Meters of Water

I looked back and there it was, six years ago. Things change. but then, nothing really changes. Just look at all of that water. The only difference is, when we were in college, we endured floods like it was part of our education, not some hardship. And still the seasonal flooding of Metro Manila never fails. Even if the leadership changes from time to time, or promises of plans to eradicate the liquid menace every campaign trail holds, nothing has changed.


August 7

Earlier this week, after that incident with the taxi, Filipinos braved a somewhat familiar situation: The overflowing creeks and sewers from the deluge of water from the heavens. Once again we got stumped by the sheer stupidity of not taking an umbrella to work ( mine was borrowed and never returned, and I liked that umbrella) and joined the throng of humans and rats trying to stay dry, which is futile, considering the amount of rain that poured.

August 8

Come morning, lookie-looky, everything’s just like a scene from Frank Herbert‘s  The Lazarus Effect, and my thoughts return to my comfy bed and and some hot soup. But we all have to work so, banish the thought and put on that jacket.

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This has been running in my mind for quite sometime now.

Trying to keep my feet firmly on the ground, my mind is running amok with thoughts of  keeping my current employment and passion more  competitive, living alone in the city, with occasional welcome intrusions from a brother whose pursuits has turned to networking and his  DeMolay standing, a very beautiful niece whom I fondly see a bright future despite her stopping school for the moment, and maintaining our small farm in Bicol, where my family has been living for 10 years now, give or take a few.

Thinking deep, I do not really want to end up whining about upper class problems, just living within my means is enough. Given the experiences of being up there with the in crowd, I know I will always be an outsider, Heavy Metal in a world of Pop, in a society where being IN is so much the requisite for every Social Climber bent on having his 15 minutes of  infamy, and a lot of social media overreaction.

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