Stuck! (National Transport Strike)
Mag-ra-rant lang ako ulit. I understand that though our government is working towards improvement of the transportation sector, many groups (of drivers and operators in particular) just wouldn’t welcome this change. Probably, due to the fact that the jeepney is one of Philippines’ symbol, that there are a lot of families depending on earnings they get for operating these “beasts” transporting commuters to and from wherever. Or many other reasons. I can’t name them all.
Ang point ko lang naman is that, though nai-declare na walang pasok, may mga importante pa din naman na lakad. Like on Oct. 16, 2017, I have a passport application appointment on DFA. Buti na lang, I caught the announcement early on before that date. Nakapag-bargain pa ako to move my leave to Tuesday (Oct. 17). But then on Tuesday, nandun na ako sa DFA Office (which is a good three-hour travel from my place), when another announcement of #WalangPasok was made. F*ck, di ba? Nasayang na ang pamasahe ko, nasayang din ang pagod ko.
I picked an appointment in DFA Pampanga as it was closer to our province, so to get there, I rode a bus. However, I won’t be able to come back home right away as there were very few buses coming that are bound to Nueva Ecija. Kung mag-aabang ako ng bus sa katanghalian tapat ng ilang oras, baka nautas pa ako sa heatstroke. The fastest way I can come back home is ride a jeepney to Dau, then from Dau, I’ll ride a UV Express Van. You know what’s the most annoying part of this experience was? There were no jeepneys! Nada. I tried waiting (turns out, in vain) but no sign of jeepneys to Dau or even other neighboring provinces anywhere.
It was a hot, sunny day (as I always remember this province to be), I haven’t eaten my breakfast just so I could get there early. But the thought of me getting stranded there just because some groups decided to stage their protests, it made my insides churn, it felt warmer than the sun. Oo, ganyan ka-OA. As in sagad sa buto ang inis ko. Kailangan ko pang kumontrata ng tour taxi para lang makapunta ng Dau for PhP700. Yes, mi dearies. It’s a huge chunk of my sweldo for a day, thrown away just for me to get a ride back home.
Oo, naintindihan ko ang point ng Piston, na importante pa din sila, bilang ang mga jeepney ay isa sa mga main modes of transportation for daily commute. Government said that the effect was minimal. Fine. Minimal, kase wala ngang pasok, less commuters ang affected, like yours truly. Though I don’t go to a traditional office for work, yung ganitong lakad na
nakakaleche ng pasensya at pera yung hindi ayos. Sana man lang, kung mag-strike ulet, wala na yung gagamit pa ng dahas (the taxi driver and I had a little chitchat and he said there was a lone jeepney driver who decided to go on his usual way and picked up passengers. The results was his jeep was almost toppled over by armed men who wore bonnets over their heads, just because nagdecide syang pumasada). Kung may gusto pumasada (para na rin sa kapakanan ng ibang mamayan na may pupuntahan at wala naman sariling sasakyan), wag nang gaguhin. Hayaan na lang. Tutal, hindi naman yung piston ang amo nila. They’re working for the jeepney operators or even their own selves. Juice colored. Sana di na lang nagstrike at nag-arrange na lang ng pakikipag-usap without disrupting the normal flow of daily activities. Kung walang strike, walang magsasara na government offices, may kita ang drivers, lahat ng commuters can move from point A to point B, wala din sana naaabala. P*nyeta.
— End of rant.