My Personal Commuting History

Sunday, August 17, 2008

This post is just a random collection of facts I managed to salvage from the failing memory blocks of my youth. The topic? Transportation in general.

- I first learned how to commute from my school to our house at age 7, when I was in Grade 2. Back then the minimum fare was 50 centavos, and it was actually possible for you to get enough money for the trip by returning a cokebottle or two at our school canteen.

- I studied in ParaƱaque and lived in Bacoor, Cavite. There's roughly 18 km distance between the two. While I knew how to commute from my school to my house and did so rather regularly, I can only remember less than 10 instances when I had to commute from my house to school throughout my gradeschool years.

- Traveltime to and from school ranges from an hour to an hour and a half. If I had enough guts to cross the coastal road highway just beside our school, it would only take 25 minutes. The number of students killed while doing this, however, is more than enough to discourage me from doing it often.

- Running out of money for even traveling back to my house is unlikely, but not impossible. Happened to me at least five times. I've done 123 (riding without paying), begged strangers for money, and walked when my money could not afford the whole trip. I also walked when there were no jeeps to ride which happened almost once every month. The farthest distance I've had to walk was from Pulanglupa, Las Pinas to my house in Bacoor Cavite - while hauling a very heavy schoolbag.

- When I reached highschool, I literally went places just to look for good places where I can rent gaming consoles/LAN-ed computers. The farthest place I went to play PSX is Binakayan, Cavite, another 10 kms from my house on the opposite direction of my school. (so coming from school, I first had to travel 28 kms just to be able to play Castlevania without fear of getting caught by my parents.

- The average departure time of schoolbuses that picked me up is 615. When my sister started driving at the age of 14 however, she liked to leave at around 530 to avoid traffic. Either way, I always woke up around 4am.

- I first learned how to drive at age 11 after being taught by my dad in the beaches of Saudi Arabia, but I didn't get a license until I was already 16 and in college. For my first car, I drove an '81 model Isuzu Gemini with a 2.0 diesel engine, 3 years older than me. It's the type of car that still used heaters, and it took a minute to start up. Back then, my average weekly spending on fuel was less than 300 pesos. Interestingly, today, that's roughly the cost of fuel spent on one round trip from Manila to Cavite on a gasoline vehicle with the same engine size.

- That same Isuzu Gemini is still being driven around today by my relatives, 27 years after it was first used.

- Hitchhiking sounds fun but I've never tried it. Yet.

That's about it for the more interesting factoids. I'll just update this post in the future when I remember other stuff.

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