ever thought of your own mortality?

it was one of those days again when i got to think about the “what ifs” i always have at the back of my mind.

i was really late for work this morning and i had to take a cab to work. traffic was horrible in some parts of C5 even if it was already way past rush hour! still, i made it to work in one piece. barely, perhaps. or even maybe by a mysterious force of nature.

why am i saying this? because the driver was falling asleep while driving!

prior to this one, i’ve only had one driver who was pretty sleepy on the wheel. the first one was scary as well but not as scary as the one this morning.

the cab driver this morning was actually perky when i got in his cab from C5 Taguig area. he even tried to chat me up and we talked a little about the traffic near Kalayaan Avenue that we were headed for. once we were in the middle of the traffic, where everything began to sloooooowwww doooooowwwwwnnnn, he changed radio stations.

he also put the A/C on high. which i didn’t think was an indicator of anything to come since it gets really hot past 10AM nowadays. i realized just now that whenever i get sleepy and keep myself from sleeping, i get all hot and sweaty even if the A/C in the room is pretty cold.

anyway, whenever he heard the commercials on the radio, he would switch to a different station. very restless. and then he stuck to one station where he was familiar with and sang-along to some of the songs, maybe to keep him awake. it was good for the next few minutes until we reached another snag of moderate traffic in the Libis area.

we exit the traffic just past the entrance to Eastwood when i sensed a change in driving style which i noticed by the high revs he was making with the engine at low gear. there was this open road in front of him but we were doing just 20-30kph and he would hit the brakes without anything obstructing the cab.

it was just about 4 km to work so i tried to engage him in conversation to keep himself from sleeping, asking him about his job, has he met the ‘boundary’ yet, etc. it was no good since his replies were just “uhuh”, “ah, oo.” and “huh?” i asked him if he was ok and he insisted that he was fine.

no matter how much logic shouted at me and told me to do something — swap with the driver for the rest of the trip or slap him or splash him with water or something — i clenched my butt nervously until the end. besides, my mind was wandering and deep in thought because of some other event that morning.

what happened next is the thing that really had me thinking about my life a little. it reminded me of that Final Destination movie.

climbing the aurora-katipunan flyover was easy enough but as we got to the other side, there was a stalled motorcycle on the innermost lane of katipunan. the cab driver must’ve let go of the gas pedal and let the car roll down freely but i saw that his foot was on the brake but he wasn’t applying it.

somewhere in front of us, there was an “elf” truck that had pipes loaded at the back. of course, they jutted out of the rear but had that flaglet/cloth to aid other drivers in distancing themselves from the truck. well, guess what? a sleepy driver doesn’t see very well.

we almost snagged the motorcycle driver (who was signaling to on-coming vehicles to the adjacent lane) going downhill. it must’ve been just around 3 feet from the motorcycle before the cab driver changed lane onto the truck with the pipes and the pipes nicked the front pillar of the cab. he quickly pulled to the left and rode on the center island and landed back on the road. i was shocked, afraid, and angry. i didn’t know where i was anymore. all the driver could say was “sorry ser, ha?”

oh, and there is a cherry on top of this story. when we entered the gate to my destination, the guards would ask for an ID. the driver gave his Voter’s ID but the guards asked for his driver’s license. he said, “ser, wala. ticket lang.”

my eyes widened with disbelief after hearing that. but i kept quiet. i was still speechless and began to think things over with what had just happened. what if what happened earlier wasn’t as ‘fortunate’ as it should have been.

i was more concerned about not being late just 30 minutes prior to that. after what happened, i thought if i would have been prepared to meet our maker at that moment, at that hour, this day. was i good and obedient enough? will i be missed?

it’s eerily coincidental that last Saturday, we buried my cousin who died of kidney failure. it was heartbreaking to see my aunt cry over her daughter’s body. it’s ‘unnatural’ for parents to bury their children. again, i thought, what if i wasn’t as ‘fortunate’ as i was today? i know they would grieve for me but what kind of grief would that be? regret? generic sadness? pity (from on-lookers/non-relatives)?

i never got the cab’s plate number and name. i know i stared at the name and plate number painted on the inside of the door panels but it’s easy to mix up letters. all i can remember is that it’s Uxx 5xx cab. Kia Rio. brain cells storing it must’ve died with the shock i experienced. it’s weird that i don’t feel compelled to report the cab. right now i’m stuck in this phase where i am just really really thankful.

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genius moments

Her: Mag-laga naman tayo ng baka.
Me with eyebrows furrowed: Ha? Bakit?
Her with eyebrows furrowed na din: Uhm, masarap ang nilagang baka?
Me, after laughing hysterically, finally got to reply: AH! Akala ko gusto mo mag-alaga tayo ng baka!
*Both laughing hysterically now*

sometimes i begin to doubt our sanity. 😀

that was one of the most amusing and comical conversations i’ve had in my life!

#amalayer – what it’s all about

bullying.

and cyberbullying.

she may not have shown the proper conduct when she started shouting at the security guard and making a scene, some comments on twitter are just mean and, to me, are no different to what bullies say to other people.

of course, as i write this entry, the major networks are trying to get hold of her to “air her side”. yeah right.

Chris Lao. Robert Carabuena. and now, this girl.

yes, we can make fun of other people’s moments of stupidity and condemn their wrong actions. unfortunately, some people don’t know their limits. i don’t need to know her name, her facebook or twitter account. all i need to know is that her shouting at a guard in public was wrong. but when people start posting her name, her details, her school, and start making all these judgements about other aspects of her life (say as an aspiring VJ), that’s when the (cyber)bullying starts. and sometimes it snowballs until we’ve already judged the person completely without having met him/her. such a sad thing.

sad, sad day.

two quickies: ShipHaus and the man-made forest

i put these sites together because we didn’t spend much time exploring them and mostly just for photo-ops. some sort of “yes, i was there” shot. and, yes, i know the title might harass you but it’s not what you think! 😛

the ShipHaus is a popular landmark along the highway going to the Chocolate Hills. it’s been featured by a couple of magazine-type shows on TV and all i know is that a ship captain missed sailing so much that he thought of building his house in the shape of a ship. it was really amusing to see this when you pass by and i guess the owners are already used to having strangers stop and take pictures. we didn’t go and look what was inside since, well, we weren’t really that interested, to be honest. maybe if it were a tank or a submarine, then maybe i would be interested to see what’s inside. but i’m not a fan of ships. 🙂

on the other hand, our other ‘quickie stop’, the Bohol man-made forest, was very interesting to me. according to our guide/driver, Manong Cito, the reforested part was the coolest part of the highway. on both sides of the road, you see these slender Mahogany trees reaching high up to the sky to get some sunshine. apparently, since they were planted mostly at the same time and grew at the same rate, it made them grow taller than they normally should. i’ve passed by Quezon Avenue in Quezon City a thousand times and the Mahogany trees were tall but not as slender as the ones in Bohol.

while driving through the strip of road, i was half-expecting the Cullen house at the end just around the bend. it was mysterious and enchanting at the same time. i’m not sure if i would like to pass by the road at night though but thinking about how Alice would set up lights to guide guests into the Cullen house got me wondering again and excited to see how wonderful it’ll look! it made my mind wander, too, how it would feel to trek or hike through the forest because it’s not like any forest i’ve been to. (went up forested areas in Zambales, Nueva Ecija, and Laguna but none looked like the man-made forest of Bohol). maybe there’s a trail that we could try out next time we visit! 🙂 plus, it was a good thing that the road wasn’t a busy one so we were able to get some shots in the middle of the road.

the Loboc River on Busai Monark

one of the spots that i’ve always looked forward to in this trip was the Loboc River. why? because it’s the time when i can just relax and have a wonderful meal while we cruise around the river in between the green mountains.

the registration was quick and easy enough (they charge Php 400.00 per person). oh, i forgot to tell you, the nice thing i like about the tickets they sell in Bohol is that you get a postcard for every ticket! so you just don’t throw away the tickets once they get the stub. it’s a pretty nice idea, if you ask me. 🙂

anyway, back to the cruise. it took only about 15 mins before the floating restaurant was full and we were on our way. the spaces in between tables was good enough and the buffet table was mid-sized with about 8 dishes/viands on both sides. i was quite famished after the plane ride and some of the tour we had earlier so i was expecting some good food to have that day for lunch. but, alas, it wasn’t.

i wasn’t really disappointed. perhaps my expectations just weren’t met. the seafood was fine: boiled shrimp and crab were no different than what we have at home. and they were about the same size, too — small. so that was a bit of a bummer. the pancit was on the salty side and the chicken ‘nuggets’ were kind of tough. well some of them. and then i dared to get some of the food which i’m not familiar with — yes, i lead a dangerous life. 😛 but ultimately, i finished the coconut milk dish and the seaweed dish with difficulty. in my mind, i always had to justify that the food was just traditional in Bohol and i had no way of knowing if it was good or bad. i just have to stay neutral and say “it wasn’t my kind of food but it was OK.” 😀

oh, and then your choice of drinks is limited to two: 1 small bottle of Coke or water. i chose softdrinks to wash the flavors away but bought a small bottle of water (at P40!!! holdap!) afterwards. oh well…

the music that serenaded us was mostly jukebox selections sung by some guy accompanied by an electric guitar. kinda reminds me of our local pulosa in Pampanga but the young-at-heart seemed to appreciate the playlist so i can’t speak for everybody on the cruise. hehe. it was kind of entertaining, still.

when i expected nothing more from this cruise, we approached a little floating hut along the river and docked right beside it. and what greeted us was absolutely fun! more than 3 dozen men, women, and children playing guitars/ukelele and dancing for us! it was so much fun, A and the FIL decided to join in! haha! 🙂 though this was part of the fee we paid, i’m sure, A still dropped some money on the donation box they passed around. it doesn’t hurt to give more with all the smiles they showed us. 🙂

and then we went back to the pier where we started. so the tour was 4/5 stars. the food was 2.5/5 stars. but the river? 5/5!

Xzootic Animal Park

i can only conclude two things from seeing these “petting mini zoos” along the highway in Bohol: 1. there is a great diversity in wildlife in Bohol, and 2. shouldn’t these things be regulated?

it is amusing to find these things and really fun even for adults to be able to be this near to animals like ostriches, pythons, and falcons and owls. but being a sort of farm boy, i wasn’t really that wow-ed by the animals. yes, i’ve never touched a real python or stood next to a bearcat but i don’t find myself wanting to have my picture taken with them. nevertheless, the other people in the tour with me wanted to. the more amusing part was actually how they approached the animals with apprehension but enjoyed themselves and, in my opinion, felt like little kids having their pictures taken!