Friday, April 2, 2010

Holy Trainspotting

It’s the Holy Week and it sure was holy for Andres, Ponso, and I as a Trinity who crisscrossed the metropolis via the rail tracks.

Holy Tuesday afternoon, we walked along the rail tracks as Andres and Ponso tried to imitate train sound and movements while discussing the possible reasons for the animal carcasses scattered along the tracks. We then hopped on the 3:15 pm Philippine National Railway (PNR) train from Espana Station and took a short trip to Tutuban Divisoria to check what it has to offer after displacing tens of thousands of families for the sake of “development”. We paid 10 pesos each for the ride and saw chopped, literally chopped houses to give way to the 30 meter distance requirement set by the PNR for “train modernization” purposes. It was efficient, cool, and comfortable for the commuters and I guess the comprador big bourgeoisies and their bureaucrat capitalist cohorts are grinning from ear to ear after kicking the urban poor communities along the rail tracks to speed up the uneven trade from the pier to different parts of the country. Anyway, before I start ranting about the export oriented, import dependent nature of the Philippine economy that contributes to the chronic crisis due to its semi-colonial and semi-feudal set-up, I have to admit that we actually enjoyed that short trip and even hanged out at the PNR station while drinking Coke looking at the old train pictures and even checked out the old steam trains on display.

While we were at it, we went around Tutuban to check out China made toys and got Ponso a pair of plastic golf clubs. We moved with the Divisoria crowd and rode a jeep home. It was tiring but we already have plans for our next train trip going south.

Holy Wednesday, we checked out Recto Avenue for some computer game CDs then ate at a burger joint before riding the LRT 1 train along Rizal Avenue up to Balintawak Station. It was a breeze as we speed right through the newly built terminal that would connect LRT 1 to MRT 3 along EDSA. It was crazy as Ponso raved on the big Chinese cemetery mausoleums between R. Papa and Abad Santos stations while a mother beside us was freaking while she held her young son having a seizure. Andres was quiet all the while observing the LRT goings on. While Ponso, well, he rattled on and on with his loud voice about the cemetery and the mausoleums while someone was having a seizure.

We then walked all the way to Balintawak Market and took a “barumbadong bus” all the way to the MRT station, then hopped on the train again to Shaw Station. There we picked up Paco at the Gymboree in Shangri-la Plaza with Tita Hana after bumming around for sometime looking at art works and listened to an art consultant discuss the joy of having a Manny Baldemor painting.

It was crazy commuting with Paco and Ponso as we struggled inside the FX taxi while Ponso slept and Paco fidgeted in the tight taxi space. Good thing Andres went with Hana to the climbing gym. Thelma and I even have to travel to pick up Andres and even got a hard time fixing a fucking flat tire. But it was still definitely a good day.

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