Monday, January 24, 2005

Ride A Jeep In Cebu!

This log is dedicated to a friend who hails from the great city of Pasay!

While we were in our hotel about 9AM trying to catch some rest, this friend suddenly found out that he needed toiletries and other things. Since there was no nearby store, I told him to go to Ayala Center or Fuente Osmeña and buy his needs from any of the supermarkets.

Hesitating to go alone, he asked me: “ano sasabihin ko sa taxi?” As I was busy watching a live tennis tournament on ESPN, my answer was: “pucha naman, e di magsalita ka in the manner and language that you know! You are still in the Philippines and people here talk the same Pilipino and English that you know. Okay, medyo pagtatawanan ka lang if they hear you pronounce tabe instead of tabi or lalake instead of lalaki or hende instead of hindi, but just the same they will understand you and you won’t get lost because of language barriers”!

My litany did not end there and I capped it with this: “buti pa, go take a jeep dyan sa baba, sabihin mo sa Robinsons ka. You won’t miss it. When you reach a place that looks like a Welcome-Rotunda or Quezon Memorial Circle, watch out for the Cebu Midtown Hotel, sa basement nun ang Robinsons Supermarket”.

His final question (before I literally shoved him out of the room) was: “magkano yung jeep?” And my final answer (as I was pushing him out the door) was: “two-hundred-fifty-seven-thousand-eight-hundred-sixty-nine-pesos-and-eighty-five-centavos”! Jusko!

I was confident he won’t go astray. Plus the fact that we had cellular phones gave me more assurance he won’t get lost!

About 11:30AM, I was actually already starting to worry, arrived our fine young tourist, all 29 years old of him! He was all smiles revealing those steel-guarded teeth, eyes as wide as his chinky eyes can go and perspiring as if he had just been running from Baclaran to Monumento! I realized he was lugging along two grocery bags. One was marked Robinsons but the other was labeled with the big “Gaisano” logo!

While putting all his groceries down, and before anyone could talk, he exclaimed: “Ang galeng! Their jeeps here are not Sarao! Maliit sila, parang Fiera na payat and mahaba! Comfy ha?! Maganda ang upholstery achaka naka-YES FM din! Sa harap pa ako naka-upo!” All I could say was a sarcastic “talaga? O sige magpa-misa ka in celebration of your discovery!

It did not end there! The jeepney stories were banging my ears until lunchtime. Kesyo people also said “para” to ask the driver to stop and that almost all jeeps had a conductor and sometimes people said “lugaaar lang” with a pronounced letter R the way cute little girls pronounce them, and so on and so on, and on..! We came to know later that our cowardly companion from Pasay did actually do some joy-riding amongst the jeeps in Cebu before he decided to shop - first at Gaisano and next at Robinsons! And he has never taken a jeep ride in Metro Manila since birth!

And you guessed it right, from that moment on, we seldom took a cab. Suddenly, we were riding the jeeps all over the city – to Magellan’s Cross, to SM, to Mactan, to Carbon Market, back to the Capitol Area, to Ayala Center, then down to the Sto. Niño Shrine, back to the hotel and everywhere else. Gosh! There were only three instances where I insisted we ride a taxi. And that was to dine at The Village, to see Shangrila (from the foot of the bridge in Mactan), and to go back to the airport. That was of course not without protestations from our Pasay dude! But I prevailed.

Just imagine, he also wanted us to ride the jeeps on the way to the Taoist Temple and onwards to Tops! For this, I insisted that we go my way - and thus we commandeered a rented van!

Oh well, I love this man! Labs kita ‘tol!

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1 comment :

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