Monday, October 12, 2009

Manila LRT Booboos: A Promdi's Blooper

No matter what, a promdi ("prom di" or from the province) is always a promdi.

Manila is not my ol' stomping ground. I've been there many a transient times. I've taken the LRT several times, and I've had several unforgettable experiences worth blogging.

Let me just narrow them down to the two most memorable:

Late 90's. I and my brother just came from Clark, Pampanga, where I bought several blinds for my house back in my home province. From Monumento LRT terminal, we were to get off Baclaran terminal. My younger brother, being more experienced in the Manila jungle, was giving out instructions like an army general. I have to be alert lest I get left behind by the train, he huffed, carrying eight boxed blinds across his chest in his arms. Obediently I did, but he was too busy giving me tips on how to go about the LRT maze that the train door closed on him while I was already squeezed in with the other unmindful passengers. With an alarmed look in his wide eyes, he stood still, dazed as the LRT started to move on without him, blinds and all. It was a time when analogue cell phones are a luxury even the promdis couldn't yet afford. So, without any means of real-time communication, I just remembered to get off at Baclaran station where my brother was happily reunited with me after the next LRT came in.

Ten years later. I was traveling alone, a lot more confident after making a lot of booboos in the past. From Central terminal I was supposed to alight at Gil Puyat station. Alone and absentminded, I saw "Gil" at the next stop, so I quickly got off, went down the street and asked around for the ride to Ayala. Although I could get a ride from there, I realized I got off the wrong station. I alighted at Pedro Gil, not Gil Puyat! Why, the names could almost be palindromes! The bus ride from Pedro Gil got stuck in afternoon rush-hour traffic I was nearly in tears thinking I might not make it to our scheduled get-together at The Fort that night.

Whew! I never realized until now how the two Gils could make LRT life a bit more complicated to a promdi like me.

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