Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 12:25 AM | leave a comment ( 2 )
My brother, Danielle, who is currently a Management with Honors freshie student at Ateneo, recently wrote an essay for his Eng11 class. Prior to writing it, my brother asked me for help on it since I have more experience (I was a writer and an editor for our school paper when I was in high school. I also worked as an ESL instructor for Japanese for almost a year.) and I'm a level ahead of him when it comes to written works. And so he told me all his ideas - from how he visualizes the scenes in his essay would be to how he would end it. I was already impressed by then. I was supposed to help him, but I wasn't able to. And I'm glad I didn't because he managed to create an awesome one on his own. I'm just so proud of him. :)
WARNING: It's kind of long because the requirement was 1000 - 1, 500 words. And some parts were kind of exaggerated. Haha. :)
The ‘Bus’ of Both Worlds
by Danielle C. Royon
When most people would remember their memorable experiences in life, they certainly wouldn’t think of a bus. As most of us perceive, buses are not much attractive. They are usually dismissed after the first glance or not regarded. After all, every structure of it from the inside to the outside is almost all the same as another: the narrow aisle down the middle, rows and rows of seats from the front to the back, the luggage compartments above, and the large glass windows surrounding the bus. In many ways, buses can be closely related to the city like, for this instance, Manila. However, buses share to us a slice of the city once you ride on them. The way it feels inside the bus, the people who commonly ride it, the system that it imposes to the people and other inevitable experiences in the bus actually more or less reflect living in Manila.
For me, as a student, the bus plays a big role in my journey. My hometown is in the province but I currently study in the city, specifically in Quezon City. I grew up in the rural setting so it was quite hard for me to instantly adjust to a whole new world. During the weekdays, I stay at a dorm, which is now my second home but I always make sure that I go home to Laguna on weekends. Since my parents are busy with their jobs, the only way for me to be able to go home is to commute—and part of the task is to ride a bus. Another weekend marks another bus trip for me. I am now heading to Cubao to wait for the bus going to Laguna. As I patiently wait in the busy and noisy streets of EDSA, I notice that people are in a rush to findthe right bus for their trip. For some reason, they are always in a hurry. City life really is fast-paced. If you live in a city, you must follow and go along its continual, fast flow. In Manila, as other people are catching the next bus, trying not to be late for work, preventing to line up for a long time, and avoiding tremendous traffic on the road, you surely wouldn’t want to mess with them and their schedule; thus, you barely notice that you are living your life in a fast-paced manner as well. The city has an invisible hand that pushes you forward in order for you to survive. It is very unlike in the province where you have more time to focus on what you are doing and all the people are willing to extend their moral support and help for you to finish it. You mostly have free space and free time to do whatever you like.
A bus going to Pacita is now approaching. To have a fairly nice seat, I hurried and fall in sync with the other busy bus catchers. I entered the bus, and I immediately notice three key people inside it: the driver, the conductor, and the passengers. The conductor acts as a herald who announces the route of the bus to the eagerly waiting commuters in EDSA. He will not stop convincing you until you finally choose to ride on his bus. Even if he doesn’t know you, he surprisingly seems to distinguish where you are heading. Near the stairs leading to the bus, I spotted the driver. He greets me with a warm smile. As a result, I feel welcome inside his bus. The smile of a driver is an assurance that you’ve chosen the right bus; there are some bus drivers who aren’t really concerned about their passengers. They just bring the bus to its destination and that’s it. A warm smile indicates that the driver will ensure that you will arrive at your desired stop safely.
I now traverse the narrow and dark aisle in the middle of the bus and as I look for a vacant seat, I can see the eyes of the passengers staring and carefully watching every move I make. They look at me suspiciously and try to determine whether I will sit beside them or not. We do not know each other but there is one thing common in all of us—we’re all riding the same bus. Life in the city offers a sense of adventure and challenge. Like the conductor, there is an invitation that tempts you to try living in the city, but after you have accepted that invitation, you are totally on your own. You are in a world where nobody knows you and it’s up to you if you want to introduce yourself or not. There is a great sense of anonymity because you have many people around you, yet you can’t name even one of them. But above all of these fears and uncertainty is the trust that you manifest by riding the bus. You are not sure whether the people around you is safe to ride with and whether the driver can drive you home alive but you have the faith that everything will flow smoothly. This is the same way we live in the city. We invest trust to things and people unknown. But ironically, those strangers are the ones molding our personality. They shape us in the way they live their life also in the city. Whether we admit it or not, they contribute to our being and are part of our daily life, as well as the driver and the conductor.
Now that I’ve found my seat, I can now rest and wait for the bus to move. I feel confined in a very little space so to divert my attention, I take in the panoramic vista outside the bus. Since the journey is always long, to avoid getting bored I curiously observe what is outside the frames and finally realize the big difference between the city and the province. As we travel along EDSA, I observe that the space in the city is very limited. Buildings of different heights are scattered in the city. The streets are filled to the brim and sometimes the market present in the streets even extends up to the road. I can see houses, mostly in the slums, very close to each other. Pollution, in all of its kind, is predominant. Structures and buildings located along the streets of the Manila resemble mountain ranges that exhibit certain unifying features like age, position, size and purpose. It seems that one building influences another, as everything stretches along EDSA.
We are now travelling across the bridge that would lead us to SLEX or the South Luzon Expressway. Here is where the city meets the province. It serves as a smooth transition as it combines the features of the city and the province. Like the city, SLEX has wide roads that can accommodate large traffic. You can still see buildings and a little bit of the slums, but this time, you will see them along with fields of croplands or grasslands. It is a place where balance between the city and the province can be seen. After the long yet fast journey along the SLEX, we are now approaching Laguna. As we exit the toll, I also bid goodbye to heavy traffic, pollution, buildings and turmoil that can mostly be found in the city. Houses are far from each other and there is a vast land of greeneries. The narrow road is not anymore filled with smoke and cars but with livestock. Of course, there are also carabaos and horses, pulling carts with rural goods in them. People are now in what I call the normal pace of life. Families are working together for their livelihood; thus, providing more time and energy spent with the family. I can see children playing along the road and they are enjoying the clean and fresh surrounding that serves as their big playground. Everything else seems to be fine.
Truly, the province and the city cannot be interchanged. The rural and urban lifestyles are two options from which you can choose how to live. After everything, the two serve different but relatively unique, important roles in humanity. The bus plays a crucially big role of delivering the people to and from each distinct world. It acts as a medium of two different domains. It also serendipitously acts as a venue for discovery and reflection. Finally, as I step down the stairs of the bus, after just a few minutes of leaving the bustling city, I smell the fresh air and see my family waving at me from a distance. At last, I am home.
The title is based from the song of Miley Cyrus, “The Best of Both Worlds.”
So that was my brother's essay. I posted it with permission from him, of course. How good was that, huh? And oh, can you pretty please show my brother some love and comment or message me your suggestions and what you can say about it? I'm sure he'd appreciate it a lot! Thanks in advance. :)
Till next time. God bless and bless God!
- Princess HCR. ♥
P.S. Hope he gets an A on it. Please pray for it. He's aiming to maintain his high QPI. :)