Like in my first visitation to Manila on 2016, this time my transit visitation would go to the same first place, EDSA LRT Station.
For some reason, EDSA LRT Station was always the first place I pointed to when looking at the city’s transportation map. As if that place is the easiest way to reach from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Then from the station, I can go wherever I want to explore Manila.
EDSA stands for Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, the name of street which passes under the station. While Epifano de los Santos is the name of a famous Filipino historian and journalist.
Alright…Let’s went to EDSA LRT Station and got to know it better.
Outside the terminal building, a white uniformed security guard with high-powered firearms called out to me. They apparently noticed that I was hesitant to choose a direction. As I recall, to ride a Jeepney to downtown, I had to turn left from terminal exit gate liked during my 2016 visitation to Manila. Or maybe I got off at a different terminal.
Security : “Hello Sir, come here, please!”, he said with a firm and fierce expression.
Me: “Yes, Sir”, I approached slowly, rather than causing a bigger problem.
Security : “Show your passport to me!”, he sharply looked at me.
Me: “This”, I handed it over firmly and boldly.
Security : “Where do you go in Manila?”, he asked while handing me my passport
Me : “Can you show me, Where should I stop a bus or a jeepney to Manila Baywalk?”.
Security : “It will be better if you go to EDSA station, then you can go to Manila Baywalk from there”, he pointed to a street to the right of terminal building.
Me: “Thanks, Sir”
Security : “In Manila, if you don’t know Tagalog language, It will be better if you ask to the bus driver about their destination”
Me: “Oh okay I see”.
I kept watching every city bus which passed, I kept looking for EDSA writing on every bus windshield. Fifteen minutes without finding it, I ventured to start asking every bus which stopped to picking up passengers.
Me: “EDSA Station, sir?”.
Conductor : “No No No”,
The question and answer kept repeating until some city buses didn’t care about me because I wasn’t the passenger. Until finally, a cream colored bus with a combination of blue arrived with the nameplates for Boni, Ortigas, Cubao and finally EDSA hanging in a row down on its windshield. It seemed that those were the names of LRT/MRT stations which the bus passed through.
Conductor: “Come in!”
I entered the bus and sat in the middle seat on the right. On the dashboard above was clearly written Jayross Lucky Seven, the name of bus company. Fairly comfortable city bus, air-conditioned and LCD TV at the front. Shortly after sitting down, liked most buses in Indonesia, the conductor approached me and charged me 30 Peso.
Ah, I would be skipping the Jeepney trip this time. “It’s okay, I’ll take a Jeepney to NAIA when I get back later,” my mind won over. But somehow, I suddenly got up from my seat when the conductor shouted “EDSA….EDSA….EDSA”. I received information that I had arrived and I had to get off, the conductor certainly didn’t know the destination of the passengers one by one, so he let me walked down from front door.
The bus left me. There was no sign of the existence of LRT line which was clearly memorized in my memory from my first visitation. “It’s not here yet,” I thought with a wry smile, until a Jeepney approached. “EDSA?” I shouted at the driver. “Come on!”, he simply answered. I went up through back door. I didn’t know street’s number of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue when got on to Jeepney. Finally, I got to ride again the most popular mode of transportation among Filipino people. Now I paid less because the distance was close to destination, only 10 Peso. Five minutes later I arrived at EDSA LRT Station.
I was just amazed by tbusy activities of Manila citizens that afternoon. Similar to streets around Pasar Senen, Jakarta. For a long time I stood in an open stall which selling fresh fruit. Paying attention to traffic jams, Jeepneys which the middle and lower class people were scrambling for and LRT Line 1 going back and forth above my head.
Ah, the beautiful and short transit time I have and enjoyed……