Reading Verses inside the Rail Transit
Learning while traveling
To commute in a public transport like the light rail transit or metro rail transit(LRT or MRT), you challenge yourself not to be irritated with fellow passengers crowding you, group of high school students talking and laughing noisily until you reach your destination. You allow women to sit, especially the pregnant ones and elders
As for me, as much as the route is free from the traffic jam in the city, I just focus myself at the verses, poems most of the time, that have been posted to divert one’s boredom to an exciting trip until you reach your assigned station.
Here’s one of the verses that I’ve wrote in my tickler or small pocket notebook, not minding the guard’s warning that my destination has ended (in Baclaran Paranaque Manila Philippines).
IN A METRO BY THE STATION (For EZRA Pound)
By Ralph Semino Galan
As late afternoon slides
Into early evening, a rush
Of faces blossoms into view
A bouquet of wilting flowers
Thirsting for rest of rain
Note: This is just the first verse of the poem but it easily caught my attention. The meaning of running for the rush hour trip going home is vividly described in the poem.
Here’s another verse of the poem written by a Spanish poet Antonio Machado (Sevilla, 1875-1939). I’ve also included the Filipino version (for Filipino hubbers to read) and my English translation.
Todo pasa y todo queda
Pero lo nuestro es pasar
Paciar haciendo caminos
Caminos sobre la mar.
Lahat tayo ay dadaan at lahat ay maiiwan
Pero tayo ay dadaan
Dadaang gumagawa ng mga daan
Daanan sa ibabaw ng karagatan.
Everyone of us will pass and will be left behind
But we will pass
We will pass constructing roads
Roads above the seas.
Note: I’ve translated it en toto not to loose the meaning of the verse.
Uniqueness of Rail Transit in the Philippines
Rail transit is a good alternative if your want to reach your destination fast or without the burden of traffic. It is more cheaper than riding in taxi cabs and buses. It is constructed above the main roads in the city to provide comfort to many pedestrians and reach their destinations safely.
One thing I’ve noticed about the uniqueness of Philippine Rail Transit is the metro verses of poems they posted inside the transit buses. It’s a good idea to pass the time. You don’t have to look at fellow passengers in front of you. Just be careful because, if you become engrossed with the verses, you can be victimized by pickpockets that often ride the transit.
Rail Transit bombing
I was lucky not be one of the victims of the tragic December 2000 bombing when I became late to take that ride. Although it was an isolated incident, I cannot help but have doubts whether it’s safe to ride the rail transit again.
It didn’t happen in this country alone but also in Europe and other parts of Asia.
To combat such danger, the rail transit management double their security. Guards check your bags or luggage, even your body if your are carrying something prohibited, especially guns or bombs. They didn’t check it meticulously, although there’s a pause of danger everyday at the rail transit stations.
People are becoming safety-conscious nowadays because of what happened in the USA due to the 9/11 bombing attacks (September 11, 2001). More and more security measures are being implemented to ensure public safety.