It was a weird sort of feeling to have someone open up the door of the car for you, and close it right after you settle in. Somehow I’ve been used to the way things were for the commuting masa: to shove and elbow your way into the MRT, or keeping a reasonable distance between noggin and ass while boarding a jeepney, or having literally half a seat inside an FX, bus, or a loaded tricycle. This “family driver” business was more comfortable, I think: more relaxed, less stressful. I could probably get used to it.
We didn’t have a family driver: at an early age, my parents taught us kids to ride the jeepney, to be familiar with routes, and keep our hands inside the vehicle. When I moved to Manila, the MRT was an alien idea to me, until I learned to stay behind the yellow line, to shove my way to the middle of the coach, and to hold on to the bars and handles while the train is in motion (maraming salamat po).
Then again, few observations on life can be made while inside a packed jeepney. The “service ride,” however, made me think about it.