Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Student Permit


I dreaded the day that I will have to go the LTO office to get my driver's license. My bad experience in obtaining my NBI clearance, TIN and SSS numbers when I was a fresh graduate sort of traumatized me and made me avoid going to any government office as much as I can.

I have scheduled myself to go to LTO Cainta to get my Student Permit, so I can start driving with my dad during the day. My dad picks me up from work every night and lets me drive the way home for about two weeks now.

And so we went to the LTO office, and when we got there, I was disgusted when a man asked us to pay for parking fee! Well, it was ony P30 but I was thinking that they shouldn't be asking for parking fee for a lousy, uncovered, unpaved government parking lot. Not to mention P30 is the same price you pay if you park at Eastwood City's covered, paved and guarded parking lot for three long hours.

We arrived there at about 8:30 am, which I thought is early, but the line was already at the far end of the room. I wanted to go back home and sleep on my nice comfy bed while I let A1 or Dynamic Driving Institute work on my license. But I wanted to appreciate my dad's efforts to wake up early and accompany me in such a dingy place. It was a covered area, with some stores inside and various drug testing centers and there wasn't ANY form of ventilation. I was sweating the whole time while I was just standing there in line. After about almost an hour's wait, I was already halfway the line, between all sorts of people (mostly men) who look like they haven't even taken a bath in years. It scared me that these guys will have a license to drive. I also realized that the line I was in (which I thought was the line ONLY for student permit applicants), was the same line for license renewal, and license upgrade. And then I heard the PA: "Hindi na po Kami tumatanggap ng Student Permit application. Cut off na po. First 50 lang tinatanggap namin!" (We're no longer accepting applicants for the Student Permit. We have the reached the first 50 cut off.") Now how lame is that? Shouldn't the lazy guard in the front door have counted or kept track of the number of applicants in the first instance? Or shouldn't that be job of the guy who was giving out the forms? I was so angry on our way out especially when I remembered that we have to pay for parking.

We decided to go to LTO in Marikina the next day. We arrived there at 8am, and I got my permit a little more than an hour after. No fixers. I had it better in the Marikina office, but I understand why some people (who doesn't have time and has little money to spare) resort to fixers.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Stay Out of the Road!

I drove a car today for the first time in my entire life.

My odd hours at work obliged my dad to pick me up every after my shift. However, after weeks of consistently staying up till 2am to wait for me, the stress kicked in that he finally suggested that I get a student permit and start learning how to drive. I would've jumped up and down upon hearing this should this happened a few months ago. I remember that I was so determined to learn last year but my parents burst my bubble and said that I should pass on it since I don't have a car yet and it's less likely that my dad would allow me to bring his car. But it looks like the situation has gone a 180 degree turn now.

I was waiting for my dad after work today and when he finally arrived, I noticed that he had a few drinks. When I got in the car, I told him that I already checked the LTO website and took down the documents I need to bring to apply for a student permit. I mentioned that casually just so he knows I'm on it--he even reminded me to work on it this morning. I'm not really that excited to learn--I sort of started to enjoy being in the passenger's seat. But as we turned right at the Industria Road, I was astonished when he pulled over and told me "O, ikaw na mag-drive habang nasa mood ako." (You drive while I'm in the mood to teach.) I REALLY didn't want to. I was tired from work and was a bit sleepy (I stayed up late last night to write my previous blog entry) and on top of that, I know he's a bit tipsy so I'm not sure if he will be able to pull the hand break soon enough before I bump into anything. The next thing I knew, he already stepped out of the car and is walking his way to the passenger seat door so I realized there's no sense arguing and I'd do it anyway. We stayed there for about a couple more minutes ONLY as he showed me the gears and the pedals then asked me to go and drive. I had to tell myself that it's just like driving a bump car with more pedals except that I'm not supposed to bump into anything.

This all happened at the Industria Road, a street in Pasig City where a lot of warehouses and factories are situated so trucks and tricycles dominate this street. Trucks are all over this place at this time of the day. So I drove.

I didn't drive all the way to our house. I allowed my dad to drive when we reached the highway. I was sort of proud though--after that COUPLE OF MINUTES lecture, I was able to drive a stick shift car amidst the trucks and tricycles. Although I was in total panic, I was able to get a hold of myself and fortunately didn't cause the car any damage. My driving career has a long way to go, but yeah, I guess this is a good start.

I really gotta work on my license now.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Wedding at Dawn

Last December 16, 2006, my friends, Jane and Vincent got married. The event was held at the coconut palace, at 7am. It was the first time that I attended a wedding of a friend--someone who is really close to me. I've known Jane since college. We were in the same dance group and she was the one who first invited me to attend the youth service at Victory. Our friendship grew even outside the dance group and as my faith strengthened, our relationship was deepened as well. We even started our own company, ACTS, together with our other friends. She is the first one in our peer to get married so the event was really exciting for all of us. It was also my first time to be a bridesmaid. As the couple exchanged vows, I couldn't help but cry--I was deeply moved by the event. I'm sure my friends Dianne and Janina (who were also Bridesmaids) were just as affected as I was. It shows in this stolen shot--

Since all of the bridesmaids and groomsmen are dancers, we prepared a dance number with the newlyweds in place of the couple's traditional first dance. And no, it's not a ballroom-type of dance! We moved to the tune of Boogie Wonderland, OST of the movie HappyFeet. I don't even remember doing the steps well--I just remember I was laughing too hard.

The wedding was quite simple and intimate. There was nothing fancy at all. What made the experience magnificent is that the wedding was carefully planned by the couple, and that they really made it personal. It wasn't planned to show off but to bless people by their love. I've seen this couple right from the very start of their relationship and it is truly a testimony of how God works in our lives and how He writes our own love story.

Now I can't wait to blog about mine.