Speed demon-A A +A
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
IT WAS one of those nights that can be considered crystal. The moon showed up in a virtually cloudless sky, its white light tender on the surrounding gray foliage on the ground and deflected by the calm but wrinkled sea that was visible from the coast that the Dalaguete portion of the national road we were following sometimes kissed.
Rarely travelling now, I have been missing those moving sights framed by, in this instance, the open window of the Ceres bus and made more impressive by the feel of the cool wind upon my face. Usually, in situations like this, I would go on a reminiscing binge. But not in this case when the bus driver had other things in mind.
At almost eight in the evening, the rush to reach Cebu City some 70 kilometers away was obvious. In one neglected segment of the highway, the driver stepped on the gas, honking his horn to announce his intention to whatever vehicle or living things were unfortunate to be blocking his way. The road had dangerous curves and inclines.
I gripped tight one of the handles at the back of one of the seats of the bus as the wind coming in from the window turned from gentle to wild. The romantic scene outside became a blur as we continued to pick up speed. Visions of the Saturday night accident in Toledo City involving a Jegan’s bus played in my mind. I shouted something at the driver.
The speed demon probably didn’t hear me amid the noise of the revved engine. But the bus conductor, who was in the middle aisle, stared at me with a surprised look on his face. The vehicle soon stopped to pick up the bus firm’s inspector and the driver slowed down a bit from there on, although he still drove fast whenever the road cleared for stretches.
I eventually felt like I was the odd man out in that situation. The bus conductor’s surprised look told me their speed wasn’t out of the ordinary in that circumstance.
Indeed, when the driver picked up a passenger as we neared the town proper of Argao, another bus passed by also like a blur. The buses seemed to stay true to the term “last trip.”
One positive point about the practice is that you get to reach your destination (in figurative or in real sense) earlier. But not all people view it that way. Or not all passengers would want to place their lives at the mercy of boneheads who don’t know better. Firms like Ceres and officials of concerned government agencies should work to instill some sense into these speed demons. That is, if they are not drug addicts yet.
My Sun.Star Cebu colleagues and I went to Dalaguete town last Monday for the annual gathering of school journalists initiated by the Department of Education (DepEd) for private and public schools from the southern municipalities of Minglanilla down to Santander. Host of the event was the Dalaguete National High School (DNHS).
I was impressed by the seeming burst of tourism-related activities in the town, probably intensified by the lure of the butandings visiting its seas. Small resorts have sprouted, which is a sign that well-off residents are investing in their own town. I just hope that the local government unit there will be able to sustain the growth.
I would like to thank the teachers of DNHS for the hospitality. They treated us to snacks that featured the town’s delicacies that include their version of the torta (“way tuba, they said, unlike that in Argao) and the bibingka (which was placed in a sugary syrup). Thanks.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 31, 2012.