The first time I rode a taxi as a commuter was in 1999, when I had to go somewhere with a girlfriend who had trouble with Quezon City’s pollution. It was a moment of empowerment for me then, a mode of transportation previously only rode with adults. I was showing off to all the people around us at Philcoa, that I, at the age of 21, was a man now. I can now commute on a vehicle of convenience. I still couldn’t afford it, but still.
On that same year, occurred the second instance of me riding a taxi. I was, for old time’s sake, to fetch, and bring a former girlfriend to our college graduation. She wore a pretty dress when I arrived. She told me a story inside the taxi, of her persuading an activist batchmate of ours to join the ceremonies. “You deserve it.” She said to Biboy, regardless of your issues of proper education we did not receive (could’ve been better, always). He agreed, so he was there, and she was proud of that. She also confided in me then of her hopes to be noticed by a batchmate of ours that night. She wanted to move on from me, and I bid her luck on that matter. It was the least that I could do, as I bid farewell, and waited a bit on a corner to see the sights before leaving.
See, I dropped my thesis then, and even though I wanted to believe that it was our graduation night, I wasn’t part of it.