Photo courtesy of their owners, Ms. Bambit, Myrben Endaya, Ronald Zaguirre, Vincent Locsin, Andy Rodriguez and me.
When we boarded the ferry we waited a couple of minutes. Just when we were about to embark on this journey, a whole TV crew came in running behind schedule. Guess who we spotted!
I knew I've seen her somewhere before but... this is PATANI! She's the infamous pseudo villain in the first installment of Survivor Philippines. We heard she was there for an AXN shoot. It was nice because she gamely posed for us whenever there was an opportunity. It was really a fun day. Who would have thought we would meet people like her on the Pasig River Ferry! We were in store for more!
To start off the journey, the owner himself boarded the craft and said a few things before we went on the river. Mr. Eduardo G. Bondad, President and CEO of the SCC Nautical Transport Services Inc.; he gladly introduced us to what his company has been doing as service to thousands of Filipinos who use this transport system. His fleet of around 8 boats (if I'm not mistaken!) has been doing its deed for around 14 ports (some still being constructed). It basically can fit close to a 150 people, equipped with radio, sound systems, a public address system, comfy blue fixed plastic chairs and clean rest rooms. I've seen a mix of its patrons which range from class BCDE (some of which use this for everyday transport). It was quite comfortable since every water bus is air conditioned as I wouldn't really recommend it otherwise. It would probably climb up a few degrees and spell sun stroke if they didn't have that. There were still some fumes and establishments dumping waste water on the river; and if we were not inside the ferry at that time we'll have to visit the hospital after wards. I spent a lot of time on the front and back deck; it really felt like I was in the Caribbean. The breeze and the sun was nice at that time. I had a lot of shots... but we were all prohibited to shoot on the Malacanang area which understandably would be a huge security risk (Erap might get angry! LOL). I wonder what particular things they do on the line when Oil tankers and Natural Gas filled crafts passed by, that made me more worried than our cams. Even the PSG boarded to make sure we didn't shoot anything there (which is good don't get me wrong!). It was a good move but then again it would have been nice to shoot that historic place (and not just stay viewing the back of the 20 peso bill).
A lot of students frequently do projects and stories here (we met some of them while on the Plaza Mexico Terminal) probably to make them aware of the situation and the efforts put to rehabilitate the Pasig River. If their dreams come true this would really be a good thing to show tourists. I am by no means proud of the stench and trash along the way but if you think about it; we are all doing our share to make it habitable and that by itself is commendable. Maybe if we get the people living along the river to a different location (there's a lot of them!) and get better laws (via Congress making a harsher version and punishment) then it could be a good thing coming here. I guess just like any environmentalist; we are still hopeful this would all still be possible.
Some of us went through all the stations, Plaza Mexico, Escolta, Lawton, Quiapo, PUP, Santa Ana, Lambingan, Valenzuela,Hulo, Guadalupe, Pineda, San Joaquin, Bambang, Kalawaan, Pinagbuhatan - Acasia, Maybunga, Nagpayong and back. It was really my first time and I must say it was a nice experience. I didn't really expect much since the river itself was notorious for horror stories. The 12 million peso catamarans might have something to do with it but overall I enjoyed the time I spent there. It made me look at the river system differently, it gave me hope that one day everything will change. In one way or another there would be more people helping establish efforts to make this river alive again. Special thanks to Ms. Yen Cosare who gave fabulous information on the landmarks along the way. The group would also like to thank OIC Simon Aguilon of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission for giving us the chance to shoot this awesome place. I'd be back for more! I'd really recommend this to my friends for a short trip or something unusual in the oustkirts of the metro!
From left: Jeff, Francis, Ryan, Me, Ronald, Ace, Bambit, Gian, Myrben, Xander, Raymond, Jhem and Bangge.Not in photo because they were late but will be seen in other group hugs: Andy Rodriquez, Vince Locsin, Melvi Morfe and a surprise appearance by landscape master Ray Andallon.
Kudos to QCPC and D5KLUB who went with us on this great trip! I'm sure there will be more of us next time! Thank you to everyone who made this possible!