From Skyway to South Luzon Expressway

A tow truck, ten-wheeler
and a couple in a motorcycle,
a pick-up truck, and the bus
named after the trade wind
outside, the auto shop still
showcasing the car even if closed,
this time, a gasoline station,
a college, a chapel, detour lights
that say: keep left, and the ramp
welcoming to the view of
the west of this city as we go
southbound, then I wonder how different
it feels if I rode an airplane, toward
destinations I dreamed of, then, Eight lanes
empty, the service road on the left
with moderate traffic, and everywhere
becomes an exit, some cemented homes
and billboards showing competition,
condominiums looking like cemeteries,
factory after freight after factory,
and then a supermarket, a pharma
company, a digital signboard, an abandoned
ice cream house, two more gasoline stations:
“O kain muna” says the sign bearing
nothing but junk food, junk life.
Dona Soledad exit, the isolated
curve turning right, when it was
once the terminal point of this
highway, the skeleton of a new
construction along with its anorexic
ageing advertisement, more and more
rooftops of industries and what was left:
rubble, residential halls, banks, convenient
stores, a medical center named after this
highway, “Sunshine”, “We need to talk”,
as God spoke via tarpaulin with white
Arial text in black rectangular background,
the view now looking over two different
bodies of water: the left a lake, the right a bay,
another exit: Dr. A. Santos, and how curious
am I still about the etymology of Paranaque
and its big intersection, and shanties
on a higher place than townhouses, then
a carpet factory right next to a fastfood
factory, and another one turning into
a wholesale/retail supermarket, the industrial
fans still moving at 9 PM, and everything
slows down arriving at the toll gate, two 6×5
side by side electric meters hanging above
an electric post, like their neighbor
transformers, Lee Pipes, and a dim streetlight,
a cornerhouse starting a series of factories,
resettlements, enclaves, the repeating pattern
of logos, I need to go unli soon, someone texted
me again, and the bridge can only carry 15 T
so it won’t collapse, along with the trees covered
in cement at the roots, Muebles Italiano, and all
we know of is another exit in Zapote Alabang
(can you believe there’s another Skyway bump
above footbridge above the intersecting national
road?), the tarpaulin of a plasticware display,
the college named after a saint, the city hospital
belittled by a medical center around 14+ storeys
highm and now, trees gain, row after row, blades
of grass as the name of the highway changes
into this expressway with arching interchanges
after every couple of kilometers, and one had
a renovation, a widening, sedimentary rocks
pounded to become new terraces of slanted
support, that one named after the national prison,
and the same fastfood chain having a factory
in the middle of the forests, the green sign
saying Muntinlupa/Susana Heights, I know
this leads to home, this on repeat every weekend.

25 January 2012
from Skyway to South Luzon Expressway


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