I never thought I would ever feel this good about driving. I mean, who would, right? Driving is as basic as swimming or even reading and writing that everyone should learn some time in their lives……….I think. And, driving can be really, really stressful especially when most people around don’t always follow the “rules of the road”. So how did I find it fun and exhilarating?
Back in high school, papa and an uncle taught my siblings and I how to drive. My brother, obviously was the first to pick up, but since my sister and I were a little too “cautious”, we didn’t qualify as the aggressive drivers we needed to be. Even after we finished a course in a driving school and got our licenses, we weren’t allowed by papa to take the wheel.
So for a long time, we were only allowed to drive in our neighborhood, Libingan ng mga Bayani or in a vacant subdivision in Taytay, until we became too busy to practice.
When my brother moved to Cebu, I guess papa didn’t have a choice but to let me drive again, but this time, he became more lenient and finally let me drive around, for real! When I passed the “Rosario test“, (it’s what I call the ultimate balyahan test, you’ll know why when you try passing by the area on rush hour), I became more confident and more conscious of how drivers are here in the country. I guess, being a qualified driver doesn’t necessarily equate to being licensed and aware of the rules by the book, because you’d have to learn way more than that. I’m about to renew my license the second time this year, but it’s the first time I ever felt being a real driver.
This past weekend, they let drive again, but this time, they let me drive from Binangonan to Laguna. I was freaking out deep inside, but it was something I could never forget, ever! We always go to Laguna through this route so I know how crazy the roads are here. There’ll be a bunch of steep climbs, long stretches of 2 way roads, and a whole lot of zigzagging roads on the edge of the mountains, so I cannot even wish for my father to allow me to drive there, but he did so that’s something new! I guess he felt that it’s finally time to let go! I earned it! LOL!
Kidding aside, the whole time I was on the road, I couldn’t get off my mind what someone said about driving—that all drivers should be responsible enough not only for themselves or for their passengers, but for all the other road users. So even though I was still jumpy like I used to, even a chicken on the side of road can make me nervous, I felt that I’m more conscious of my surroundings. I did have a couple of mistakes, but like what my father always told me, I needed to learn the ways of a defensive driver and I think I finally did! So that’s one thing I’m proud of myself now. I never even used the car horn before or the headlights to signal other drivers or people along the way, so I maximized the use of both that weekend. I’m also very proud to have overtook a couple of slow drivers along the way, which made my mama really nervous at the back. She even scolded my sister for teasing me to overtake a couple of tricycles.
Other things I realized that have changed in my driving habits:
- I used to be too focused, you couldn’t make me answer a Y/N question
- I never used the car horn.
- I don’t know how to estimate distance. (I’m still now 101% confident about this)
- Both hands will always be on the wheel.
- I didn’t know when to shift gears.
- I didn’t wanna drive in heavy traffic (I still don’t, but I now can 🙂
Anyway, I just had to let it out. I’m bursting with happiness, I couldn’t contain it anymore! I have this feeling, my family together with our relatives would go on a road trip again soon especially since my cousin got a new car, so I’m sure to raise my hand and give it my best Katniss Everdeen impression and say “I volunteeeeer!!” to get dibs on the wheel! HAHAHA!