|My Beetle with my daughter|
and a Makati Film Society poster
My first car was a red 1966 Volkswagen Beetle I bought in 1979. It was so old that it had those small tail lights. I was 26 years old. I paid 300. pesos bribe to pass my driving test, a standard procedure at that time. Since I was new at driving I had several fender benders. We had just moved into our new home in Cavite which I built from a SSS housing loan. Life was good and the Beetle was icing on the cake.
It made the commute to my job in Makati City more convenient. I was holding two jobs to earn two basic salaries. One was in advertising, selling television shows to direct clients and advertising agencies. Reporting time was at 8:00 am. The other job was selling water proofing for brand new cars at car dealers. This job reports at 5:00 pm. Needless to say I was running around like crazy to meet my quotas. On top of those jobs I had film showing projects for Makati Film Society, an organization I co-founded with friends. The society met at night after office hours because we all had a day job. The Beetle brought me where I got to be and took me home to Cavite sometimes at midnight or early morning. Now, that is workaholic.
On weekends I wanted quality time with my family. We took the Beetle to Tagaytay for the sites and to eat bulalo, a specialty of the area. We often went to Cuyab hot springs of Laguna where I get a massage while soaking in hot water. Whenever there was a kiddie movie showing we went to the Malls in Makati and Araneta Center, Quezon City, then the kids can play video games. If I didn’t have money we drove to Luneta Park so the kids could run around in the grass or to the park at the Cultural Center where they can rent a bike. We used to drive over to my parents in Taguig so the children could spend time with their grandparents. None of those would have been possible without the Beetle.
When there was an opportunity for some girls night out, I took the Beetle to meet up with friends for a few drinks at some disco or music lounge or Shakey’s Pizza, whichever the budget allows. Somehow that always included drinking. I used to down 10 orders of Stolichnaya and tonic and still drive the Beetle home to Cavite in the wee hours of the morning. That Beetle was a part of my growth in my career, my assertiveness as a woman and my daughter's conception.