Marinduque Challenge 2014: Top loading

Join me as I experience the adventure of TOP LOADING in one of my travels in Marinduque.
Photo by norei

Top loading”is one way  how you position yourself while riding a jeep – to be specific, instead of getting inside to the vehicle, you opted to place yourself on the top of the jeep’s roof. Top loading is very famous in rural area of the Philippines because of few transportation vehicles available and no one monitored this risky activity. Students frequently practice this technique because top loading is free. Moreover, most of the jeep or bus in the provinces: as you can notice metals and steels are installed on the roof - designed for "top loading."

In urban zones in the Philippines especially in the Metro, top loading is not allowed by the authorities - to avoid fortuitous events in the middle of the road.

But risky things are fun, isn’t it?

Photo by norei
Top loading is no longer new to me; I’ve been doing this practice during my childhood in Bohol. And I was very happy to experience it again during my Marinduque Challenge.

After we conquered the Kaamon Cave located in Brgy Bonliw , town of Torrijos, our next stop is the Town of Sta Cruz to see the Church and to visit the original maker of Marinduque’s arrowroot cookies.

I had a conversation with the Brgy Chairman that time when a jeep passes through.

“Para! Pasakayin nyo tong mga to! Mga bisita ko” Brgy. Chairman Joel said to the Jeepney driver.

When I saw the jeep, I was hesitant to ride because the jeep was much overfilled with passengers. But we don’t have a choice or else we need to wait for another 1-2 hours for the next jeepney. Irene and Norei positioned themselves inside, having hard time to breath due to the congestion. Bonj and I decided to take risk on placing ourselves outside of the jeep. I went to the upper part of the jeep and Bonj was still on the door as he can’t drag himself towards the roof (Mabigat kasi).

It was fun while we voyaged towards our point of destination. I can feel the strong wind on my skin while I enjoyed the green surrounding and the boundless sceneries. I can breathe the fresh air, very relaxing and stress relieving – very unique adventure. The weather was perfect for Top Loading until we reached almost half of our journey when there was a sudden heavy rain. The spontaneous feeling of ecstasy increased, I took my shirt off and got drench.

Truly, getting young, wild and free is everyone’s dream. For me, the feeling of doing crazy things that  can only be done during your childhood is more fun doing on your adulthood. Imagine, you are very tame inside the office but the time that you’re given a chance to do such crazy things, you’ll transform into wilder YOU. But I do not encourage you to practice top loading. Just a reminder, there are risks involved on this activity. Please do it at your own risk and please be careful when you decide to do this. As I keep on stressing “Life is short... but don’t make it shorter”.

Photo by Norei -the official photojournalist of the team

Expenses  :
Transportation from Brgy. Bonliw Torrijos( KA AMON CAVE) to Sta. Cruz - PHP48.00

See also Angie Duarte’s advice on doing risky things during travel .

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