This afternoon, I rode the Wheelmobile to get a registered parcel from the post office in NIA Road, Quezon City. Yesterday, I called the post office because I had a dilemma. The notice had my nickname on it, by which name I have no ID. So I asked the lady in charge of Window 37 (indicated in the registry notice) if I could just present the ID with my real name on it. She asked what my real name and then what my nickname were. At first she said “Medyo malayo a.” I mentioned that I’d authorize my husband to get the parcel in my stead. She said to just send my ID. She asked when my husband would come and I said I didn’t know because he was a teacher and might not be free for weeks.
At any rate, while still on the phone she said to wait while she got my parcel. She asked if I were expecting a package from somewhere. I said no. I asked if it were from Australia or the US because it is only in these two places where I have friends. She said “California.” Darn I was hoping initially the registered mail was from some entity telling me I had won a house and lot, a car, something. But actually I knew it wasn’t because I write my real name in raffle coupons.
Anyway, back to Gemma, the lady who took my call. When she said California, I said my friend’s nickname. She mentioned my friend’s real name. Oh boy, same dilemma again no? Nickname versus real name. But when I mentioned the family name and a part of my friend’s address, I guess, she knew I was the real McCoy. So she said to just send my husband over.
As my husband could not commit to going there anytime soon, I decided to hire the Wheelmobile. Finding the post office, no make that finding NIA Road can be quite a challenge. While my husband said to take V Luna, Kalayaan, East Avenue route and then take a quick right turn, then the post office is on the right side, Arnel, the wheelmobile’s driver said it would be quicker through UP. Who was I to argue?
When we reached East Avenue from Quezon Circle, I told Arnel to watch out for a quick right turn. Oops, there was no street to make a quick right turn to. In fact we almost made a quick right turn to a gate. He drove farther down to the first street on the right. The street sign read “BIR Road.” Oops, were we on the right track? He mentioned an Agham Road and I asked if we could get to that road from BIR Road? He was uncertain.
Luckily, though, Arnel is not like most men. He immediately stopped the van in front of a trike driver and asked where the post office was. I could see the driver gesturing to the left. So we drove down until we reached a cul de sac, turned left, drove a bit and voila. I saw a huge lot with a wide building and the sign “PHilippine Postal Corporation” or something, but it was on the left side. It would have been on the right if we had followed my husband’s instructions.
The post office: Ang laki. Sprawling. Earlier my husband said if there were steps, per his recollection, these were wide so traversing them wouldn’t be a problem. But his memory served him wrong. There were tiny steps, then a huge landing, then tiny steps again. Luckily though, there was a gently sloping ramp on the left side and we took that.
Would have wanted to take a picture of the place but was scared I would be chastised. The building is old, some portions of the ceiling had gaping holes where a sheet (Slab?) of plywood painted white must have been when the building was new. I didn’t see any electric fans but it wasn’t hot inside because the place is set up like a series of counters, no closed doors. There weren’t too many people, maybe there were more PO personnel than there were people transacting. Behind the counters was a dark room where packages and letters were possibly stored. The glass windows in front of each “teller” had signs like “Barya lang po kapag umaga” or Bible passages, mostly from Colossians translated in Tagalog. One I read was about “tiyaga”.
The one who initially attended to me in Window 37, who was not Gemma, reminded me of my mother-in-law. She had greying hair and so did the lady in the next window. I think most if not all the “tellers” were female. Hmmm, is there a reason there, somewhere? I’ll keep my thoughts to myself, haha. Anyway, this kind, old lady said she’s usually stationed at the back but was subbing for Gemma for a spell. Gemma did come before long, she’s much younger than my mom-in-law’s lookalike.
To sum it up, the post office in NIA while not spruced up is not intimidating but quite a pleasant experience. Security guards manned the gate, there was a garden in front. The “tellers” are kindly people, mostly a bit old. All these factors make one feel welcome, actually.
Now I feel guilty that I know not who the Postmaster General is so I can commend him. Wonder if PG is male or female.
Oh I forgot. I paid P35 prior to claiming the parcel and also presented my barangay ID. Per my experience, this branch of the post office and UP are reliable. So far, all the packages I’ve sent through the UP Post Office have been received by my friends. Back in the eighties, two of my parcels to two friends sent through Greenhills Post Office never reached them. But that was in 1980s I’d like to stress. Maybe the service is better now?