Our family started to work in the railway industry since 1920. My grandfather, Paquito Lajoy Osias unexpectedly applied as Locomotive Driver at then Manila Railroad Company (MRR). He is from the small town of Sulat, Eastern Samar and due to some hardship and looking for a greener pasture in Luzon, he decided to board at the steam boat from Borongan. Traveling took place for two weeks. Since he has only two Peso in his pocket, he asked the “fogonero” (steam worker) to allow him to work in exchange of free food for the whole journey, and it was granted. He landed to a pier in Manila, and applied as “kargador” (baggage man) to survive for a living. One day, while roaming around the city, he noticed an announcement in a bulletin board¬†from the Tutuban Railway station looking a “Maquinista” (Locomotive Driver). Remembering his experience from the steam boat, he decided to apply and how lucky he is, he was accepted.

My grandfather’s love story also begins from railways. He met my grandmother, Epifania Beltran Reyes at Gapang Station (Gapan, Nueva Ecija), they got married and raised family thereat. Lolo Paquing retired on 1960 after forty years in service. Upon his retirement, he was succeeded by his son, Ernesto Reyes Osias, then a bank employee and one of the founders of Rural Bank of Asingan, Inc. in Asingan, Pangasinan. On June 1964, Manila Railroad Company ¬†(MRR) was renamed Philippine National Railways (PNR), and my father begun to work on said date. My father retired on October 1999.

Upon the retirement of my father, I was chosen to replace him as Train Driver. But due to my qualifications and training, I am overqualified for the position and catapulted to Station Agent or Station Supervisor. I am a graduate of Bachelor in Elementary Education (BEEd) and Bachelor in Secondary Education (BSEd), a Registered Professional Teacher. Before I entered the PNR, I had been a teacher for twelve years. Based on the records of GSIS, I will be retiring on 2037, after our family’s 104th year in the railway industry.

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