The Ugly Truth of Commuting in Manila this Rainy Season
Pinoys commuting to work have to deal with the sluggish flow of traffic every day, sitting beside fellow commuters wet with sweat and enveloped with a not so happy aura.
Every day is a struggle, and when it rains you are still expected to report to work as if it is a normal day just like your boss. The difference is, your boss has a car.
The Reality of Commuting on Rainy Days
The Traffic in EDSA
As the famous hugot line says, “Traffic lang sa EDSA ang forever,” every day we witness the seemingly hopeless condition of the traffic in EDSA. Being the main road in Manila, it has been congested with buses, jeepneys, taxis, motorbikes and private vehicles.
Commuters have no choice but to accept the fact that they have to leave their homes early in the morning to get to work on time and be back home late at night due to rush hour.
They see less of their families on workdays and even lose the chance to have a comfortable sleep in their beds beside their loved ones just to join other commuters on the long winding lines in MRT and LRT stations.
MRT and LRT usually break down during mid-trips
It is not new when Facebook trends with news of passengers walking on tracks because an MRT train breaks down halfway to another station or LRT stations won’t accept passengers for a while due to technical problems.
These circumstances are not enough excuses when you get to work late and looking haggard as if your shift has just ended.
There are too many people for limited trains
Overcrowded trains may be a nuisance, yet since Filipinos want to get to work on time or as soon as possible, they will push the already sweaty crowd further into the train just to get in.
People may grumble, curse and even shout at each other due to getting hurt, but they are all in the same predicament, standing close with strangers and almost breathing each other’s breath.
Sometimes when a commuter complains loudly, others will say that complainants better get out and fetch a taxi, or better yet buy a car for convenience.
Roads easily get flooded
It is no secret that Manila’s drainage system isn’t world class. Streets easily get flooded, and this makes the traffic even worst. Commuters have to brave walking in floods just to get home despite the known dangers such as falling into open manholes, tripping on unseen objects underwater, getting feet fungal infection and acquiring leptospirosis.
It is difficult to catch a ride
Getting stranded is no fun if you are tired, wet, cold and hungry. Drivers of some public utility vehicles sometimes choose to just go home due to heavy traffic, resulting in less chance for passengers to get a ride.
Sometimes taxi drivers even ask for a higher fare, and if you live with a tight budget expect to get home way past midnight.
Despite the worse weather, you are expected to look your best at work. If you have a car you can avoid the crowd. You can even keep some of your clothes hanged at the backseat and just change when you get at the office. You can also keep extra shoes and clothes in the trunk.
Since the main problem for commuters is the traffic, a car owner can simply avoid most of it by taking alternate routes. More time can be spent at home since there is no rush to get in line just to catch a train. You can also avoid flooded areas along the way.
You can stop by any fast food place or restaurants if you get hungry. If you are in a rush, you can just buy through drive-thrus. You can also go to other places that are out of the public vehicle’s way.
When commuting, you have to take care of your belongings, and if you have a big luggage or a couple of bags, these will add up to your inconvenience since you have to keep an eye on it. You can avoid possible pickpockets and holdapers.
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