The Diary of an MRT Commuter
by Anne Marielle Eugenio, November 09, 2018 3:36pm
Art by Rejoice Celadina
Everyone has their own share of traffic drama, especially when you’re in Metro Manila. From crowded minor streets, jammed expressways, to train woes, I’m sure we could all find something to relate to. Take it from me. I’ve been commuting from a province in the North (specifically in Bulacan) to Manila almost everyday. I spend a minimum of two hours and about 150Php in commuting per day.
I follow this routine: wake up at 4:30 a.m., beat the traffic, be at work on or before 8:00 a.m. It takes me three public rides and a five-minute walk before I can get to the office. It’s hard to keep the routine on track when there are always unexpected factors. In my case, the MRT.
Monday - Oh, the rush.
Monday equals the most dreaded day of the week. I hate to be the one who rants but seriously, traffic is ten times worse than your usual morning rush. The MRT's even worse. This morning, I was at the Quezon Avenue station at 6:15 a.m, and got on board the train at 7:17 a.m. But I think it's a *little* unfair for anyone to wait in line for more than an hour, don't you think? I wasn’t late.
Tuesday - Somebody said "Hallelujah Jesus" on the train today.
There's this nice lady that was dragged by the crowd of people trying to get inside the train. There was almost no space to breathe and she just uttered "Hallelujah, Jesus" as she was being squeezed. I guess when you could hardly breathe, you'll resort on calling the higher power. I was late.
Wednesday - A Miracle!
I woke up late, but only took me about 20 minutes before I got on board the train. Should I call it a fortunate twist of fate? I should’ve been late, but I wasn’t.
Thursday - Just Go Home.
I am always the one who tries, but when it is 7:30 a.m. and the MRT lines are not moving, and a “technical problem” is announced, I call it quits. I'd probably arrive at the office by lunchtime. By that time, I’ll probably be tired and unproductive. The universe was telling me, “Go home.” And so I did. I’d be extremely late so I did not come in to work.
Friday - Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now
No matter how I dislike being on the MRT every Friday at 5:00 p.m., I still can’t deny that it is the fastest way for me to get home and obviously, I’m more than ready for the weekend. So, I ignore the heat, the loud complains of my co-commuters, and being squeezed between people as sweaty as I am. I really don’t care anymore.
Others say why don’t I just take the bus? Well, the MRT’s kind of what I’m already used to. I feel comfortable and safe riding it towards home than other modes of transportation. Commuting is already bad enough here in this city, might as well we choose our own battles.
Weeks are either harsher or kinder than this one. Regardless, it is always up to me if I would let traffic woes get the best of my days. If I make it out of the MRT alive, I can make it anywhere.
Since there’s nothing we can do much about the EDSA transport system, maybe we should just take the time to put in our earphones, play good music, and reflect on the good things. In this country that is divided by status, beliefs, and political principles, at least we all get to agree on one thing--that commuting situations suck.
It’s just a bad commute, not a bad life.
Survived this day’s morning rush hour? Here’s a high five!