Commuter Diaries: I am a Warrior Princess
by Pearl Bacasmas, January 07, 2019 11:34am
I am a commuter warrior princess—my daily mantra when I step out of the house and make my way to work.
With the rising traffic congestion and the construction of the MRT 7, traffic in Metro Manila became less tolerable over the years for a fragile millennial like me. I live in Fa(i)rview btw, and I often spend at least six hours on the road. On most days, I shuffle from snake-like shuttle lines and cramped MRT carts. On a good day I spend at least two hours on the road, add that to my eight-hour work schedule, at the end of the day I am physically and mentally drained.
On bad days or desperate days when the MRT breaks down, it takes little of me not to break down, too. I count myself lucky because unlike other commuters I enjoy commuting. I do, however, suffer from getting ‘pancake butt’ from hours of sitting inside a bus slowly coursing through EDSA—that is if I’m even lucky enough to get a seat.
I consider my commute my extra ‘me time’ despite being surrounded by a crowd of cranky workers, who like myself are trying their best to survive their commute. There’s a certain meditating charm in canceling out the noise of the city and concentrating on my thoughts. Plus, I enjoy the sense of adventure that comes with it.
Commuting taught me to be independent, to always extend kindness, and to be socially responsible for my actions—to practice proper public transport etiquette most of all. I learned to dress comfortably and to be practical. My vigilance is at its highest during, but also it taught me how to trust in the humanity of the people around me. I get to glimpse strangers lives, overhear their conversations, and be part of their day even for a fleeting moment.
Commuting can still suck for sure. It adds unnecessary stress that can cause a lot of anxiety and burnout. But as difficult as it is, it’s part of our everyday lives. Delays and traffic became a norm in city living, most especially here in Manila. It’s a force a commuter like me can’t control. So I choose to see things in a different light, like our recently crowned Miss Universe Catriona Gray said, to always seek the silver lining.
The commute can tire and deplete me mentally and physically, but I chose not to let it affect me because I am a commuter warrior princess, it's a battle cry, survival of the fittest—literally.