koko & everything else

koko & everything else

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Daily Commuter: It's a Jungle Out There

From now on, I have higher respect for the daily commuters.

For a few days, exactly three days, I have been riding the bus, the train, the local jeeps and even the tricycles to get from one place to another. It was really a great experience, something that totally made me respect the daily commuters and praise them as if they’re gods and made me realize how messed up the local commuter system.

For one, the signs are confusing. It’s pretty f**ked up and my girlfriend literally had to drag me towards another direction coz I was heading towards the exit stairs of the MRT instead of getting in and going taft bound. Although, yes, I am generally dumb at directions and anything geographical, but I did rode the subways of Osaka when I was a kid, and to tell the truth, the signs there were pretty much understandable even for a child.

Another observation I noticed was inside the actual MRT cart (I dunno what it’s called but let’s just say it’s a cart). We rode the MRT from EDSA TAFT station to CUBAO. And since it wasn’t rush hour or anything, we had the privilege to sit down. And as the train passed by one station after another, it got pretty crowded on the way. Some people had to stand while others try to squeeze their butts in the long seats.

Although, there are actually separate areas for women, elderly, PWD (people with disability) and pregnant women, we decided to ride in the unisex carts. It was fine, generally but what I noticed was these guys who were standing literally faced their crotches in front of my face (I was sitting, so you imagine it). Why on earth do they think it’s the most convenient and comfortable way to do that?

But since I wasn’t really familiar with the ways of the train, I did not do anything about it since most guys were on the same position as the guy in front of me. So I thought I was overreacting and just let it pass. But then, when some of the women eventually got off and some guys took their seats, the standing guys (currently facing the people who were seated) shifted and turned.
I don’t know about you guys, but why is it that a minute ago, the standing guys found it convenient to splatter their crotch images in front of the women as if it’s some kind of on-train entertainment and suddenly makes the position inconvenient when it’s a guy that’s in front of them? Don’t they think it’s a lot inconvenient and awkward when it’s a woman you’re standing in front of?

Then there goes the loading and unloading system. Why is it that wherever there is a “NO UNLOADING/LOADING “ sign, more people flock in it and more jeeps drop by and actually take in passengers. For me, who really doesn’t take the public transport much, had to walk to the “LOADING” area, only to find out that no jeep/bus really stops there. So I had to walk a few blocks again to get to the “NO LOADING/UNLOADING” area to get a ride.

Then there goes the overpass and crossing lanes. There were fences and signs all over, including the “HUWAG TATAWID, NAKAMAMATAY” (DO NOT CROSS, IT’S FATAL-decided to use the term fatal since it literally meant that way anyway), but when I asked an actual security guard to the nearest crossing lane or overpass, he pointed me that way. I swear I didn’t look suicidal but it appears to me that way coz he really pointed me that way… and it clearly stated… NAKAMAMATAY (fatal).

Then there goes the queue. WTF!!!! First, the lines were so long, even with the exact fare lanes. Then people are getting animalistic! I was shoved, pushed and pulled for those three days. I don’t know about you…. But I feel harassed and maltreated for the past days. And it took so much of the energy I had for the day for the commuting part rather than from the actual activity I intended to do. At one point, I got suffocated too. Not just from the heat and vehicular pollution I got exposed with, but also with the fact that the guy beside me smelled awful, just like a rotten fish or something, I AM NOT BEING MAARTE AND I AM NOT KIDDING! He did smell as such and he was so sticky. Our elbows and arms couldn’t help but rub with each other as the vehicle stopped and moved over and over. I wanted to cry!

I mean, WTF! As a citizen, I have the right to have ample space for breathing…. And as a citizen, iot is his obligation to not cause harm to another human being. I am not judging him… I am judging his scent-for-the-day. I mean, who else here carries a ROTTEN FISH INSPIRED PERFUME? NONE! I hope!

So as the third day unfolds and I am about to take the last ride home, all I can say is that IT’S A JUNGLE OUT THERE… and it is not at all funny. I may sound harsh and people might misjudge my intention, but my real intention upon writing this blog is for the improvement of the commuter’s daily situation. I feel so bad that people actually had to go through it… it is almost inhumane. I mean, the deals of life can be tiring enough, but it gets worse when people had to take public transport. It almost felt like it’s better to walk…. Let us not forget why there are public transport… to make the journey from one place to another generally quicker and more convenient, but with the local commuter situation…. It’s not at all QUICK and definitely not CONVENIENT in any way.


  1. ahhh, i'm reminiscing my manila days with all the train and crazy PUV drivers. i've gotten used to it and didn't feel so bad after 6 months stay. but i'm sure glad to be back in my hometown where there are no trains...

    anyway, i don't eat eggplant, too. =)

    1. i really don't understand people who eats eggplants...

      the commuter life here's crazy... but it's something really "manila-ish", something you'll miss every now and then...