I have probably spent most of my adult life in the Metro for school and work that I deem myself learned in the Metro transport culture and lucky for having a flexible schedule. Aside from resigning myself from the needless stress by commuting either before sunrise or after the rush hour, I also occupy my travel time with the hobby of observing.
I’ve found out early that there’s more to hate than love about commuting in the Metro. Despite this, I tried to validate my observation by asking a few commuting friends about theirs.
Well, we have common hates – bad traffic, never-ending road works, packed PUVs, and not having much choice as to sit next to a person who occupies a space for two. No offense meant there.
And the things we like about Metro commute are cheap fares and…cheap fares. But I also got other interesting replies like having the opportunity to check out beautiful people and bearing commute woes with a special someone. Awww.
While not all of us have a special someone to make us forget that the air conditioning is dysfunctional or that we’re rubbing pelvises with three others on the van’s 3-seater, we find ways to ease our commute life in the Metro. In fact, some things are to love about it, in contrast to what we hate:
HATE: Faulty, substandard engines that stop in the middle of the trip (Hello, MRT!) and buses from the used vehicle yards of Japan and Korea brought to us to live for 5 more years.
LOVE: The diversity of public utility vehicles that makes the comfortable cab hardly a choice.
HATE: Rush Hour, Monday.
LOVE: Commuting on the airing of Pacquiao’s fight, plus not having to worry about snatchers. Too bad, it doesn’t happen a lot.
HATE: Being asked to move further inside the bus or being cramped with strangers whose odor tells you they had a long day and complaining about it because the conductor would retort with “eh mag-taxi na lang po kayo.”
LOVE: The movies! If you take the same route daily, you can finish a whole movie even if you don’t see the parts in proper sequence: starting at the middle, catching the beginning on another day, and getting a glimpse of the ending on the next bus ride.
HATE: People who are determined to hold on to their precious seats deliberately refuse to be aware of those who need them more.
LOVE: Women who understand that gender has nothing to do with giving up seats for senior citizens, pregnant women, and persons with disability.
HATE: Road accidents caused by reckless driving, a trait among many Filipino drivers.
LOVE: Though very few, drivers and conductors who display integrity in their profession bear respect for traffic rules, speed limit, traffic officers, and passengers.
Most commuters have become indifferent to these hateful facets of our transport culture while those who still try to protest either end up hearing from the wrong people or starting the day wrong. However, I think each of us is at liberty to call on reckless driving, report violations, or simply make our safety concerns known to drivers and authorities. After all, the size of commuting Filipinos is a force to reckon with.
So what do you love, hate, or really hate about commute in the Metro?
[Photo credit: Star Cinema + GTH]