Traffic Hell

I don’t know why some people objected but traffic alone, in itself, is hell on Metro Manila. We learned to live on cities when driving/commuting is at a speed of 10kph during rush hours.

I hope the people of authority (LGU, MMDA, DPWH) know that Ortigas Avenue Extension is a hell of a road for thousands of people who are forced to go through every single day. One can really not commute there without being armed with tons of patience and a great positive disposition in life. I can say the same thing for Amang Rodriguez road utilized by people from Marikina, Antipolo, Santolan and Manggahan to reach Ortigas Extension.

Good thing I’m only renting an apartment in Manggahan. That means I have a choice to relocate when I can , want and need to. Either I find an apartment between EDSA Mandaluyong and EDSA Makati area or I commute everyday straight from Bulacan. That would just mean longer traveling hours but at least I am sure I have an FX to ride to if I just fall in line at the terminal before 6AM and an MRT ride if I just again fall in a long line at MRT North EDSA Station in order to fight for my right to ride an MRT.

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With Ortigas Extension, it is a different story. You cannot just manage your time by just waiting for a jeepney or bus at an early time. You have to be strategic too on where to wait for a bus. I normally walk from the corner or Rosario (Ortigas Extn and Amang Rodriguez) to Jennys (after the floodway bridge) just to be able to stand on the aisle of German Espiritu busses or during better days, grab a seat. If I would wait for buses to ride on Rosario, it will take me more than an hour in vain.
I really wish the concerned authorities know how hard it is for the country’s woking force to commute every morning and every night. So they can do something about it.

There are times my tactic of walking around 400 meters through floodway bridge does not score me a seat on a bus. I’m still forced to stand up and gain balance from the door of the bus blocking the driver’s right rear view mirror. Still, it’s better than waiting for nothing at the corner of Amang Rodiriguez and Ortigas Ave. Extn. In this corner, also, buses usually spend 5 minutes or more waiting for their turn to pass at this “triple junction”.

Bus drivers also have this habit of forcing passengers to unload earlier which is more than a few meters than their destinations so they can load more passengers. Sometimes, they cannot, according to them, unload passengers at bus stops because it’s prohibited but they can definitely pick up passengers from those points! Sigh.

Just last night, the ordinary bus I was riding from EDSA-Shaw waited for the stop lights at Crossing to flash stop-and-go for three rounds before finally deciding to drive again. That, he annoyingly did to take in more passengers. I wanted to scream, “kuya, ‘pag nawala ang trapik dahil disiplinado mga drivers, aasenso din po kayo.” I try to understand their plight – earning less than the minimum wage(getting meal allowances only) and relying the rest of livelihood to their commission or net income less boundary. But we just all have to be fair. Live and let live.

Around 80% of city buses are filthy, based on my experience. I  don’t want to sound bratty but public sanitation is public health and public safety. It should not be one trade-off for public transportation. We’ll really be sharing breath on confined air-conditioned buses and be holding on rails touched by hundreds of other commuter per day, that is a given. But maybe we should not see dirt and mud (probably from last week’s storm), insect larvae and sometimes worm on the insides and exterior of bus windows.

A recent experience of mine riding an ordinary bus includes a woman constantly sniffing snot on my left seat. At my immediate right is an old man spitting on the bus floor then blending his saliva on the floor with his slippers to dry. It could have been illegal in other cities and yet it is normal in Manila. The worst part is, those people may never know their acts are harmful-and disgusting.

Don’t the people f authority really know about these? People at “Jenny’s” are literally running after jeepneys in their corporate attires every morning. Every. Morning. No one from them ever noticed? No one thought of doing something? The only choice I had is to relocate apartment because waiting for traffic to be solved is tantamount to waiting for a miracle that may not come.

But who knows? I hope they know.

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