I haven’t commuted on a Sunday since July 11, 2010 when Jason and I were practicing how to commute for work. I’m not a big fan of it for the following reasons:
1. They’re so unpredictable. There is absolutely no set time for the trains to come and go. I’ve had moments where I’ve been waiting for 30 minutes even. To make matters worse, the Katipunan station is incredibly hot since it’s underground and the operators have never heard of air or proper air-conditioning.
2. I’m severely enochlophobic. I don’t like crowds and I don’t like touching other people either. If a fellow commuter sneezes, I try to hold my breath for as long as I can just so I wouldn’t catch a cold.
3. I am haunted by paranoia that I’m going to get robbed. I’ve heard countless of stories from people I actually know (not just victims on TV) about getting robbed while on a crowded train, I don’t want that to happen to me.
Back when I was a freshman fresh out of the province, I loved commuting. It was such a novelty that I didn’t mind doing the literal legwork like standing in line, running to the coming training, standing inside the train. But summer came, I encountered the worst two words in a commuter’s dictionary–RUSH HOUR. People pushed, people shoved. People sneezed, people coughed. People simply don’t care that they are in the presence of other people. Their only thoughts? Going home in the shortest, easiest, most convenient way possible. Since that summer, I dreaded the trains, especially the MRT. But It didn’t even really matter, I barely knew how to go anywhere anyway.
Today though I had no choice. When I learned that the car would be unavailable today, I was flipping a coin to see if I’d take a cab or if I’d take the trike, LRT, MRT and two jeep rides to work. A pure bum ass compelled me to take the former but a lack of taxis willing to go to Makati forced me back to the cheap but tiring method.
But it wasn’t as terrible as I remembered, but again, maybe because it was a Sunday, a relatively slow day everywhere. I got a little lost in the LRT station just because there were no ticket dispensers for bills and the ticket booth person didn’t serve people in my stop, but everything went well after that. While I had to endure standing up for five minutes from Katipunan to Cubao, the MRT was roomy enough for me to sit during the 30-minute (or so) trip to Buendia. And, as good luck would have it, there were no senior citizens in all five stops in between, guaranteeing my lovely, semi-comfortable seat.
Not only did I have the most comfortable train trip ever in my entire five years here, I also saved so much money. Cab rides to Makati cost around 150 to 200 pesos and all in all, I just spent a little under 60 pesos–practically a third of that amount.
An old teacher told us that the country needs to start investing more on these trains–they’re cheap, relatively convenient and they’re not as harmful to the environment. But I think it’ll only succeed if people learn to be courteous enough and respect other people’s personal spaces and belongings. 😀