EXPERIENCES · LIFE IN THE PHILIPPINES · LIFESTYLE · THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS · TIPS · TRAVEL

The Indestructable EDSA Commuter

Life is an Adventure.

Yeah, when you’re in EDSA, I doubt you’ll miss the challenges in life. Because that highway is the very manifestation of all danger you will ever encounter in the road.

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If you’re a commuter like me who rides over EDSA everyday, you know what I’m talking about. Car crashes, police checkpoints, thieves, authority bribery, flying buses off the sky ways, and every single bad luck you can experience when you commute. Just boarding on a cruising transport along EDSA highway is already a daily exercise for us, be it physically or mentally.

Here are the 7 proofs that you are a true Unbreakable EDSA Warrior:

1. You know the 13 MRT stations – It took me nearly a dozen of times riding the train just to remember the 13 MRT stations in correct order. I remember it was the days when all stations have free news paper stands beside every stairs, and O’Sullivan’s friends haven’t thought of bringing the Public Wi-Fi idea to the Philippines. And since we have that pact of not sharing the secret to true greatness, I will not tell you the 13 stations so that you’ll google it or see them for yourself.

2. You know your trademark – You know the logos of each establishment, you know the proper pronunciation of Pruegot, you know that it was called Blas F. Ople Building and not PEOA building, you know how many times ‘Shangri La Plaza’ changed their trademark, and you know how many SM malls are in standing beside EDSA.

3. You will avoid MRT Ayala Station on rush hour if you have the chance – You know the hellish experience of this particuar MRT station on 5 pm onward. After the first and hopefully the last time of getting lost in that labyrinth of a station, you will witness the real life “train to Busan” action as the desperate hundred commuters force their way inside the small train from a narrow platform. Believe me, you don’t wanna get off the train to Ayala station on that hour. And speaking of “rush hour”…

4. 7am and 5pm onward means trouble – If you’re riding the MRT, ‘Train to Busan’ experience. If you’re riding a bus or PUVs, it’s ‘300’. You can even imagine people yelling “SPARTAAA!” as they charge towards a bus that can only take two passengers.

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5. You have spare coins – You have spare coins ready to avoid bus tickets of returning the wrong amount of change. You stop the jeepney driver before asking “may barya ka?” because you throw the coins on his face like a flying shuriken (at least in your imagination). Coins are also for sneaky Badjaos climbing on-board and ask for a share. And lastly, because the tempting smell of freshly roasted nuts even if you don’t know where exactly they’re roasting them. Just sayin’.

6. You know the ‘Modus’ – You know every trick, every style, every distraction-strategy of a thief. They will do their best to rob or snatch your bag. And you immediately grab your pocket to make sure your phone is in there whenever you get off the bus. And you don’t trust the police for that.

7. Your bag defines you – There are materials that found in your bag but not all of them together. You have shoes glue ready to fix your shoe, pepper spray when you fight back, taser if you’re a bit sadist, ‘skyflakes’ because “baon sa bulsa, handa ang sikmura.”, and the vanishing umbrella because suddenly it wasn’t there when you need it most. Seriously, if a bus company sale all of the umbrellas left by the passengers, I bet they will get the equal boundary of one trip.

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8. No seat, no problem – Jeeps are always full on rush hours. So what we commuters do is to grab on those bars at the end of the jeepney’s roof and hang on tight. Literally. Ain’t no sun or rain can back us down. Besides if you haven’t tried it, you’re life in the Philippines will not be complete. Even girls on Nursing uniforms do it. Chivalry? Nah. We prefer the extreme!

9. The PNP logo – This is a good challenge for your friends. If you always ride in EDSA and have an observant eye, you probably noticed that one of Camp Crame’s wall logos facing EDSA highway is not embossed. For the challenge; What is the number of the wall with flat logo if you count all the logos starting from the camp’s EDSA gate going to Annapolis Avenue? Just ask for it.

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10. When in doubt, 123 your way out – We don’t want to use this last part but let’s admit it, sometimes we unconsciously or simply forgot to pay the fare. Consider that a blessing. Never do it on a daily basis.

Did you got all of these? I’m sure you do.

By: “Snow White”

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