When we talk about travelling, we usually think thrilling adventures, fascinating sights, and fresh experiences. But travelling doesn’t always mean fun, especially when you define it as going from place to place. Folks, as you may already know: commuting is not so fun in the Philippines. To prove this, we asked Pinoys to share with us some of their worst commuting experiences. Sad to say, the commute scene in the country is indeed a real-life horror story most of us have to live with every day.
1. Lights, camera, action!
“I was on my way to SM North Edsa. Because of the heavy traffic at Veterans, the jeep I was riding stopped. Because I had an article due soon, I was using my phone. Then, a kid snatched my phone out of my hands. I ran after him, and snatched my phone right back. We had a short tug-of-war, and right before I was about to kick him in the groin, he ran away. I got my phone back and rushed to the jeep that hardly moved. When I got back in, the passengers were clapping as if they had just seen a scene out of an action film. I never rode a jeep to SM again.”
2. Bato bato sa langit, matamaan huwag magalit
“Around 10pm noon, pagdaan ng jeep namin sa Luzon area, may bumato samin na batang hamog. Actually, nakita ko na siyang papalapit, as in lumapit pa siya sa lane namin. Nasa second lane ata kami noon and binato kami ng hindi ko na alam kung ano ang pinambato niya samin ng boyfriend ko. Buti nakasalamin boyfriend ko that time at doon tumama yung ibinato samin, kundi sa mata talaga siya tatamaan. Sa tabi kasi ng driver kami nakaupo that time. Sobrang bilis ng pangyayari that I just froze on my seat.”
3. Cat woman aboard
“Nakatigil ang jeep namin sa North Ave. May babaeng pumasok sa jeep at namigay ng sobre. Pagkakuha niya ng sobre sa lap ko, bigla niya akong kinalmot at bumaba na parang walang nangyare. Leaving me all shookt and scared at the same time.”
4. Swiper, no swiping!
“Galing akong SM North that time, pauwi na ako and nasa North Ave yung jeep na sinasakyan ko. Habang umaandar, napansin ko yung group of street kids na nakamasid sa jeep namin. Medyo naging alert ako noon, then tama nga ako, pumunta sila sa jeep namin then from the window, hinaltak ng isa sa kanila ang necklace ko. Sinubukan kong hawakan yung necklace ko pero mas mabilis yung kamay niya so nakuha niya yung necklace ko.”
5. Open Coca-Cola, open happiness?
“One of the traumatizing things that happened to me is noong papunta ako ng Banawe sa Quezon Ave. Nakahinto ang mga sasakyan kasi stoplight, may group of street kids ang pumunta sa jeep namin and harrassed some passengers. Yung isa sa kanila eh tinatry pang kunin mula sa bintana yung hikaw noong babae sa harapan ko. Shookt talaga as in shooketh is me! Yung driver walang ginawa. Puro babae kasi kami sa jeep that time and hindi man lang kami pinagtanggol ni manong driver. Then bago bumaba yung mga street kids sa jeep, sinabuyan muna nila kami ng coke.”
6. Bye, earrings
“Bago ako matutong magcommute, winarn na ako ng mom ko na wag magsusuot ng alahas masyado. One time, nagpunta akong Divisoria. From there, I took a jeep to Quiapo. Meron kaming kasamang lola na naka-gold earrings. Maya-maya, biglang sumigaw yung lola. From outside the window, may dumukot ng earring niya from her ears. I realised then na buti na lang nakinig ako sa mom ko.”
7. Si Antonio at ang mga pasahero
“Medyo nakakatawa, pero that time nakakatakot. May pumasok na flying ipis sa jeep namin, tapos naging chaotic yung jeep. Muntik na talaga akong bumaba noon, wala na akong pakialam kung masayang yung pamasahe ko.”
“Nasa FX ako. Nakaupo ako sa likod. Yung katabi ko may dalang laptop na nakasling sa shoulder niya. Nagstop yung FX sa isang part ng Taft, tapos biglang nagopen yung door. Tinignan namin, tapos walang taong pumasok kaya medyo natakot na kami. Out of nowhere, may lumabas na kid. Nakatago pala siya sa ilalim ng seat, tapos kinukuha niya yung laptop. Hindi niya alam na nakasling pala sa may-ari. Kinuha noong may-ari yung laptop tapos pinukpok niya sa ulo ng bata.”
9. Shoo! Get out!
“I rode an FX. Its aircon was not very cold. I had to fan myself to help beat the heat. After a while, the driver slowed down to stop and asked me to get off saying he won’t be able to get additional passengers because they will avoid his van if they see me fanning.”
10. Keep the doors locked at all times
“My friend was seated in front of an FX. He was busy with his phone. At a stoplight area, a guy suddenly opened the unlocked door and snatched his phone.”
11. Sexual predators aboard
“One time nag-standing ako, last year noong medyo nagsstart pa lang ako magbiyahe. Sobrang siksikan akala ko parang may paper bag/kahon lang na tumatama sa pwet ko tapos noong medyo nilingon ko na kasi parang sumisiksik talaga sa crack ng pwet ko! Ayun, kamay pala. Nakadress pa ako noon. Eh sa sobrang siksikan and pagod parang di narin ako nakareact kasi natakot na ako tapos parang walang pakealaman mga tao sa sobrang hirap na nga noong sitwasyon. Never na ako nagstanding ulit pero naging alert na ako ngayon. Kahit pag nakaupo ako tinitignan ko yung mga ateng nakatayo kung okay lang ba sila or what. Nagsisisi talaga ako na wala akong nagawa that time.”
12. Knives are for cooking!
“I was seated in front of a bus. A few people hopped inside. After a while, one guy brought out a knife and threatened another person. Thank God the bus conductor was able to pacify him and lead him to get off leaving no one harmed. We found out he was a little drunk.”
13. Swiper, no swiping (part 2)
“In a bus, I was seated in the middle. When the bus stopped at a red light, a guy hurried to get off snatching the cellphone being used by a lady seated at the front row. There was nothing the lady could do because the snatcher sped off toward the side streets.”
13. Ever so late
“I hate being late. May event ako ng 5pm sa Maginhawa, tapos galing ako ng Cubao ng 3pm. Akala ko okay na yung travel time ko. Sumakay ako ng jeep papuntang Ever, kasi akala ko to Ever Commonwealth yun. Tapos, Ever Rosario pala yon! I ended up being on the road for five hours kasi nagkaligaw ligaw na ako riding random buses. Finally, nakakita na ako ng bus pauwi so gusto ko na sumakay doon whatever it takes. Hinabol ko na yung bus, kahit one arm and one leg ko lang yung nakapasok. Kalahati ng katawan ko nasa labas, pero at least nakauwi na ako.”
14. Health hazardous heat
“One hot day, I was riding the MRT from North Edsa to Taft. As usual, the aircon wasn’t enough to cool the train as there were too many people inside. Suddenly, a young girl collapsed. Luckily, there was a nurse to help out and the passengers were all concerned. Someone handed over a bottle of water, another a fan, and someone else gave White Flower oil for her to smell. We gave her space to breathe, and she finally responded after a while.”
15. Mas siksik pa sa sardinas
“Friday yun, tapos magsspend dapat ako ng weekend sa bahay ng boyfriend ko sa Quezon City. Pagod na pagod ako noon but pumayag ako. So around 9.30pm, nagdecide kami bumyahe. I said mag-MRT nalang pero since sa Philcoa kami papunta, bus nalang daw. Nakakainis yung sasabihin sayo na ‘maluwag, makakasakay’ sa loob pero wala naman na palang bakante. Yun yung worst commute ever ko. Sobrang daming tao, siksikan tapos normally I assumed na back-to-back lang pag nakatayo pero yun tatlo kaming back to back tapos imagine ganoon sa buong aisle. Halo-halo yung amoy ng tao tapos it was so crowded na I had to carry my bag above my head kasi di na kasya sa gilid ko. Very horrific talaga. Tapos sa sobrang daming tao eh bandang dulo kami, di kami umabot bumaba sa Philcoa. Lumagpas kami tapos sabi pa samin, ‘Bakit di kasi kayo lumapit, kanina pa nagtatawag,’ eh di nga magalaw yung katawan ko eh. Sobrang lala talaga nun, umiyak ako after the entire thing at nag away kami ng boyfriend ko kasi inaway ko siya. First time ko naexperience yun, walang ganoon sa probinsya.”
Also read: 10 Hugot Lines for Your Commuting Feels
As Pinoys, we may celebrate our character of resilience with pride and honour. But still, there’s no argument in saying that we definitely deserve better public transportation than this. What’s your worst commute experience?