If not all, most students will at some point, have to use the public transportation system in Manila. I personally experience the hassle of a Manila commute on a daily basis. The vehicles are not exactly the cream of the crop, and the task of commuting is not exactly a piece of cake. Here are 15 tips to make your daily commute a little less tricky.
1 Familiarize yourself with your destination.
Do a little research. Know the relative location and note down the landmarks. You can even try checking it out on Google Maps or Waze.
2 Give allowance to your travel time.
Traffic can be unpredictable. Leave earlier, especially during rush hour.
3 Wear shoes and clothes you're comfortable in.
When commuting, you are bound to walk a lot. Don't let your feet suffer and avoid having to hassle yourself later on.
4 As much as possible, bring a single bag.
Besides the fact that one bag is easier to bring along, it will also be less challenging for you to keep an eye on your belongings this way.
5 There is a 20% off student discount on jeepneys.
Not the biggest discount, but even a single peso can go a long way.
6 Always have change.
Avoid taking out bills of big denominations. Plus you get to save yourself (and the driver) the trouble of counting your change.
7 Don't leave valuables in your back pockets.
If possible, do not put valuables in your pockets at all. It will be easy for a pickpocket to get something from you in crowded places.
8 Don't text while walking!
When you are texting, your attention is focused on the screen and you become unaware of your surroundings.
9 Always have water.
With the heat in Manila, you have to frequently replenish. Instead of buying bottled water along the streets or in food stalls, bring a jug with you. This ensures the cleanliness of your water, and helps you save a few bucks.
10 Don't be absent-minded.
I understand, you are exhausted from school or from your all-nighter, but avoid staring into space or falling asleep in public transportation vehicles.
11 Don't let rage get the best of you.
The Hunger Games is what happens in LRT stations, jeepney and FX stops during rush hour. People fight to get into these vehicles. Keep your cool. This also another reason why #2 is important.
12 "Skip trains" exist.
When a train is packed with people, it becomes impossible for anyone at the train station to get on the train. To address this concern, some stations are skipped by the train to allow the people at the succeeding stations to get on the train.
13 Don't hesitate to ask for help when you're lost.
It's hard to keep guessing whether you're going in the right or wrong direction. Don't be scared to ask for help!
14 If possible, commute with a group.
Whether it's with your besties, classmates, or blockmates, it makes commuting more enjoyable and much safer.
15 Don't go to isolated places.
Avoid "sketchy" places. Always pass through places where people can see you, especially at night.
Stay safe and enjoy your commute around the Metro, Candy Girl!