The Thieves of EDSA, Myself and Tips for Safe Travelling in Manila

This is EDSA. Nope. this is not the place were my phone was stolen. I don't have a photo of the area.

It was Saturday morning, 7th of May 2011, at Manila’s busiest thoroughfare, EDSA. Southbound lane at the loading and unloading area just across our office at EDSA Central. It was one heck of a humid morning. My office-mates/colleagues have already alighted a Ayala Ibabaw-bound bus. I am waiting for my bus bound for Dasmarinas, Cavite. I have kept away my important belongings in my bag: wallet, my cellphone, and my ID. My headphone was inside my shirt. I do this everytime I’m on that area-just for safety. For numerous times my important belongings have been stolen, I need to be vigilant. Yet the following unfortunate scenario happened… Continue reading The Thieves of EDSA, Myself and Tips for Safe Travelling in Manila

Tranquil Talisay, Divisoriang Tagaytay!

Binintiang Malaki -- Taal Volcano's most photographed cone/crater

It was Christmas Day, well a lot of urban-dwellers of Manila and its suburbs like to spend some time with the company of family and friends. My family though decided that we go to Tagaytay and pass by Pink Sisters then head on to one of the last “shack cottages” overlooking Taal Volcano and Batangas Province. It was cold and was drizzling when we went there. Tagaytay as expected would be crowded on a long weekend, but we never expected such mass exodus that would unfold later that day. Continue reading Tranquil Talisay, Divisoriang Tagaytay!

When Manila Commuting Turned Upside Down

It’s currently my first week at my new job. After a year, I’m back at graveyard shift. Yup, I’m back where Edward Cullen and his family take on a rampage to the innocent bystanders. Oops! Not for the green minded! My daytime IS night time. 11 PM to 8 AM!

Although the feeling of nausea and sleepiness is part of this schedule, I am however, blessed by this fact: Going to work is as easy as 45 minutes or even less! Yes, people of the republic-no longer I am subject to the tenacious and seemingly endless cycle of Buhos system of Cavite! No standing at the bus, kissing the doors, being harassed by the bus conductor or by manyaks, and most of all-goodbye sardinas sa bus!
Continue reading When Manila Commuting Turned Upside Down

The Fiasco at Baclaran: Commuter’s Misery with MMDA Dispatch

Roxas Boulevard near Baclaran

PARANAQUE CITY, PHILIPPINES — Today is Baclaran Day, or the day when the devotees of Our Lady of Perpetual Help converge at Baclaran Church in Parañaque City, one of Metro Manila’s busiest and most congested districts. As expected, early morning will be the start of the traffic jam that normally occurs every Wednesdays. But this Wednesday, August 4, was no longer ordinary for me. MMDA failed big time! It failed the commuters way big time!

At around 6:10 AM, our bus from Cavite, bound for EDSA, entered Baclaran’s bus stop for the usual dispatch. They have a new chairman, a former mayor of Tagaytay City. So like always whenever there’s a new king to lead his men, they implement the traffic rules strictly. So those who disobeyed are instantly reprimanded or apprehended. Just to play it safe, the driver of the bus entered the dispatch bus stop area at Baclaran, rather than risking to pay P1,000 fine…from that time on…it was ‘haynakupo!’ for most of the passengers. It’s Baclaran Day, obviously you’re entering the eye of the storm! Continue reading The Fiasco at Baclaran: Commuter’s Misery with MMDA Dispatch

How Does It Feel Like Being a Caviteño Commuter?

Waiting Commuters at Talaba, Bacoor, Cavite -- ang tagal dyan kahit bukana na ng Maynila!

The first is, have you tried combat commuting? I think if you live in Manila, it is essential to know combat commuting. Its a war waged every single weekday in the Philippine capital. The climax of the war at Hell’s Gate? Rush hour madness. Everyday, people try to cram themselves in buses, jeepneys and metros. Well, asi es la vida en Manila! Can’t deal with it? Might as well leave for the provincias.

Now, for a Cavite resident like me, traveling from home to work is a fact of life. Manila has become crowded and the urban expansion reached the doorsteps of its neighboring provinces, one of which is Cavite. There may be 12 million residents in Metro Manila but including the Greater Manila Area (encompassing Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Bulacan), we may even be comparable with the population of that of Mexico City, Tokyo or Mumbai! Cavite has the largest share of GMA residents-3 million people, tw0-thirds of it lives in towns near Metro Manila and along Aguinaldo Highway-the sole main artery of the province. Three million, the most populous province in the country-and with real estate blooming like lumot in the pond, its like a heart chocked with cholesterol! After all, Cavite IS a bedroom of Metro Manila.

Continue reading How Does It Feel Like Being a Caviteño Commuter?

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