I’ve never been a fan of commuting. As someone who grew up in the province, it has taken me years to get used to the unforgiving Manila traffic, the heavy pollution, the stench of commuters’ sweat and the occasional stampede.
But commuting spikes into a new level of unbearable during rainy season. The heat I can stand (carry a folded fan!), but the moist, slippery horror that rain brings is a different story.
Imagine standing in Guadalupe station, waiting for a bus that will never come, shoes soaked in grimy floodwater and someone’s umbrella digging into the back of your skull. I can think of better days.
Unfortunately, summer has gone and doom is upon us. It is the season to take extra care and precaution when travelling from city to city. Here’s how to survive the rainy day commute:
Be Extra Careful When Walking on Slippery Surfaces
Nothing ruins your look like a nasty slide and a face-down plunk in public. More importantly, you can break something (read: hips, back, neck). If you’re taking the train or the bus, make sure to hold on to railings and to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground.
Hold On To Your Umbrella As if It’s a Lifeline
Number one rule during rainy season: never leave your umbrella at home and never lose it! The thing with Manila weather is that it can be sunny one minute and then be stormy the next. It never hurts to be sure.
Remember the weather warrior etiquette as well: shake off the rain before getting into jeepneys and buses, and be mindful of your fellow commuters, make sure your umbrella is not poking anyone in the face. Don’t be the rude commuter that people rant about on Facebook.
Avoid the Rush Hour
If it’s possible, leave work or school a little earlier or later than your usual schedule. Generally, 6-9 am and 4-7 pm are the ones to avoid. Wait for the rain to stop to avoid spending hours held up in traffic.
Bring an Extra Set of Clothes
Remember when our moms made us bring a baon of extra shirts to school whenever it rained? Turns out, moms are legends.You never know when you’ll get soaked on the way to school or work. Always be a step ahead by preparing an extra set of clothes and water-friendly footwear (i.e. slippers). You shouldn’t have to endure the gross, wet feeling and risk getting sick.
Always check Facebook or Twitter for any updates on weather conditions before commuting.If PAGASA recommends staying where you are: STAY. It’s often safer waiting out the rain than braving the streets. All things considered, your safety is still more important than that very important meeting or that overdue school project you’ve been working on.
Have any tips on how to live the commuter life? Share your thoughts below.
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When she's not writing, Tazeana spends her day YouTubing cat and dog videos and daydreaming about Jollibee fried chicken.