Every day, millions of Filipinos use public transport to get from point A to point B. In any city, public transport adds to the hustle and bustle of everyday life and gives color to it. But here in our very own Metro Manila, this is the most convenient way to ruin one’s day, may it be on the trains, buses, jeeps, or shuttles – you name it! Just ask the workers and students who consider this as part of their daily routine; they may be used to it, but they probably don’t enjoy it.
We present a list of the most annoying things you’ll encounter during public commute.
At the LRT 1, LRT 2, and MRT 3
- Blocking the doorway. When the train is packed, this is hard to avoid. This is especially annoying if you’re about to go down at your stop but then the people blocking your way won’t even move or go down for a while to let you pass. It’s like their feet are glued to the floor. If they do move, they move just a centimeter. Most of the time, you really have no choice but to push and shove your way out. Sometimes, profanities are said and wills are tested when the warning buzzer goes off.
- Boarding the train without letting the other passengers alight first. Let’s just call them the “super excited sumakay” or “di makapaghintay.” These are the people who barge into the train the moment the door opens. They don’t even care that they are bringing inconvenience to the other passengers. They just want to board the train, and that’s just what they’ll do. It’s even more annoying when they stand near the door and become the first people mentioned above. Double whammy.
- Moving too much. Obviously, a packed train is very uncomfortable. But excessive moving makes it worse, not just for the person doing it, but for the other passengers as well. Seriously, being “malikot” won’t make the train less packed. Some even add to the intensity by talking or “gabbing” too much with their companions and neither helps with the mixing of sweat and skin on a hot day.
- Trying too hard to hold on to the safety handrails. Yes, some passengers know that the word “safety” is there for a reason. However, considering the packed situation on the trains, it is not a good idea to insist on holding on to the handrails. If there’s a bunch of people between you and the handrails, don’t bother stretching far enough to reach it. You’ll not only inconvenience yourself, but the passengers you’re blocking as well. Besides, the train is probably so packed that there won’t be any space for you to fall on.
- Saving seats. This is usually applicable for the first or last stations of the trains. Some people would sit on the scarce seats and save them for their slow-moving friends (even more annoying when done on the shorter seats). It’s acceptable if their friends are right beside them on the way in, but if not, it is very annoying. You just wasted the effort of someone else who tried their best to get to those seats, only to find out that you “saved” them for your companions that aren’t as agile or quick as other passengers.
In buses and shuttles
- Unfazed passengers in aisle seats. Sometimes, a barrage of passengers just gets in the bus during unexpected times or rush hours. A passenger’s first instinct is to look for a seat that’s convenient and easy to locate, but the boarded passengers don’t give a single cent about that. Instead, the aisle seats are always occupied, making newly boarded passengers a target for eyes onboard and a potential victim of gravity and inertia.
- Bags on passenger seats. Some people put their bags on bus seats not to irritate, but for their own convenience. Of course, they paid for the seat, but the main purpose of public utility vehicles is to give convenience to citizens paying for transport. Maybe, in the future, stacks of boxes will be billed for fares as well.
- Sitting pretty. In some places, like in Buendia or in a terminal, seats on a shuttle are on a first come, first served basis. Of course, the seats near the door are destined for passengers who go off on a landmark located in the route. However, this “unspoken” rule is broken by passengers who do not want the hassle of going far inside the shuttle. Instead, they sit near the entrance to avoid handing out the fares to the driver. It’s a very common occurrence, one that isn’t necessarily bad, but is annoying to the majority of the passengers.
- Not moving slowly. The urgency of riding a jeepney is always exhilarating, for the rate of speed jeepney drivers use is always death-defying, especially in high-traffic areas like Manila, EDSA, or Makati. To the casual commuter, this is a good thing because the objective of using public transportation is to get to the destination as fast as possible. Unfortunately, gravity applies to jeepney rides, much like any other public utility vehicle, thereby subjecting passengers to an Inception-like thrust forward or sideways. Ergo, it seems that for PUV drivers, not moving slowly kind of means not getting fares.
- Not passing fares. As a jeepney passenger, it is common courtesy to pass the fare of your fellow passenger who is farther from the driver. Some people would “text” or pretend not to hear you just to avoid passing fare. Similarly, on empty jeepneys, some lazy people would wait for other passengers to pass their fare for them. You may have experienced sitting down before immediately hearing someone from behind you say, “bayad po,” when you haven’t even gathered your own fare yet.
- Squeezing to the middle. Unfortunately, another custom of other passengers is the tendency to squeeze the just-seated passenger because of the space inside the jeepney. To ride the jeepney is to disrupt the “order” of it, or so it would seem. Audacious passengers would scowl as you enter the jeepney and mark their territory with a sour face and a stoned expression. As a passenger who just entered, you have to immediately look for a seat lest you want to be thrown into the back. Like the annual Hunger Games, or the animal kingdom it may seem, if the quote is kill or be killed, the application here is be alert or be squeezed severely.
- Sitting with their legs wide open.This not-so-admirable move is also applicable on trains, buses, and shuttles. Mostly done by men, these people do not care for the space of other people. This movement is highly questionable and will challenge the patience of some because they hog the space which could have been another person’s space or could have let the person beside him sit comfortably.
- Waiting for other passengers too long.This may arguably be one of the most annoying things a jeepney driver does and what passengers tick off their “boiling point” list. They wait too long for passengers to fill up the jeep, and they sometimes hail passengers to ride on the vehicle for a faster “process.” Add the fact that they sometimes knock on the vehicle’s exterior to emphasize the need for passengers to “exhaust” every possible space, and you have just what a paying passenger needs: another pet peeve. Sometimes, this even doubles your travel time. Talk about not having regard for time (and people’s patience).
Alas, the journey to school and back again proves tedious for the unsuspecting Lasallian, and even, most Filipinos. The surprising thing is that while commuting could prove to be a very tedious and sometimes polarizing thing, it’s something that gives insights and helps people learn more about the quirks and tropes life likes to throw. (Plus, it teaches you to have patience. A LOT of patience.) Through the smog and smoke, hailing a bus or a jeepney can be frustrating, and you’ll even find yourself hurling profanities that you never thought would come out from you. At the end of the day, though, you’ll be proud of yourself for withstanding it all.