I used to drive my SUV every day to work in Makati. Even when I had coverages around Metro Manila, I’d bring the car to avoid riding a cab and being ripped off by taxi drivers. That’s my pet peeve.
For the past several months now, I hardly bring my car because, like everybody else, I don’t want to get stuck on the road, especially on Edsa, where heavy traffic is the norm.
If you look at it in a positive light, though, it tests your patience, and it’s therefore beneficial on a spiritual level.
Otherwise it’s a total waste of time, energy and money.
I live in a condominium fronting Edsa in Quezon City. I see how traffic builds up from morning rush hour till noon to afternoon rush hour till midnight.
It’s sort of my gauge of the traffic situation, and somehow gives me the advantage because at least I am prepared emotionally to plunge into Metro Manila commute head-on.
On my days off, it makes me feel so much better to not be out there, stuck in a barely moving Uber or Grab or, even worse, catching an MRT ride.
Now when I take Grab or Uber, I go for what is cheaper at the time of booking. From my place, Waze takes us away from Edsa and goes all the way to Tomas Morato then New Manila to N. Domingo, New Panaderos to Chino Roces Avenue. I think it’s a longer route compared to Edsa, but taking inner roads cuts at least 30-45 minutes off my commute time. That’s too much precious time wasted.
Before, Mondays and Fridays were the worst days to travel in Metro Manila. Nowadays, every day is the worst day. Yes, even Sundays. We once got stuck on the way to the airport at 5 a.m. on a Sunday. Right there, on the Kamias flyover.
The stretch of Edsa from West Avenue to Cubao has always been the choke point, because traffic rules don’t seem to exist there. Aside from the provincial bus terminals on Edsa, traffic enforcers allow loading and unloading just anywhere, clogging a lane or two of the road. In my opinion, buses are the culprit for the gridlock we suffer every day.
If I’m really in a hurry to go to work, I take the quickest form of transportation—the MRT (Manila Metro Rail Transit). I get off on Ayala Avenue Station and take Grab or Uber from SM Makati to Inquirer. Taking the MRT has also become an everyday battle for Filipinos. But, that’s another story to tell.
That way, I enjoy my freedom from driving, I don’t worry about parking, and I keep my sanity.