It’s no surprise to anyone who’s lived, or even stepped foot in Manila: there is traffic everywhere. While there’s always an opportunity to look on the bright side and make the most of your situation, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do anything about the traffic in this country. I asked my viewers and followers to share their commute stories, and while I was glad to hear some people having good commute days, it was troubling to see how difficult daily life becomes for many Filipinos just because of the traffic.

Here are some of their experiences. Have you experienced the same?

According to Haze Manuel (@hazellemanuel on Twitter), a commute that should only take around 20-30 minutes can turn into a 3-hour traffic jam. Her two commute options become “HELL WAYS because super traffic!!! Umiyak ka na sa byahe but then di ka padin dumadating.” Haze speculates that what causes the traffic jams are constructions for the LRT and the fact that the major roads of EDSA and C5 converge in her commute route in Rosario. She says that methods to alleviate the congestion like number coding schemes did not help and may have even caused more traffic jams.

She goes on to say,

There are more safer and more convenient options now that weren’t there before, such as ride-hailing apps or Point 2 Point bus services. But these options can be more expensive and not accessible to the general public. Goes to show that there’s still a lot to improve on regarding transportation in general here in the Philippines.

What harm does traffic cause? Probably more than you think. Getting stuck in traffic has many negative effects. Not only does it make you late for work or school, but according to a study conducted in 2012 by the Washington University in St. Louis, it may cause chronic stress and thus reduce your productivity and increase risks for developing illnesses. The stop-and-go movements of traffic jams also burn fuel at a higher rate than continuous driving does, which means traffic eats away at your wallet too.

So, what are your other options? I, along with Nico, Arnold, and Bret, decided to test the alternatives to driving along EDSA during rush hour. From Makati to Megamall, we try out biking, running (!!), taking the bus, and taking the MRT. Who gets there first? Watch the video below and find out!

 

Erwan Heussaff
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