5 Reasons Why I Like Commuting
Photo by Art Oca
In Manila, commuting is one of the most dreadful things ever. With traffic everywhere, we regard commuting as a total waste of time and energy. Technically, commuting refers to traveling from one place to another on a regular basis. Therefore, using private cars is also considered as commuting. However, in this context, I will use it in the context more commonly used by Filipinos, which is commuting with the use of public transportation.
If given the choice, most of us would definitely prefer to own cars. However, the case is that most of us are often stuck with commuting and there’s nothing we can do about it. Whining and hating won’t make things better. As such, looking on the bright side might help ease your frustration a bit. As outlandish as this might sound, here are some reasons why I sometimes like commuting:
5 Reasons Why I Like Commuting
5. You get to save money.
Yes, most of the time, cash is the reason why we don’t opt for private cars. When you’re working and know how hard it is to earn money, you might not be willing to shell out a big portion of your paycheck for gas. This doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have a lot of money. It might just mean that you’re saving it for something more important, like an investment or your family.
4. There will be less pollution.
This is one of the best motivations. You get to tell yourself that you’re contributing to the environment. Yes, PUVs are common smoke belchers; but compared to a 1:1 person to car ratio, it can still save on the world’s carbon footprint.
3. Home Sweet Home
This is when your most viable other option is moving into a condo near your office. Though with limited time due to a lot of it wasted while travelling, you will at least still get to see your family everyday. If you’re lucky, you could even be complete at the dining table during breakfast or dinner. Also, I bet your mom’s cooking is a thousand times better than the instant noodles or takeout food you usually eat when living alone. And it’s totally free! Kinda.
2. You don’t have to worry about maintenance.
Commuting is like a one-night-stand and using your own car is like having an affair you have to regularly shower with gifts. I know, this is a poor analogy, but you get the idea.
A good pair of comfy shoes and a sturdy slash-proof bag. Those are the things that you need to invest on. Having a car is comparable to having another kid. You need to feed it (with expensive gas), give it a bath, and fix it whenever anything is wrong. This will take time and effort, too.
1. You will get a different perspective on life.
This is something we often overlook, especially when we’re surrounded by sheltered people. There are lots of things you won’t see from your exclusive school or high-rise office in Makati.
I’m actually typing this article inside a bus and upon bringing out my iPad, there was this cute little toddler beside me who asked his mom, “Ma, tablet oh. Kapag top 1 ba ‘ko, ibibili mo ‘ko ng tablet? Kahit kapag malaki na ‘ko? Eh kapag may trabaho na ‘ko?” (Ma, tablet. If I become top one, will you buy me a tablet? When I’m older? What if when I’m working already?) Priceless.
There was also one time when a lady in the jeepney told her 7-year-old daughter, “Mag-aral ka mabuti para paglaki mo magtatrabaho ka sa may aircon.” (Study hard so that when you grow up, you can work somewhere with an air conditioner.)
You’ll overhear different stories from other commuters. You will be exposed to how differently other people think. You’ll get to come across the cutest toddlers. You’ll accidentally eavesdrop on someone lying on the phone about where they are. Personally, I find it amusing to commute to school during hell week because the people are very sabaw. Getting to witness different scenarios everyday might just make your trip worth it.
So, whenever you get frustrated at the world and at commuting, just remember these good sides to it. Having a bad temper won’t likely be of help. Yes, we have a thousand reasons to hate it, but here are 5 reasons to at least “like” it. Put on a smile even on a bad day and Manila might just become a better environment to travel in.
When you choose to face the traffic in your private car, though, check out these tips to make it less stressful: 10 Things You Can Do To Make Traffic Less Stressful.