The Commute Survival Kit: 8 Must-Haves to Survive Public Transportation in Manila

Words by Gemma Casimsiman

I think we can all agree: public transportation in Manila is the definition of hell. The moving sauna we like to call LRT, our very own fog machine most known as the jeepney, and the death trap buses are just three out of the many types of machinery we have to endure to “safely” get to our destinations. Yet, one of our problems is also arriving there looking like you’re fresh out of an air-conditioned cab.

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It’s not an easy task, but there are some ways you can survive commuting in Manila and still look like a human being. Aside from the usual beep card, money, and umbrella you can use to fend off the enemy, I present to you your commuting survival kit:

8. Battery-powered fan

As much as we want to bring those gigantic fans inside the LRT or even the jeep, only a small, portable one can fit. Always have one! Keep a power bank with you too in case of a long trip and to avoid depending on your seatmate’s hand fan. We all know that face when someone’s trying to gasp for air. Don’t be that person!

7. Water

Stay hydrated, fam! Rainy or sunny, the Philippines is hot. Buses and trains are always jam-packed, that being in there makes people feel like sardines in a can sweating for their lives. Water can save your day!

6. Towel

Don’t you dare settle for a handkerchief! You need those “good morning towels” jeepney drivers always have around their necks to help soak up your sweat.

5. Perfume

Yes, perfume is a must. You don’t want to arrive at school carrying the pungent odor of the streets, do you?

4. Alcohol

Commuting isn’t the most hygienic thing in the world. Bacteria is everywhere! It’s best to keep alcohol around especially if you’re a germaphobe!

3. Pepper Spray

We all know why we need a pepper spray. Not to scare you off, but there’s always that one creeper lurking somewhere…

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2. PATIENCE

Okay, having patience while commuting in Manila is a tough trait to develop. BUT losing it won’t make any situation magically better, so might as well try.

Image: Top Gear PH

1. A backup plan

What if things don’t go as planned??? And come on, in Manila, that’s always a probability. Have alternative routes planned out, allot time on your commutes for the unexpected, and prepare what you can. Mabuti nang prepared!

How do you prepare for your daily commutes in Manila? Let us know in the comments!

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