The railway system is known as the fastest mode of transportation in the metro. In Metro Manila, MRT and LRT provide convenience to those who study and work along and near the transport stations. Situated along the two longest and main roads of Metro Manila, the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3) along EDSA and Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT2) along Taft Avenue have been the sought after transport service for many commuters.
While many people around the world expect fast and convenient travel experience when using the train or subway, in the Philippines, it’s a different picture. Rush hours are dreaded battles for speed and “diskarte” moves and wagons are like ‘cans of sardines’ where people are squeezed in to accommodate thousands of commuters at rush hour. The worst scenario comes when technical problems (like what MRT line 3 often experiences) occur during the trip…so prepare a bit of surprise exercise because you know what comes next.
When such situations call for some air, you need something to “chill” your mood. Regular commuters are experts at this, and many kill time in their own ways. Besides catching-up with the latest episode of their favorite TV series or playing Candy Crush or League of Legends during extended minutes in the train, some people have unusual ways to make their train ride, if not worthwhile, entertaining ones.
We asked real MRT/LRT commuters across the metro to share some of their weird thoughts and activities while riding on the train. You will be surprised by how these individuals make their train ride an extraordinary experience.
Weird But True Activities of LRT/MRT Commuters
“I usually ride the MRT from EDSA-Taft Avenue to Cubao Station from work with my girlfriend. We always have the habit of betting which stations would the announcer spill the “MRT safety reminders”. The loser will have to treat the other one order of Siomai.” – Jaysam O.; Quezon City
“I wonder how many benches are provided for the senior citizens in all MRT stations from North Avenue Station to EDSA-Taft Station. One time, I stood at the southern window where you can have a full sight of both sides of the train. I counted and there were twenty four (24) benches!” – Jessa Aragon; Pasay City
“I usually ride the last train at night from work. When the wagon has less than 10 passengers and I feel so tired and sleepy, I lie on the bench not minding other passengers. I just wake up when I know it’s my station, and I always get it right.” – Eduard; Paco, Manila
“I ride the MRT from Magallanes Station to get to work in Ortigas. When it’s rush hour in the morning, I ride the train southbound first (going to EDSA-Taft Avenue) so I could have a good seat when passengers unload the train at EDSA-Taft Station. The train is always “sisksikan” from EDSA-Taft Station and those who get in from Magallanes can’t sit.” – Maybelle; Magallanes
“One time, I hopped on the train from Quirino Avenue Station. I was seated on the bench listening to a cool song with my headphones on while looking outside the window. Right after the train passed by United Nations Station, the song changed to Sa’Yo by Silent Sanctuary. I felt emotional. When the train was exactly passing by Rizal Park, tears rolled down my eyes. I was like in a drama movie. Hahaha!” – Liezl G.; Manila
“I love seeing giant billboards along EDSA. I always find it amusing when I see new ones being put up and I take photos of them. I have a little more than fifty photos of billboards as a collection. I know I’m weird. Hahaha!” Jason; Quezon City
“I bet with friends on the train. We bet on how many people would go out and get in the train on each station until we arrive to our destination.” John Paulo; Pasig
“Working in Pasay is a long ride for me who is from Caloocan. Riding the LRT from Balintawak station to Buendia station is tiring. What I do when I get into the train is go to the center area where two wagons connect and sit on the floor and watch my my favorite K-drama episodes. I find the spot a comfortable place to watch quietly when passengers are rushing in and out near the doorways.” Angelique C.; Caloocan City
There you go. These are just some of the remarkable things passengers do just to make their ride a little less boring and a bit more extraordinary. When the ride is unbearable, make it fun and you’ll enjoy the commute. Do you have some weird activities as well when riding the train? Share with us your story by commenting them down below.