An Open Letter to the MRT Commuters

Photo c/o Ian

Before anything else, I would like to first share with you my last MRT experience. I’ve only rode the MRT thrice, and I regretted it every time I did. I blame this mode of transportation for my claustrophobia, and low tolerance for crowds.

 I was on my way to Ortigas that day and learned that it would take me a while to get to my destination if I rode by bus, so as much as I loathed taking the MRT, I had to.

After the long, long, long, long,…, long line to get inside the station, you are welcomed by fellow commuters who form some sort of a mosh pit on each door stop. I arrived 5:30 p.m. I wasn’t in the mood for any pushing and shoving, and I’m not the type to hurt strangers (or anything in general) so I patiently waited for my chance to be upfront and finally get to step on the train.

Four trains have passed and I, along with all the other worn-out women (since I went on the women’s area) are starting to get a little restless. By 6:00 p.m. I was no where close to the middle of this mosh pit. Yes I’d notice that there would be several women, who would arrive on that time that the train comes, and would squeeze themselves in. For a while, retaliating wasn’t an option for me. I got hurt by the constant elbowing and pushing, but after I saw this short elderly woman get beaten because of these commuters who think of nothing more than to get on the train, I began to push back. These guilt-less commuters are nothing less of criminals. The fifth train passed, and the guard on patrol just smirked and smiled as if it was such a funny scene. He should be fired!

6:30 p.m. and I was somewhere in the middle of the crowd. I hated that spot. I was so urged to raise my arms and shout “PWEDE BA, PUMILA TAYO? WALA NAMAN SISINGIT!” Unpeyr! Unpeyr! Then, I would’ve told them to raise their hands and form a straight line. Alas, I didn’t like causing a scene.

By 6:45, no train was in sight. This woman of her late 20’s was by my side, intentionally shoving and elbowing me! What’s her point? Where did she even come from?! She started pushing harder and harder so she could get in the middle of the pit as well. I looked at her and said, “What’s your problem?! Pwede ba?!” She looks away and pretends not to hear me. I was so annoyed, I wanted to push her into the train tracks! Gusto nya pala mauna eh, edi mauna sya!

7:00 p.m. and ten trains have passed, and I’m somewhere in the front. I shared so much sweat with the rest of the crowd that it wasn’t funny. I wanted to turn my back on everything, this beating and ache that I felt wasn’t worth any gimmick, and no one deserved to put up with this. Then the eleventh train comes and it was empty. Everyone cheered as if they saw a celebrity or something. You could see everyone run fast and fill the seats like a game of Trip to Jerusalem.

For P12.00, you get what you pay for. There’s the long-ass line actually getting to the area because security is slow. You would think that a slow security system would equate to an efficient one. Nope, not even close. You would think that by waiting in the women’s area of the train you would get a little kindness. They’re even tougher on you there. They know they’re all women, each with their own selfish pride to get on so they hurt. With no concern for the elderly, the pregnant, or the children.

Honestly, I wouldn’t mind paying P20 or even P50 if it would mean a better system for these kinds of transportation. But I wouldn’t put all the blame on the government or the people who run the MRT.

Dear MRT Commuters,

It’s as simple as forming a straight line, first come first serve. Didn’t your parents tell you to be patient? Or was pushing and elbowing people to get what you want something you’re accustomed to? Sure you’re tired and you just want to go home or your late for an important meeting or event, but so is everyone else. No one would want to ride the MRT just because they’re bored or have nothing better to do. There’s no legit reason to hurt people or squeeze yourself in.

You would say that it might be a case of Survival of the Fittest out there. LAME EXCUSE. That makes you no different from the scandalous and corrupt government officials that you love to hate, call names, and rally against! The only difference is that they’re after your money, and you’re after one fourth a square meter of space on the train. Your methods are desperate and pathetic.

Also, give way to the handicapped, pregnant, and elderly! What  you experience for the rest of the day will never really amount to what they have to go through. Let them go first, let them pass, let them be seated.

It doesn’t always have to be a challenge to commute everyday. Discipline and change always starts within ourselves.

xx C
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