Practical Tips to Surviving Metro Manila’s Traffic

Last Updated on December 24, 2019 by Tina

“Manila is a nightmare. The traffic is sooo bad”. That was my message to Andreu the other day while walking to Vertis North. Yup, walking.

I was supposed to take Grab Car to Vertis North. I was able to book a ride. Unfortunately, the driver messaged me that I will need to wait for him for 27 minutes because he is stuck in traffic. I had no choice but to cancel the trip. I am meeting friends for lunch and I have to do something in Vertis North first. My time in Manila is very limited so I need to keep moving if I wanted to stay on schedule.

So what I did was I took a jeepney to Cubao, alighted at Ali Mall then walked to MRT Cubao Station. When traffic is bad, MRT is the better option although in my case it wasn’t that good because it took around 20 minutes before the northbound train arrived. I alighted at MRT Quezon Avenue and walked to Vertis. (I should have alighted at MRT North Avenue station, it’s actually closer but because I misunderstood GoogleMaps, I exerted more effort to get to my destination.)

Anyway, while walking to Vertis, I thought of the following things that I think you should know to survive Metro Manila’s traffic. (Disclaimer: this is only applicable to people who are taking public transportation. And I’m posting this on my blog as part of my Random Musings section, although I think people who will be traveling to Manila might also find this useful).

    • You need lots of patience. If you want to survive in Metro Manila, you need to have this. Not just with the traffic, but with living in Metro Manila in general. If you’re a very impatient person, I suggest that you avoid Metro Manila completely.
    • Make sure you have a handheld fan (pamaypay) in your bag all the time because it is very hot in the Philippines. And sometimes even if the bus or FX you are in is airconditioned, it isn’t cool enough to keep you feeling cool. Imagine getting stuck in traffic for 2 hours inside a vehicle with a low aircon. Good luck!
    • I know that it isn’t a very good experience to walk in Metro Manila because of pollution. But sometimes you’ll get to your destination much quicker when you walk.

    • Aside from pamaypay, you also need to have an umbrella. In case you decide to walk, it wouldn’t be too exhausting to do it if you have an umbrella to protect you from the sun.
    • Wear comfortable walking shoes. You never know when the time comes when you’ll need to walk. Walking long distances is very tiring and it could be a pain if you do it with uncomfortable shoes.
    • A power bank may come in handy. What’s worse than getting stuck in traffic? Getting stuck in traffic and your phone’s battery is drained. No more playing games on the phone, no more browsing newsfeed on Facebook and Instagram. You get what I mean.

Those are the only things I was able to come up with while walking. It was just a short walk, less than twenty minutes long. I might come up with a longer list next time. Or if you have other tips, feel free to share in the comments section. Till next time. I actually wrote this because I’m stuck with my Myanmar post. I hope I get to finish it though before the year ends.

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