As a citizen from the East (Rizal to be exact), I totally feel the struggles of the North and South. My social sphere is quite diverse as I attended college in Manila, volunteer in Quezon City and occasionally hang out with my fam in Paraňaque. It gets hard to jump from each place.
With an air of desperation, I decided to look for a condo for rent in Makati or BGC, which is close to home. But my work life, personal relationships, and activities can’t fit in my schedule because most of my time is spent commuting.
With that in mind, I’ve rounded up some of the struggles the East peeps kept under wraps. They are worth the Twitter-war trend, too!
It doesn’t matter if it’s to the North or South, it takes the same amount of time and traffic.
Ortigas Ave. and the Extension is supposedly the fastest way to EDSA, and everyone thinks the same thing, so it’s ALWAYS traffic. Julia Vargas is also brimming with the cars of Ortigas CBD’s workforce. It takes an hour just to reach Pasig and another hour to drive along EDSA. Even if we’re in a rush, we won’t take a cab because the meter will be running on forever. Working in Fort and Makati is the dream but having to leave at 6 p.m. and go home at 9 p.m. (if we’re lucky) every day is a bit much. Don’t get us started with Alabang. We’ll be there, but we’d much rather be there on a weekend when being late doesn’t count.
Another way to get access EDSA is through Marcos Highway, but then, we have to pass through a bunch of boundaries before arriving at our destination. Until then, we have to brave the small towns and clogged streets to get anywhere.
My halfway is different from your halfway.
Honestly, we’re already in the halfway, or close to it at least. You have to make it clear whose halfway are you referring. “Halfway” could mean a lot of things – Cubao from the North and Pasig, Ortigas, and Mandaluyong from the South. We’re flexible when it comes to meet ups. Still, we plan our driving and commute routes accordingly so spare us the stress and clarify whose “halfway” is it. It will save us more time and gas (and carbon footprint) if you’ve just made it clear in the first place.
Rush hour can be heaven or hell – there’s no in between.
There are days when everything is a breeze. The streets aren’t packed, and all modes of transportation are waiting for our beck and call. Then there are hellish days when traffic enforcers who try to ease the traffic only to make it worse. There are days we wish for our cars, and there are days we wish we could just ride anything as long as it gets us there in time.
Let’s not forget the construction of the main roads for the rainy season. It rarely ends before the actual season, so it takes half of the street and causes major traffic. Flooding isn’t a problem unless we need to pass by flood-prone areas like Marikina and low-lying towns of Rizal.
We people of the East are humble homebodies who love to get out of our comfort zones now and then. Nevertheless, we don’t have to bring our car all the time since all the commuting options are available at hand – LRT, MRT, UV, buses, and jeeps – thus, don’t make us go to exclusive places like Katipunan, BF, and Filinvest. Going to these locations require cutting trips. It’s also super hard to catch a jeep during rush hour. It doesn’t help that Grab and Uber rates are in surge because everyone decided to book their trips at the same time.
“Why are all the cool places so far away?”
The food parks in Maginhawa, street art in Marikina, parties Makati and the Fort are all in traffic prone areas (Translation: WE WANT TO AVOID THEM). We already spend half of our life waiting in vain for the traffic. We certainly don’t want to spend our weekend in there too. Plus, we have to leave waaaaay ahead of time, so we’ll be on time for the party or whatever it is we’re going to. We are the gateway to both sides after all.
FOMO is real when concerts are in MoA Arena or Filinvest Concert Grounds.
We can be the Hufflepuffs of the Metro but we have our limits too. Just because I’m closer to whichever place we happen to meet up doesn’t mean you can cancel it on the spot. Navigating the streets of Quezon City is grueling. Also, just because my place is the nearest among us and I brought my car doesn’t mean you can stuff all the leftover supplies from our past projects. It’s much better if we shared the load and divide it among ourselves.
Overall, people from the East are more understanding and flexible than those of the North and South. We get their cavalry, but we have our own too. Our counterparts from both ends are more privileged to certain conveniences in terms of commuting, entertainment, and accessibility. Thus, we learned to adapt and make use of what we have while searching for the greener pastures from opposite directions. We’re trained for the buwis buhay commute of the North and the laid back elegance of the South.
Cover Photo was taken from Photo ni Ompong