Recently, the government has made it non-mandatory to wear face mask outdoors. This could push us into the beginning of the end of the pandemic–which means, we’ll need to reinstate commuting “manners” again, as people seem to have forgotten how to act in public transportation in the two years that we’ve been in house arrest.
It’s high time to remind people once again that:
Upong otso lang po tayo
Upong otso lang (our best translation–“sit in a way that’s worth 8 pesos only”) is a common phrase you’ll hear jeepney barkers shout every time they try to squeeze in every passenger possible to maximize the space inside the vehicle. But ultimately, this phrase just means to sit properly.
You may think that it’s common sense to sit properly in public rides, but you will be surprised at how many passengers don’t do that (manspreading, anyone?). Things like this make commuting life in the Philippines much more cumbersome.
Remember to sit properly because you all pay the same fare!
God knows Hudas not pay
This is not cool. It will never be cool. Actually, it’s borderline illegal.
Many people share their funny stories about how they evade paying jeepney drivers, they even tell tips and tricks on how to do it efficiently. But, are you honestly proud that you cheated on someone who works hard day in and night just to provide for their family?
Life is not easy, especially now that everyone is economically challenged. People are doing their best to save their budgets. But this isn’t an excuse to not pay for your rides. If you’re in a real tight situation, try explaining it to the driver. Maybe they’ll consider. Just be honest.
Wag salubungin ang hindi kamag-anak
It’s hard to translate this word for word for someone who doesn’t know Filipino, but this essentially conveys, “don’t block the exit way”. During rush hour, for the love of all things nice and kind, let people exit first before forcing yourself inside the MRT or LRT wagon! People often do this at MRT or LRT stations, blocking the doors to gain advantage to entry way. Train operators often have to remind passengers to let others exit first, often stating through the muffled speakers, “hindi ho ito airport, wag ninyong salubungin ang hindi niyo kamag anak!” (This is not an airport. Do not approach people who are not your relatives!) This is actually an important rule to follow because too much congestion in train stations may cause injuries to other passengers.
Please don’t be noisy, someone is trying to have a quick rest
If it’s unavoidable, try to keep it low.
Read the room–because of the abnormally lengthy hours we spend commuting, some people do actually make use of their ride to and from the office or school as their time to get some extra sleep, or extra time to review for a test. Respect that by not causing too much noise inside any vehicle.
Makiki-abot po ng bayad (Please pass my fare)
One unique aspect of the Philippine commuting culture is the way passengers pay for the fare. A pocket-sized bayanihan, if you will.
Inside a jeepney, there is an unwritten rule everyone follows. People who are closer to the driver have the responsibility to help other passengers to pass the money to the driver.
And if you’re that person who is seated the closest to the driver, you have no choice but to help everyone inside the vehicle. Sorry, we don’t make the rules. It is what it is.
Rule of thumb
There are actually more unwritten rules that are specific to our public transportation, but the rule of thumb for everyone is to be considerate to everyone around you. Make it a habit to think of others whenever you’re inside a public vehicle, so behave properly. /VT
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