SHOOTING OF BOURNE LEGACY IN TAFT-EDSA / JANUARY 27, 2012 Heavy traffic occur near Taft-Edsa during the shooting of Hollywood film the Bourne Legacy on Friday. INQUIRER PHOTO / NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

This guy’s life-changing story serves as a safety reminder for daily commuters

September 27th, 2018
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Commuting around Metro Manila is an everyday struggle: the notorious city traffic, the illness-inducing pollution, flooded streets, and crowded vehicles. Not only that — just when you think situations can’t get any worse — commuters also need to be extra careful as pickpockets, thieves, and even sex maniacs are just waiting for their next victim.

via GIPHY

Despite the horror of Metro Manila commute, there are still people who are willing to help no matter what the consequence will be. In a recent Facebook post, Edward Janen Ortega shared his life-changing commute experience.

This post is to give AWARENESS sa inyo and to share my life-changing experience na rin. It’s been a week na and still…

Posted by Edward Janen Azucena Ortega on Tuesday, September 18, 2018

According to Edward, it was 2 in the morning when he decided to go to Guadalupe, where he took a bus going to Cubao. A few minutes later, the bus conductor suddenly asked them to get off at a waiting shed that is 100 meters away from Ortigas Avenue — except for this lady passenger who was left asleep in her seat.

Out of curiosity, he asked the bus conductor, “Kuya, bakit pinapababa? (Sir, why are you letting us off?),” but the guy just said, “May diperensiya ‘yung drayber eh. (There’s something off with the driver.)”

Right after he alighted from the bus, the two immediately drove off and didn’t even bother to wake the lady up.

And for Edward, that was really… shady.

via GIPHY

“Bakit hindi ko ginising si ate at bakit hindi siya ginising ng konduktor? Baka ma-rape or at worst, kapag lumaban, mapatay pa si ate at mabalitaan ko na lang sa balita. (Why didn’t I wake her up? Why didn’t the conductor wake her up? What if she gets raped or at worst, tries to fight off and get killed? And I will just see the news on TV.)”

Right after realizing the consequences, he decided to chase the bus; luckily, he was able to catch up with it while it was parked at the stoplight.

He just pretended he left his wallet so he could get inside, “Itong si ate, hindi niyo ba pabababain? (What about this lady? Won’t you let her off?),” he asked. But the driver just replied, “Wag mo na gisingin yan, kasama namin yan. (Don’t wake her up, she’s with us.)” Fortunately, right after the commotion, the lady finally woke up. Edward could feel the obvious dismay and anger emanating from the two, but he was thankful the both of them were able to get off safely.

Many found Edward’s story a reminder for everyone who commutes every day. The post received positive reactions from netizens; some even called him a “good samaritan” for saving a girl from the possible danger.

As the post went viral, a Twitter user also shared some of her horrendous commute experiences. In this thread, @yamiaw recalled incidents where she got locked in a bus:

The first time was on a Monday morning, I remember it clearly because we always had first period recitations and I fell asleep while reviewing my notes on the bus. When I woke up, the bus was already parked in Park and Ride along Lawton. Everything was already turned off.

— Tonks ⚡ (@yamiaw) September 19, 2018

I was already sweating. I tried opening the door, but of course I needed a key. I saw some conductors and drivers who were chatting a few meters away. Someone looked my way and I began waving for help. He turned away. I began pounding on the door but nobody took notice.

— Tonks ⚡ (@yamiaw) September 19, 2018

It wasn't until I began randomly pressing everything on the dashboard when someone came running to open the door by a switch from the outside. I ran the second the door opened. I didn't even bother looking at the men. And they said nothing.

— Tonks ⚡ (@yamiaw) September 19, 2018

The second one was a few months after. This time, I was on my way to work late in the afternoon. I woke up in the same situation. Everything was off. The bus I was in was sandwiched between a couple of other empty buses, with one bus in front of it and no one in sight.

— Tonks ⚡ (@yamiaw) September 19, 2018

Lemme tell you, Buendia is so much shadier than Lawton. I tried every latch, every switch I could. I checked the sides of the door but I found nothing. Around fifteen minutes later, a man came and saw me fumbling on the dashboard.

— Tonks ⚡ (@yamiaw) September 19, 2018

Now this was already strange as it is. He wasn't checking the other buses for anything. And he was the conductor during the ride. He knew I was in there. He opened the door with a malicious smile and said, "Dapat natulog ka pa."

— Tonks ⚡ (@yamiaw) September 19, 2018

I took out the pepper spray in my bag for him to see. He stepped away from the door and I walked backwards, while looking around to see if there were any more people around. The only time I let go of the pepper spray was the minute I reached the office.

— Tonks ⚡ (@yamiaw) September 19, 2018

There were other times when I'd wake up last minute, right when the last few passengers are about to step out. Or just before the driver closes the door. I'd always be enveloped with fear, but I never told anyone, except my boyfriend at the time.

— Tonks ⚡ (@yamiaw) September 19, 2018

The thing is, you can't say that you just left a sleeping passenger on board a bus because it's the conductor's job to check if there's anything (or anyone) left behind. I've been woken up dozens of times by conductors, even from the same bus companies I was locked in.

— Tonks ⚡ (@yamiaw) September 19, 2018

It's actually the first time I've taken this in a serious tone, because whenever I tell these stories I'd joke about it and tell people what a sleepyhead I was or how tired I was juggling my schedule. But reading the post brought a tinge of fear back, and other girls should know.

— Tonks ⚡ (@yamiaw) September 19, 2018

To my ladies out there, please be extra careful. I've learned my lesson after those couple of times and really had to fight the urge to sleep during commute. When I know I'm extremely tired and I have a high tendency of dozing off, I set loud alarm on my phone for a few minutes.

— Tonks ⚡ (@yamiaw) September 19, 2018

And if you see anyone, even guys, sleeping soundly when everyone is about to get off the bus, kindly wake them up. You're doing them a really big favor.

— Tonks ⚡ (@yamiaw) September 19, 2018

As much as we care about ourselves or our belongings, we should also be mindful of what’s happening around us.  For Edward and Mia, one thing is for sure: they both learned a valuable lesson that will stick with them forever.

In this world we live in, little acts of kindness can save a life.

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