The Benefits I Gained from the Bus Ban

You see, I reside in Imus, Cavite and works in Ermita, Manila. Everyday, for five days in a week, I travel using Public Utility Buses (PUBs) as they are cheap, accessible, and gets me to my destination fairly on time. I used to brag that even though I live far, I am just one ride away from home.

Unfortunately, come mid-July, in a city ruling which is a brainchild of former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, provincial buses without private terminals in the city were no longer allowed to operate in its premises. My buses’ route was further shortened when the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) banned provincial buses coming from the southern provinces of Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas and made them U-turn to a make-shift terminal inside Coastal Mall last August 6.

Now, my one-way fare of Php 39 skyrocketed to Php 60 with my travel time doubled; not to mention the stress and confusion this change has brought me. So much for bringing order to the streets and disorder to the commuter’s lives.

It has now been 20 days since this so-called ‘urbanization plan’. As I have been brought up to always look at the brighter side of life, I made a list of good things that the bus ban did to me. Here it goes…

ONE – I love the bus ban because it woke up the athlete in me. I have to run through road sides, go up on overpasses, jump inside trains, and sprint towards the hospital lobby to reach my 6AM time-in every morning shift. Take that triathletes!

TWO – I love the bus ban because it taught me to be patient. Patience is a trait I never thought I possess. Now, I can wait on the road side for hours — with only one goal — to get home: which is usually at 1AM after leaving work three hours prior.

THREE – I love the bus ban because I became brave and vigilant. No amount of darkness or tranquility can scare me now, thanks to my ‘training’. My pink bag is now packed with a dummy phone and an empty wallet in case of hold-up.

FOUR – I love the bus ban because it reminds me to pray. I know very well how to talk to God, but with this increased risk on my safety and sanity, I am well reminded to ask guidance from above. Often, when I feel bored while waiting for my ride, I pray that no rapist or thief-on-duty notice me in my white uniform.

FIVE – I love the bus ban because it made me strive harder. It has always been my plan to work overseas, and with this disappointing adjustment, my desire to get away strengthened even more. With every time I am tortured to getting to and from work, I promised myself that soon enough, I will not be in the mercy of this naive officials. I swear.

Final Words

While some 4,000 people signed to lift this ban, I hope to wake up one day without getting ready for another obstacle course ahead. But in the mean time, I welcome all the positive vibes I can get, with open arms.

Have a safe trip everyone!

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