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Surviving Manila traffic: A Fun Guide to Keeping Your Sanity

Surviving Manila traffic: A Fun Guide to Keeping Your Sanity


Surviving Manila traffic? More like trying to survive a never-ending game of bumper cars! As a commuter in this city, I know firsthand how the traffic situation can be a major source of stress. It’s like every day is a test of your patience, your sanity, and your ability to hold your bladder for long periods of time.

? Traffic situation in Manila

Surviving Manila traffic

Let me paint you a picture. It was a typical Monday morning, and I was feeling pretty good about myself for getting up early to beat the rush hour traffic. But little did I know, I was about to embark on a journey that would test my limits. As soon as I hit the road, I was met with a sea of cars, trucks, and jeepneys all vying for a spot on the road. It was like a scene from Mad Max, but instead of weapons, people were armed with their car horns.

And of course, in typical Manila traffic fashion, it seemed like every time I switched lanes to avoid a bottleneck, the lane I just left would start moving again. It’s like the universe was conspiring against me, just to see how far I could be pushed before I lost my mind.

? When life gives you lemons…

But you know what they say, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. So I did just that. I cranked up the music and turned my car into a karaoke bar on wheels, singing my heart out to all the classic OPM hits. I may have gotten a few weird looks from the other drivers, but hey, at least I was having fun.

And that, my friends, is just a taste of what it’s like surviving Manila traffic. So buckle up, stock up on snacks, and don’t forget to bring a sense of humor. You’re going to need it!

The Pre-Commute Prep

? Exercise

silhouette photography of woman doing yoga

Surviving Manila traffic starts even before you hit the road. To mentally prepare myself for the long commute ahead, I like to do yoga or some stretching exercises. Not only does it help me loosen up, but it also prepares my body for the physical challenges of sitting in traffic for hours on end.

? Comfort is key

But let’s not forget the most important part of the pre-commute prep: what to wear. Now, I know some people like to dress to impress, but when it comes to Manila traffic, comfort is key. I like to rock my favorite pair of jogging pants and a t-shirt that says “I’d rather be sleeping.” It’s like my own personal mantra, reminding me that the traffic may be bad, but at least I’m not at work yet.

?️ Accessorize!

And let’s not forget about the accessories. Sunglasses ? are a must, not just for the sun, but to hide the bags under my eyes from waking up at the crack of dawn. And of course, a trusty fan to keep me cool in the sweltering heat. Pro tip: get a fan that plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter. It’s like having your own personal air conditioning system, minus the electricity bill.

The key to surviving Manila traffic is to mentally prepare yourself and dress for comfort. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go dig out my lucky traffic cone to bring me some good luck on the road. Hey, whatever works, right?

Surviving the Traffic Jam

Ah, the dreaded traffic jam. It’s like a black hole that sucks away your time and your will to live. But fear not, my fellow commuters, because I’ve got some tips on how to survive the traffic jam.

? Listen to audiobooks

First and foremost, accept the fact that you’re going to be stuck in traffic for a while. Don’t fight it, just embrace it. Use this time to catch up on your favorite audiobooks, or even start a new one. It’s like having your own personal library on the go. Plus, it’s a great way to drown out the honking and shouting of the other drivers.

? Play games on your phone

Another way to survive the traffic jam is to play games on your phone. Just be careful not to get too distracted and cause a traffic accident. Personally, I like to play “Mini Motorways,” on my iPhone 13 Pro Max ? where I build virtual roads, bridges and roundabouts for commuters in different cities (and yes, Manila is in this game). It’s like I’m the master of my own little traffic universe!

? Karaoke

young woman singing karaoke

And finally, my personal favorite way to pass the time in traffic: ? karaoke. Yes, you heard me right. Nothing beats belting out your favorite songs at the top of your lungs while the other drivers look on in envy. I like to keep a handy list of karaoke classics in my car, just in case I need to bust out a rendition of “My Way” or “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Surviving Manila traffic is all about finding ways to pass the time and keep your sanity intact. Just remember to always drive safely, and don’t be afraid to bust out your best karaoke moves. Who knows, you might even inspire the other drivers to join in the fun!

Coping with Rude Drivers and Pedestrians

Now, we’ve all been there. You’re stuck in traffic, minding your own business, when suddenly a rude driver or pedestrian cuts you off or starts shouting at you. It’s enough to make even the most patient of us want to scream. But fear not, my friends, because I’ve got some humorous ways to cope with these frustrating situations.

? Make them laugh

First, let’s talk about rude drivers. If someone cuts you off or honks at you for no reason, resist the urge to get angry. Instead, make a funny face at them. Stick your tongue out, cross your eyes, whatever it takes to make them laugh (or at least confuse them). It’s a great way to diffuse the tension and show them that you’re not taking their rudeness too seriously. Note: I might get punch in the face or you might not…. pero, try lang! ? ?

? Sing Tahong Ni Carla

And what about rude pedestrians? We’ve all encountered those people who walk across the street when the light is red, or who bump into you without apologizing. Well, my suggestion is to sing a silly song. It might sound crazy, but trust me, it works. I like to sing “Tahong ni Carla” (Oh! tahong makarog karog makarog karog ang tahong ni carla… ugh that song is stuck in my head.) at the top of my lungs, complete with actions. It’s a great way to make people smile, and it’s a lot more fun than getting angry.

Surviving Manila traffic isn’t just about avoiding accidents and keeping your cool. It’s also about finding ways to cope with the rude drivers and pedestrians that we encounter on the road. Whether it’s making funny faces or singing a silly song, just remember to keep a sense of humor and don’t take things too seriously. After all, we’re all just trying to get to our destination in one piece.

Making the Most of Your Commute

Let’s face it, commuting in Manila can be a major pain in the butt. But what if I told you that you can actually make the most of your daily commute and turn it into a fun and productive activity? Yes, you heard me right. Surviving Manila traffic can actually be an opportunity to learn, grow, and even have some fun.

? Practice your TikTok dance

For starters, why not use your commute to practice your TikTok dance moves? I know it sounds crazy, but hear me out. If you’re stuck in traffic anyway, you might as well make the most of it. Open your TikTok app and bust that move! You might even inspire the other drivers to join in. Just make sure you’re paying attention to the road, of course.

? Make friends

Another way to make the most of your commute is to make new friends. No, I’m not suggesting you start chatting up random strangers in traffic (that could be dangerous). But what you can do is join a carpool or a commuting group. This is a great way to meet new people, save money on gas, and even reduce traffic congestion. And who knows, you might even make some new friends along the way.

✍️ Write a novel… In your head

Finally, my favorite way to make the most of my commute is to use it as an opportunity to write a novel in my head. Yes, you heard me right. I like to imagine stories and characters and plot twists, all while I’m stuck in traffic. It’s like having a free creative writing workshop in my car. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll actually write that novel down.

Surviving Manila traffic doesn’t have to be a miserable experience. With a little creativity and a sense of humor, you can actually turn it into a fun and productive part of your day. Just remember to always drive safely, and don’t be afraid to dance, make new friends, or write that novel in your head.


In conclusion, surviving Manila traffic is all about having the right attitude. Yes, it’s frustrating and annoying, but it doesn’t have to ruin your day. With a little bit of mental preparation, some practical tips, and a healthy dose of humor, you can make the most of your daily commute.

?‍? Take a deep breath

So the next time you’re stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, remember to take a deep breath and find a way to make it fun. Whether that’s dancing to your favorite tunes, making new friends, or writing a novel in your head, just remember that you’re not alone. We’re all in this together, and we can all get through it with a smile on our face (even if it’s a forced smile).

?️ And to that, I say this

To end this on a high note, I’ll leave you with this: One time, I was stuck in traffic for what felt like an eternity. The cars were barely moving, and the heat was sweltering. Just as I was about to lose my mind, I looked over at the car next to me and saw a girl singing at the top of her lungs. She didn’t care who was watching, she was just having a good time. And you know what? It made me laugh, and it made me feel a little bit better about my own traffic predicament.

Surviving Manila traffic is all about finding the humor in a frustrating situation. So the next time you’re stuck in traffic, just remember to dance, sing, make new friends, or write that novel in your head. Who knows, you might even end up enjoying the ride.

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