10 Reasons Why You Should Watch “Heneral Luna”

Heneral Luna: The First Filipino Avenger

  1. It is an Indie-Star-Studded film

You’ll be amazed about how an indie production company came up with such a star studded cast. Usually indie films don’t invest much on casting, but that norm was surely broken by this awesome movie. Stars such as John Arcilla (Antonio Luna), Mon Confiado (Emilio Aguinaldo), Epi Quizon (Apolinario Mabini), Paolo Avelino (Gregorio Del Pilar) and Leo Martinez (Pedro Paterno) were on board just to name a few. There was almost no unfamiliar face in this movie. That’s why you can expect high quality acting and delivery. John Arcilla’s caliber in portraying did not disappoint us in depicting the bad ass Heneral Luna.

  1. It will give you a refresher in Philippine History

We are so familiar about other country’s history but are we the master of our own? I am guilty of this. I honestly did not know that Aguinaldo was the one accused of Luna’s murder. That’s the icing-on-the-cake of this movie. It is so entertaining to watch as to it is being educational at the same time. Parang buy-1-take-1 promo lang.

  1. Heneral Luna is a Bad Ass!

Man oh man, the General is in the building! It’s amazing how cool Luna is. He is respectable, honest, a man with integrity, not corrupt, courageous and a tough man to beat! He is like the first Filipino avenger!

  1. They need budget for the rumored trilogy sequel.

Since this is (evidently) a high-budget film, they need Heneral Luna to profit a lot to start on the next sequel. SPOILER ALERT: (Do NOT read this part if you haven’t watch the movie yet) In the cameo at the end of the credits, you’ll see Gregorio Del Pilar gathering troops loyal to Luna. We have a hunch that they will avenge Luna. EXCITING, right!? That said, Luna is really the first Filipino avenger!

CNN Philippines Interview with Director (11:52-12:08 Part)

  1. Quality props and gore

Again, for an indie film, I could definitely say that this movie can top any existing Pinoy movies as of date when it comes to production, props and effects. The uniforms and weapons of the soldiers are top-notched! You will really feel that you are in that era. Kudos to the props and effects team! (There was one scene in which the soldier got his head blown off. Thumbs up for the effects, it was realistic!)

  1. It will make you realize…

…that corruption in the government were already abundant even in our early years as a nation. This is the most saddening realization I ever felt just by watching a movie. “May mas malaki tayong kalaban sa mga Amerikano-ang ating sarili” – Luna

  1. It is our official entry for Oscars 2016

Heneral Luna is the country’s official entry to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 2016 Oscars. Could you believe that? Just imagine a Pinoy film (partida, indie pa) winning as Oscar award.

Rappler’s article regarding Oscars 2016 Entry

  1. There is hope for Pinoy movie industry

I have almost given up hope for Pinoy movies. I’m not being a jerk here. It’s just that, I could not find sense in Pinoy movies anymore. You can’t blame me for not liking movies such as Enteng Kabisote, Praybeyt Benjamin or this upcoming film about mistresses. I just have no words for these kinds of movies. I respect your opinion if you like to watch these films, so, respect mine if I don’t. Heneral Luna is a game changer. This gives you hope that a Pinoy movie can be as bad ass as any modern Hollywood films. They really set the bars high on this one. I am really looking forward for the next one.

  1. It will make you realize that the Philippine Army has (or should I say, had?) potential

Heneral Luna may be the best general our country ever had (Ironically, the people he swore to protect were also the very people who savagely murdered him. F*cking corrupt and brainless people). There was a scene in the movie in which Luna admitted the fact they were outnumbered and that the Americans have better technology. But, he said that in order to beat the odds, they have to have better tactics. What could have been the outcome of the Filipino-American Civil War if only Luna was still alive? Military Power is nothing without tactics and leadership.

  1. Just because it will not disappoint

It will not disappoint. Your ticket for the cinemas will be worth every centavo. Even IMDb.com rated this movie with a 9/10 score. If you want quality props, this movie has it. If you want gory action, this film surely has it. If you want comedy, jackpot, this film will make you laugh and giggle from time to time. If you want drama, no need to look elsewhere. In short, this film is really one of the greatest Pinoy movies I have ever seen.

IMDb’s Rating

If you haven’t watched Heneral Luna yet, go grab your keys, take your wallet and go straight to the cinemas nearest you! I assure you, it will be worth it and you will be left asking for more.

Credits to the owner of the featured image



Handa ka na ba para sa Job Interview mo?

If you thought school was hard, I hate to break it to you, but, school is a piece of cake compared to the real world. Real life means real problems. Say hello to bills, responsibilities, eye bags and etc. Don’t get discouraged though, it’s the way of life. Naturally, people would say, “Ayoko mag work, gusto ko mag negosyo para hawak ko oras ko.” I have said that a million times already and here I am, living in the corporate world. Having your own business is ideal but let’s get realistic here for a second. To build your own business you have to have capital. Meaning, you have to spend money to earn money. Kung mayaman ang parents mo at binigyan ka nila ng negosyo, ibang istorya na yun. Moving on.

Finding a school to go to is easy as long as you have moolah (money), finding a job on the other hand, is a whole new different ball game.

A lot of people are good in exams because they are the masters of their left side brain. I have heard several failure stories just because they did not do well on their interviews. I personally believe that employers hire people who can talk and carry themselves well. Why? Product knowledge can be improved by trainings but personal confidence and conviction comes from within.

How hard are job interviews anyway? It varies from company to company. But let’s hear from someone who has already tried it (for the first time). Garwyn Galza is a fresh graduate from De La Salle – University with a degree in Entrepreneurship (See? Even if you are an entrep graduate you still need to earn your capital and experience before you could be the boss of your own). Let us ask him about his experience when he applied for Company X (for confidentiality purposes).  Maybe we could learn a thing or two from his escapade.

What position did you apply for? Is this your first time to apply?

“Nag apply ako as Global Content Support, pero nalipat ako sa Equity team since mas bagay daw yung credentials ko doon kesa sa GCS. Oo, first time ko mag apply sa trabaho kaya andaming tumatakbo sa isip ko. Kaba, pressure, expectations at excitement.”

How long did it take for the employer to respond?

“Hindi ko na maalala eh. Mga one week after ko ata mag apply saka sila tumawag sa akin.”

How were you contacted by the recruiter? Did they schedule you for an exam or interview?

“They’ve contacted me through phone, tinawagan nila ako. Phone interview siya.”

Were you prepared for the exam/interview?

“On the spot nga eh, pag katawag nila sakin, tinanong nila ako kung right time daw ba na makausap ako, pag kasabi ko ng YES. Ayon na, biglang phone interview na pala. Actually, hindi ako prepared nung tinawagan nila ako, kasi hindi ko pa ineexpect na tatawag sila nang ganon ka-aga.”

 Were you nervous? Did you stutter?

“Sobra yung nerbyos ko kasi first time ko ma-interview ng ganon. Para akong nag graded recitation. Sa sobrang kaba ko, yung mga sagot na nasa isip ko, ayaw niyang lumabas sa bibig ko. Para akong na ba-blanko dahil sa sobrang kaba.”

What was the hardest question you had to answer?

Hardest question? Ay, yung tinanong ako ng HR kung ano ang alam ko sa company nila. Kasi sa totoo lng hindi ko pa nababasa yung “About Us” ng company na in-applyan ko nung moment na tinawagan nila ko.”

What was the easiest question you had to answer?

“Easiest question? Yung tinanong ako ng HR kung ano ano mga achievements ko. Kasi alam naman natin sa sarili natin kung ano yung mga mabuting bagay na nagawa natin, kaya mabilis ko yun nasagot.

What is the biggest mistake you committed during the interview?

Biggest mistake? Siguro yung napatulala ako sa malayo nung may tinanong yung HR tapos antagal ko bago makasagot. Biglang tumahimik, naputol yung momentum nung pag i-interview sakin.

What is the proudest moment you had in this interview?

Proudest moment? Siguro lahat, yung experience nung buong interview, na lahat ng tanong nung nag iinterview sayo eh nasagot mo at sinabing ‘Wait for your next interview.’ Syempre mahirap, lalo na kailangan english pa ang sagot mo, eh hindi naman ako ganun kagaling mag-english kaya isa din yun sa mga naging challenge sa akin sa interview.

What will be your (improved) preparation strategy for your next interview?

Pag-aaralan ko na ng mabuti yung background ng company at ng position na in-applyan ko at dapat kalmado lang dahil yung kaba talaga ang kalaban mo sa interview.

Any tips for fresh graduates out there looking for a job?

“Any tips? Just do your homework. Pag aralan ninyo ng maaga yung company na applyan niyo. Dapat laging kang ready sa interview para kahit ano oras ka tawagan, kaya mo silang sagutin. Wag na wag kayong kakabahan, kung hindi niyo maiwasang hindi kabahan, humanap kayo ng bagay na pwede niyong hawakan habang iniinterview kayo, katulad ng piso para marelax yung mind niyo. And pang huli, wag na wag kayo mag de-demand sa nag iinterview sainyo. Tandaan niyo, sa umpisa, tayo ang may kailangan sakanila dahil sila madami silang choices. Anytime pwede nila tayong hindi tawagan lalo na kung may mas qualified na applicant kesa satin. At dapat lagi kang naka smile (smiley)”

Basically, there were two things that hindered Garwyn from being at his best. He was unprepared and nervous. 16 years na kaming magkakilala ni Wyn at alam kong hindi siya nauutal makipag usap sa mga tao. But, unfortunately, his anxiety got the best of him. He was caught off guard. The moral lesson of this story is that you should always be prepared and you should always do your homework. Research about the company and know the responsibilities of the position you applied for. Employers get impressed with people who are firm and have conviction with their answers.

Just be yourself, enjoy it. Be honest and true to your words. Sell yourself just right. Don’t set expectations you can’t meet. Relax, yung parang nakikipag kwentuhan ka lang. Before you know it, your dream job is just around the corner, waiting for you. Cheers!

Did Garwyn make it? Stick around to find out. Abangan!

Stock Market Buzzwords Made Simple

Are you new to investing in the stock market?

These are some of the terms/buzzwords you will most likely hear/read about during your early investing era in the market.

Company/Security – The entity of a certain corporation.

Stock – Also referred to as share or equity, this signifies ownership in a corporation and represents a claim on part of the corporation’s assets and earnings. If you have a stock of a certain company, you may technically say that you are a part-owner of that firm. Since bumili ka ng stocks or shares ng company nila para ka na ring investor nila.

Stock Market – The market in which shares of publicly listed companies are issued and traded. To put it really simply, para siyang palengke ng mga stocks ng companies. All of the buying and selling transactions are done here (Stock Market).

Shareholder/Stockholder – When you buy a stock of a company, you are a shareholder of that corporation. For example you bought stocks of Ayala Land Inc., you are now called a shareholder of Ayala Land Inc.

Blue Chip Companies – You might hear this often when talking about the stock market. Blue chip companies generally sell high quality, widely accepted products and services. These are usually the best performing companies in an exchange. Kumbaga sa classroom, parang sila yung top 10. The overall performance of a certain group is generally based from these top performing entities.

Trivia: The term “Blue Chip” came from the game of poker since the blue chips have the highest value in this game.

Top 30 Companies in PSE

Index – Index is the average performance of the top performing companies in a certain exchange. The PSEi or the Philippine Stock Exchange Index is measured via the performance of its top 30 blue chip companies. It varies depending on the exchange.

Exchange – This is somehow similar to stock market but this is more specific. We could take PSEi as an example, it is the stock market here in the Philippines and all of the trading is conducted in this exchange.

Bull and Bear Market – These are classifications of the market trends. Bull market generally means that the stock prices are going up while in a bear market, stocks prices are usually down. To easily remember this, think of it this way, a bull usually attacks with it horns thrusting upward on the other hand, a bear usually attacks with its claws downward.

Dividends – In short, profit sharing. If you own a share of a company, you are entitled to have a dividend. This is given on a regular basis and the amount depends on the value of the company. For example, I own stocks of Double Dragon Properties Inc., therefore, I am entitled to be given a dividend of their profit. Usually given quarterly or annually, it varies per company. The amount of your dividend is directly proportional to the number of shares you own.

Initial Public Offering (IPO) – This is the point in which a private company becomes a publicly listed company. Meaning, investors can now buy shares of the said company. Kumbaga sa shopping, ito yung mga “New Arrival”. For example, LBC is planning to go public. The day that LBC goes public, that will be their IPO.

LBC Looking to Go Public

Market Hours – The market hours for the Philippine Stock Exchange starts at 9:30am and closes at 3:30pm. The market closes daily between 12:00pm to 1:30pm. It is also closed on weekends and national holidays. Parang buhay estudyante lang.

Buy Low/Sell High Concept – Trading in the stock market basically relies on this concept. It is a straightforward as it is. Since the prices of the stocks vary almost every 15 seconds, you will have the chance to buy low and sell depending on your execution or timing. It is really  a simple concept but it takes experience and familiarity to at least execute it properly. It takes patience and dedication to monitor the market movement. Kapag may tiyaga, may nilaga.

Board Lot – This is the minimum number of shares you can buy. It usually varies from 10, 100, 1000 and so on. This is to facilitate the trades easier and to eliminate odd number of shares.

Portfolio – These are the securities/companies you currently own a share from.

Stock Broker – They are the people managing the transactions of stocks for a fee. They do the buying and selling of stocks for you and that is why you pay them with commission. COL Financial Group Inc. is an online brokerage firm and their market is the Philippine Stock Exchange. There are a lot of online brokerages you can choose from.

Fundamental Analysis – In choosing what company to buy you may use this type of analysis. Fundamental analysis looks into the company’s total value. Stability and credibility is a huge must for fundamental analysts. They invest depending on present and future developments of a certain company. Fundamental analysts treat the companies they want to buy as their own businesses. Malaki tiwala mo sa kumpanya na gusto mo, kaya ka mag iinvest sakanila.

Technical Analysis – In contrary to the mentioned above, technical analysis is based purely from statistics. Buying and selling signals are determined by stock charts. They base their predictions from past trends of prices and volume. It is purely mathematical. Sabi nga nila, “Numbers don’t lie.”

Stock Charts – This is like the autobiography of a certain company. All of its previous records can be found here. Technical analysts use this tool to predict the future trend of a certain company. It takes a lot of education and experience to fully utilize the charts.

Long Term Investing – Long term investing means you will invest in a company for a certain period of time. We’re talking about 10 to 15 years of maturity date. This is to fully maximize the growth of your money and to lower the risk of losing. Long term investors (or what they call “turtle investors”) look at blue chip companies and blue chip companies only. They would want to invest on companies that will stand the test of TIME. Syempre dapat yung pang matagalan at hindi yung bigla kang iiwan sa ere.

Short Term Investing – Short term can mean days or months, nonetheless, it means your shares are constantly moving. You buy and sell companies to earn more money for a shorter period of time. Sounds easy, right? Yes, it is easy but it entails a higher risk. Stocks are volatile and the price fluctuations are a bit unpredictable. This is where the stock charts come into the equation. This is only recommended to the people who are really knowledgeable when it comes to technical analysis. Remember, the stock market is a numbers game and not of emotions. Hindi po ito sugal.

Hearing people talk using jargons is one of my pet-peeves. But, they will only remain as jargons if you don’t read about them. I hope this helps you to get a bit more familiarized in the stock market. My new found motto in life is, “Lamang ang may alam.” So, let’s continue to learn together people! Cheers! Happy investing!



10 Reasons Why You Should Have A Dog

They say that a dog is man’s best friend. I beg to differ. More than that, they are family. A dog is one of the most loyal companions you could ever have. They are reliable, dependable and let us not forget – uber cute.

If you do not have a dog in your family as of this very moment, here are the top reasons why you should adopt one right now!


corgi animated GIF

Science says that petting dogs can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol. (source: www.animalsmart.org). Well, that’s what science says. For me I say they relieve stress just for being so d*mn cute!


dog animated GIF

I have a Pomeranian. It is not the most testosterone-boosting dog out there but Mojo surely likes to bark. He’ll bark at anything and anyone. He’s like the house alarm. Thanks for keeping us notified Mojo!


dog animated GIF
A dog can sense when you are sad and a dog never wants a sad owner that’s why they’ll do their best to keep you smiling. It is impossible not to smile as soon as you see their tails waggling like crazy!


dog animated GIF

dog animated GIF Dogs will keep you healthy because you’ll be forced to walk them. Are you walking your dog or is your dog walking you?


dog animated GIF “I am as loyal as a dog!” I always say that line. It’s just so true. If you compare your loyalty to a dog’s then you must really be the most loyal person alive. There are a lot of loyalty stories involving dogs like the story of Hachikō for example. Man oh man. That movie got me crying like a little baby. I get more emotional watching dog movies than Pinoy drama. (Considering that Pinoy movies are greatly exaggerated already) I don’t know where dogs get this kind of loyalty. I wish humans were much like dogs.


dog animated GIF

Naturally, a dog needs to be fed. It also needs to be bathed and groomed. Someone also has to do the poop cleaning. It is a challenging task to maintain a dog in the house. But, it will give you a sense of responsibility. It will train you to be a responsible person in many ways. A dog deserves to be taken care of anyway. The smile they can give you is priceless.


dog animated GIF

Dogs can keep up playing with you for hours. Actually, ikaw ang unang bibigay. Dogs love to play especially with their owners. You have everything and a dog only has you. Ikaw ang lahat para sa kanila and when you play with them, it is their ultimate joy. In return, they will never ever get tired playing with you.


Tumblr Puppy animated GIF

They are just as excited to see you as you are excited to see them. It is so nice to go home and see them jump on you with genuine joy. I’m sure you’ll forget all the problems your boss gave you after seeing them so ecstatic to be with you. Dogs are just so lovable.


sweet animated GIF Dogs serve as a common ground for animal lovers. It can be a spark to connect you with awesome people like yourself. Dogs can’t speak, but they can bridge connections. That’s their gift to the human species.


cute animated GIF Dogs can develop your sense of responsibility. They can make you more loyal. They can increase your patience, especially after they eat your homework. Dogs will make you a better person because they’ll let you feel genuine love and loyalty. If we could only absorb all the good traits of our dogs, that would be great!

cute animals animated GIF

It doesn’t actually have to be a dog. Any pet is awesome and can be a part of your family. They may have different traits but all of them can give you genuine happiness and priceless smiles. Make sure to feed, hug and play with your pets right after reading this post. Show your appreciation to the cutest pet in the whole wide world

dog animated GIF

GIFs grabbed from http://www.giphy.com

Mojo is the featured image. Mehe


What To Do With Your Money In Your 20’s

“Anong gagawin mo sa una mong sweldo?”

“Libre ka naman sa unang mong sweldo!”

“Wow, yaman, unang sahod na!”

“Saan mo ilalagay una mong sweldo?”

In this time of your life, in your 20’s, you’d probably hear these lines dwell in your ears like bats in a cave.

But you got to wonder, what is really the right answer? Or should I say, what is the right question?

For me, it should be somewhat like the fourth question. Where would you put your money?

I am now 24 years old. I started working at 22. I have to say that I have almost wasted two years of what-could-have-been my life savings. Fortunately, my investing mentor (Karla Tuason) influenced me to save up and gear up for the future. Now here I am, trying to open your mind towards financial literacy, my few but lovely readers. The keyword here is, INVEST. That’s what you should do with your hard earned money.

You have to channel your money right:


It is always good to have what I call “Gipit Money“. It means that you will only use this money if you already have your back against the wall. That is why it good to work for a company that has good HMO programs. At least, your health is covered. Anyway, for the emergency fund, it should be enough to cover at least a few months of your salary just in case you get terminated from work or some unfortunate accident happens. It always good to have your back covered. That is the sole purpose of this fund.


When I tell my friends that I am planning to apply for a life insurance they always tell me, “Ha? Eh ang bata mo pa ah?” I tell you my brothers and sisters, that is the whole point! Life insurance does not get any cheaper when you are still young. Insurance companies bet that you won’t die at such an early age and voilà, cheaper insurance rates. BPI – PhilAm Life offers their basic life insurance package at ~1,800PHP per month for a 500,000PHP coverage. See? Where is your excuse now? Even if you’re getting a 20,000PHP-ish monthly salary, that would still be feasible for you.

Whether it be a *variable or *traditional life insurance, this fund will be for your beneficiaries. Don’t give your future families any burden when you pass away. I assure you, you’ll thank me in about 50 years from now.


In your first day of employment, you have to immediately think about your retirement. Make sure that you WON’T work for the rest of your awesome lives. My target retirement age is 40 years old. It seems a bit early and would I really be able to save up that much money in just 16 years? The answer is an unbelievable yes. One thing you could do is to put a percentage of your salary in *mutual funds. A lot of banks offer this kind of investment and they will act as your fund managers. Sounds fancy right? But it is as simple as A,B,C. You give them money, and they will invest it for you with a fixed return/interest. This is a low risk, low reward type of investment and perfect for long term savings. Instead of putting your savings in a piggy bank, put them in a place where they can grow. Hence, mutual funds. There are a lot of types of mutual funds out there and some are better than the others. They have their own pros and cons. We can talk about it over coffee or something. Coffee’s on you! Ha!


So far, this was the best decision I have made in my corporate life. At first, I thought that the stock market was for the rich players only. I was completely wrong. COL Financial Group (Citisec On Line) conducted a seminar in our university when I was still in college. I didn’t pay enough attention to it because I was still a fool back then. Yes, I am a fool for not starting that early. I was a fool for letting opportunity walk away right in from of me. Anyway, moving forward, now that I am no longer a fool, I started investing in the stock market last April 2014. Ito lang masasabi ko. “BAKIT HINDI KO PA TO SINIMULAN DATI PA!? The stock market is a bittersweet eureka moment of my life. It’s sweet because I already started. It’s bitter because I did not start earlier.

I am what they call a long term investor (turtle investor). I buy shares of valuable and financially stable companies or what they call, *Blue Chip Companies. It’s simple, for example, I buy a share from Ayala Land Inc. today for 1.00PHP/share. Then, I will wait for it to grow to 2.00PHP/share, so on and so forth. And eventually, when it reaches a certain price for a certain time period, I will now be able to sell it at a higher price per share. It is just like a simple buy-and-sell business.

The stock market is not something to be afraid of. It is not a gamble. It is not for the rich only. It is something that could save us from poverty. You just have to invest in the right companies and buy at the right time. In long term investing, the margin of error is thin. That’s why for beginner investors like me, this is recommendable.

However, there is a way to earn money from the stock market twice as fast. But, it takes a lot of knowledge, reading, learning and experience. My stock market mentor, Harley S. Wong (Stock Broker/Senior Product Specialist of our team at FactSet Research Systems Inc.), would be able to shed more light with regards to this investing method. This involves a lot of *chart reading and technical stock market jargons that I should leave to the experts to discuss. For now, long term investing in the stock market is already more than enough.

So, don’t let opportunity walk away from you like I did.
Start now! Start early! Don’t be afraid. Instead, understand.
“We’re afraid of things we don’t understand.” So, understand.
Read and you shall learn.
Ask and you shall be taught.

  1. SHARE

What is the purpose of wealth if you won’t share it? What would you do with all the money in the world if it’s just for yourself? That would be pointless.

Help your family and help your loved ones. I am guilty for not being able to help out that much but I believe that I should first help myself before I could help others. I should be stable on my own before I help someone to be stable. That is the responsible way of helping.

Share your wealth in any way you can. Donate, offer, etc. In any way you can. There’s no point in having everything, if you can’t share it with anyone.

Money is not happiness. It is just a tool towards happiness. Do not get rich for the wrong reasons. Be rich so that you can be an inspiration to others.

  1. ENJOY

Finally, you still have to enjoy your worth. What is the point of saving up for the future if you cannot enjoy your present life? Always reward yourself to get you motivated. Believe me, you can save and enjoy at the same time. You just have to adjust your life style. You could bond with your family over an affordable lunch out. Hang out with your friends over affordable beers. Spend quality time with your partner over coffee. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It only should be extravagant in terms of the quality of your moments together. That is happiness.

In life, time is your greatest friend and your worst enemy. The way for it to be your greatest ally is to start early. Invest now while you are still young. Invest your signing bonus. Invest with your first salary. I don’t want you to have the same regret as I did. Start now and thank yourself later. Trust me. It wouldn’t hurt to save up. It would actually make your life better. This is the era in which financial literacy would be as easy as 1,2,3.
Save early, retire early.

Disclaimer: I am NOT in any way, affiliated with the investment firms mentioned above. I am merely an investor myself who wants to help others to invest too. If you want to learn more about investing, please do not hesitate to ask. I’d be more than willing to help you out. 

* – If you have questions for certain terms/jargons, hit me up with a comment below ®

Credit to the owner of the image used


Commuting: Struggles and Lessons Learned

Are you a commuter?

Do you take public transportation to get to work?

Well, welcome to this article. This will show you the ups and downs of commuting in the Philippines.

I guess we all know how our public transportation system works – It is BAD. It is not convenient. It is not easy. It will give you the haggard-look-make-up when you get to the office.

But hey, there is always a bright side. I believe that everything has a silver lining no matter how deep or shallow it may be. As a commuter myself, I have learned these valuable lessons from the daily grind.

  1. Taking the Tricycle

Every day, I take the tricycle to get to the terminal near our village. I guess I am now a professional tricycle rider. However, every professional began as an amateur. This happened a long time ago when I was still a noob in riding the three-wheeled wonder. Are you familiar with the “Charity Seat” – That luxurious and spacious seat inside in between the driver and the two other passengers? (Can you smell my sarcasm now?) Well, I never took that seat because I hated it. But sometimes, you just wouldn’t have a choice, so I took it. Without knowing that I am completely wrong, I entered the tricycle facing forward. Given that the space inside is very small I wouldn’t be able to fit and sit properly. Since I had no other choice, I turned around inside the tricycle like a contortionist assistant of a magician hoping that it would be quick and easy. I thought that I was doing a good job until this passenger tapped my butt and said “Huy! Ano ba yan?!” (Not knowing that my behind was already harassing his face). Being ashamed of myself at that very moment I just pushed through and said to myself “Bahala na! Napasubo na eh!” Fortunately, I was able to sit down. Although, I had my face covered the whole trip. Yes.

I have learned from this experience that there will come a time, we will face an unfamiliar challenge that will require us to use a different approach from what we are used to. The experience itself might seem shallow, but the learning I gained was significantly useful. Some challenges in our life will force us to use our unorthodox stance – figuratively speaking, and we will have to adjust. In this simple example, instead of going inside face first, it should have been butt first. Take it from me guys, I learned it the hard way.

  1. Taking the Jeep

In my every day journey to work, I seldom take the jeep. However, I prefer taking the jeep rather than the tricycle because it is more comfortable and cheaper.

What I learned from taking the jeep is courtesy and respect. You will always hear this inside the jeep – “Makikisuyo po ng bayad” or sometimes “Kuya/Ate, paki abot naman po ng bayad”. Everyone who takes the jeepney will surely use these lines more often times than not – Regardless if this is just a force of habit or not, it is still a good practice. Everyone is your kuya or ate inside the jeep! Snatchers not included though.

  1. Taking the Van

It really is uncomfortable to take the UV Express vans for me or any commuter van at all. It is always jam-packed and most of the times the air conditioner do not work. Given that the humidity in our country is sky-high, you will all end up sticky and slimy. You’re all exchanging body heat with people you have never seen before, complete strangers. How weird is that, right? You’ll often hear them (barkers) say, “Maluwag pa po! Konti na lang ba-biyahe na” and that’s often a lie. Maluwag does not exist in the UV Express dictionary.  However! There is always a silver lining.

The average capacity of a commuter van is 14 people, including the driver. Interestingly enough, these UV Express franchisers can load up to 18 passengers inside their magical vans – excluding the driver himself. It’s amazing, right? What I’ve learn from this is that, sometimes you have to push your capacities to the limit. You’ll never know your full potential until you push yourself to your breaking point. You have to step out your comfort zone and extend your range. In this case, the vans are pushed to their limits. Go vans!

*UV Express is a famous commuter van franchise in the Philippines

  1. Taking the MRT/LRT

Oh yes, the infamous MRT/LRT. I would refrain from taking this as much as I can. I have experienced MRT several times already from my previous work and it is extremely inconvenient. The long lines will kill you and the actual ride will kill you more. It is literally a sea of people and you’ll be dragged by the wave. Always prepare your nose when taking the MRT/LRT since everyone is sweaty and haggard. As of the latest news, only 8 trains work out of the 20 that should be operating. Simple logic, fewer trains mean more congestion of passengers – The perfect recipe for long waiting time and hellish experience in the train itself.

The experience in taking the MRT will make you a tougher person – figuratively and literally. It requires barbaric strength just to get inside. It is a frenzy whenever the train arrives at the station. This is due to the long waiting time in a long line. As they say, “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” I guess that taking the MRT requires endurance and dedication. It is that hard and inconvenient. Imagine going through this every day and it might just help you become immune to anything inconvenient.

*Scenario taken during rush hours.

  1. Taking the Bus

I always take the bus going to work. Since I do not ride from the terminal, I’m always in the “Standing Ovation Aisle”. You will stand for the whole duration of the trip. If the traffic is terrible, then, wish your feet good luck. Most often times than not, the aisle of the busses are narrow. Sobrang sikip and given the situation is already hard, the conductor will have to pass through no matter how cramped up the bus is.

In this every day experience, I learned how to be flexible and adaptive.

You’ll learn how to fit in. You’ll learn how to tip toe your way out of a moving bus. You’ll learn out to squeeze in your body for the conductor to pass through. You’ll learn how to give way to other passengers even if it seems like there is no way through. You will find yourself more flexible than you know.

You will also improve your balancing skills, especially when the drivers do not know how to use the brakes properly.

  1. Taking the Taxi

So we are down to this. I am not a fan of taking the taxi because it is expensive and crime-friendly. I often hear crime stories regarding taxis. Fortunately, Uber and GrabTaxi can now provide safer services, not a hundred percent though. But, this is the most convenient, I should say. It is like having a private driver and a car all to yourself.

From my experiences in riding the taxi, I have learned how to be patient and vigilant. You have to have patience whenever the driver tells you “Ay ma’am/sir, wala po akong barya pang sukli.” What kind of a businessman are you if you don’t have change? Are you expecting your customers to have exact amounts in their pockets all the time? We all know that they only do that so that you wouldn’t have any choice but to say “Keep the change.” It is frustrating since they are taking advantage. In cases in which you will have no choice but to give in to this semi-modus-operandi, it will require you to have a long strand of patience not to get mad and ruin your whole day.

You also have to be extremely vigilant. You have to be careful and mindful of the taxis you are taking. You have to be familiar of the routes your taxis are going to take. Get the plate number or take a picture of the ID of the driver and let your family/friends know. Prevention is always better than cure. When you smell something fishy – figuratively or literally, step out and get out. Be aware of what is happening and if you feel that something is unusual, again, step out and get out.

Those are the practical life lessons I got from commuting. Sometimes, I feel like, it only takes a matter of time before you get used to commuting. It is hard and inconvenient at first but you’ll get the hang of it. Remember, commuting is still the cheapest way to get to where you want to go.

They say that a country is prosperous and well developed when its rich people use the public transportation.  The Philippines still has a long, long way to go but all hopes are up. I know someday we will reach that kind of development.

How about you?

Are you a commuter yourself?

What have you experienced and learned so far?

Feel free to share it in the comments section!

© Credits to the owners of the images above

® RamjoTejada