Phobia in Manila

In light of the recent MRT mayhem in Edsa, and the unending horror-stories of modus operandis, it makes me realize just how traumatizing commuting can be in the Philippines. 

When I was still a freshmen student, I couldn’t help it – I was so tired that the stress lulled me to sleep on the FX going home. When I got off, I noticed that something heavy was dangling around on my hip, and when I looked to see what it was – I found a medium-sized foldable knife attached to the belt hook of my jeans (???). A failed attempt at slashing my bag? A practical joke? All I could do was let the theories swim in my head. 

Regardless, it was a wake-up call for my inexperienced commuter self then. 

I’ve had a friend who was held at knifepoint and had to literally fight the perps off. Thankfully, he left the scene unscathed – all his belongings and limbs intact (truly, when push comes to shove, adrenaline does have a tendency to amplify our inbred self-defense mechanism). 

I have yet to share a story with a headline of “faith in humanity restored”. For the meantime, my phobia shall reign over my commuter-subconscious and I shall enter every cab with an abnormally fast heart rate. 


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