How to Survive Riding the MRT During Rush Hour

I have been riding the MRT/LRT for so many years, and until now, it never fails to amuse me how people can do it everyday of their lives without feeling stressed out. I am riding the MRT more frequently now that I live in Quezon City, and my work is in Makati. To be able to avoid too much stress, I have written ten ways for a girl to survive riding the MRT, most especially during the rush hour.

1. Be well-equipped. As much as possible, if you are riding the MRT during rush hour, do not bring too much stuff. It would only hinder you in finding and squeezing for a spot inside.

2. Wear comfortable shoes. I say, wear flats. The high-heeled stilettos can wait once you are out of the coach. Your feet would curse you when you are standing in high heels for the whole trip, and you can’t even move a muscle to relieve the strain from one leg to the other. As much as possible, do not wear slippers. Those girls in shoes could just step on you, and you cannot do anything about it other than say “ouch!”

3. If you are a morning person, come 15 to 30 minutes early. Though the coaches are almost full, the people inside are not yet that agitated and impatient. If you try to join the rush hour commuters, chances are, you’ll see drama, quarrels, and sometimes, physical assaults. Worse, you could be one of them.

4. Always be prepared and alert. Try to protect different parts of your body by using your bag as your shield. Also, try to be aggressive in looking for a place for you but not to the point that you will literally push other people just to get in. Do not fall into the trap of standing near the door. Chances are, you will be pushed, beaten, and shoved by the people coming in and out. If you cannot go inside because there are a lot of people on your way, strategize your way inside every stop. Every move people make should be to their advantage. If you think you could not go down the coach easily if you are so far inside, do the same thing. Move at every stop until you are relatively near the door but still safely “untouchable” by those who are just about to come in.

5. Find your perfect footing, and do not lose it until you are prepared to find another one or to leave. When you move your foot, someone else would use the small place your foot vacated. If you have not found another secure place for your feet, it would, of course, be difficult to balance yourself during the ride.

6. Be like a bamboo. Sway to the movement of the coaches but not to the point that you would put most of your weight on someone else.

7. If you are petite, do not go behind those with long hair. Especially those you think are vain ones. These girls will always touch their hair, comb it with their hands, touch it again, and you would have no choice but to have a feel—or worse, a taste—of those rebonded hair.

8. Be patient. There will be a lot of insensitive and selfish people, so try not to go down to their level. Do not ruin your day just because these people are too engrossed with their own wants.

9. Have a music player or a book. Sometimes when you hear the grunts, the complaints, the squabbles, you tend to get stressed too. Try to block them off by having your own little world.

10. Lastly, learn to let go and move on. You were pushed around? Somebody beat you to the vacant seat? Someone stepped on your toes? It happens to most of us, and being angry or even annoyed can only dampen your day, and I bet that person didn’t even think about it for a second. If the person said sorry, accept the apology. If she didn’t, let it go. There is no point getting mad about it for a long time.



I would like to think that my life began at 29, which was just a few months ago. I feel like this is the beginning of self-discovery that has been long overdue. I was propelled to a situation where the only option was to survive. Here I am, not only surviving but also learning and enjoying so much from it. I realized that I was never really lost but rather I was just sidetracked. Now, I look forward to a happy place as I work on the new and better version of myself.

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2 Responses to “How to Survive Riding the MRT During Rush Hour”
  1. Marlo says:

    If I may add, do NOT put your mobile phones/ipod/wallet inside the pockets of your pants. Put them inside your bag at least until you get off the train. I ride the MRT everyday and have recognized pickpockets, and they operate usually at Ayala Station.


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