Saturday, June 2, 2012

I Survived EDSA: Alone, at Night, and on Foot

Friday, pay-day and rain—the perfect combination to make going home at night a living hell. It took me almost two hourswhat usually takes me 15-20 minutes—to reach home.

Today was my first Friday at my new job—as digital marketing manager—for a company located in Emerald Ave, Ortigas. When I got out at 10:15PM, the street was already full of BPO company employees—including myself—trying to beat each other for the much-awaited taxi ride. It was hopeless—I am fair enough not to steal cabs from those who were there before me; and cab drivers chose this night to be snobs—four rudely turned me down giving me their "Ma'am pa-grahe na ako, eh." alibi. I decided to go to Robinsons Galleria in the hope of finding a systematic queue, but was also defeated. More than 30 people were lined up ahead of me and cabs arrived every 5-10 minutes. I just knew then that I had to walk if I wanted to reach home soon. And thankfully, I and my favourite Onitsuka Tiger sneakers were able to survive EDSA at night—11PM—and on foot.

Surviving EDSA on foot
It is hard enough to be in EDSA when you are inside a car; harder if you are on a bus; and hardest if you are plainly walking. What made it worst for meI was just by myself. 
So if ever you'll ever find your way in the same predicament, here are my tips:
  1. Be alert
  2. Walk fast
  3. Look fierce- try not to look scared even if you are. I was really scared but in my years of commuting, I learned that I had to turn on my fierce don't-mess-with-me face every time I am out in public. Before, I was the usual prey of the pick-pockets and lost five cellphones 
  4. Be vigilant- watch out of for shady people—there are a lot; be sure to keep away from them; and choose to be grouped with the nice-looking ones—although in EDSA you can never be sure
  5. Keep your belongings safe- put your bag in front of you and close to your body 
  6. Be ready for unpleasant sites and smells- I saw a malnourished family of four with a mother, infant and two toddlers begging for whatever you can give—definitely not an easy site for me; and the smell—smelled like sewer water mixed with piss and feces 

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