congratulations, MRT-Quezon Avenue, and other laments

Title because of some random funny article about “congratulations” posts getting more Facebook feed space than others. So, there.


This morning was quite a surprise for me and fellow commuters who took the train at the Quezon Avenue Station. At first, I thought I was in luck, as the line, which usually snaked down to Mo. Ignacia Ave, was very short this morning. Little did I–and judging by the looks on their faces, the rest of the area’s commuting populace–know that the “new” route would wind upward, past the station, up the stairs to the overpass, BEFORE GOING DOWN AGAIN INTO THE STATION. And at some point of the line, there was some douchebag of a guard ordering people to rearrange the usually three-line arrangement (something I honestly do not understand, given that all the signs order people to arrange themselves into TWO lines) into TWO lines: one male, one female.

It was probably one of those “experiments” that the staff in the station and the people in the barangay were coming up with to try to assuage the discomfort that comes with anything involving public transport in the Philippines. One of those sudden rule changes that tend to make people go WTF as they get rerouted and shouted into complying with policies which didn’t even exist last weekend.

The sad part is, the guards and the staff at the station, douchebags as they are, are hardly to blame. No amount of gimmickry will compensate for the sheer quantity of passengers for the sheer scarcity of trains running the circuit, no amount of screaming over a megaphone will allow you to stuff more people per train to compensate for said scarcity. Meanwhile, those running the trains blame the government, the government blames everything from its political enemies to the previous administration, and the guards and the staff will either stare blankly at you and feign stupidity, or simply claim that they’re just doing their jobs, as other commuters resort to less legal means, such as colorum vehicles or unregistered buses, just to get to work.

So congratulations, MRT-Quezon Avenue, and congratulations, government, for making something as supposedly simple as a morning commute even more fucked-up than it already is.