Some say it’s merely the side effect of a whirring economy. Others proclaim it as a sign of the apocalypse. A great number declare it as years and years of corruption manifesting itself in the form of a monstrous kilometers-long snake made of steel and rubber and the angry, booming screams of commuters going, “Putang-inang trapik ‘to! Araw araw na lang!”
We hear you, brothers and sisters. On Instagram, we see harrowing images of bumper lights, glowing blood red in unison. On Facebook, we feel the exclamation points hitting our screen like hail as you—out of blind fury—irresponsibly declare “Ibalik ang Martial Law!”
We are going crazy ourselves—and it’s only a matter of time before a loon among us expresses his frustration by pulling out a gun in EDSA. Stranger things have happened.
We are here to prevent that. Below is our desperate guide to prevent you from going insane over Manila’s signature traffic hell-jams!
1) Gumising ng 3 a.m.
Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. In this case, it also makes you less likely to punch your dashboard.
For the typical eight-to-five salary-men who live far from work, a 5 a.m. wake-up call used to be early enough. Not anymore. Now, if you are to avoid the morning mob, waking up at the witching hour may be the only solution. Catch up on lost sleep in the bus, or in your office.
2) Remember these words: “Goos-fra-ba”
In case your 3 a.m. alarm fails, and you find yourself in the familiar position of fuming in traffic, let Jack Nicholson’s magic Eskimo chant from Anger Management calm you. Remember: It’s not Goos-bla-bla, it’s Goos-fra-ba!
3) Pagmuni-munihan ang buhay
Distract yourself with existential questions.
Ano ba talaga ang meaning ng traffic? Ano ba ang lugar ng traffic sa buhay ko? Bakit ko ba nilalagay ang sarili ko sa traffic? Para sa trabaho? Bakit nga ba ako nagpapakahirap sa pagpunta sa trabaho? Ito ba talaga ang gusto kong puntahan? Saan ko ba talaga gustong pumunta? Saan nga ba papunta ang buhay ko? Eh ang buhay nating lahat? Ang buhay ng mga kasabay ko sa lecheng traffic na to? Leche talaga ‘tong traffic na to 'no? Di ba, nakaka-buryong na? Putang ina, di'ba?!
Even Chris Farley is confused now: