Yesterday marked a milestone in my around-8-years of commuting in Manila.
Okay, there have been several problems in the LRT in the past, but nothing this bad.
Yesterday, there was a fire near the Libertad station of the LRT. It must have been a big fire because I was early (around 0715am) and already, the LRT personnel were advising the passengers (meaning us) that the trains would only go Gil Puyat/Buendia. I mean, okay, that was fine, because I only need to go up to UN Ave. If I was still in HSBC, I’d have a huge problem. The EDSA station was still a bit farther than Gil Puyat/Buendia.
So, anyway, I went in the train as usual…and slept, as usual. I’m a light sleeper when commuting so I don’t go past my stop. So, to my surprise, the next few times that I woke up, the train kept stopping. In the end, it totally stopped between R.Papa and Abad Santos for around 30 minutes. When it stopped at Abad Santos, some people left the train. An announcement was made that the trip would take a bit longer. Much longer. After around 5 minutes, we were still at Abad Santos, so I went out, hopeful in catching a jeepney or FX or taxi to get to Hyatt. After 30 minutes of walking, I reached R.Papa station. I actually walked one whole station!
When I got there, I tried to catch some form of transport, to no avail. I then decided to go up the station since trains were sort of moving. Unfortunately, the trains were packed. I couldn’t get in. I got fed up, left the station again and started walking towards Monumento. Called my mom, asking for directions (Recto? Sta. Cruz?) and after a while, the trains really started moving.
Everyone of us started walking fast back up the station. It was too bad (really bad) that I missed the skip train. Waited for around 10 minutes more for the next train. Got in standing, and well, it took around 45 minutes to get from R.Papa to UN Ave (8 stations!). The LRT pretty much stopped for 10-15 minutes per station. Got to the office around 1030. Whew. Imagine, I had to change and put make-up (and whatever stuff I had to do to look presentable) in the shortest time possible.
The worst part of the day was… at the end of my shift, I usually (always) leave immediately. At Hyatt, there are jeepneys going to V.Cruz and jeepneys that also pass Taft but go somewhere else. I take the Sta. Ana/Bukid routes. For some unknown reason, there were hardly any jeepneys last night. Well, I was in a hurry, so I decided to walk (take note, it was raining).
I walked from Hyatt, past Robinson’s Midtown/Manila, all the way to Pedro Gil LRT station. And… surprise surprise! Seems the fire at Libertad not only affected the morning rides, but the whole day’s routes. There was a line from the top of the station all the way to the corner of Pedro Gil and Taft! Based on my experience from the morning, I couldn’t decide if I would stay in line or take a jeepney. So I decided to wait it out for a few minutes. The line hardly moved. I decided to take the jeepney. Got home…oh, 1 and a half hours later? Lol.
Don’t know what to say. But yeah. I’m speechless.