“I live in Makati, but I work in Ortigas,” a line that makes most of my friends gasp in disbelief. Yes, I don’t live near my workplace. And even though I’m just renting my pad, I refuse to move closer to where my job is.
Anyone who has ever rode any form of transportation in Manila knows how bad traffic can get. Not to mention the heat and temperament of the people whose patience are stretched to the thinnest. I’m going to share with you how I, a guy living in the heart of Makati, commutes from my apartment to my office place in Ortigas. I pride myself for doing this on a day-to-day basis and still be standing.
Rockwell Business Center – Ortigas
This is my workplace since 2010. This is the building in front of Medical City along Ortigas Avenue. I am not fond of this location at first since this is the first time I’m going to work far from home. Commuting from Makati to Ortigas is a struggle. There are many options, routes, mode of transportation, but it all boils down to just one word: TRAFFIC.
I work at night right smack during rush hour. From our street near Evangelista, I ride a jeepney to Edsa. From Edsa, I ride the buses going to Monumento/North Edsa. I did this for a few weeks, and most of the time I was late! The heavy traffic along Edsa is unpredictable. If you’re traversing the Magallanes flyover and suddenly finds yourself stuck in traffic, you’re mincemeat. Chances are, you’ll be there for a very long time. So I quit riding buses and tried the MRT instead.
The MRT is notorious for delayed trains, long lines and sardines-like situations. But I kinda like this more than taking a bus. Once you perfect the art of pagsiksik, you’re good to go. From MRT Ortigas, I just walk to Rockwell Business Center. If I’m early, I can leisurely walk inside Robinson’s Galleria. I’ve been doing this Jeep-MRT-Walk formula for 4 years, and it works. Of course, there are days when the MRT is not reliable, but hey, we’re in the Philippines, what’s a guy to do? LMAO.
Sometimes, I ride taxi. I suggest you use GrabCar, GrabTaxi or Uber since hailing a cab in Makati during rush hour is a task in itself. Minsan nale-late ako sa paghihintay ng taxi pa lang. Plus, this is the very expensive. I don’t recommend riding taxi everyday. Mag MRT ka na lang, masasanay ka rin promise.
But a life-changing event happened at the start of 2016, and I can’t say I’m happy about it. Our company decided that Rockwell Business Center is not far enough, they moved to Silver City 2 in Pasig. Yes, it’s near Tiendesitas. Like yes, malapit na sa C5 yan! Actually, C5 na yan! UGH!! I’m dead.
Silver City 2 – Pasig
January 2016 is the start of a new journey for me — literally! Now that my workplace is in Silvery City 2 near Tiendesitas, I have no other choice but to ride a jeepney to Pasig. So I tried different options:
Option 1: I did my old route of riding a jeep from Evangelista to MRT Pasay/Taft station, then ride the MRT to Ortigas station. From there, I walk to Robinson’s Galleria. Now this is going to be new for me, riding the jeepney from the Ortigas side of Robinson Galleria to Pasig. Just underneath the Ortigas flyover, there’s a jeepney terminal going to Rosario, Pasig. The problem here is there’s always a very, very long line of passengers and not enough jeepneys. I tried this. I was in line for almost an hour! That’s crazy! And I ended up being late for like 30 minutes. I’m not going to do this again.
Option 2: Basically do option 1, but instead of riding a jeepney, you can ride the buses along Ortigas Avenue going to Rizal or Pasig. This seems better, if you can wrestle with the other passengers to ride that bus! And once you’re inside the bus, be prepared to exchange faces with the other passengers. This is MRT all over again! Plus, did I tell you that it’s heavy traffic along Ortigas Avenue? LMAO. I was also late for about 30 minutes. This is no better than option 1.
Option 3: I found out that there’s a jeepney terminal along Shaw Blvd of jeeyneys going to Ugong, Pasig. So I just alight at MRT Shaw, then walk to the terminal. The jeep’s route is along Julio Vargas, so less traffic. This seems to be the best route so far. There’s not a lot of passengers. Walang siksikan. The only problem is the limited jeepneys. Wala ngang pila, maghihintay ka naman ng isang oras kasi walang jeep! Most of the time, if you miss to ride a jeep, chances are you are going to wait for the jeep to return and pick you up. But this is still the better option. You just need to be there really early. And if you miss the jeep, you can always opt to hail a taxi. It’s easier to get a taxi here than in Ortigas. I’ve been doing this route and so far so good. I’m still late once in a while, the long wait time for the jeeps is a killer, but this is the most convenient of the 3 options.
At the end of the day, I hope our company will provide shuttle service. It’s the best solution for their employees struggling to commute everyday.