You think summer is the worst time to stay in Manila

Wait until you are caught with ten of thousands other commuters under a heavy downpour in Taft Avenue MRT Station, then you might reconsider the title of this article.

I woke up at 6 this morning to go to my 8am appointment in Intramuros. Being somebody who always does an overkill, I reached LRT1 Central Terminal at around 10 minutes after 7. What more, I was greeted by a wet Tuesday morning with the pouring rain showing no sign of abetting. So I waited and competed with other stranded passengers for a taxi. Cabs when they are not needed pour aplenty and suddenly become elusive the moment the world needs them.

Except for some moments of sunny skies, the rest of the day was wet. I finished my transaction in the Walled City and decided against going to SM City Manila because of the crazy weather. I went directly to LRT1 Central Terminal Station and saw the throng of faces going in and leaving the station that reminded me of the subway in Cologne only that it was more colorful in Manila because of the vari-colored umbrellas and the eclectic fashion taste of the people in the Filipino megalopolis.

The train started to slowdown in Quirino Station. Somebody commented that the train is running out of electricity; another seconded that LRT has not paid its electricity bills to Meralco. Filipinos can make up reasons for anything, I thought. Several meters away from Pedro Gil Station, the train came to a halt. Not wanting to be outdone, somebody jokingly announced that all passengers will have to alight and help push the train. Everyone laughed. I did not understand why they laughed, was it the fact that they will have to get out of the train and walk the remaining meters to the station (which is indeed very funny, in a sarcastic way) or because they feared they will all die of suffocation (laughing as a way to take in more oxygen) after the air conditioning system of the train stopped functioning?

I knew that that LTR incident only foreshadowed the next scenes when I transferred to MRT3 in Taft Avenue. The sky seemed reserved at first, belying the fury it was about to let go. The lines of passengers started from the exit of Metro Point Mall. It appeared that no one was moving inside the mall because of the queues that have built up. I opted to abandon my post and instead take a bus, an act that proved to be a mistake.

When I reached EDSA the rain fell with reckless abandon. It was as if the entire Pacific Ocean fell from the sky. This was followed by the usual flooding. I waded my way around sacrificing the umbrella I just bought from 7eleven early this morning. Buses were nowhere to be found, as elusive as the taxis.

So I went back to Taft Avenue MRT Station, ate my pride, and fell in line to the waiting trains.

But then, despite its hellish character, Manila transforms itself in to a totally different creature whenever it rains hard. Viewed from afar, the Makati skyline was more majestic, the people hurrying to their unknown destinations more serene, my mind more peaceful.

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1 thought on “You think summer is the worst time to stay in Manila”

  1. i can write a hundred different feelings and experiences of raining and manila; they produce a strange mixture of holy week-kinda-holiday, melancholia, contemplation, lust, etc. basta!

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