I stand 5 feet and 11 inches. Most Filipinos envy my height. They think of it as a blessing. I also do think of it as a blessing on occasions like getting the dried clothes from the sampayan and how easily spottable I am during a crowded concert but for riding transportations in the Philippines, somehow it is a curse.
I stand 5 feet and 11 inches.Â I do not mind when a row in a van should only be 3 people then 4 people gets squished in it. I do mind when they modify a 3-row van into a 4-row van because my knees are already hitting the next row in the front. Imagine that situation for a 3 hour van ride from Tacloban City to Borongan. Still there are those who are commendable for not modifying their vans like the van from Iloilo City to Iloilo Airport.
I stand 5 feet and 11 inches. I do mind how expensive airfare is in the Philippines but I also know how much time I can save with them. I also mind on how weirdly the seats are closely spaced apart that it gives me the same knee problem as the vans. Where being at the window seat may also become a curse when I wanted to get to the lavatory. Maybe I should try accepting the responsibility of seating beside the emergency exit.
I stand 5 feet and 11 inches. I love long bus rides and the views that comes with it especially when riding down from Baguio in the afternoon. I do mind on how closely spaced apart the seats are (again) like the bus from NAIA 3 to MRT Taft Station.
I stand 5 feet and 11 inches. I do not mind getting squished on the sides by passengers when a 10 seater seat of a jeepney gets cramped with 11 people. But I do mind on how low a ceiling of a jeepney is. Mostly when the nearest seat to the door is already occupied. But when it is not occupied, my legs become an instant door that blocks passengers from entering or leaving the jeepney. Maybe I should do toploading often.
I stand 5 feet and 11 inches. I do mind on how expensive a tricycle fare is compared to riding jeepneys but I do know the fact that it creates a job for many. What I really do mind about them is somehow many of them are getting lowered these days. The sidecar’s roof is too low that whenever we hit a bump on the road I also hit my head on the roof. Maybe I should try toploading in tricycles too.
I stand 5 feet and 11 inches. I do know that this types of problem may lead to injury especially when exposed to frequent long trips. But I do know that when transportations adjust for someone like me there will be less passengers per trip. Less passengers means, less income per trip. Less income per trip may lead to increase in prices. Increase in prices may lead to people not being able to afford the basic commodity called transportation.
I stand 5 feet and 11 inches. No matter how painful it is to travel the Philippines, I still love this country and I will still proudly travel around it often.