Tuesday, February 18, 2014

5 Tips for the Upcoming Mega Traffic in Metro Manila

Honestly, I don't know if the traffic can get any worst in Metro Manila. Skyway Stage 3 construction officialy started last night but we won't really feel the chaos until all projects simultaneously coincide with each other. Amidst all the hype and armageddon-like description from the media of the upcoming traffic that will be caused by the Skyway Stage 3 infrastructure project, here are some tips to get you all lock and loaded for the supposedly traffic-ggedon:

#1 Prepare your car
What could be worse other than being in the traffic hell itself? Well, it's your car breaking down in the middle of all that chaos. First, you will add to the already chaotic situation which would worsen the traffic condition. Second, if you have a car towing service, it'll surely take a lot of time before the tow truck reaches where you are. Also, traffic enforcers would see this as an opportunity to apprehend you because yes, your car breaking down and causing traffic obstruction is a traffic offense which would cost you a fine of P150. Measly fine but still, that is added unnecessary cost. (Here's a list of 'LTO traffic violation and their corresponding fines')

To prevent this, make sure that your car is well maintained. Have everything checked by your trusty mechanic or dealer if you're aware that your car is a candidate for future break downs and other similar problems like over heating. When symptoms arises, don't prolong it because it can also damage other parts.

#2 Prepare your mindset
Monday blues. Very sleepy. Heavy traffic. I'm pretty sure that anytime now, you'll be in grumpy mode if you see the traffic situation. Before you wreck your day, check this video out first:

Do you see that crazy long line? That's the line to ride the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) in North Avenue. So, if you're stuck in traffic, just be thankful that you drive a car and you're sitting down. Before even driving out, expect the worst! Be armed! Bring snacks and water. Be productive by listening to education or entertaining podcast. If your mind is ready and you expect the worst, you'll be surprised if the traffic situation is not as bad as expected and you'll have a better mood throughout the day. 

#3 Prepare for the day after
Believe me when I say that this is the worst time to leave your son's school ID or any other important stuff at home. You'll know what you need the day after so better prepare them before going to sleep. Also, plan your route. There's no better way to waste your precious time and gasoline by going back-and-forth because you failed to plan. Another important reminder is that you need to charge your devices. Some people delay charging devices because they fear that the battery will be damaged or wear faster if they charge without draining the battery. Let me remind you that you are the master of your devices and they are simply tools to help you. I'm sure a lot of us have experienced low battery moments when we needed it the most. You'll feel helpless. So, before you go to sleep, charge your devices and by the time you wake up, at least they will also be ready for use.

#4 Maximize available tools
Smartphones are so affordable nowadays that you can buy one for less than 2,000 pesos. These devices have a lot of apps that can help you find your way through traffic. Waze is one of them. Other than providing turn by turn navigation, it also collaborates traffic data from other users. Personally, I've been using Waze more than my in-car navigation system. It also announces upcoming road obstructions and even hidden traffic enforcers! Other than traffic data, you can easily find alternative routes and you'll never be scared to explore new routes again! Make sure you have enough gas always though.

Don't have a mobile internet subscription? Smart has affordable Waze packages for as low 5 pesos a day and 99 pesos for 30 days. (More info? Smart Waze)

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Rainy season? Here are 8 things to check before heading out.

#5 Leave earlier
We are so used to making traffic an excuse why we are late but the real reason behind is that we failed to leave early. It's so hard to wake up early and it is a challenge for most of us. I guess I don't need to tell you (which I am doing now anyway) that waking up early takes discipline and is more of a habit than an effort. And you know what? Waking up early might be your key to success! Check out these articles:
Successful people who wake up really early by Business Insider
5 things successful people do before 8am by Forbes Magazine
What most successful people do before breakfast by Success.com

Waking up earlier doesn't ensure success. It's just that, as said in the article, those people know that time is a precious commodity and they know that by waking up earlier, they can maximize it. It's more on learning time management. Instead of the usual time, leave your house an hour earlier if possible because of expected traffic. Try it. It will be for the better.

It's going to be a challenge for most of us living in Metro Manila in the next couple of years but in the long run, we will also benefit from all these projects. We keep on saying that this project should've been done way back etc. Reality is, it was not done before and there is no better time than starting now. We should just do our part in getting ready for this and try to do your part rather than just complain and complain.

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