What is it about Monday morning that sends people in Metro Manila into a panic? To me, Monday has always been just like any other weekday. But apparently, I’m alone in this radical idea. To the rest of the workforce, Monday is some sort of D-Day. On this particular day, rush hour means crossing a war zone in your office uniform.

This morning was tougher than I remembered. Perhaps because I hadn’t gotten my mandatory gulp of water before leaving the house, I felt woozy and incoherent. They stopped entry into the MRT station because the platform was already too full (they do this sometimes, sort of like a ceasefire). So we wait there for an eternity, our battle gear ready to engage at a moment’s notice. People upon people added to the infinite snaking line. Finally, the signal was given and we were once again allowed to get in. We resembled a train slowly waking into motion. We all moved as one–it was really the only way to move forward. You have to accept that you are no longer walking on your own, and willingly submit to be carried by the crowd.

Some men barged their way into the middle of the line without bothering to go to the end. They even grinned stupidly at our annoyance! Boorish and brainless.They successfully negated all the good feelings I had for their species from my last post. But you can’t really condemn the entire bushel because of a couple of rotten apples, so I’ll try not to.

Anyway, inside the first car of the train, it was packed tighter than usual. I don’t know if this was because of the Monday morning phenomenon or the three wheelchairs inside. Despite the fact that we were squishing one another, we were very careful not to squish the men in the wheelchairs. Hurray for womanhood! We’re progressing.

Cubao, as usual, was a colorful experience. The moment the doors opened, I heard cries of “Sandali lang po…!” and “Wala na po, wala na poooo!” Times like those, one of the more difficult things you’ll hear is, “Excuse me, may lalabas po.” Because, really, how will that be possible?

When I finally reached my station, I said the same line: “Excuse me po, lalabas lang po.” And when I finally stepped out of the train onto the platform, I felt like I had just been plungered out through a mother’s birth canal.

Which reminds me, Happy Mother’s Day to all moms! I hope you all did something extra-special to honor your nanay yesterday.

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