5:30pm and it only means two things. One, for the drunkards, it’s five thirsty — start of “happy hour” drinking spree. And the other thing is rush hour.
Rush hour of Monday to Friday in the Philippines is the dreaded time to every railway transit commuters’ life (that includes myself at times), in hope they could escape from. Also, each commuter is forcefully subject to experience a life of a sardine in a can five days a week. Unfortunately, both the low and mid average working class Filipinos are under the mercy of this awful railway system. And this is the time where I hopelessly muttering the phrase “Wish you were here”.
My disgust grows deeper to Philippines’ railway transit system when I’ve experienced Hong Kong’s MTR (Mass Transit Railway) last March. It’s prompt, fast, and reliable. And wait, there’s more — it’s clean and orgnized. No waiting line as long as the Great Wall of China — ticket entrance and boarding. The maximum interval between trains is just 15mins. And to my amazed, no arrogant guards “acting” security check at every entrance of the station.
And speaking of stations, every station has a mall-like ambiance, some like a glorified tiangge or flea market. There you can find household brands such as Giordano, Bossini, and the likes. Food stalls are ubiquitous. From quick-stop noodle houses to take-away coffee and bread shops and from the ever familiar 7-11 convenience stores to pharmacies. All things a commuter needs when he/ she goes off to somewhere around Hong Kong by train.
Whilst on my last train ride at Tsim Sha Tsui station to the airport for my flight back home, I’m wondering why can’t the Philippine government adopt or do the same railway system of Hong Kong? I know it can be done. In comparison, Philippines, by far, is geographically larger than Hong Kong and we have adept engineers that can execute this kind of monumental task. Why it can’t be done? Well, in my opinion, the answers are just plain simple. If only there’s no… you know what I mean.