“How on earth are we going to get to ABS tomorrow,” I texted fellow “The Voice Kids” coaches Sharon Cuneta and Bamboo on Monday. They each texted back hoping for the best and planning alternative routes, if need be. Because of the deluge of the last few days and the distance each of us will need to travel to get to our band rehearsals and coaching sessions for this weekend’s Live Shows, what the road conditions will be is, to say the least, unpredictable.
On Friday, I found myself in the worst traffic nightmare I have ever been in. Previous to that, I was complaining about spending nearly three hours getting from Alabang to Quezon City. That experience was easily eclipsed by the six hours going from Alabang to Makati, a distance of about 23 kilometers (around 14 miles).
To travel this short distance would usually take about 30 minutes, and the worst I would expect to go is around an hour or so on a Friday evening. However, this night’s rain and the flooding it caused, plus the normal Friday payday rush, equaled disaster.
Yes, I am complaining on behalf of every single human being who had to endure this nightmare of a commute … for everyone who most assuredly went through an even worse hell if they had to use public transportation … for the commuters who got out of the buses they were riding in to walk to their next destination—and for everyone who, at the end of the workweek, just wanted to go home.
I was fortunate to receive a cheer and a glass of wine when I got to where I needed to be, and knew that for the most part, I could choose when to travel. However, many of our countrymen don’t have that luxury.
Workdays have fixed starts, which means enduring the rush hour to and from work, and if our traffic woes continue to worsen, it is the commuters who’ll get the worst of things.
Bad traffic is bad for business, no matter your industry. There are performers who can no longer do that thing called lagare, when they rush from one gig to another, sometimes on opposites ends of the metropolis, opting to do just one.
There are others who don’t have a choice, and end up stewing in traffic, missing the second gig entirely, which could impact whether or not they’ll be hired again in the future.
There are those who have to fly out of town to a gig and miss their precious flights completely, despite giving ample time to travel to the airport. Often, the gig takes place on the same day as the flight. Miss that flight, miss the gig.
This has been going on for way too long.
It’s bad for morale, having to sit in a car or a bus for way longer than you intended to. It’s bad for your personal life when you get home long after your family has gone to bed, and when you’re up and gone before they wake up.
It is beyond frustrating.
So, what can we do about it besides complain? I honestly don’t know.
We can all do what we can to reduce flooding, watching waste disposal, reducing the use of plastic bags and utensils, and recycling whenever we can. In traffic, we can exercise patience with our fellow drivers, keep from swerving and not try to cut anyone off.
Until then, all we can do is wait. But we can’t wait forever.
Yes, we are at that time again!
For Team Sharon, we have Antonetthe Tismo (13), JC Tan (11) and Alvin Dahan (13). For Team Bamboo, we have Xylein Herrera (12), Justin Alva (12), and Heart Salvador (10). And for Team Lea, we have Yessha dela Calzada (7), Joshua Oliveros (11), and Angel Peñaflor (12).
To the young artists and coaches, good luck. And to our audiences, from all of us, thank you for your support. You have no idea how much we truly appreciate it.
To the family and friends of Concertus’ Wonder Woman, Bambi Verzo, our deepest condolences and prayers.
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