Imagine that good feeling when I experienced the Metro Manila LRT for the first time and it exceeded my expectations!
► ...many Filipinos still complain about our train systems but having traveled to several countries in Southeast Asia, the Filipinos are still lucky for having this kind of infrastructure.
► In terms of transportation, some of our neighbors in Asia have gone far.
[National Capital Region, Luzon Island, Philippines]
|| 1 | [QUEZON CITY] ► LIFE IS A VAULT CONTAINING REPLENISHING FIRST-TIME ITEMS. WHEN YOU TAKE SOMETHING, IT WILL BE REPLACED BY ANOTHER.|
I've always been a sucker of first-time experiences. God knows how I treasure my first plane ticket, my first message from my newly opened email account and even the first cotton ball used from my very first blood extraction. If you are a friend or a follower of my personal Facebook account, you probably have noticed that I love posting first-time experiences of my life, ridiculous or not. I even have a special FIRST-TIME-STORIES label on this blog that I highlighted in my homepage. Below are screenshots of my recent first-time posts.
I don't know, but these first-time experiences happening in my life mean a lot to me; and now, here I am again, writing about my first LRT ride in the Philippines.
► Pre-Ride Thoughts and Impressions
I've commuted in Metro Manila countless times using MRT though, but not LRT. I failed to 'properly' document my first MRT ride so I wanted to make it sure that my first LRT ride would be well-documented.
|| 2 | [QUEZON CITY] ► THE CUBAO LRT STATION IS THE FIRST LRT STATION IN THE PHILIPPINES THAT I ENTERED.|
Having experienced the train systems of Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok, the Philippines' MRT was my worst experience. I couldn't help myself but to shake my head everytime I think about it so I concluded that the LRT would be the same.
My standard of a train ride experience in the Philippines was based on my MRT experiences so I was surprised when I entered the platform of Cubao LRT Station for the first time! I personally think that the LRT station in PH is better than Kuala Lumpur's elevated monorail system. Per Cubao LRT experience, ours have more spacious platforms. The ceiling was also high and the train was well-air-conditioned. I really thought before that the LRT in Metro Manila is the same with MRT so my expectation was exceeded.
One thing I love about my previous train rides outside the Philippines is the 'voice-over'. While inside the train, a recorded voice would play to guide commuters of the next station. In the Philippines' MRT, I never experienced this. Most of the time, there is a live voice-over informing the commuters of the current station and God knows how I despise the live voice-over because foremost, the speaker (whoever he is) doesn't speak clearly. He also doesn't pronounce the words clearly. It's like he is chewing something while speaking. Is it hard to speak slow and clear? Huh! P.S. This also happens inside the plane of AirAsia PH and Cebu Pacific. When they speak inside the cabin, it appears like they are rushing, or they have limited time to speak that they speak so fast and so unclear that the announcer/speaker becomes so annoying to my nerves!
Anyway, because of my bad experiences at the MRT of Metro Manila and having experienced the beautiful train systems of Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, I concluded that all trains in the Philippines would be like the MRT.
► Exceeding My Expectations and Personal Reflections
Imagine that good feeling when I experienced the Metro Manila LRT for the first time and it exceeded my expectations! Yay! There were LED screens inside to inform the commuters of safety measures which is similar to Singapore. There was also a recorded voice-over of a woman that was so lovely and sweet informing commuters of the next station. Wow! I underestimated our LRT system a lot.
|| 3 | [MANILA] ► RECTO STATION WAS THE FIRST LRT STATION I ENTERED IN MANILA.|
Anyway, heavy advertising is not new in Southeast Asia's train systems so this encounter wasn't surprising for me.
Yeah, I know, many Filipinos still complain about our train systems but having traveled to several countries in Southeast Asia, the Filipinos are still lucky for having this kind of infrastructure. Sometimes we delve too much of the 'colonial mentality' concept that we fail to find the silver lining of the not so pleasant situations that we may experience. Yes, I also like to demand for the best infrastructure in the world, even better than Japan if possible, but I try not to complain at all times because we also need to entertain the concept of 'being grateful' in our hearts once in a while.
It's our right to rant and throw grievances against our government but you can never go wrong of having a grateful and cheerful heart. If you cannot be grateful all the time, try to experience it at least once in your life. The feeling of being grateful is so precious and abundant like diamonds but becomes very rare because only a handful of people are willing to wear its prestige. When you think you don't need to wear the prestige of gratefulness, it's ok. Life is a matter of choice. If you choose to live a life full of hatred, dissatisfaction, disappointment, and/or burden in your heart, so be it.
It's your right to choose a miserable life. It's freewill. But if you ask me, I choose to live a life full of gratefulness, contentment, joy, and peace. It's been my choice to live this way. I may had a bad experience during my first MRT ride but I've learned to adapt, adjust and appreciate how our MRT system is helping many commuters daily in spite of the imperfections. You see? This first-time LRT experience of mine is giving me a lot of insights. I told you, I'm a sucker of first-time stuff because they give me wisdom.
Anyway, I was also surprised to see the ticket-vending machines located at every station which was, and is, convenient. To be honest, I never thought these ticket machines existed in our LRT at least.
|| 4 | [MANILA] ► LIFE IS A SINGLE JOURNEY TOWARDS AGEING, NO TURNING BACK. SO DO YOUR BEST WHILE YOU ARE YOUNG.|
► Ending Notes
In terms of transportation, some of our neighbors in Asia have gone far. It's sad, knowing that the Philippines' LRTA system is the first metro system in Southeast Asia, earlier than the Singapore MRT by three years. We've been stuck. SMH...
The reason why I experienced the train systems of other countries first before the Philippines is because I've always ditched to explore Metro Manila. Coming from Vigan, my usual route was to alight at Cubao then ride a taxicab to the airport. I've never stayed in Metro Manila for more than a month (not until in 2018) so I wasn't familiar of the routes and directions in Manila. The most convenient way for me has always been a point-to-point transport. I was able to experience the train systems outside the Philippines because friends of mine who are/were based in these cities introduced me to these transportation systems. My friends became my tour guide, hence, my exposure to these train systems. My train experience in Kuala Lumpur was different though which I wrote here in details.
So where this first LRT ride of mine brought me? What's the reason why I finally decided to try the LRT? These questions will be addressed soon in the Part 2 of this series. | end |
Maps Showing the Location of METRO MANILA
► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC
✈ This post was filed under the category "Train Stations and Railways." See more posts related to this below.
✈ The maps I used on this post are from maps.google.com.ph.
✈ The insights, condition and name of places or properties I mentioned here are based on the facts and situation on the day of my visit. Take note that you may have a different experience when you try the activities or see the properties/places mentioned here. Names of places and properties may also change by time.
LATEST STORIES COVERING METRO MANILA | SEE ALL IN A SEPARATE WINDOW
MORE STORIES COVERING LUZON ISLAND | SEE OLDER STORIES
LATEST STORIES COVERING THESE CATEGORIES | SEE OLDER STORIES
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