Commuting in Manila is, frankly, hell on Earth. So much of my anxiety (and general exhaustion) stems from morning commutes, because these days, even if I wake up at an ungodly hour, I'm not guaranteed that my main mode of transportation—the MRT—is even functioning.

But because I live within walking distance of Quezon Ave. station, it's still the best (read: cheapest) option for me. So, in a way, I'm lucky? This got me wondering about how other women commute.

Let's break it down, shall we?

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Ysa

Where I live: Panay Avenue, Q.C. (MRT stop: Q. Ave.)

Where I work: Pioneer, Mandaluyong (MRT stop: Boni)

How I get to work every day: MRT

How much I spend a day: P40 total (P20 one way)

A week? P200

A month? P800

On whether my commuting expense has a huge impact on my salary:
No...but that's only when the MRT is working properly/doesn't break down, and I have to take a Grab or Uber to work.

What my commute is like on a daily basis:
The hardest part of my commute is having to sacrifice sleep. I wake up at 4:30 a.m. and walk towards the MRT around 5:15 a.m. so I can beat the rush hour. Because of our semi-flexible schedule, this isn't too bad, but when we have events at night, I know I won't have the luxury of sleeping in the next day even though I don't have to be in the office until 10 a.m.

With only eight to 10 functioning trains, I usually still have to wait for two to three trains to go by before I actually get on. On a good day, I leave the office around three or four o'clock, but again, there's always a line nowadays.

Aussy

Where I live: Q.C.

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Where I work: About three times a week I have client meetings in BGC and Makati

How I get to work every day: Drive. When it’s coding, Uber or Grab.

How much I spend a day: About 600

A week? Roughly P3,000 (P1,000 on gas, around P600 for parking, another P800 or so on the day I Uber)

A month? About P12,000-14,000

On whether my commuting expense has a huge impact on my salary: Definitely. Working remotely, I thought I would curb most of these expenses, but the daily costs of traveling through Manila can really take a toll on the budget 

What my commute is like on a daily basis: The drive from QC usually takes 1.5 hours; 50 minutes on non-peak hours. Going home is the same.

During the school year, when I had to take my daughter to her school, I would have to take multiple stops on Uber/Grab. I discovered this is definitely cheaper than booking two rides, by at least P60-70! (That matters ah haha!) Some days, we would take the P2P from Makati to Katipunan. It’s super comfortable and convenient! I wish all of our public transportation was like that.

Trina Jeon

Where she lives: Vito Cruz, near DLSU Taft

Where she works: Ayala Avenue, Makati

How she gets to work (mode/s of transportation): Jeep + Bus
How much she spends on her commute a day:
P8 (jeep) + P12 (bus) one-way. So, P40 a day!

A week? P200

A month? P800

On whether her commuting expense has a huge impact on her salary:
No, not really.

What her commute is like:
Compared to using the train every day, commuting by bus is super easy. It's cheaper, too! The traffic isn't an issue because I leave my condo at around 9 a.m., and there isn't much traffic at this time. It takes me 30 to 40 minutes to get to work. The only downside of taking the bus is that I don't get to wear ~short~ skirts now because it doesn't feel safe? Going home is pretty much the same except it's harder to get on a bus since it's rush hour (I leave work at 7 p.m.).

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Ysabel

Where she lives: Paranaque

Where she works: Pioneer, Mandaluyong

How she gets to work (mode/s of transportation): Drive

How much she spends on her commute a day: 

144 (Skyway toll back and forth) + 155 (parking)

A week? P2,519 (gas is about P1,600/week)

A month? P10,076

On whether her commuting expense has a huge impact on her salary: 
Yes, super. But I'm willing to spend to live in the south since it's quieter there.

What her commute is like: 
It takes me about 50 minutes to an hour to get to work. If I leave between 7:30 - 8:30 a.m., it takes about 1.5 hours so I leave before or after.) At night, I usually leave the area before 6 p.m. or after 8 p.m. to let traffic pass first. If I'm done with work, I either work out or have dinner somewhere while I wait.

Nicole

Where she lives: Sta. Mesa, Manila

Where she works: Pioneer, Mandaluyong

How she gets to work (mode/s of transportation):
It's a combination of tricycles and jeepneys or Grab/Uber—I mainly use Grab/Uber in the evening.

How much she spends on her commute a day:
If I'm riding tricycles and jeepneys, it's P48 per trip; with Grab/Uber, it's typically P150 each way.

A week?

If I exclusively ride the jeepney in the morning and Grab/Uber at night, it's P990. But it really depends.

A month?

Roughly P4000 if the situation is the same as above—sometimes higher.

On whether her commuting expense has a huge impact on her salary:
Definitely. Even if I use affordable public transportation half the time, the cost still piles up. Sometimes I resort to cutting expenses on food to make up for it (which I don't recommend, by the way).

What her commute is like:
My morning commute usually takes an hour thanks to traffic and how difficult it is to get a ride during rush hour. For my Uber/Grab, it's relatively convenient except I have to wait until quite late for the prices to be reasonable. The travel time with the latter typically takes about 45 minutes.

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Charlene

Where she lives: Ortigas

Where she works: Pioneer, Mandaluyong

How she gets to work (mode/s of transportation): My feet, hehe, and tricycles!

How much she spends on her commute a day: Around P35.

A week? P175 a work week, plus around P200 during weekends since I go home to my parents' house, so P375.

A month? P1,875

On whether her commuting expense has a huge impact on her salary:
Yes, because that means I need to set aside almost P1,000 per payday, but I think I'm luckier than most since I don't really spend a lot during the work week.

What her commute is like:
I walk three blocks then take a trike to work. If I'm not too tired, I walk from work all the way home. It's good exercise. ;)

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Elaine

Where she lives: Makati

Where she works: Makati

How she gets to work (mode/s of transportation): 

I use car hailing apps or cabs to get to work every day.

How much she spends on her commute a day:
I spend around P120 to P150 per trip, depending on the surge. I only use car hailing apps or cabs in the morning; I walk home at night.

A week? P500 to P750

A month? P2,000 to P3,000

On whether her commuting expense has a huge impact on her salary:
Yes. I allot a certain amount for this expense every month.

What her commute is like:
Even if I live near my office, my daily commute is a bit complicated since I don't have a lot of options. If I opt to use public transportation, I have to walk and take the jeep to get to our building and most of the time, the jeeps are full when it gets to our place; that's why I end up using Grab/Uber instead. I also have to allot an hour for my travel time to give way for the booking time and heavy traffic even when in reality, our office is just 10 minutes away from my house.

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Lou

Where she lives: Cainta, Rizal

Where she works: Pioneer, Mandaluyong

How she gets to work (mode/s of transportation): Car

How much she spends on her commute a day:
I spend around P120 to P200 a day for parking. It also depends where I park. If I park in the mall near the office, I spend less but that's because I move my car every three hours. I tend to pay more when I park in the office building because sometimes, if there are no more available parking slots, I'm forced to avail of their valet services.

A week?
My car isn't fuel efficient, LOL. The tank is empty by the end of the week. I spend around P3,500 for a full tank, and that usually lasts for 300 kms. In a week, I spend around P1,000 for parking.

A month?
Considering that I spend P3,500 every week for gas, a month would cost P14,000; for parking, P4,000.

On whether her commuting expense has a huge impact on her salary:
Somehow. For now, my parents pay for gas since it's a family car... I pay for my own parking, though! And yes, I include it in my budget.

What her commute is like:
It's a bit stressful because of the TRAFFIC, but I guess I'm used to it. I always allot two hours for travel time, but it usually takes me an hour and 30 minutes to get to work. In terms of comfort, it's better because it's my ~own space/car~!

Additional reporting by Ysabel Y. Yuzon

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This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Femalenetwork.com editors.

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