The monsoon season in the Philippines can be a difficult time, what with heavy rain and possible flooding. The rainy season becomes even more challenging when it coincides with the much reviled Petsa de Peligro. Running low on cash makes taking the more convenient Grab or Uber nearly impossible, leaving you to deal with the more arduous commute options. Allow the following rainy day hacks to make the rainy-day commute more manageable for you.
Have the right gears
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Gears ideal for the rainy season are essential if you live in a tropical country like the Philippines. They may be tantamount to extra baggage, but they are worth it in the end. This rainy season, be properly armed with the following gears:
Umbrella. Always carry an umbrella with you. You never know when you will be caught in a heavy rain while out and about. The last thing you need is to be trapped somewhere or to be completely soaked in rain water because you failed to arm yourself with an umbrella.
Slippers or sandals. Be ready with footwear that would not give you too much trouble when they get wet. Your shoe-plus-sock combo is capable of giving you stinky feet on any given day, and it can only get worse during rainy days. More than just the unpleasant smell, wet shoes can be very uncomfortable and squishy, not to mention how cold it can get when your rain-soaked feet are exposed to the A/C. Either you opt for slippers or sandals, or wear boots or shoes made of rubber or plastic.
Shorter clothing. Just as much as you don’t want soaking wet shoes, you would want to keep your clothes as dry as possible. And your umbrella will not be able to protect your pants from the rain. The best thing to do is to opt for shorts instead. If this is not allowed at work, you can opt for a skirt instead or pants that reach at least the mid part of your lower legs. Now if you really must wear pants, you can at least wear shorts while on commute and just change into your pants once you’ve reached your place of work.
Extra clothing. Weather conditions can be very erratic. You don’t know just how bad the rain can get, so it’s best to be ready with spare clothing. You can also carry around a poncho or raincoat if you still have room in your bag.
Stay tuned to weather forecasts
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Even if your bag is packed full of the right gears, the weather can still work against you. It is always best to check the weather before leaving the house. This can spare you a lot of stress. Sometimes, not even the most important business meeting is worth braving a compromising weather for.
Weather apps you can download on your phone are generally reliable and handy, but it is still best to stay tuned to traditional news for predictions. Be especially wary if they warn of storms and other such serious weather disturbances. Times like this are definitely a good occasion to take a rain check, literally speaking.
Avoid the rush hour
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The last thing you need is to get helplessly stuck on the road during rush hour. Not only is it a waste of time, but it can get extremely uncomfortable as well. If you usually leave home an hour early for work, add another hour or so just to make sure that you don’t arrive late. The rain tends to cause traffic, as people are forced to drive slower than usual. You can also expect long lines at the terminal as more and more people are trying to avoid the rain. The earlier you leave, the less likely it will be for the roads to be packed full of people.
Make sure your batteries are fully charged
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If you are the type who likes to take Snapchat moments or who just cannot avoid your favorite games on your phone, then you are more likely to lose your phone’s juice a little too quickly. Make sure you have your phone fully charged before leaving your home, and that you carry a high-capacity power bank that is also fully charged. You may also want to cut down on your games as well. This is especially necessary if you are the type who needs to always watch your phone for possible urgent calls and messages from clients, colleagues or your kids’ nanny at home. A charged phone is also essential during rainy season, as you always face the possibility of getting stranded in a really bad weather. You would want to be able to make calls should you find yourself in an emergency situation.
Know the key emergency hotline
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As you may already be aware of, the new emergency hotline is 911. This iconic emergency number has made it easier for Filipinos to reach the authorities whenever they need help. And it works no matter where you are in the country. It’s best that you know the number by heart or have it ready on your speed dial. You will never know when you might find yourself in a real emergency.
Take extra safety precautions
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Make sure you are knowledgeable of alternative routes. The transportation system in the metro is as bad as it is, and it can only get worse when you add flooded streets into the factor. The traffic-induced madness is definitely something you would want to escape from. Make sure you are aware of any alternative route. Having other commute options can help you get out of sticky situations.
You should also consider commuting with friends during really bad weather situations. You may be one absence away from suspension or you may have to meet a highly important client, whatever the case may be, there are times when you simply must brave a difficult weather. At times like this, you might as well travel with your friends. You will have people to accompany you as you traverse flooded areas or go searching for flood-free routes. You can also keep each other entertained as you wait out the heavy traffic. And if you end up wading in knee-deep waters, it can become something you simply laugh about in your next bonding session.
Move somewhere nearby
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The best thing you can do to avoid difficult commutes is by moving to a place where work, school, and key transportation options are accessible. Fortunately, you could easily find a condo for rent in the Philippines that is designed for this specific purpose. Developments like DMCI properties have been subjected to extensive market research, with accessibility on top of its main criteria. More than just the increased safety and convenience during rainy seasons, you can also make more savings as you would have to spend less time and money for transportation, not to mention the luxurious amenities that come with condo living.
Remember to keep dry and safe. No appointment is worth risking your life for. Stay home if things get really bad.