Commuting in Manila is such an adventure; it would be foolish to come unprepared. Here are the top essentials to bring with you, to guarantee that you reach your destination safe and sound.


1. A pamaypay or mini fan

Don’t think you can do without it during the rainy season! Think about the post-rain, humidity inside a jeep, with its plastic “windows” rolled down; or the trains with malfunctioning aircon!

Always bring with you your pamaypay or the circular one that folds and unfolds like magic, but can accidentally flip and shoot at a co-passenger. You may also like the battery-powered ones that are popular among MRT riders.


2. Tissue

Be prepared with facial tissues to dab—not wipe—your face off perspiration, so you don’t accidentally ruin your makeup. You’ll also be needing tissue, when it rains, too, especially with the inevitable mud splatters you might be getting at the back of your legs as you walk from jeep to jeep.


3. Fully-powered gadgets

You’ll need to come prepared with your gadget fully charged and loaded will feel-good music or an episode of the K-drama you’re currently watching. Don’t forget your earphones! That way, you can politely zone out the noise made by annoying co-passengers.


4. Umbrella

Rain or shine, Filipinos are known to bring umbrellas with them, wherever they go. Keep dry during a sudden outpour, or use it to protect yourself from the sun, especially as you cross the roofless overpass. An umbrella can also be used as a weapon, in case you encounter an attacker.


5. Snacks and water

You’ll never know what could happen during a commute. Your ride can break down unexpectedly or you may find yourself on a detour when a driver makes a wrong turn. As commuting can take forever, it’s best to stuff your bag with a water bottle, snacks (cookies, bread, and whatnot), and mint candies!


6. Extra shoes or tsinelas

You can bring extra footwear with you or you can opt to wear your extra pair during your commute, and keep your good pair safe in your bag. This is because so many elements can ruin your shoes—from puddles to a mob.


7. Sunglasses

More than protecting your eyes from the sun, sunglasses can actually serve as your social armor. See an officemate you’re not really fond of, hopping onto the same ride as yours? You can pretend to be sleeping or be looking elsewhere. It’s also a subtle way of saying you’re not really in the mood to stop by for a quick chit-chat and all.


8. Hair products, cosmetics, and such

Via H&M

Unless you’re commuting via ride-sharing or a taxi, you’re always at a high risk of looking a little less fresh than when you stepped out of your house. Always bring with you wind-proofing hair products, and all the beauty essentials you’ll need to retouch and look decent again.


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