I was warned. But I was already at the PNR Buendia Station with a P10 ticket to Sucat and some Pinoy Travel Bloggers were on their way for the Christmas party. Besides, I haven’t ridden the newer airconditioned coaches of the Philippine National Railways and I was looking forward to pass through its sliding doors.
Estan, PNR is a bad idea during rush hour.
The 1730H train arrived on the dot, a 25 minute gap from the last one and looking through the screened glass windows, it was packed. As in sardine can packed and a throng was already gathered at where the doors were supposed to open.
The Wonder Girls’s Nobody was playing but the pushing and shoving just started, a good accompaniment to what was unfolding. Imagine Japan’s high speed train jampacked with passengers with pushers on stand by. The PNR on rush hour is tamer but nevertheless quite an ordeal.
I was pushed to the side where the seats are with a student separating me from those ensconched. Because of the crowd, I was leaning with my pack and a bag of liquor courtesy of Flip while trying to hold on to the bars as my right arm was starting to get tired and numb. Joel was behind me and Marky was several persons away. We were pressed and tightly packed into the airconditioned tin can.
But wonder of wonders or credit it to the Pinoy’s laughing out a tight situation. It was actually fun inside! The men were making light of the situation and cracking jokes. When the train comes to a stop and we were agitated like jelly on a plate being moved, woooos can be heard. Then someone shouts out a light banter and everybody laughs.
After Buendia station, more people still came in the succeeding train stops in Pasay Road, EDSA and Nichols as the songs switched from Nobody to Lady Gaga’s Poker Face. The pushing and shoving continued. Jokes cracked and I was still holding on to the bars and talking with the student.
It was only at FTI that it started to loosen up as passengers were reaching their destination. Then at Bicutan that when we arrived at Sucat, our final stop, it was already okay. No standing shoulder to shoulder or catching someone’s breath or smelling the other’s hair.
By this time, Fergie was singing Clumsy as we went out the train still in one piece. Overwhelmed with the experience but actually found it fun and something to try out even for once.