South-bound, I have to take LRT1, get off at EDSA station, do some window shopping or snack at MetroMall if I have time. Since, I am most often in a hurry, I skip the latter in my itenerary. Besides, in peak hours taking the MRT even from its first station is a struggle. I get used to it though, because its the same thing in LRT1 at peak hours.
Rarely, that I can get a seat in LRT1. It takes one to be swift, alert and sturdy as a wrestler to aboard the train. One should be ready for a literal face off, and switch off his nostrils to avoid the pungent breath, arm pits and body sweat from other passengers. Body to body, its like mixed martial arts being sardined inside the LRT1 coach. There are more passengers than the space could take.
The worst things one could experience in this commute, aside from delays are faulty air conditioning and being sexually taken advantaged. Humps and bumps go with some forms of ass rubs and ball grabs. Another thing is the chance of losing your valuables from snatchers and pick pockets. My commute from LRT1 to Quezon Avenue via MRT takes a lot of time, but I learned to enjoy what it feels to be human inside a heavily packed train.
North-bound, I have to take the LRT and get off at Doroteo Jose. From Vito Cruz to Central Station, I get to enjoy scenery of Manila striding to progress, and a lot of greens especially over the Rizal Park area. From Carriedo to Doroteo, my mood swings to despair, as I see old buildings unattended and vacated if not condemned. The walkway to Recto Station of the LRT2 is a sourly open irony that pinches my heart.
The Manila City Jail seats there around a thick population of informal settlers, and in the background the FEU building, some other commercial buildings and the tall structure of the LRT2 Terminal. The commute from here to Katipunan is much smoother and I have higher chance to get a seat. Here, I learned of the difference between the MRT and the LRT.
Reviewing my notes from the class, I was interrupted by the loud conversation of two passengers who stepped in from Legarda station. One man bolsters to his companion, "You know this LRT is like the train in Singapore, it's big unlike the MRT". The other guy was surprised to know that trivia, and probably must be proud of what he heard. The first man continues: "Because the LRT means Large Rail Transit, and the MRT is Medium Rail Transit, that's why the MRT is smaller".
Huh!? I would have believed him, if I don't get squeezed in LRT1 and if LRT2 has guranteed seats always. I must be wrong to learn that MRT stands for Metro Rail Transit and the LRT as Light Rail Transit, or had the government changed its name to go with the fare hike?