How To Survive Metro Cebu Traffic And Still Be Shufa

shufa - /shoo-fah/ adjective; derivative of gwapa, which means "pretty" or "beautiful"

Being shufa in a world that demands you to be hagardo versoza is a challenge a lot of us face today. Case in point: the worsening Metro Cebu traffic. How does one keep her eyebrows on fleek and her temper in check in these trying times?

As a regular commuter who takes at least 3 rides to get to any destination at any given time, I think it's safe to say that I'm an expert when it comes to navigating Cebu traffic. I've even written about my experiences (and rants!) here, here and here. That being said, let me share my tips on how to survive the 7th circle of hell  current traffic situation.

*Disclaimer: Being shufa is honestly so hard to achieve. Results may vary depending on the duration of the traffic jam, kind of vehicle you are riding, the condition of your co-commuters, and the strength of your eyebrow liner.

Have The Patience Of A Saint

Or rather, have the patience of all the saints. Cebu traffic is not what it used to be. 

Speaking from personal experience, you can travel from Mactan to North Reclamation Area in 15 minutes flat some years before. These days, it takes a miracle to achieve such a feat. Sometimes the traffic could get so bad that it would take you an hour just to cover a 5 km stretch. There are simply too many people and vehicles on these roads and we, as a metropolis, weren't able to cope up with the sudden boom. So, the first key to be shufa in this case is to be patient.

Be patient in waiting for that 3rd bridge to be built.
Be patient in dealing with bad drivers.
Be patient with your fellow commuters even if you wanna punch them in the neck.

Keep it zen, shufa girl. Breathe...except when a smoke belcher passes by.

Be Productive

The second rule of being shufa whilst on the road is to be productive. If you're stuck in traffic, make good use of your time. You can do a whole makeup routine in the car or taxi ride if the traffic is really bad.

Sometimes, I listen to audiobooks and podcasts while standing elbow to elbow with other commuters aboard the MyBus. Other times, I create a blog post just like this to pass the time. If you're gonna be stuck in traffic for an hour, better make that hour count.

Don't Challenge The Rush Hour

If you're from the island like me, rush hour is hell incarnate. I'm just saying: if I don't leave home before 6:30am, I'm going to be stuck in traffic with a migraine. Likewise, when I leave the co-working space in Banilad at 5pm during Payday Friday, I'll most likely get home at 8:30 and that's not even an exaggeration. 

During these times, everyone in the whole city comes out of their hiding places and fills every mode of transportation known to mankind. The lines are insanely long. Everybody's elbowing their way to the 03L or 01K. It's like they want you to personally suffer. 

So, here's what you do: beat them at their own game. Avoid the rush hour at all costs. Be extra early in the morning. If you don't have anything urgent on your way home later in the day and you've fallen into the rush hour trap, go grab a snack and pa-aircon in Ayala for a bit. The few bucks you spend here is better than spending your time waiting in line and being jostled by other commuters.

Have A Smashing Playlist

And when I say smashing, I really mean SMASHING. 

I'm talking early 2000s emo songs, glam rock, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Urbandub, Faspitch...the whole shebang. I've found out that singing to Chris Carrabba at the top of my lungs helps with the stress. A whole lot. Instead of punching that stupid driver in the face in a fit of rage, I'll just sing something from Taking Back Sunday and I'm alright again. Channeling all that aggression into positive energy is amazing. Of course, you can also do Disney Karaoke if you feel like it.

Learn How To Box Out

Boxing out isn't a skill only for the basketball court. Sometimes the shufa girl also has to do what she has to do. I'm not saying shove other people out of the way, but in commuting, especially in riding a jeep during rush hour, you have to have your wits with you, because like it or not, it's a free-for-all out there. Be abtik in spotting a jeep that's about to unload passengers. Watch out for the vacant front seat on the Vhire. Don't be a slowpoke commuter.

When riding a habal-habal, you'll just have to learn how to be brave. I don't ride a habal-habal unless absolutely necessary (like on Valentine's Day and I was in danger of missing the Black Panther showtime because of traffic), so all I can say is be brave, trust your driver and know how to fall safely...just in case.

Be A Girl Scout

Surviving the crazy traffic depends on being prepared. You have to prepare your fare: make sure it's the exact amount so you don't have to keep demanding the kuya driver to give you your change. In case you have big bills, be ready with what I refer to as your Jeepney Spiel:

"Baynte, usa, Parkmall gikan, SM naog"

Also be ready with a hanky or mask to keep the dust away, a hair tie for your hair (duh), and coin to knock against the handrails to tell the kuya driver your name a few.

Rush Hour Na...Shufa Ka Pa Ba?

Well, that is the question.

To survive the growing Cebu traffic and still be shufa at the end of the day, the main thing to do is to keep your cool. Traffic is a truly stressful thing for everyone, so you just gotta take some steps---like the ones I mentioned in this post--- to lessen that stress.

Traffic is a problem of any growing city. It is my dearest hope that our cities would come together to solve this problem. Like most Cebuanos, I want our city to grow beautifully. I don't want traffic to mar the Queen City of The South.

That's it for today lovelies.

See you on the next post!


K x

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