Eversince I started reporting for work, I’ve became an MRT commuter. Public transportation in the Philippines is a constant reminder of how Filipinos should have this certain type of value akin to resourcefulness. I’m talking about what we say colloquially in Tagalog as “diskarte”. If you don’t have “diskarte”, you’ll lose in this battlefield called “living in the Philippines” (and then you can pack your bags and migrate somewhere else). Of course, “diskarte” results from insufficiency of resources. But often, this even prompts us to look for other alternatives, thus our choices broaden and we can exercise our freedom in a “suffocated” context.
I don’t want stuffing myself with the canned-sardine-like passengers riding the MRT, but do I have a better choice? I don’t have a car so driving by myself is not an option. I can ride the bus, but traffic in EDSA during the rush hour is probably worse than the anxiety of waiting for your groom during your wedding day. I have no other choice but endure exchanging sweats with my fellow MRT passengers.
I admit I haven’t made the wisest “diskarte” I could ever think of. But there are still some cases when it is better queued to the last of the options. I’m still learning the “diskarte” needed to be a survivor in this country, though I’m not sure they’ll all be enough for me to survive.