We are only halfway through this long vacation thanks to the Holy Week; many things can still be done. Being a non-practioner of any religion-related activities and having no substantial resources to sustain long stay on island beaches, I have always preferred land travels within the southern Luzon area.
On Good Friday late afternoon there I was again in transit. But this time in a very different situation. Whereas the buses bound southward are full, the buses bound for Manila are full to the brim, almost literally. The two-seaters on either side had to accommodate three passengers. And the aisle, the aisle! We are packed liked tiny sardines in the aisle! Experiences and memories are some of the things I treasure the most. But beyond experiencing the rush after the activities of Good Friday, anxiety made its way into my mind.
The root of this anxiety comes from the possibility of accidents. Vacations, people rushing for transport vehicles. These are all conditions quite conducive for accidents as we are all occupied by other things. The bad thing about overloaded vehicles (buses as in my experience) is that the risk of higher casualties are already raised. It’s bad enough to travel in rush times. It’s worse to find yourself stuck in an overloaded passenger bus with a pseudo-ticket on hand (the conductor opted to give me a spent ticket). I could swear we were more than a hundred in the bus. The air-conditioning unit fails to match the more than a hundred breathing bodies inside.
Perhaps what must be done in these situations is to enforce strictly the maximum number of passenger per vehicle. More than convenience, it will give a more secure spot in travel. On the part of the bus companies, this will lessen their potential offenses in the event of a mishap – overloading, reckless imprudence, among others. We respect our laws and regulations we respect our passengers’ lives in return.
To those who are yet to travel back home or work, be vigilant and careful.