random writings

Guest Post: Surviving Soul-Crushing Holy Week Traffic

by Carlo Miguel Castañeda

Note: Yup, the Urban Roamer accepts guest posts now. If you have anything to share about interesting events and places in the metropolis or some tips in urban living that may fit this site’s content, do email me at karl@theurbanroamer.com. Remember that it will be my discretion as to whether I will post your content here and not every submission is guaranteed to be published. Thank you!

The forecast is always similar every long holiday: be prepared for traffic along the various expressways that lead out of the metro and into the provinces. This is something you tend to expect, and often prepare for, but that still doesn’t change the fact that the tendency is that you are going to get stuck in soul-crushing Holy Week Traffic.

Traffic at the North Luzon Expressway (photo courtesy of the Philippine Daily Inquirer)

So between the buses and all the other cars that you may encounter out there on your way to wherever you plan on spending the long weekend, here are a few ways you can keep your cool while you move at a snail’s pace.

Grab a bite

You’re going to be stuck here a while. For long trips like these it might be a pretty good idea to grab a quick snack while the queue at the toll booth progresses slowly. Think stuff that doesn’t require as much attention while eating so you can still move along.
Odds are you aren’t traveling alone, so it’d be easy to get whoever is in the passenger’s seat to just feed you while you all wait for the traffic to even out.

Ideal snacks: Energy bars, cookies, light sandwiches. Iced drinks in a cup holder to wash it down.

Listen to an Audiobook, or Audio drama

On the off-chance that you’re traveling on your own and traffic grinds to a standstill, you can take the time to listen to some of your favorite actors and actresses read some of the most awesome works of fiction out loud, or perform plays tailored specifically to be listened to.

Best Bets: The Audio drama of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere features some of the best and brightest British thespians. You can even get nostalgic with some Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings.

Put on some music

No out of town trip is ever complete without a soundtrack. You can either queue up a playlist you assembled the night (or five) before, and subject your friends or family to a crash course in your kind of music.

It’ll keep all of you from being bored if you happen to get stuck, and you may end up exposing family members and friends to music genre and styles that they never thought they’d actually like.

Fun Tip: Grab covers and mashups/remixes of songs that you think fit the personalities of the people traveling with you.


There is no better way to keep your cool than to just let loose and jam to your favorite songs. If you happen to have a friend who’s enterprising enough to record your shenanigans while lipsyncing or actually singing to any song.

Fun Tip: The expression goes “do it for the Vine”, have fun with whatever it is you’re doing and don’t take it too seriously.

The main thing to take away is that there are a great many ways you can keep cool and avoid the possibility of road rage, and accidents that are sure to cause a dip in your finances due to car insurance claims. Remember to keep calm, and that the traffic shall eventually open up into the open road towards your chosen destination.

Note: This article was previously published at MoneyMax.ph

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