Making You & Your Car Stand Strong during Traffic in the Philippines

Updated Jun 07, 2018 | Same topic: Survive driving in the Philippines

Make you, your car and your fuel survive during long hours of being stuck in traffic.

If you reside in the Philippines, your life will not be complete if you don’t encounter traffic on a daily basis. There are some places, even in a subdivision where getting out of the subdivision entrance can already be a pain. As time goes by, traffic in the country has sadly become worse, like if you travel within 5 kilometers from work to home at six in the evening, it can take you an hour or even two. Sometimes, you’d think that walking or biking to and from work is a more convenient, practical and less time-consuming way of traveling.

traffic in the Philippines

As time goes by, traffic in the Philippines has sadly become worse

The alternative mode of transportation like biking or even walking is the best if your workplace is just near your home. However, if you work in the cities outside Manila you will really need to go through long hours of being stuck in traffic before saying hello to your colleagues every day.

The following list may be so familiar with many drivers but it should be noted for less-experienced motorists in the country to prepare a great willingness and patience when running on these roads.

Manila Has the Worst Traffic in the World - Waze 

1. Roads in the Metro That Are Prone to Traffic Congestion

According to an article written by, Manila is ranked third among Southeast Asian Countries in terms of traffic congestion. Therefore, Manila and surrounding cities have become too crowded with commuters and cars alike that the average time a person spends stuck in traffic is an hour.

Imagine how frustrating it could be that you left home energized and arrive at your workplace with little energy left for the day. Same way goes when traveling home when you just want to get home quickly, but you have to beat ten thousand other cars having the same goal.

Manila traffic map

Manila is ranked third among Southeast Asian Countries in terms of traffic congestion
(Red lines = traffic)

Here are some common roads full of cars daily:

1.1. EDSA

EDSA or Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue is the main highway that’s in the center of many cities. I guarantee you, if it's traffic in EDSA, then definitely, it’s traffic almost everywhere else.

             EDSA traffic

One of the infamous parts of EDSA, Guadalupe Bridge

1.2. C-5

C-5 is another main highway connecting Taguig, Makati, Pasig, Quezon City and Marikina. Usually, if the traffic in EDSA is congested, drivers tend to use this as an alternate route. This would be best if you live near the said areas.

             C5 Kalayaan, Buting Area

Usually, if the traffic in EDSA is congested, drivers tend to use this as an alternate route

1.3. Osmena Highway

This main road comes right after Magallanes interchange. The major cause of traffic in this area is the ongoing construction of Skyway Stage 3.

Osmena Highway ?

The major cause of traffic in this area is the ongoing construction of Skyway Stage 3

1.4. Shaw Boulevard

Shaw Boulevard is your way to go if you live in the area of Mandaluyong, Makati and Manila. There have been ongoing road repairs for years now that contributes to the traffic in this part of the metro.

1.5. Ortigas/Ortigas Extension

This is the melting pot of vehicles turning from EDSA and C5. This area is also filled with prestigious malls and hotels. Given these features, you can only imagine how much volume of vehicles passes through its streets every single day. Plus, it’s also a way to reach Antipolo, Rizal and Marikina. Obviously, it’s always bumper to bumper here.

Ortigas / Ortigas Extension traffic

This area is also filled with prestigious malls and hotels

Now that we know some of the main roads that are almost always congested, what can we do to make sure that we and our car can survive the daily traffic? Keep reading and get our very helpful tips and advice for your driving:

2. Car Traffic Survival Tips

2.1. Before going through traffic:

  • Make sure you have enough gas to last the long ride.
  • Remove all things that could contribute to the weight of the car.
  • Ensure that you have your car tires inflated properly.
  • Check the traffic conditions and if possible, look for alternative routes.

2.2. During traffic and you’re running out of fuel:

You are giddy to get off work and start your travel home, so you jump into your car and just drove off. In 15 minutes you are on the main road, stuck in traffic. After an hour, you realize that you are just a few meters away from where you’ve been and you can still even see your office signage. You look at your dashboard and the fuel light lights up, nearing the dreaded ‘E’. You are literally in the middle of a parking lot of vehicles and you heave a deep sigh, leaving everything up to the universe’s hands.

E line on the fuel gauge

You look at your dashboard and the fuel light lights up, nearing the dreaded ‘E’

What to do in this situation? Here are some tips and tricks:

Turn off the Air Conditioning

This is the first step. Yes, PH is a tropical country, but knowing that you’re running out of gas and you still have a long way to go, make a little sacrifice by turning off the AC. You can instead open your windows a little to get some air from outside.

Don’t do sudden brakes

Stepping on the brakes on the last minute can increase fuel consumption. So if you can, please be observant on the road so you can smoothly avoid bumps or holes and consequently avoid sudden stepping on brakes.

Use the Right Gear

Make sure that you are using the right gear for a specific situation so you won’t waste fuel. In cases of traffic, you may use a lower gear for constant little movements, but if you feel that the engine is working up more then it’s time to shift to a higher gear.

Don’t Idle

If you’ve already turned off your AC while immobile in the middle of a highway parking lot and you’re still nowhere near any gasoline station, turn off your car engine. This is the better way to go rather than go idling. It’ll lessen your fuel consumption.

3. Driver Survival Tips

Of course, during a bumper to bumper ride, it’s not only your car that needs to be attended to. You should also look out for yourself. Here are some tips for you as well:

3.1. Bring snacks and water

God only knows what time you’ll be arriving home after you leave from work, and vice versa. You can be in a standstill situation for hours, and you may end up “Hangry” or “Hungry + Angry”. The least you could do for yourself is make sure you have something to eat and drink during this idle time. This will make you feel better, avoiding lightheadedness and rising temper.

Snack and water in a car

Snack and water will make you feel better, avoiding lightheadedness and rising temper

3.2. Remember, patience is a virtue

You should also remind yourself that no matter how long the travel is, at the end of the day, you’d still end up in the comfort of your home. There’s no need to be frustrated because it will do you no good – frustration won’t even change the situation you are in. So keep calm and be patient.

Patient signboard

Keep calm and be patient 

>>> More helpful tips to survive driving in the Philippines:

Ivy Kristia Padura

Ivy Kristia Padura


Ivy is one of the first Philkotse's content writers. She finds joy in sharing her driving tips, particular for dealing with heavy traffic in Metro Manila, with other fellow drivers.

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