How to Survive the Fatal Manila Traffic Nowadays (When your bladder is tired of holding…)

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Photo by @OrangeMagTv at Twitter.

It’s official. The current traffic problem in Manila is the new normal. I can’t imagine it worsening. It has reached its most catastrophic, paralyzing possibility. There is no respite except on Sundays. If you are waiting for a miraculous day between Monday to Saturday when the traffic will turn lighter, don’t waste your energy pining for some elusive dream because that day is never coming. I’m sorry if I sound like the prophet of doom but I’m just stating a fact.

Recently, a high ranking officer of the DOTC was heard saying that the traffic in Manila isn’t that fatal. I beg to disagree. I and a million other motorists and commuters beg to disagree. This statement enraged many people caught that September night in one of the worst traffics that ever happened in Metro Manila.

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(If only this dream were real and happens not only in our sleep or early in the morning, but everyday when we’re awake and driving. Left: Edsa, early morning. Above: C5, early morning. Source @MMDA Twitter)

According to a study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), our country loses at least P2.4 billion a day in “lost productivity and potential income”. I am sure this is true and has greatly impacted our economy and our personal time with our families. But my concern now is just as important and nearer to the gut.

The evening when that awful, paralyzing traffic occurred, the traffic was caused by a confluence of several factors. It was a combination of heavy torrential rains causing floodings in several streets all over Metro Manila (like Pasong Tamo and Magallanes in Makati, Osmena Highway, Taft Ave,) congestion of major intersections like Cubao, Balintawak, Guadalupe, Taft Ave, Shaw Blvd and Ortigas. As if these were not enough, an accident occurred at C5 where I was stuck during the whole ordeal, driving and suffering a full bladder in my unmoving car.

If you were experiencing the same traffic that night, what did you do? If you were commuting and stuck somewhere, you were probably in a better position than I was who was driving by myself. If you were commuting, you could get off and search for a temporary place like a restaurant where you can “pee-wee” and then come back. But if you were driving alone like I was, stuck in traffic that wasn’t moving, what did you do when your bladder was full and felt like it was about to burst? What did you do when you had been feeling like that for the past hour and wasn’t anywhere near a gasoline station?

I’ll tell you what I did. Leaving my car in the middle of C-5 was not an option. So I meditated while driving, breathing in and out slowly . I practiced mind over matter. I clenched my inner muscles to hold my bladder from letting go. Because of this I sweated, experienced waves of hot and cold flushes running through my body, I fidgeted nervously in my seat fearing the inevitable would happen. But, I stayed strong. I ignored my painful and numb bladder and that is bad. When your bladder is numb from holding it for so long, this is unhealthy and detrimental to the health of your bladder. If you always ignore the urge to “wee-wee”and hold it for so long, somehow, this blunts your ability to sense that you need to wee-wee. And if you want to avoid any “accidents” in the future, you better go when you feel the need.

Having gone through that ordeal, I do not want to suffer something like that again. So I have come up with a few tips on how to survive Manila traffic with a full bladder.

1) Avoid drinking too much water or liquids 1.5 hours before your drive home or commute. Just take a sip if you are thirsty.

2) Urinate as many times as you can before your drive or commute.

3) When you feel the “wee-wee” urge while driving and you are stuck in traffic, try to meditate. Practice mind over matter. Hold and contract your pelvic floor muscle as long as humanly possible. (This is not healthy by the way)

4) Get creative. If you are a male driver driving alone in your car and traffic is not moving, a large plastic soft drink glass from any drive-thru fast food chain can prove helpful. So always keep one handy for emergencies like this. If you are not alone in the car, tell your companions to avert their eyes. These are desperate times calling for desperate measures. If you are driving your boss, then my condolences to you.

5) If you are a female driver, I pity you. It is much more difficult for a woman to be creative when your bladder is full in a paralysed traffic.

When I was younger, muuuuch younger, I boarded a half-full bus heading for Laguna. You know how buses do not just stop anywhere, anytime for “wee-wee” emergencies. I was desperate and all I had was a large plastic cup, where I drank softdrink from an hour before. Big mistake. I was desperate and the bus wouldn’t stop so I went to the back of the bus where it was empty. I balanced, hovered, and aimed as carefully as I could, using all the muscle control I could muster to let it flow in a smooth, controlled , steady stream and prayed to the high heavens that the cup will catch most of it. My apologies to that bus but I learned my lesson and that never happened again. Again, desperate times calling for desperate measures.

But if you do not want anything to leave to chance, I have a better solution now that I am more seasoned and experienced in roads with paralyzing traffics.

6) WEAR AN ADULT DIAPER. When you anticipate a long and bad traffic ahead of you, it is better to be like a boy scout– always be prepared. I know it’s not very sexy wearing one, but I’m telling you. If you don’t want to suffer or be stressed out, or do the special muscle control exercises and practice mind over matter meditations while driving, WEAR AN ADULT DIAPER.!!!

When you feel the urge to go #1 and the traffic is at a bumper- to-bumper halt, when you are wearing an adult diaper wrapped reassuringly around your hips, you can just let goooo and let nature do its course and do your “business” stress-free and with confidence. It is such a relief, and besides it is healthier for your bladder.

I have randomly chosen and pre-tested 2 leading brands of adult diapers from my local supermarket. No they are not paying me for this free endorsement. I am endorsing them because with the Manila traffic nowadays, it’s time that the adult diaper find another purpose in life. It is no longer just for people suffering incontinence, but it is now a necessity and a saving grace for people who anticipate a really bad traffic ahead of them. And these days, that is almost everyday.

Did you just read that I pre-tested it? Yes you did. I bought two kinds of adult diapers available in my supermarket:

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TENA (8 pads in a pack) and Caress (10 pads in a pack.)

For this specific research, I drank 4 glasses of water to get maximum result. We are looking for 4 important features to help us get through 2-5 hours of traffic in any Manila highway:

1.) Super Absorbency – the ability of the diaper to absorb and lock liquid inside.

TENA : Passed w/ flying colors. Caress: Passed w/ flying colors

2) Liquid Distribution Layer/ Instant Dry Layer – the ability of the diaper to quickly draw the liquid away from the skin, to keep the skin dry and healthy.

TENA : Passed w/ flying colors. Caress: Passed w/ flying colors

3) Leak Guards- Curved leg elastics is important for maximum leakage security while sitting.

TENA : PASSED w/ flying colors. Caress: PASSED wt flying colors

4) Price Comparison:

TENA – Maxi Overnight Adult Diaper – 8 Pads= SRP: P324.00
Caress – Unisex Adult Diaper – 10 +1 Free Pad = SRP: P168.75

So now that I have shared with you these tips, empower yourself and take control of your traffic driving experience. Peeing and driving need not be such an ordeal anymore!

Happy journeys!

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