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A Momma Abroad is where I share my perspective of life abroad and my love for the Philippines, there is so much to love!


Happy Trapik: 6 Ways To Smile While In Trapik

Happy Trapik: 6 Ways To Smile While In Trapik

One of the most common questions I get asked about living in Manila, usually by Filipinos, is "But what about the traffic?" Yes, yes, yes Manila traffic is insane and like so many we love to talk about the agony of traffic often referring to the research Waze put out in 2017 stating that, "Manila was the worst place in the world to be a driver." (It was also stated to be one of the safest cities to drive, I guess traffic is good for something?) Manila dwellers often stay in their 'bubble radius', however, millions of commuters are still on the road for multiple hours. For expats, one of the harder parts of a transition to Manila is spending so much time on the road. 

I think I may have found something that can ease the transition, just a little. Recently, I read fascinating research about the benefits of smiling. Did you know that smiling activates facial muscle groups and sends a positive message to the brain, which in turn allows the body to respond positively! Pretty neat, di ba? I decided to come up with a list of meaningful and fun ways that could perhaps bring a smile to your face or someone around you while in traffic. 

Here are 6 Ways To Help You Smile While In Trapik.  

1| Pass Time With Podcasts Or Audio Books

Traffic doesn't have to be a waste of time, use it to your advantage. Audio books and podcasts are a great way to stimulate the brain and learn while on the road. Not only that, it is so fulfilling to look at how many hours of information your brain has digested at the end of a week.   

podcasts TIME.png

Best Podcasts Of 2018

according to time magazine

2| Carpool Karaoke 

That's right! In the land of karaoke, let's take it to the car! Relive your teenage years by blasting that radio and singing your heart out. Lucky for you, the Philippines loves 90's love ballads and rock so you will have a playlist ready to go. If you want to level up bring your carry-oke in the car and you have yourself a carpool party! Not encouraged on a UV Express - ha! 

carry oke.png


Found in mall tech stores and lazada

3| Grab A Roadside Snack 

One of the greatest Manila luxuries are roadside vendors. Need towels? You're covered. Want fresh roasted peanuts? No problem! Feeling parched? Grab an ice cold water at your next stand still. Make sure you are a decent human and respect those around you and clean up after yourself. 


Kuya Pogi

and his kakanin cart

4| Games!

This particular one is for the families out there, who for whatever crazy reason, don't have an iPad shoved in their kid's face (ha, ako din!) Play games while on the road. Here are some of our favorites.

  • How many jeepney's do you see? - Count as many jeepneys as you can!

  • License Plate Game - Read the license plate letters as words.

  • I Spy

  • Twenty Questions


Jeepney, Jeepney Everywhere

this cool jeepney is found in cavite

5| Put Your Phone Down! 

We are a screen obsessed generation and often we forget to stop and soak in our surroundings. We are literally on autopilot when we get in the car, when was the last time you remember showing up at your destination without even realizing you were already there? 


You Never Know What You Might See

I happened upon the ultimate peacock chair when i decided to put my phone away. you can read more here.

6| Be Grateful You Aren't The One Driving! 

If you are fortunate to be the passenger, be grateful you aren't the one driving in Manila trapik! And if you are the driver, I salute you!

ozzie slkeeps .jpg

With a few simple tips I hope these help us endure traffic with a bit more happiness. And don't forget, when you can share a ride, walk or bike to help with the congestion and pollution. Manila may have it's traffic but don't forget all the other #PerksOfPinas, there is much to smile about. 

Kita kita,


top photo via

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