Secrets of the city: Snag a northbound seat at Ayala MRT station

In this column, we ask Coconut Manila readers to share insider tips to living in Metro Manila, from road shortcuts and hidden parking spaces to the best time to buy bread from a bakery for a 50% discount. Got any ideas of your own? Share them with us by registering as a user and posting your tip. Don’t forget to use an active email address so we can contact you to confirm your submission. Alternatively, email us at with ‘Secrets of the city‘ in the subject title.

We’ve all heard the horror story: by 5pm, all Northbound MRT stations turn into cans of sardines, with passengers packed so tight, waiting for the train home. The Ayala Station, in particular, can be especially brutal. The queues to buy a ticket alone goes all the way down to street level by SM Makati. This phenomenon defies the most basic principles of matter: that solid objects can only occupy an X amount of space. You’ll be surprised by how far people’s legs can stretch, and just how far they can “slither” to make sure that they’re the first to go in once train doors open. 

Our secret: The best station to get an MRT ride from busy Ayala to QC also happens to be – surprise – Ayala Station. But get on the Southbound train instead. When you reach the end of the line at Taft Avenue, stay in the carriage and wait less than five minutes for the train to turn around and head north. Cost: the regular fare of PHP14 if you go all the way to North Avenue, and an addition of 10 minutes to your travel time. 

Photo: Flickr user Brian Young

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