It's tough to be a woman in Metro Manila. You read about getting drugged and robbed or worse, raped in taxis. You read about van abductions in broad daylight and in major thoroughfares. Even just walking in something "safe" like The Fort exposes you to construction workers who leer and shout out lewd catcalls!
If you're a woman like me, perhaps you are aware of the feeling of constant tension and watchfulness. Is that cabbie about to drug me? Are there any suspicious men following me? Am I dressed conservatively enough to prevent harm upon my mental health and person? These are normal thoughts, at least for me. I live in a suffocating haze of dull fear whenever I leave the house. It's such a normal thing that I didn't recognize this until recently.
Ironically, this dawned on me one afternoon while I was riding an Uber car on the way to a meeting. I was checking out Facebook on my phone, listening to my favorite play list, and just felt - and this is a huge, huge realization - safe in a stranger's car. I wasn't tense. I wasn't checking if the driver is looking at me weird every two minutes. I felt relaxed and I could actually focus on talking to my friends or shooting out a few work emails.
This is a big deal for me. I've been riding Uber for close to a year now. More than the convenience and the assurance that I'll get to my destination no matter what time or how traffic it is, it's this feeling of safety that makes Uber indispensable - no, life-changing - for me. I've been in a couple of Ubers with drivers that make me uncomfortable and of course I'm still alert. However, at least I know that Uber knows who my driver is and where my last location would be should something happen. They also do background checks on all partners to lessen the chances of crime.
And that's why I love Uber, mainly. ^_^ There's a new reason to love Uber though, and that's their partnership with Smart, the telco which will provide FREE in-car wifi to all passengers! Currently this new service is already available in Uber Blacks, but it will be rolled out in UberX cars in the weeks to come. AND! If you're a Smart subscriber about to try Uber for the first time, you can get two free rides worth P300 within Metro Manila until September 30. Awesome, right? Try Uber now and #LiveMore (perhaps quite literally, get it, hehe). Seriously though, get on it!
This post is brought to you by Smart.