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Epic Gridlock Reigns Over Manila’s 23 Million Residents

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Joshua Mercado is waiting for a train at the end of a kilometer-long queue that snakes down three stories from Manila’s elevated Quezon Avenue station to the sidewalk below. It’s part of his five-hour daily commute.

“All I do is wake up, go to work, go home, eat, sleep,” said Mercado, 24, who rises at 4 a.m. for a trip by motorized tricycle, minivan, train and bus to his office in Makati, the capital’s business district. “All these hours of commuting and the frequent breakdowns are really stressing me out.”