Recently updated on: October 31, 2023
It's been a while since the pandemic, and It is a blessing that I'm back in the province when it happened. I can't imagine the hardship of living in Metro Manila during the earlier days.
I love the provincial living. However, I'm not fond of the local transportation system, especially the tricycles. Drivers used to charge a minimum of P10 for the first two kilometers and another P1 per succeeding kilometer -- pre-pandemic.
It may not sound a lot, but some drivers charge more than required and even get annoyed if you pay the exact amount.
The problem is that tricycle fares in our municipality have now even become costlier during the pandemic. The minimum fare is now pegged at P15 for the first kilometer and another P5 per succeeding kilometer.
Update January 2023: The current rate is P15 for the first two kilometers and another P2 for every succeeding kilometer.
As a result, I made riding the tricycle my last option and favored using my bike and walking more, which led to my frequent use of my two-kilometer rule.
Update March 2022: The impact of the pandemic has decreased since it began almost three years ago, thanks to the vaccines. However, the increasing oil prices in the world market caused by the Russia-Ukraine War created a ripple effect on other commodities and, of course, fares.
What is the Two-Kilometer Rule?
The two-kilometer rule is a personal challenge that I employed to increase my mobility and exercise minutes. The rule is that you must walk if you're going somewhere within two kilometers.
The two-kilometer rule was initially a challenge between my sister and me when we were at Baguio during the 2019 Panagbenga Festival.
There was a massive influx of tourists in the city, resulting in heavy traffic. Realizing it would be difficult to visit the tourist spots while commuting, we decided to walk.
But there's a catch. We need to walk as long as the destination is two kilometers away. If it exceeds two kilometers, we will ride a taxi or jeepney and endure the traffic.
I still remember the cool weather that day, which suited our plan. And based on my Swarm App, here's our itinerary in the afternoon just after lunch.
After dinner near Mine's View Park, we rode a taxi back to the transient house we were staying in since it was more than two kilometers away, and we were already tired.
How would I know if it's two kilometers?
I live close to my work and the town center, so I have the advantage of mobility, and two kilometers is pretty close from my perspective. That's why, as long as the place I'll go is two kilometers away, walking is my most viable option.
I usually use Google Maps to check where I am going, how far the place is, the best route to take, and how long it will take. If it happens to be just over two kilometers, I take it as an extra challenge to burn more calories.
What are the Advantages of the Two Kilometer Rule?
Ordinary people won't try the two-kilometer rule, but I am a distance runner, so the length is relatively short for me. It also offers the following advantages:
1. Physical Health Benefits
It is well established that walking is physically healthy. It does not matter whether you complete the famous 10,000 steps a day or barely make half. What's important is that you move more. Walking 4,000 steps per day is way better than being a couch potato.
Some benefits of walking include better sleep quality and reduced risks of many lifestyle diseases like cancer and diabetes. It also makes for stronger bones and muscles, etc.
Plus, walking gives the advantage of physical distancing to other people during this pandemic.
2. Mental Health Benefits
Aside from its benefits for physical health, it is also helpful for our mental health. Further research shows that it can alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression and improve our mood. It can also boost creativity and memory.
With the pandemic causing many people anxiety, walking a few thousand steps daily may help.
3. Financial Health Benefits
If physical and mental health benefits are insufficient, maybe improving financial health can help. Here's a scenario:
Currently (during modified general community quarantine), the tricycle fare in Daet is P15 for the first kilometer and an additional P5 for every succeeding kilometer.
If you live within 2 km of your work, you could save P200/week or P800/month or as much as P4,000 by December 2020 (as of writing Aug 1, 2020) just by walking.
What are the Exemptions to the Rule?
Of course, sometimes I can't follow my own rules, but that's okay. Here are some reasons:
1. During unfavorable weather conditions, such as when it is too hot or too rainy;
I usually go home during lunch break, so I will concede to riding the trike if the weather is too hot.
2. When I am running late; and
I live less than a kilometer away from my work. And like anyone living close to their school or office, I often run late.
3. When my outfit is uncomfortable to walk in.
When I need to wear long sleeves and formal clothes, I have no choice but to commute.
So basically, I still ride tricycles more often than I want to.
During the community quarantine, it is noticeable that many people gained weight. So, to burn some extra calories, it is helpful to try walking now and then.
However, the two-kilometer rule is not absolute. It is a personal challenge that I want to share with you, especially during this time. May each one of us remain mindful and vigilant.
God bless and take care.