According to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, an estimated 24.7 million Filipinos aged 10 years and older commute. Meaning they use public transportation to go about, from buses, jeepneys, tricycles, and trains, but also semi-private services like taxi cabs and rideshare services.
Needless to say, commuting is an essential part of daily life for many Filipinos, particularly those who live in urban areas and work or study in different parts of the city. And according to reports, a lot of people forget things in their ride.
People in a hurry have this "rush" mindset and forget to double-check that they have all their belongings before getting out of a taxi, preoccupied with the thought of getting to their destination quickly. Many are simply distracted, hypnotized by their phone, or confused by conversation, or events happening outside the bus. There are those who are simply overwhelmed by luggage, carrying several bags and items in a jeepney, and end up losing track and leaving something behind. Sometimes people are too exhausted from work, or too drunk that they forget things, even in small tricycles.
Based on lost and found reports, ridesharing and social media data, these are the most commonly forgotten items by Philippine commuters:
Mobile phones, in particular, are often left behind due to their ubiquity and the ease with which they can slip out of pockets or bags. In today's fast-paced and highly digital world, smartphones are essential tools for communication, entertainment, and productivity, so they're almost always on hand. Once, the hand gets busy with something else, the phone often gets set aside, placed somewhere in the vehicle for easy pick-up later on. It's no surprise that they are one of the most commonly forgotten items in buses, jeepneys, taxis and rideshare vehicles.
Wallets and purses, on the other hand, contain some of our most essential possessions, such as money, credit cards, IDs, and other personal items. It's understandable that people may forget these items in the chaos of getting in and out of a taxi cab, especially if they are carrying multiple bags or items.
Keys are another essential item that people may forget in public transportations. Whether it's the keys to their house, or their office, losing a set of keys can be a major inconvenience and even a security risk. It's always a good idea to double-check and make sure you have your keys before leaving any commuter ride.
Bags and luggage are also commonly forgotten items in public rides. Whether it's a backpack, a briefcase, or a suitcase, people do forget their luggage, often because they're rushing to a connecting ride, are too excited to go down a destination or simply losing track of the number of luggages they have.
Umbrellas are another commonly forgotten item, particularly during the rainy season in the Philippines. With sudden downpours and unpredictable weather, it's easy to leave your umbrella behind in a hurry to get off a jeepney, or forget it in the backseat of a Grab car.
Outerwear like jackets, scarves, and hats are also the most commonly forgotten items in commuter vehicles, they are also usually removed and set aside during the ride. These items can be expensive to replace, and losing them can leave you unprepared for sudden changes in weather or temperature.
Miscellaneous Small Items
Water bottles, chargers, and other small items like sunglasses or hats are also frequently left behind in buses and jeepneys. These items may seem insignificant on their own, but they can add up and become a significant inconvenience or expense if you have to replace them frequently.
While the items listed above are some of the most commonly forgotten in public transport vehicles, it's worth noting that people can forget anything from their groceries to laptops, to even pets (believe it or not). To avoid this, it's always a good idea to take a few extra seconds to double-check that you have all your belongings before stepping out. Keeping an alert mind and a mental note that accounts for whatever you are bringing helps.
Additionally, keeping important items like your phone and wallet in a consistent spot easy to inventory or in "forget-proof" places like pants pockets, can help ensure that you don't accidentally leave them behind.