The conference has ended in Day 1 at Singapore, and it was time for me to explore this foreign area for the first time. Like I always do, I like to try taking up public transport, instead of being accompanied to my hotel by the event organizers. Good thing I was about to change my Philippine pesos into Singaporean dollars at Lucky Plaza (yes, the Filipino’s bailiwick in Singapore) and had time to walk along Singapore’s tourist row. Then came a challenge—how to get back at my hotel in Novena Square? Take the MRT lah!–Singapore’s answer to subways!
I headed to the Singapore Tourism office in Orchard and got the information I need. Off to Somerset!
Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) of Manila’s Terminal 4 is better known to locals as “Domestic Airport” or “Domestic Terminal.” It is located at the end of Runway 13.
Back in the 1990s, it served majority of Philippine Airlines’ domestic flights. Then after the deregulation came, Cebu Pacific, Air Philippines, and others that called it home. When PAL moved out, it became NAIA’s main domestic terminal for non-PAL flights. When the budget carrier trend went on full force, the terminal wasn’t able to cope up with the increasing passengers. Then when NAIA Terminal 3 opened, Cebu Pacific and AirPhil moved out. Today, Zest Air (formerly Asian Spirit), SeAir-Tiger Airways, and other airlines make this their home. Terminal 4 is better known to be the hub for island getaway flights such as Boracay, El Nido, and even Batanes.
It was Friday noon of June 29th, a cloudy day in Iloilo Airport. I picked up my fellow Geo-Advocate Wayne Manuel from the airport in Iloilo. It was his first time coming to Iloilo and I am glad to be at his service to have him greeted at the airport and send him to his hotel at the city. I was to finish several tasks that day, so we opted to take the easiest and fastest mode of public transportation between the airport and the city—the taxi.
It was Saturday morning, 7th of May 2011, at Manila’s busiest thoroughfare, EDSA. Southbound lane at the loading and unloading area just across our office at EDSA Central. It was one heck of a humid morning. My office-mates/colleagues have already alighted a Ayala Ibabaw-bound bus. I am waiting for my bus bound for Dasmarinas, Cavite. I have kept away my important belongings in my bag: wallet, my cellphone, and my ID. My headphone was inside my shirt. I do this everytime I’m on that area–just for safety. For numerous times my important belongings have been stolen, I need to be vigilant. Yet the following unfortunate scenario happened… …continue reading
It was Christmas Day, well a lot of urban-dwellers of Manila and its suburbs like to spend some time with the company of family and friends. My family though decided that we go to Tagaytay and pass by Pink Sisters then head on to one of the last “shack cottages” overlooking Taal Volcano and Batangas Province. It was cold and was drizzling when we went there. Tagaytay as expected would be crowded on a long weekend, but we never expected such mass exodus that would unfold later that day. …continue reading
It’s currently my first week at my new job. After a year, I’m back at graveyard shift. Yup, I’m back where Edward Cullen and his family take on a rampage to the innocent bystanders. Oops! Not for the green minded! My daytime IS night time. 11 PM to 8 AM!
Although the feeling of nausea and sleepiness is part of this schedule, I am however, blessed by this fact: Going to work is as easy as 45 minutes or even less! Yes, people of the republic–no longer I am subject to the tenacious and seemingly endless cycle of Buhos system of Cavite! No standing at the bus, kissing the doors, being harassed by the bus conductor or by manyaks, and most of all–goodbye sardinas sa bus!
PARANAQUE CITY, PHILIPPINES — Today is Baclaran Day, or the day when the devotees of Our Lady of Perpetual Help converge at Baclaran Church in Parañaque City, one of Metro Manila’s busiest and most congested districts. As expected, early morning will be the start of the traffic jam that normally occurs every Wednesdays. But this Wednesday, August 4, was no longer ordinary for me. MMDA failed big time! It failed the commuters way big time!
At around 6:10 AM, our bus from Cavite, bound for EDSA, entered Baclaran’s bus stop for the usual dispatch. They have a new chairman, a former mayor of Tagaytay City. So like always whenever there’s a new king to lead his men, they implement the traffic rules strictly. So those who disobeyed are instantly reprimanded or apprehended. Just to play it safe, the driver of the bus entered the dispatch bus stop area at Baclaran, rather than risking to pay P1,000 fine…from that time on…it was ‘haynakupo!’ for most of the passengers. It’s Baclaran Day, obviously you’re entering the eye of the storm! …continue reading
The first is, have you tried combat commuting? I think if you live in Manila, it is essential to know combat commuting. Its a war waged every single weekday in the Philippine capital. The climax of the war at Hell’s Gate? Rush hour madness. Everyday, people try to cram themselves in buses, jeepneys and metros. Well, asi es la vida en Manila! Can’t deal with it? Might as well leave for the provincias.
Now, for a Cavite resident like me, traveling from home to work is a fact of life. Manila has become crowded and the urban expansion reached the doorsteps of its neighboring provinces, one of which is Cavite. There may be 12 million residents in Metro Manila but including the Greater Manila Area (encompassing Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Bulacan), we may even be comparable with the population of that of Mexico City, Tokyo or Mumbai! Cavite has the largest share of GMA residents–3 million people, tw0-thirds of it lives in towns near Metro Manila and along Aguinaldo Highway–the sole main artery of the province. Three million, the most populous province in the country–and with real estate blooming like lumot in the pond, its like a heart chocked with cholesterol! After all, Cavite IS a bedroom of Metro Manila.
Well, I guess I was excited back then. It was my first time going to Lucban for Pahiyas Festival. The feast that I could only see on telly or on books. I’ve seen Sinulog, Dinagyang and Masskara for countless times already but this crowning jewel of Quezon Province’s feasts is something that I would look forward into. Such colourful and attractive feast has made me like a bee, attracted to the colour of the kipings and revelry. It was my first time going there and I’ll be commuting. May 15 is a notorious date to any commuter or motorist going south, as horrific stories of traffic jams linger. But I dared!
Which is which?
I called in the Quezon Provincial Tourism Office and sought advise on what’s the best route going to Lucban. My friends from Quezon and the tourism people have a unanimous answer: Go Laguna-Pagsanjan instead!