I heard something funny over the radio the other night. This DJ was giving a rush hour traffic report, and he went, “Along EDSA, it’s hardly moving from Arnaiz/Pasay Road to Aurora Boulevard. So that’s a problem spot there…”
For those not familiar with Manila, this so-called “spot” stretches for about 6 kilometers, or nearly 4 miles. At 7 P.M., that “spot” could steal an hour of your precious time. Or maybe two if you’re really lucky
Traffic in this mega-city has indeed become mega-phenomenal over the years. It’s been, and continues to be, the subject of too many jokes, too many columns, too many facebook rants. It also seems to have driven many to utter madness, just go search the videos online — though I must admit this is debatable; the madness of many might in fact have contributed hugely to how bad our current traffic situation is. In any case, it’s all crazy: how much time we waste on our asses every single day; how much productivity we lose; how much energy we expend being angry at other motorists and pedestrians and traffic enforcers and inanimate objects (those poor orange cones and concrete barriers are often on the receiving end of much verbal abuse, day after day); and just how much life this travesty bloody drains out of us. And I haven’t even started yet with the absolute drudgery that commuters regularly go through.
When I go out of the country one of the first things I always see is the contrast in the traffic. It can’t be avoided: the moment I get out of the airport into practically any foreign road, the comparison happens, as if involuntarily.
How can I help it, when every time I see something like this…
…my mind immediately recalls this daily scene from home?
On a happy note, humongous infrastructure projects are underway — and in fact partly explain why traffic has been even worse than usual over the last year — aimed “at improving overall mobility in Metro Manila and nearby regions, provide efficient public transportation systems, and create new urban centers.” There is hope!
So help us (that is, our government and the everyday citizen), God.
Writing prompt, “Contrast,” courtesy of The Daily Post.