Category Archives: Street Scenes

Ridden the U-Hop Yet?

U-Hop

U-Hop, photo grabbed from TechInAsia article.

I just read the article on TechInAsia about U-Hop getting $7.4m funding for Asia rollout.

U-Hop is an Uber for shuttle vans that’s fast growing in Manila. The capital is known for having the worst urban traffic in the world, and it doesn’t need any more cars on the road than it currently has. Ride hailing apps Uber and Grab are just adding to the gridlock by catering to only one user at a time. U-Hop’s answer is to put more commuters in vans, which can seat about seven people per trip. The company claims to already serve 550,000 passengers who regularly take its shuttle service. Read more…

I remember our carpooling a couple of years ago and how the MAPSA would always flag us down and we would explain, then be let go.

Our carpooling was organized by one neighbor who knew of a retiree who could drive us to Makati every morning. So, the neighbor invited us, her friends, who work in Makati to join in. We were just 5 at most. We thought it was a better way to commute than bringing our own cars and spend for gas and parking. Besides with fewer cars on the road, it would ease up traffic a bit. But every trip, our driver would be praying  that the MAPSA guy won’t turn his preying eyes on us, because he was told that carpooling services should be for people who work for the same office/company only. Whut?

So, yeah, and then comes this ridesharing app, U-Hop, which I think follows the same concept.

I know in other countries, they encourage carpooling to decongest roads. These carpooling are done by mothers who would take turns to bring their children to school.  I also know some groups of friends who take turns taking their car to  work. They didn’t really need to register their services.

Above all, I still wish for a good public transportation in this country. Improve LRT, MRT, PNR services already!

 Let’s stay connected, find AmOnTheStreets on Facebook.

Magallanes Interchange Closed, Reroute!

MAGALLANES-FLYOVER-CLOSED

Source

The southbound lane of the Magallanes flyover along South Super Highway will be closed to traffic starting at 10 p.m. Friday until August 17, Sunday. The road work is in line with the Department of Public Works and Highways’ Magallanes Interchange Rehabilitation Project.

Thus, this rerouting scheme.

I live in the South, and so I hope the traffic won’t be so bad, as it is bad as it is.

The State of our Streets

 Image grabbed from Philstar

Here in Metro Manila, there is not a day that a motorist does not complain of being stuck in a traffic jam. To travel on the metro streets in a breeze is considered an exception and not the norm.

I for one got a bit scared one time when I was walking along Ayala Avenue and didn’t see any vehicles on the street. As in the street was empty. I had to look around and walk fast for fear that something was amiss.

Such is the state of our streets here.

This morning was no exception. A friend who was taking the Skyway, shared on social network that she got stuck in bad traffic. Everyone thought that it was because of the start of work for the Skyway Stage 3 project, which will connect SLEX to the NLEX through Buendia to Balintawak. This project aims to decongest EDSA, C-5 and other major thoroughfares in Metro Manila. The traffic jam this morning though was caused by a vehicular accident, according to the news.

Still, accident or no accident, metro streets are always jammed every day. Now with the Skyway Stage 3 project, the goal is noble actually. It has to be done.

What gets my beef is the seemingly lack of preparations (again!). Alternate routes, and working ones at that, should have been prepared and established years or months before this project starts. What’s happening, I heard, is that it was only at the start of the project (which is today) when the alternate routes are also identified. Take note, identified. Not prepped and tested.

Such is the state of our streets!

Update

Here are the alternate routes as Skyway Stage 3 construction starts!

On the The 4th Philippine International PyroMusical Competition 2013

We caught the second to the last weekend of the 4th Philippine International PyroMusical Competition this year. It was more of a last-minute decision coming from the WorldBex in The World Trade Center.  I only had my trusty iPhone with  me, so pardon the grainy photo above. For much better photos, check out their SM MOA’s Facebook Page.

Anyhow, we went to SM  Mall of Asia with our P100-tickets purchased online by the husband’s colleague. I had a mixture of pleasant and unpleasant experiences during that Saturday.

Let me start with the pleasant ones:

  • The entrance to the P100-ticket area was well-manned. It was not congested and crowded, as I was expecting. I thought since it was the general admission ticket, there would be pushing. But there was none.
  • When we got inside, it was also not crowded. It was not humid. It was pleasant.

Now the unpleasant ones:

  • The show didn’t start at 7PM as indicated in the ticket and in their banners. It started at 8PM.
  • The sound system should also be heard (loud and clear) in all ticket areas, in fact better if the whole open area of SM MOA. It is an international show after all. We couldn’t figure out what the emcee was saying. The music was not clear in our area. Even if we got only the general admission ticket, we still went to see and paid for the show after all.
  • The presentation interval was about 30, or was it 45 minutes. After the presentation of China, we had no choice but to wait for Australia’s presentation. The momentum and excitement would be better sustained if the presentations were done one after another. But, those I know who have gone to see the show before us,  had a different experience. They were saying that the presentations had only a 10- to 15-minute interval. I am just not sure what happened that weekend.

For those who are planning to catch the last group, Canada and Philippines, this weekend, here’s what I recommend.

  • Choose a restaurant where you can get a good vantage point to see the show. It is still a better option for me than going to those viewing areas and had to wait long. At least in the resto, you’ll have food and good seating.
  • Prepare for the deluge and crowd of people at SM MOA. From parking areas to the mall and back, you had to queue. We had to take the stairs from ground to the rooftop parking.
  • This is an international show, let’s make it that—from sound system to venue arrangements.

Being on the (Philippine) Streets

For the past couple of days, I witnessed helplessness in the face of an authorized-to-nab traffic enforcer.

First.

I know my husband to be a careful driver and a law-abiding citizen. I am not saying this because he is my husband. He really is. His and my friends can attest to this. Despite that, he was nabbed for violating traffic rules twice.

The first one was on SLEX for running slow on a fast lane. The second incident happened last Sunday. He was arrested for beating the red light. Unfortunately, in the two incidents he was just a victim—he was at the wrong place at the wrong time. For who would be in his right mind would be slowing down on a fast lane? In last Sunday’s incident, it took place on the pedestrian lane between Glorietta and SM Makati (Yes, the beating-the-red-light regulation is enforced there. Surprised?!). He crossed the pedestrian lane on a green light but since the road was rugged because it was being reconstructed, the red light went on even before he reached the other side. But he was already an inch away from the finish-line so to speak. And he, who is a firm advocate of road courtesy and pedestrian lanes, would beat the red light? A good hour after, we went back to the same place and observed the motorists there. Many were beating the red light. Luckily for them, the traffic enforcers already were not around.

In both occasions, Wizheart had to surrender his license. I wonder what happened to the MMDA’s ticketing system where you get a ticket and you settle the penalty in the bank. That system is to me more in keeping with the times.

Second.

The other morning on my way to work, I saw a traffic enforcer again altercating with a jeepney driver at the West Service Road corner Merville Access Road. The jeepney driver—I didn’t know for what reason he was being arrested—refused to completely stop and give the traffic enforcer the chance to arrest him. The traffic enforcer even had to stand in front of the jeepney, but the driver didn’t budge. The traffic enforcer had no choice but to step aside. The driver took that chance to speed down the service road and escape. This was the same traffic enforcer who accused my husband of swerving, when Wizheart was only trying to avoid the out-of-line jeepney. He let go of us. Why? My observation below may explain that.

My observation.

In other countries, Filipinos are known to be good people—law abiding and hardworking. Why is it that here in their own country, many of them mess up?

I think because, we have reactive rules, and worse these reactive rules are implemented at random. Not clear. Illogical, even. Not consistent.

If you want people to follow the rules, be clear about your rules and implement them justly. But I’m just talking to my hand here really.

My (unsolicited) advice.

For pedestrians and motorists out there, pray every day that you won’t be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Ayala Avenue Dresses Up for Christmas

The Christmas decors along Ayala Avenue were put up last week, and today I decided to take photos of it. Again, I forgot my digicam, so I took the photos using my Nokia E63.

1st photo: I was walking toward PBCom Tower, Ayala Avenue cor. Rufino Street.

2nd photo: I was on the corner of Ayala Avenue and Rufino Street.

I’m excited about Christmas already! :)

Part of Manny Villar’s C5 Project

When the “C5 insertion project” broke out and became controversial, I was on the lookout for that C5 extension. That is because I felt that the area they were describing was near my place.

I was right! The supposedly C5 extension would be passing through West Service Road, to Moonwalk and Multinational villages. The extension road would be running parallel to Kalayaan Road in Pasay (which is parallel to Merville Access Road), then to Armstrong Avenue in Moonwalk, Parañaque to Kaingin Road going to Multinational Village. The road would connect to Ninoy Aquino Avenue to Sucat Road.

Already the meter road that we are using now is a big help in easing up traffic in the area—the same way that the Daang Hari in Alabang-Imus route.

True, these road constructions may be dubious and may seemingly benefit the subdivisions owned by the person who wanted to see this project done, but they are useful, they are helpful commuters/motorists.

I don’t know with you, but I don’t mind seeing something concrete and tangible with the taxes that I had been paying.

Now, I just hope that these roads are constructed well, along with the drainage system.

PinoyBiz Fueling Pinoy Entrepreneurship

I see these colorful stalls on Pasong Tamo Extension, that part of Pasong Tamo that is already part of Taguig City and not Makati City.

These stalls are labeled, Forward Taguig-Global Kalinga-PinoyBiz. This project must be supported by Taguig City, Global Kalinga, and Pinoy Biz groups. From what I see, each stall is assigned certain products to sell. So, one stall sells fruits,  another fish, yet another meat or rice.

The stalls are standing on the  paved sidewalks along the streets. I’m not sure if the vendors have business permits or perhaps the city of Taguig has given them permission to sell.

Whatever it is, this idea of PinoyBiz is indeed fueling the spirit of entrepreneurship among Filipinos.

This Rainy Thursday…

I woke up to heavy downpour knocking the windowpanes and roof.  When I looked out the window, I saw  dark skies and wet pavements. It seemed like there would be no let up.

The weather looked perfect for people who didn’t have to go out and work. We need rain, you know. Especially the plants and trees. 😀 But rainfall in Metro Manila is different. It means flooded streets, and traffic jams. It’s synonymous to inconvenience!

But who can stop the rain?

As I am one of those who needed to get to work, I left the house armed with my umbrella. When I got outside the village, this is the sight that greeted me. WET!