30 Jun 2011

Travel To Bicol From Tutuban to Naga Via Bicol Express

  • 30 Jun 2011
  • Lagalag


  • PNR Bicol Express, the newky rehabilitated train line of the long-stalled route to Naga City in Camarines Sur, had its soft launch on June 29, 2011 with its maiden trip left Tutuban Station at scheduled time of 6:30 pm. The maiden voyage constitutes promotional run from Tutuban in Manila to Naga City in Camarines Sur which is done to create awareness that the route is revived. Lucky passengers who took the initial trip enjoyed fare discount.

    After the maiden trip, Bicol Express will take the 10-hour travel distance from Manila to Naga on every other day basis departing Tutuban Station at 6:30 pm. Click here for complete schedules, fare rates and stations between Manila and Naga.

    To travel to Naga City by Bicol Express train, commuters need to get to PNR Tutuban Station where they shall take the train.

    PNR Tutuban is in the vicinity where public commuting is constantly changing. Here's the newest guide on how to commute to Tutuban PNR Terminal nowadays.

    BY TAXI

    If the taxi you're riding takes C.M. Recto Avenue from areas of Cubao, San Juan, Santa Mesa, EDSA-Crossing, Pasig, Mandaluyong, etc., and the driver doesn't know what's the next turn to take, tell him to turn right onto Jose Abad Santos Avenue, a major intersection with pedestrian overpass. The taxi will cross two intersections along Jose Abad Santos Avenue. Then, the driver must change lane to the leftmost and then turn left on Mayhaligue Street, a one way road going to PNR Tutuban Station. Just stay on Mayhaligue until PNR Tutuban Station is visible to your right.

    If the taxi takes Jose Abad Santos from anywhere in CAMANAVA, e.g. Monumento, Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, Letre, Bagong Barrio, Balintawak, etc., tell the driver to turn right onto Mayhaligue Street. Before Mayhaligue, you will cross the PNR Rail Track itself, then two main intersections of Tayuman and Bambang, respectively. After that, just watch for the road sign that read Mayhaligue Street to your right.

    If you're riding a taxi from areas of Paranaque, Pasay, Ermita, Malate, Taft, San Andres, etc., and the taxi takes Jones Bridge where jeepneys bound for Divisoria pass through, tell the driver the best way to get there is via Reina Regente. The trick is to avoid the traffic in Tutuban Mall so make sure you don't pass in that area. Once you're taking Reina Regente, the taxi should cross Recto Avenue and take Jose Abad Santos, which is the opposite street of Reina Regente to the other side of Recto. Cross two more small intersections and then turn left on Mayhaligue Street. You can easily see the road sign and there's a traffic left turn signal to Mayhaligue from Abad Santos Avenue.

    If you come from area of Espana, Dapitan, Quezon Avenue, Dimasalang, A. Bonifacio Avenue, Del Monte, Roosevelt, Munoz, Congressional, etc., your taxi can take Espana or the side road parallel to it which is Dapitan Street. If the taxi takes Espana, the driver must turn right onto P. Campa Street and then tell him to take Fugoso Street all the way and cross Rizal Avenue or Avenida. Left on T. Mapua and then turn right onto Recto all the way to Jose Abad Santos Avenue, the main intersection with pedestrian overpass. Turn right onto Jose Abad Santos, cross two intersections and then turn left on Mayhaligue Street where PNR Tutuban Station is located to the other end, right side. If the driver prefers Dapitan, then tell hime to cross Quezon Boulevard and take Fugoso and follow the rest of direction from Espana.

    BY TRAIN

    LRT 1 South & North Bound - Option One (Recommended). Get off the train at Bambang Station. Ride a tricycle at the corner of Bambang and Rizal Avenue. Tell the driver to take you to Tutuban PNR Station. Avoid the confusion, say it loudly - "PNR Tutuban Station". If the driver doesn't hear you, he'll take you to Tutuban Mall, and it's way way too far you would be greatly delayed. These tricycles drop off their passengers right at the entrance of the station. This route is the most convenient way to get to the station especially if you're carrying heavy luggage. Option Two. Get off the train at Jose Abad Santos Avenue. At the corner of Jose Abad Santos Avenue and Rizal Avenue, you can take either jeepney or taxi. If you don't carry heavy luggage then you can take the jeep bound for Divisoria and ask the driver to drop you off at Mayhaligue Street. Again, avoid the confusion, the sign of the jeepney that you must ride is "Divisoria Abad Santos". Don't ride a jeepney with "Recto" sign as it will take you to Recto in Quiapo area. From the corner of Jose Abad Santos and Mayhaligue Street, you can walk to PNR Tutuban Station. It's near, approximately 290 meters. This route is recommended if you're in budget. But if you're carrying large luggage, then take the taxi and instruct the driver to turn right onto Mayhaligue Street. This option is not convenient for those carrying heavy luggage because first you need to walk way too far, second, it's hard to take taxi in the area.

    LRT 2 - Get off the train at Recto Station and then ride jeepney or taxi. Take jeepney bound for Divisoria, alight at Jose Abad Santos Avenue, ride another jeepney along Jose Abad Santos Avenue bound for Navotas or Monumento and ask the driver to drop you off at Mayhaligue Street. Cross Jose Abad Santos and walk along Mayhaligue until you get to Tutuban Station.

    MRT 3 - Get off at Taft Station and then ride another train bound for Monumento/Roosevelt. Alight at either Bambang Station or Abad Santos Station, depending on your budget and luggage. Please read LRT 1 South & North Bound Two Options above. This direction is better than Doroteo Jose if you're taking LRT 1 because it is faster and you get to avoid the traffic along Recto Avenue particularly near Jose Abad Santos Avenue intersection.

    BY JEEPNEY

    The jeepneys that you can take that go directly to the vicinity of PNR Tutuban Station are the following: Jeep from Cubao, Marikina, Quiapo, Morayta, Caloocan, Monumento, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela. The sign of the jeepney must be "Divisoria". From Marikina, Quiapo, and Morayta, get off the jeep at the corner of Recto and Jose Abad Santo Avenue. You can either ride another jeep bound for Navotas and Caloocan along Jose Abad Santos or you can hire a pedicab or tricycle that moves around the area. From Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas or Valenzuela, just get off the jeep at the corner of Abad Santos and Mayhaligue Street.

    It's not advisable to take jeepney with "Divisoria" sign from Baclaran, Pasay, Taft, Pedro Gil, Ermita, San Andres, Mabini, etc. This is because the jeepneys from these areas take Juan Luna Street. Traffic condition in area near Tutuban Mall along Recto Avenue is now at its worst and it spills over different streets that connect to Tutuban Mall from which PNR Tutuban Station is approximately 550 meters away. The best way is to take jeepney with "Monumento" sign and then get off the jeep at either Bambang where you ride tricycle to get to Tutuban Station or Abad Santos Avenue where you can ride a jeepney bound for Divisoria that passes by Mayhaligue Street from which you can walk your way to PNR Tutuban Station approximately less than 300 meters away.

    Stay tuned for more updates on Bicol Express Train.

    For PNR Bicol Express Fare Rates, Schedule, Stations & Stopovers, go to Bicol Express Train Fare Rate And Schedules


    Route Map of PNR Tutuban Station
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    29 Jun 2011

    New Jeepney & FX Terminal In BGC Market! Market!

  • 29 Jun 2011
  • Lagalag


  • New terminal of jeepneys and FXs has been opened to the commuting public in Bonifacio Global City's Market! Market! in Taguig. The new terminal is called New Transport Terminal and it is located in front of Metro Market! Market!

    Jeepney routes that you can take from here are bound for the following destinations: Ayala, Guadalupe, Gate 3, Pateros, Sucat, EDSA/Forbes, and Kalawaan Sur.

    Meanwhile, FX and Vans that serve commuters from the new terminal are bound for the following destinations: Alabang/Pacita, Taguig, Rosario, Pasig, Marikina, Bicutan, and Ortigas.

    These jeepneys and FXs previously served commuters at the open parking old terminal in front of Market! Market! Mall where they still operate for limited period of time during the day from 5:00 am to 10 am as the old terminal will be available only for buses for the whole day from 5:00 am to 11:00 pm.

    The new terminal serves the public from 10:00 am to 12:00 midnight.

    So, the next time you get to Market! Market! in Fort Bonifacio, don't panick when you don't see any jeepney or FX at the usual terminal. Just get back inside Market! Market! Mall, go towards the activity center and exit through the entrance beside or inside Metro. The new terminal is right outside Metro. It is also near to the big building of STI Academic Center which is located at the opposite side of 32nd Street corner 38 Street.

    See related post entitled New Market Market Transport Terminal Schedule.
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    28 Jun 2011

    New Market Market Transport Terminal Schedule

  • 28 Jun 2011
  • Lagalag


  • I've been to Market! Market! in Fort Bonifacio Global City today and the first thing I've noticed is the major changes that took place in public transport system there. At 3:15 pm, the old terminal in the open parking is deserted without a single jeepney or FX parked in the terminal. Certainly, anybody would be surprised to see the lot empty. Lots of passengers are dislocated as to where they should proceed to take ride to get out of Market Market.

    So, this will be handy for those who don't have any knowledge of the changes.

    The new operation of schedules of the Market! Market! Transport Terminal took effect 12:01 am of June 27, 2011, as follows:

    New Transport Terminal - opens from 10:00 am to 12:00 midnight for FX and jeepney only.

    New Transport Terminal is located in front of Metro Market! Market!

    Open Parking Transport Terminal - opens from 5:00 am to 10:00 am for FX and jeepney only.

    Open Parking Transport Terminal - opens from 5:00 am to 11:00 pm for buses.

    Please be guided accordingly.
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    27 Jun 2011

    A Luxury Hotel's Convenient Accessibility Amidst Undesirable Location

  • 27 Jun 2011
  • Lagalag


  • Hotel in old Manila, anyone?

    Seems everyone has apprehension in spending a day or two in a hotel in old districts of Manila such as Sta Cruz. The stigma comes from the menace of street crimes that seem to always lurk there. A friend of mine had experienced losing his valuables to a bag-slasher. He just arrived from the north riding a Philippine Rabbit bus. When he got to Issetan where he'd to meet up with a relative, he was shocked to find out that his backpack was slashed and his valuable holder was gone. Apparently, the culprit got behind him and slashed his bag when he walked from Philippine Rabbit bus terminal in Rizal Avenue, taking Recto Avenue, on the way to the mall.

    I don't want to cause any alarm, but I was also a victim of these ruthless criminals. It happened while I was on my way to LRT-1 Carriedo Station. You can read how I was victimized by these people in my article entitled How To Get To Quiapo Church By Walking And Commuting.

    That's why the exact location of Manila Grand Opera Hotel, though apparently a paradox, gives utmost security for its guests against those dangerous elements lurking in the alleys and streets of the decadent district.

    Manila Grand Opera Hotel, which is situated at the former site of the historical and famed Manila Grand Opera House, is the only elegant hotel with luxury of a 5-star hotel in downtown Manila that you can check in without stepping on the ground of the decaying surroundings.

    The luxurious hotel with 3-star rate have another main entrance directly open to the second level of LRT-1 Doroteo Station from which the LRT-2 walkway or footbridge is also connected.

    That means, even if you're coming from Marikina in the east, Roosevelt in the north, NAIA-3 in the south or SM Mall of Asia in the west, you can go and check-in this elegant hotel by commuting through the trains of LRT-1, LRT-2 and MRT-3 lines.

    How to get to Manila Grand Opera Hotel by trains

    LRT-1 Southbound - Get off the train at Doroteo Jose Station, and from the turnstile, walk towards the entrance of Manila Grand Opera Hotel.

    LRT-1 Northbound - Get off the train at Doroteo Jose Station, use elevator, escalator or stairs to get to the other side of the station and enter Manila Grand Opera Hotel through its door at the second level of LRT-2 Doroteo Jose Station.

    LRT-2 - Get off the train at Recto Station, use the footbridge and walk your way to Doroteo Jose Station, use the elevator or escalator to get to the other side and enter the hotel in the second level of LRT-2 Doroteo Jose Station.

    MRT-3 Southbound - Get off the train at either Araneta Center Cubao Station or Tat Station. From Araneta Cubao Station, walk to LRT-2 Araneta Center Cubao Station, ride a Recto bound train, alight at Recto and walk to LRT-1 Doroteo Jose Station. From Taft Station, use the footbridge and go to LRT-1 EDSA Station, ride a Monumento/Roosevelt bound train, alight at Doroteo Jose Station, go to the other side of the station and enter Manila Grand Opera Hotel entrance at the second level of the station.

    MRT-3 Northbound - Get off the train at Araneta Center Cubao Station and walk to LRT-2 Araneta Center Cubao Station, ride a Recto bound train, alight at Recto and walk to LRT-1 Doroteo Jose Station. Go to the other side of Doroteo Station through elevator or escalators and enter Manila Grand Opera Hotel through its entrance at the second level of the LRT-1 Station.

    You wouldn't get to Manila Grand Opera Hotel by bus and public jeep if you're carrying jewelries and cash, would you? Taking taxi is not practical because of the heavy traffic in the area. And driving your car to the hotel's parking space presents inconvenience and hassle issue. With the existence of PAGCOR Casino in the hotel, one would be tempted to bring some extra cash. Clearly, train is the safest and fastest way to get to Manila Grand Opera Hotel from any locations in Metro and Mega Manila and vice versa. The sense of security is definitely there. In fact, you can vicariously feel that you're in an Ortigas Center hotel or an Ayala Center hotel once you're inside Manila Grand Opera Hotel. Well, you can close your eyes while on the transit, go directly through the door of Manila Grand and discard in your mind that you're actually in Avenida-Recto-Sta Cruz area. That way, you would feel the same ambiance of Makati or Ortigas or even MOA, NAIA and Resort World while you're in Manila Grand Opera Hotel.

    Simply put, omit the timeline between your point of origin and the moment you're standing in front of the concierge of Manila Grand Opera Hotel. Try it, it feels great, and it's fun.


    Location Map of Manila Grand Opera Hotel

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    26 Jun 2011

    Behind The Posts: New Driving Direction To DFA From NLEX

  • 26 Jun 2011
  • Lagalag


  • Last June 17, 2011, I decided to drive to President Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard to check the road I've seen previously. I was restless and the image of unfinished intersection in one of the major arteries of our city's metropolitan network had kept bugging me. And so, in an instant, I drove off to the location.

    I parked at McDonald's opposite DFA Office of Consular Affairs, had some snack then decided to walk across Macapagal Boulevard towards Bradco Street, the road that intersects Macapagal Boulevard and the purpose of me going here.

    I saw a lot of people gathering in front of DFA gate along Bradco Street. Obviously, these people were passport applicants. A security officer was managing the crowd and giving necessary assistance. I approached the security officer and ask him where a passport applicant who arrives in DFA by car could park. And he pointed me to the large pay parking area located just opposite us in the other corner of Bradco and Macapagal Boulevard intersection.

    From there I walked along Bradco towards Roxas Boulevard. Bradco is a wide newly built road without center island making it looked wider. Previously, I was there but then it wasn't completely finished with only two west lane opened and motorists that supposed to be at east bound lane shared the lane with those going in. That time, lots of vehicles already used it and so there's a bit heavy traffic.

    Today, particularly when I've seen it this lately, the east end of the road perpendicular to Roxas Boulevard is wide open. There's no build up of traffic and vehicles passing through this road that seems to be the gateway to Aseana Business District get in and out in free-flowing directions to and from Roxas Boulevard.

    That's the time when something occurred in my mind that said, "Surely, a new driving direction via Roxas Boulevard to DFA Office of Consular Affairs had opened through this road."

    I went and checked if I was right. I walked along Roxas Boulevard from Bradco towards Baclaran. Yes, I headed northward. In my mind, it's clear that the traffic along Roxas Boulevard is light compare to Macapagal Boulevard. And if I based my judgement on what I saw in the south bound lane of Roxas Boulevard, I was right. But I needed to see from overhead. I climbed the pedestrian overpass in Baclarand, stood in the middle and looked exactly towards EDSA-Roxas flyover. And guess what, traffic heading towards me from the flyover is very little, few vehicles are using Roxas Boulevard. There's a few public buses and jeepney below the pedestrian overpass where I was standing. I thought it would have at any rate some effects on private cars. To see on what extent, I observed a maroon Nissan Altima as it approached towards the bottom of the overpass passing through the leftmost lane which is nearer to center island. I could read the plate number but there's no need to have it written here. The moment it passed under the overpass I immediately went to the other side of the overpass and amazed to have seen the sedan passed through quick and onto south until I barely saw it from the distance. And so I concluded, it's faster to travel south via Roxas Boulevard than via Macapagal Boulevard.
    Read more...



    25 Jun 2011

    New Driving Direction To DFA From NLEX

  • 25 Jun 2011
  • Lagalag


  • I've just learned that the new road that runs from Roxas Boulevard towards President Macapagal Boulevard in Pasay City has been completely open to all motorists for quite sometime now. Last time I saw it, east lane was still closed and both west and east bound vehicles had to squeeze in the narrow west bound lane.

    I am referring to Bradco Street, the road that borders Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Office of Consular Affairs to the south. DFA is bordered to the west by President Macapagal Boulevard. To it's east is the S&R Membership Shopping building. And to the north is Shell Station.

    Because of this new development, a new driving direction has also opened for those going to DFA by car from north of Metro Manila as well as those coming from Northern Luzon provinces, e.g. Bulacan, Pampanga, Subic, Zambales, etc.

    You see, ever since Macapagal Boulevard had been opened, large chunk of motorists bound for south that used to take the entire stretch of Roxas Boulevard had shifted to the new eponymous road. What happened is Roxas Boulevard became less-traffic. The way I see it, Macapagal Boulevard is now heavier in traffic than Roxas Boulevard. The bottleneck in EDSA and Macapagal Boulevard intersection is the major cause of the congestion. On the other hand, traffic in Roxas Boulevard is free-flowing, thanks to the two flyovers in EDSA-Roxas Blvd and Gil Puyat-Roxas Blvd intersections.

    Here's the new driving route from NLEX to DFA Office of Counsular Affairs:

    From NLEX, go straight past EDSA overpass to take A. Bonifacio Avenue, the road that continues NLEX. Stay on A. Bonifacio all the way to its opposite end which is in Blumentritt Street. Turn right onto Blumentritt, change lane to the leftmost and drive past Dimasalang up to Aurora Boulevard. Make a sharp left turn to take Aurora Boulevard, then turn right onto Dimasalang.

    Cross Lacson Avenue and take Laon Laan. Stay on Laon Laan up to its other end which is in Alfonso Mendoza Street aka Quezon Boulevard.

    Turn left on Alfonso Mendoza aka Quezon Boulevard and drive past Quezon Underpass up to Quiapo. Take Quezon Bridge to cross Pasig River. Stay to the middle of the road. The road bends to the left and road name changes to Padre Burgos. Change lane to the right, cross the next intersection with traffic lights, avoid Lagusnilad Underpass by taking the rightlane. Padre Burgos bends to the right and separates from Lagusnilad.

    Stay on Padre Burgos and drive all the way to Roxas Boulevard, crossing three intersections with traffic lights - Finance Road, General Luna and Palacio Street. Turn left on Roxas Boulevard.

    Stay to the middle of Roxas Boulevard's south bound lane all the way to Baclaran, passing through the two flyovers, Gil Puyat-Roxas Boulevard and EDSA-Roxas Boulevard, respectively.

    Bradco is the first T-intersection to the right of Roxas Boulevard after passing through EDSA-Roxas Boulevard flyover. Turn right onto Bradco and park your car at the "Pay Parking Area" located to the left corner of Bradco-Macapagal Boulevard intersection.

    Stay tuned for New Directions to DFA from Different Parts of Metro Manila.
    Read more...



    24 Jun 2011

    SM MOA Bound Passenger Jeepney New Terminal In Baclaran

  • 24 Jun 2011
  • Lagalag


  • A new terminal of jeepneys bound for SM Mall of Asia has just open in Baclaran. For years, commuters had been experiencing difficulties in going to MOA from Baclaran. The only terminal then was situated way too far from Baclaran Church - few meters to the south of Lydia's Lechon frontage.

    The new terminal of the yellow-colored jeepney version of multicabs with "Baclaran - SM Mall of Asia via EDSA (Vice Versa)" sign is located in the strategic location at the corner of Roxas Boulevard service road and Redemptorist Road. Today, commuters from various locations such as Cavite, Dasmarinas, Tagaytay, Bacoor, Naic, Kawit, Sucat, Multinational Village, SM South Mall, Las Pinas, Paranaque, and Villamor Air Base can get to SM MOA in a more convenient and fastest way. They only need to take either a jeepney or minibus from their respective locations, alight at Baclaran and ride one of these multicabs-turned-jeepneys. Even passengers of NAIA Shuttle Bus from the three terminals of NAIA can opt to take the ride to MOA here. The terminal is very visible from the distant and very near to Baclaran Roxas Boulevard pedestrian overpass. Moreover, it's just few meters away from Max's Restaurant Baclaran, Chow King and Redemptorist Church ground.

    Clearly, the creation of this new terminal is part of major improvement that Redemptorist Road-Roxas Boulevard junction had undergone. The vicinity which was previously cluttered with fusion of traffic of buses, jeepneys, pedicabs, and illegal vendors is now a scenery of organized road intersection. The bus bay in front of Redemptorist Church main gate, that caused major traffic problem in the area, is now gone. It's replaced by a widened service road with vehicle traffic going towards Redemptorist Road from which they need to pass through a small newly built rotunda before heading towards their respective destinations.

    Now, that's what I call 'result-oriented' governance.
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    23 Jun 2011

    Underground Walkway From Glorietta 5 To Glorietta 4

  • 23 Jun 2011
  • Lagalag


  • It was raining hard when we finished our meal in Giligan's Restaurant at Gloritta 5's third level yesterday afternoon. We needed to get to Glorietta 4 so that we could walk our way to MRT-3 Ayala Station without getting wet.

    Before that, we were enjoying the superb meal on the veranda of Giligan's Restaurant overlooking the greenery and free flowing traffic below. The scene of the twin towers of Ascot Hotel protruding from Glorietta 4 podium blurred by the mist had served as an excellent backdrop in our otherwise humid surrounding.

    After the meal, and just we're about to go, the downpour started and we wondered how we could get across the park and into Glorietta 4 from which we could walk to the MRT Station.

    Until we discovered a walkway that connects Glorietta 4 and Glorieeta 5 under the ground where the park and roads are laid.

    I was amazed, really. I think, only few people have knowledge about the existence of this walkway. But of course, private car owners who happened to park their cars in Glorietta 5 basement parking have full knowledge of this shoppers' underground walkway. Primarily, the tunnel serves private car owners as it has doors directly open to the parking.

    But, ultimately, shoppers, diners, pedestrians and office workers who travel by train get the maximum benefit and convenient of using this somewhat hidden walkway especially during this season of heavy rains.

    The entry into the walkway is located at the northwest side of Glorietta 5 Mall which is Rustan's Supermarket side. From the main lobby of Glorietta 5, walk towards the entrance in East Drive, the road between Rustan's and Glorietta 5. There's another hallway to the right before the entrance. Take this hallway and go left until you see the "Walkway To Glorietta 4" sign. Get down the stair and follow the direction it takes. Soon, you'll be walking inside the airconditioned walkway that will take you to Glorietta 4.
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    22 Jun 2011

    Behind The Posts: Quezon Ave-Araneta Ave Underpass

  • 22 Jun 2011
  • Lagalag


  • To make sure that my article Quezon Ave-Araneta Ave Underpass: Alternative Routes is accurate I've traveled to Blumentritt two times. First I got there by car, second I went there by public jeep.

    There are a whole lot of informations on my post that contradicts the existing advisory on alternate routes that our authorities had laid out. Like when I said on my post that you can't turn left on Dimasalang from Blumentritt, and I claimed that Quezon Boulevard is Alfonso Mendoza Street. They are all true.

    The first time I drove there, I took the "Del Monte-A.Bonifacio-Blumentritt-Dimasalang" alternate route. In Blumentritt I just passed by Dimalang intersection because I noticed that all vehicles passing through it go towards Blumentritt from the other end and they turn left onto Blumentritt. The bulk of vehicles then turn left on Aurora Boulevard. I've decided to go with the traffic flow. I parked my car in a small street to the right of Aurora Boulevard to look around and observe what's going on in the intersection especially the large junction of Aurora Boulevard-Retiro-Maceda-Dimasalang. And so I've written all the things I saw on the road and the traffic condition on that area. They're all in complete details on my first post of Quezon Ave-Araneta Ave Underpass Alternative Routes. Then I headed towards Quiapo via Dimasalang and Laon Laan.

    The second time I got there by jeepney, I got to see the road signs that read Alfonso Mendoza on intersection of Dapitan and the supposedly Quezon Boulevard as well as the other intersection in Laon Laan.

    I also rode a jeepney with Blumentritt-Dimasalang sign at the corner of Laon Laan and Alfonso Mendoza streets. The jeep crossed Lacson Avenue but instead of taking Laon Laan's opposite side, the jeep turn left on Dimasalang Street which is diagonal to the left of Laon Laan.

    The jeep drove on Dimasalang, passing through a flyover, then it crossed Aurora Boulevard and onto the opposite Dimasalang extension. It's here in the north corner of Aurora Boulevard and Dimasalang that the traffic becomes one way towards Blumentriitt. I've seen it, I passed through it and it's definitely one way going to Blumentritt.

    I got off the jeepney as it turned left onto Blumentritt apparently to get back to Quiapo via Aurora Boulevard.

    As I observed the entire stretch of Blumentritt from A. Bonifacio Avenue to Aurora Boulevard, these are the things I've noticed: Blumentritt is very wide from A. Bonifacio to Aurora Boulevard. It's one way from A. Bonifacio to Aurora Boulevard. Aside from A. Bonifacio, two other roads merge into it - first has the big arc with the words "La Loma Lechon Capital of the Philippines" on it, second is a narrow road which is actually still part of Blumentritt Street. Both La Loma and the narrow extension of Blumentritt is one way towards the wide Blumentritt. So, you can just imagine the volume of vehicles flowing through the wide Blumentritt. Chinese General Hospital's new annex building to the left of Blumentritt looks hippie. Another tall one is being built next to it. I just don't know if it's still part of Chinese General Hospital complex. Manila North Cemetery main gate which is situated alongside Chinese General Hospital old building, I think had undergone a major face-lift and refurbishing. As with the traffic flowing through Blumentritt towards Rizal Avenue, big volume of them ultimately go left on Aurora Boulevard, with few private cars go towards Isagani Street, not one cross Aurora Boulevard to take the other side, and with relatively few motorists turning right onto the northwest direction of Aurora Boulevard which is two way from Blumentritt to Rizal Avenue.

    That's how I've created the post entitled Quezon Ave-Araneta Ave Underpass: Alternative Routes.
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    21 Jun 2011

    Quezon Ave-Araneta Ave Underpass: Alternative Routes Part 4

  • 21 Jun 2011
  • Lagalag


  • In my my article that preceded this post, I've shown you a route from Del Monte Avenue to Quezon Boulevard in Quiapo via Biak na Bato and Dapitan streets. These streets are considered to be side roads, meaning they are minor roads branching off the main road which are also open for general transportation both public and private.

    Aside from Biak na Bato, you can also take Sto. Domingo Avenue to get to Dapitan Street on your way to Espana, UST, Morayta, Quezon Boulevard and Quiapo.

    Sto Domingo Avenue is more prominent and with more vehicles passing through it. The only problem in Sto Domingo and Del Monte Avenue intersection is the traffic lights with no left turn signal. The best thing to do to take Sto Domingo is to turn right onto its northern direction and then make a U-Turn to get back towards Del Monte. Go cross Del Monte Avenue.

    Now, you're taking Sto Domingo's south bound lane. After passing by a T-intersection to the left, a T-intersection to the right and a cross intersection, you must cross main intersection of N.S. Amoranto Avenue.

    After N.S. Amoranto, you will cross seven more small intersections, namely Macopa, Don Manuel Agregado, Samat, Calamba, Atok, Simoun and Tirad Pass before you cross another main intersection which is Maria Clara.

    Dapitan Street is next to Maria Clara. It's a T-intersection to the right of Sto Domingo Avenue. Turn right onto Dapitan. Drive all the way and traverse the approximate 3.2 kilometer distance of Dapitan from Sto Domingo to Quezon Boulevard. You will cross dozens of small streets and seven main intersections, namely Banawe Ave, D. Tuazon, Mayon Avenue, Blumentritt, Maceda, Vicente G. Cruz and Lacson Avenue before you get to Quezon Boulevard. Lacson Avenue, the last road to cross is wide and with large center island. After crossing Lacson Avenue, you will cross few small roads before you approach the wide Quezon Boulevard.

    Important reminder: Quezon Boulevard is Alfonso Mendoza Street. You wouldn't see any Quezon Boulevard signs anywhere in the intersection. Our authorities refer to this road as Quezon Boulevard even if the signs along this road read Alfonso Mendoza Street. In Google Map, you will see that the northern portion of this road is Alfonso Mendoza while the southern part which is towards Central Market and Lerma is named Quezon Boulevard.

    As you approach Quezon Boulevard aka Alfonso Mendoza Street, you will notice that Dapitan Street is diagonal to Quezon Boulevard. A Shell Station is situated along Alfonso Mendoza aka Quezon Boulevard opposite Dapitan Street that serves as landmark for motorists. Turn left on Quezon Boulevard aka Alfonso Mendoza to get to Quiapo and onto your destinations, e.g. Lawton, Intramuros, Manila City Hall, SM City Manila, Rizal Park, National Museum, Manila Hotel, Quirino Grandstand, Manila Ocean Park, US Embassy, Ermita, Robinson's Place Mall, Roxas Boulevard, Central Bank, CCP Complex, SM Mall of Asia, etc.

    Are you learning some routes so far? Watch out for more alternative routes from me. Stay tuned.
    Read more...



    20 Jun 2011

    Quezon Ave-Araneta Ave Underpass: Alternative Routes Part 3

  • 20 Jun 2011
  • Lagalag


  • Today marks another milestone in our nation's progress. Construction of an underpass in one of the busiest intersections of Metro Manila, Quezon Avenue-Araneta Avenue, begins today. We should welcome and embrace these kinds of major development in our city's infrastructure as it paves ways for more positive changes in our lives. When roads are less congested, we get to our destinations - workplaces, schools, businesses, appointments, commitments, events, etc. - on time without stressing ourselves. Thus, giving us more reasons to live in a healthy lifestyle.

    In my previous posts Quezon Ave-Araneta Ave Underpass: Alternative Routes and Quezon Ave-Araneta Ave Underpass: Alternative Routes Part 2, we've detailed the Alternative Routes MMDA and DPWH designed for private motorists who are the ones directly affected by this project. I've also made suggestions for shortcuts from certain roads to these alternate routes as well as adding more routes to take from our authorities' suggested routes to the usual route you take. If you haven't seen them yet, just go to my previous posts.

    My post today tackles a route to take from Quezon City to Quiapo and beyond. I consider this as an alternate to the Alternate Routes given by our authorities. I think this route is faster than "Del Monte - A. Bonifacio Ave - Blumentritt - Dimasalang" Route.

    It's more simple, needs only two turns from Del Monte Avenue and shorter as well.

    Follow the direction from West Avenue or Quezon Avenue in the post entitled Quezon Ave-Araneta Ave Underpass: Alternative Routes to take Del Monte Avenue.

    Drive on Del Monte Avenue all the way and cross Gregorio Araneta Avenue, simply known as Araneta Avenue. After crossing Araneta Avenue, you need to cross another intersection with traffic lights. This is Sto Domingo Street, the road where the big campus of Siena College is situated right at the corner of Del Monte and Sto Domingo. Cross Sto Domingo Street and then turn left on the next street which is Biak na Bato.

    Ladies and Gentelmen, welcome to our side roads.

    At this point, you're in Biak na Bato Street. This road, the way I see it, is built across an affluent village with big 80's homes, large compounds with tall concrete walls and enclosed warehouses. You can barely see people along the sidewalks. It's almost deserted. Still, displays signs of wealth. And in my own opinion, roads like this should be avoided at night if you're driving a brand new car especially those with no plates yet. Even during the day, you must extra careful in taking side road with less vehicles passing through it. I'm sure you're updated with the current news about carjacking incidents involving brand new cars the latest of which happened in broad daylight and at an area less likely to be a carjacking scene - Kamuning.

    Back to our topic. Along Biak na Bato, next main intersection is N.S. Amoranto Avenue. Before N.S. Amoranto Sr Avenue, you will cross two streets - Sta Catalina and Alcaraz streets.

    Go cross N.S. Amoranto Avenue Sr Avenue.

    After N.S. Amoranto, you will cross seven more small intersections, namely Macopa, Don Manuel Agregado, Samat, Calamba, Atok, Simoun and Tirad Pass before you cross another main intersection which is Maria Clara.

    Next to Maria Clara is Dapitan Street, the road where you take the second turn to get to Quezon Boulevard. Turn right onto Dapitan. Road sign with Dapitan word on it is erected at the left corner of Dapitan and Biak na Bato. Drive all the way and traverse the approximately 3 kilometer distance of Dapitan from Biak na Bato to Quezon Boulevard. You will cross dozens of small streets and seven main intersections, namely Banawe Ave, D. Tuazon, Mayon Avenue, Blumentritt, Maceda, Vicente G. Cruz and Lacson Avenue before you get to Quezon Boulevard. You will also cross PNR railroad crossing at Antipolo Street. Lacson Avenue, the last road to cross is wide and with large center island. At Dapitan-Lacson Avenue intersection, you can turn left to Lacson to get to Espana, Nagtahan and UST Espana Gates. If you're going to Gates 9 and 10 of UST, go cross Lacson Avenue. After crossing Lacson Avenue, you will cross 8 small T-intersections to the right before you approach the wide Quezon Boulevard.

    One important information - Quezon Boulevard is Alfonso Mendoza Street. You will not see Quezon Boulevard sign in the intersection. Our authorities refer to this road as Quezon Boulevard even if the signs along this road read Alfonso Mendoza Street. In Google Map, you will see that the northern portion of this road is Alfonso Mendoza while the southern part which is towards Central Market and Lerma is named Quezon Boulevard.

    As you approach Quezon Boulevard aka Alfonso Mendoza Street, you will notice that Dapitan Street is diagonal to Quezon Boulevard. A Shell Station is situated along Alfonso Mendoza aka Quezon Boulevard opposite Dapitan Street that serves as landmark for motorists. Turn left on Quezon Boulevard aka Alfonso Mendoza to get to Quiapo and onto your destinations, e.g. Lawton, Intramuros, Manila City Hall, SM City Manila, Rizal Park, National Museum, Manila Hotel, Quirino Grandstand, Manila Ocean Park, US Embassy, Ermita, Robinson's Place Mall, Roxas Boulevard, Central Bank, CCP Complex, SM Mall of Asia, etc. Manila Hotel. Philippine Islands. (Map title: A Cartograph of the Major Philippine Islands. "The Riviera of the Orient").

    In comparison, the Alternate Route of "Del Monte - A. Bonibacio - Blumentritt - Dimasalang - Laon Laan Quezon Boulevard" measures approximately 4.5 kilometers from Biak na Bato to Quezon Boulevard corner Dapitan, while "Biak na Bato - Dapitan - Quezon Boulevard" route measures approximately 4.3 kilometers. Traffic-wise, "Del Monte - A. Bonifacio - Blumentritt - Dimasalang" is heavier.

    Hope this post as well as the previous ones help you decide which one to take in getting to your destinations. If you find these articles helpful, you can Like DirectionsOnWeb on Facebook or subscribe to my posts.

    Alfonso Mendoza AKA Quezon Boulevard route from Dapitan to Quiapo
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    19 Jun 2011

    Quezon Ave-Araneta Ave Underpass: Alternative Routes Part 2

  • 19 Jun 2011
  • Lagalag


  • Surely, it wouldn't be easy to shift to a different route when you're already accustomed to a very familiar one. There's a sense of apprehension over uncertainties like traffic situations on the new routes, safety, next turns at the end of the alternative routes, etc. Some people, especially women are not that innovative when it comes to driving. They stick to the roads they were born with. Fear grips them when the need to drive to very unfamiliar streets arises. Especially when Alternative Routes signs and news telecasts give notice as vague as this: "From Espana to EDSA, right turn on E. Rodriguez Sr. going to EDSA-Cubao interchange, and left on EDSA". Now, this advisory refers to only one direction.

    Motorists that pass through Quezon Avenue's east bound lane which is from Espana to EDSA head towards different locations, e.g. Timog Avenue, West Avenue, Philcoa, Elliptical Road, UP Diliman, etc.

    Enter Lagalag's Quezon Ave-Araneta Ave Underpass Alternative Routes' Guide Part 2

    Here, we're going to put in details the route you need to take to get to your particular destination. This post only tackles alternative route from Espana towards EDSA. Detailed alternative route from EDSA to Quiapo is discussed in previous article entitled Quezon Ave-Araneta Ave Underpass: Alternative Routes.

    From Espana Boulevard, turn right on E. Rodriguez Sr Avenue. This is the T-intersection that runs diagonal to the right of Espana where Mabuhay Rotonda or Welcome Rotonda monument is situated. This is the road to take if you're going to Araneta Center Cubao which is situated next to EDSA. Approximate distance from Welcome Rotunda in Espana to EDSA is 5.37 kilometers.

    If you're going to Timog, Tomas Morato, Kamuning, GMA-7 or ABS CBN, here's the route to take: From Espana, turn right onto E. Rodriguez Sr Avenue, stay to the middle and drive all the way to Tomas Morato Avenue. Tomas Morato Avenue is the only main road with traffic lights which is a T-intersection to the left of E. Rodriguez Sr Avenue. Approximate distance from Mabuhay or Welcome Rotunda to Tomas Morato is 3.4 kilometers. There are five intersections with traffic lights from Espana to Tomas Morato Avenue, namely Tuazon which is very near to Welcome Rotunda, Banawe Avenue, Araneta Avenue - the one intersecting Quezon Avenue in which the underpass is to be built, Gilmore Avenue - a T-intersection to the right, and Dona M. Hemady Street. You will also pass by Saint Lukes Medical Center, situated to the left of E. Rodriguez Sr approximately 527 meters before Gilmore.

    Turn left on Tomas Morato. First intersection with traffic light along Tomas Morato is Kamuning, a T-intersection to the right. Turn right onto Kamuning to get to Kamias, Project 2&3 and Sikatuna Village. You will cross EDSA in Kamuning-EDSA intersecion.

    If you'te going to Timog Avenue, cross Kamuning intersection. Next intersection with traffic lights is Roces Avenue. Turn left on Roces Avenue if you're going to Amoranto Stadium - just drive straight up and you get to see Amoranto to the left of Roces Avenue, Sogo Hotel - situated at Quezon Avenue corner Roces Avenue, and Scout Chuatoco - drive on Roces Avenue and turn left on Scout Reyes and the next street is Scout Chuatoco, which is the road going to Quezon Avenue area where Pegasus, Bureau of Fisheries, Kremlin, and U-turn of Roosevelt are located. Just turn right onto Scout Chuatoco to get to Quezon Avenue.

    After crossing Roces Avenue in Tomas Morato, next intersection is Timog Avenue where Boy Scout Circle is located. Go right in Timog if you're going to GMA7, left in Timog if you're going to MTRCB and go straight up along Tomas Morato if you're heading to ABS CBN, IL Terrazzo, etc. Of course, you need to pass through the Boy Scout Circle so just go with the traffic flow.

    If you prefer to pass through EDSA-Quezon Avenue Underpass on the way to UP Diliman, Philcoa, Fairview, Elliptical Road, Quezon Memorial Circle, Visayas Avenue and North Avenue instead of the "E. Rodrigues left to EDSA" route, you can take this direction: From E. Rodrigues Sr Avenue turn left on Tomas Morato Avenue. Drive on Tomas Morato all the way to its opposite end which is in Eugenio Lopez Avenue where ABS-CBN Headquarters is situated. Turn left on one way Eugenio Lopez. You get to see Pinoy Big Brother House to the left of Eugenio Lopez before you reach the intersection of Mother Ignacia, another road that borders ABS-CBN. As you would notice, Eugenio Lopez is diagonal to Mother Ignacia. I need to say that because, you need to cross Mother Ignacia and take the road perpendicular to Mother Ignacia. This road is called Scout Albano, and it ends up in Quezon Avenue where you turn right to get to EDSA-Quezon Avenue Underpass. See the map below. In Scout Albano, cross Panay Avenue, turn right onto Quezon Avenue, immediately change lane to the left and pass through the underpass. Now, you're on your usual track.

    If you prefer to follow the alternative route given by the authorities, stay to the middle of E. Rodriguez Sr Avenue and drive all the way to EDSA past Tomas Morato Avenue. But read this first:

    YOU CANNOT TURN LEFT TO EDSA FROM E. RODRIGUEZ SR AVENUE BECAUSE E. RODRIGUEZ SR AVENUE DOES NOT INTERSECTS EDSA.

    You need to pass through Aurora Boulevard first before you get to EDSA. You will pass though a small tunnel under Aurora Boulevard's Sta Mesa bound flyover. This flyover consists the interchange the authorities refer as EDSA-Cubao Interchange. If you look at the map below, E. Rodriguez Sr Avenue merges with Aurora Boulevard. You will take Aurora Boulevard and then from Aurora Boulevard, you will turn left onto EDSA.

    Reminder: Aurora Boulevard and EDSA intersection is a bulwark of public jeepneys from different locations heading to far distant location east of Metro Manila. So, expect heavy traffic in that area. Drive on the leftmost lane even if you're still far from the tunnel to avoid being stuck in the traffic.

    In EDSA, you can take East Avenue to get to Fairview, Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City Hall, Elliptical Road, UP Diliman, Ayala UP Technopark, Visayas Avenue, North Avenue, etc. Avoid getting onto EDSA-Kamuning flyover and take EDSA Service Roads, then turn right onto East Avenue.


    Route Map from Tomas Morato Ave to Quezon Ave-EDSA Underpass




    Route Map from E. Rodriguez Sr Ave to EDSA

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    18 Jun 2011

    Quezon Ave-Araneta Ave Underpass: Alternative Routes

  • 18 Jun 2011
  • Lagalag


  • The construction of Quezon Avenue-Araneta Avenue Underpass project begins on June 20, 2011. Public buses and jeepneys that ply the route of Quezon Avenue from EDSA to Espana and vice versa will not be greatly affected as only two inner lanes of Quezon Avenue will be closed for the construction. Jeepneys and buses will take the remaining outer lanes of both south and north directions of the road.

    Most affected are private vehicles that pass through Quezon Avenue as they will be directed to designated alternate routes. There are already Traffic Advisory signs in strategic locations along Quezon Avenue to keep public informed. Alternate Route signs are also displayed conspicuously. Prime-time news on major TV channels have their own telecasts specifically on these alternative routes. Both news telecasts and Alternate Route signs on the roads have the same content, i.e. "if you're going to Manila, turn right on West Avenue, left on Del Monte Avenue, left on A. Bonifacio, right on Blumentritt and left on Dimasalang." Problem is, you can't turn left on Dimasalang Street from Blumentritt as it is one way from Aurora Boulevard to Blumentritt. Dimasalang is two-way only from Aurora Boulevard to Lacson Avenue. So, if you're not familiar with the roads down there, you might get lost or worse, be apprehended by traffic enforcers for making some wrong turns. Worry no more.

    Enter Lagalag's detailed direction guide.

    In the first part of this guide, we're going to stick to the alternate routes on the advisory. Only with important details so that you find it easy to take the direction even if it's your first time to drive on these roads. In the second part, I will give you alternate route based on my own driving preference which I find much better and faster. This post tackles alternative route as our authorities suggest to take from EDSA to Quiapo. If you want to know the alternate routes from Espana to Quezon City as our authorities suggest, please go to Quezon Ave-Araneta Ave Underpass: Alternative Routes Part 2. If you want to take the shorter alternate route via some side roads, then you can read my article on how to get to Quiapo or Espana from West Avenue or Quezon Avenue via side roads. Please go to Quezon Ave-Araneta Ave Underpass: Alternative Routes Part 3

    Now, back to our topic. From Quezon Avenue, turn right onto West Avenue. It's the road where jeepneys with "Project 6" sign pass through. West Avenue runs from Quezon Avenue in a reverse diagonal T-intersection. You'll notice as if you're going back to EDSA, which is actually true. So, in a sense, you're consuming more energy on this first phase of the whole route, that is, if you're coming from areas of Centris, Philcoa or UP Diliman. You might find it more practical to take the route I prefer. That's gonna be on the second part of this direction guide.

    Next turn along West Avenue is Del Monte Avenue, a T-intersection with traffic lights to the left of West Avenue. Go turn left on Del Monte Avenue.

    Del Monte Avenue is approximately 3.6 kilometers from West Avenue up to A. Bonifacio Avenue where it ends. Before you get to A. Bonifacio Avenue, you must cross major intersections with traffic lights. These are Roosevelt Avenue and Gregorio Araneta Avenue, simply known as Araneta Avenue, the one intersecting Quezon Avenue in which the underpass will be constructed.

    Turn left on A. Bonifacio Avenue. I must remind you that Del Monte and A. Bonifacio is a junction of three major roads - A. Bonifacio Avenue, Del Monte Avenue and Mayon Avenue. Mayon Avenue is perpendicular to the left of Del Monte. So, don't make a sharp left to avoid getting onto Mayon. Instead, make a bending left and take the wide road with center island, that's A. Bonifacio Avenue.

    A. Bonifacio Avenue ends up in Blumentritt. Approximate distance from Del Monte to Blumentritt is 1.3 kilometer. Turn right onto Blumentritt. Change lane to the left of Blumentritt and drive past Dimasalang, a T-intersection left of Dimasalang, towards Aurora Boulevard road sign that you will immediately see. It's approximately 300 meters from A. Bonifacio to Aurora Boulevard.

    Make a sharp 'left turn' onto Aurora Boulevard. Avoid Isagani Street, a road that starts in the middle or in the corner of Aurora Boulevard and Blumentritt. Aurora is a wide road and it's one way from Blumentritt towards south. Almost all vehicles from Blumentritt go left on Aurora Boulevard. But I must repeat don't mistake Isagani Road as Aurora Boulevard. Aurora Boulevard is the one perpendicular to Blumentritt while Isagani is diagonal from Blumentritt. See map below.

    In Aurora Boulevard, change your lane to the rightmost. Next intersection with traffic lights along Aurora Boulevard is another junction where four roads meet - Dimasalang, Maceda, Retiro and Aurora Boulevard.

    If you cross the intersection and go straight up, you're going to Maceda. If you turn left, you're going to Retiro. If you make a sharp left, you're going to one way Dimasalang which is going towards north and back to Blumentritt. The only road to the right of Aurora Boulevard is the two way Dimasalang which runs towards south. Turn right onto Dimasalang. Again, I must remind you that you must be on the rightmost lane of Aurora Boulevard to take Dimasalang. There are three islands at this intersection and if you're on the wrong lane, you can't change it at the last minute.

    Next intersection along Dimasalang is Lacson Avenue, another main road and a wide street with big center island. Dimasalang runs diagonal to Lacson Avenue where it ends. Opposite Dimasalang to the other side of Lacson is Laon Laan which intersects Lacson Avenue in cross intersection.

    Here are your choices while waiting for green signal on Lacson Avenue. If you turn left on Lacson Avenue, you'll be heading towards UST, Espana Boulevard and Nagtahan Bridge, in that order. If you turn right onto Lacson Avenue, you'll be heading towards Tayuman Road, SM San Lazaro, Rizal Avenue and LRT-1 Tayuman Station. If you cross Lacson Avenue and turn right onto Laon Laan, you'll be heading towards Quezon Boulevard and onto Quiapo, Quezon Bridge, Lawton, Intramuros, Manila City Hall, SM City Manila, Ermita, Rizal Park, Manila Ocean Park, Quirino Grandstand, Manila Hotel, Roxas Boulevard, etc.

    Assuming you're going to Quiapo, go cross Lacson Avenue and take Laon Laan which is also wide and with center island. Approximate distance from Lacson Avenue to Quezon Boulevard is 340 meters. You will easily notice Quezon Boulevard because first, it's a main road, second, it's wide. Important reminder: You will not see any Quezon Boulevard signs in the supposed Quezon Boulevard road. Instead, what you'll see are road signs that read Alfonso Mendoza Street. Well, I can say that Alfonso Mendoza Street is Quezon Boulevard. Let's put it this way, if you turn right, it's Alfonso Mendoza, if you turn left, it's Quezon Boulevard. There's a Caltex Station at the right corner of Laon Laan and Alfonso Mendoza Street.

    Now, turn left on Quezon Boulevard, stay to the middle and drive straight up to get to Quiapo. You'll pass through Quezon Underpass and, from the distance, LRT-2 elevated track is visible.

    That's the end of the Alternative Route as authorities want you to take. Only, here, in complete details to help you travel stress free and with no fear. Just relax, be attentive to traffic signals, and follow these directions while driving and you'll be alright. I just took this alternative route from Centris Walk yesterday. Only with a little variation. It's on the second part of my direction guide on this particular alternative route.

    Here's the second part. If you just come from EDSA and you turn right onto Quezon Avenue or if you come from Elliptical Road and you pass through Quezon Avenue-EDSA Underpass, there's no need for you to get to West Avenue. It's way too far. You'll be getting back towards the direction of EDSA to get to Del Monte anyway, so, why don't take the short cut.

    How? Take Examiner Street. You can turn right onto Examiner anytime. There's no traffic light. Examiner is perpendicular to Quezon Avenue. It's a T-intersection to the right of Quezon Avenue although there's a road opposite it to the other side of Quezon Avenue which is Scout Albano. Approximately, Examiner Street is 550 meters away from EDSA.

    Stay to the outermost lane (rightmost) of Quezon Avenue so that it would be easy for you to turn right onto Examiner. A Bank of Commerce branch is situated at the corner of Quezon Avenue and Examiner. At the opposite corner is a Citibank branch.

    Drive on Examiner Street all the way to the other end which is in West Avenue. Turn left on West Avenue and drive on the outer lane (right lane) and turn right onto Del Monte Avenue, approximately, 310 meters from Examiner. From there, take the rest of directions I mentioned on the first part of this guide.

    Hope this guide helps you in any way. If it does, you can Like DirectionsOnWeb on Facebook..

    Watch out for my upcoming articles about roads, driving directions, alternative routes, commuters' directions, etc.

    Oh! Don't forget to see the maps.

    This post is brought to you by:

    Manila Hotel. Philippine Islands. (Map title: A Cartograph of the Major Philippine Islands. "The Riviera of the Orient").


    Route Map from A. Bonifacio to Dimasalang



    Route Map from Dimasalang to Quezon Boulevard



    Route Map from Quezon Avenue to Del Monte via Examiner Street
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    17 Jun 2011

    How To Commute To Cirque Du Soleil's VAREKAI

  • 17 Jun 2011
  • Lagalag


  • For those of you who would be watching Cirque Du Soleil's world class acrobatic show Varekai which is scheduled to take place from June 22 to July 25, 2011 at Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, here's guide on how to commute to the venue from different parts of Metro Manila.

    Nearest train station is LRT-1 UN Avenue Station. But still way too far to walk, approximately 1.2 kilometers. If you're riding an LRT-1 train from any station north of Metro Manila, e.g. Roosevelt, Balintawak, Monumento, 5th Avenue, R. Papa, etc., the best way is to get off the train at Carriedo Station.

    If you're riding an LRT-2 train from any station east of Metro Manila, e.g. Santolan, Anonas, Araneta Center Cubao, Betty Go Belmonte, etc., get off the train at the last station which is Recto Station.

    Next ride is a jeepney with "Pier" sign in front and "Retiro Sta Cruz Pier 15" signs on both sides of the vehicle. Where to ride? Avenida Avenue aka Rizal Avenue. From Recto Station of LRT-2, walk westward along Recto Avenue, or towards the direction of the train from which you alighted. Avenida is the road where LRT-1 passes through. Wait for a jeep with "Retiro Sta Cruz Pier 15" sign along south bound lane of Avenida, the lane in front of Chow King Restaurant.

    From Carriedo Station of LRT-1, walk along Avenida northward or towards Monumento, past Bustos Street, a T-intersection to your left, until you get to Ronquillo Street, another T-intersection where public jeepneys bound for Baclaran, Mabini, Vito Cruz, Pedro Gil, Harrison Plaza, and Pier South pass through. Wait for a jeepney with "Retiro Sta Cruz Pier 15 (South)" sign.

    Ride this jeepney, pay minimum and ask the driver to drop you off at Manila Hotel which is situated near Quirino Grandstand. It's important to alight from jeepney at Manila Hotel's location because if the driver drop you off at other areas in Luneta, you might walk way too far. Luneta Park is so big and this jeepney passes through the whole stretch of its length from Roxas Boulevard to Taft Avenue. So, don't just say Luneta, instead tell the driver Manila Hotel or Quirino Grandstand.

    Walk acrosss Roxas Boulevard or Bonifacio Drive towards Manila Hotel. It's the tall building at the corner of Bonifacio Drive and Katigbak Drive. Walk along Katigbak Drive past Manila Hotel frontage until the road bend to the left and Quirino Grandstand come into view.

    If you're riding an LRT-1 train from south, e.g. Baclaran, EDSA, Libertad, Vito Cruz, Quirino, etc., get off the train at Carriedo Station, go down at north exit, the stairs located near to the front of the train. Walk towards Ronquillo Street and ride right there.

    How to get to Quirino Grandstand from different parts of Metro Manila by jeepney, train and bus?

    Route #1

    From Marikina, SSS Village, Metro East, Sta Lucia East, SM Marikina, Antipolo, Santolan Pasig, and other areas nearby.

    Option 1. Ride a train at LRT-2 Santolan Station. Get off at Recto Station. Follow direction given above.

    Option 2. Ride a jeepney or FX bound for Divisoria. Alight at Avenida corner Recto. Follow direction given above.

    Route #2

    From Cubao, Araneta Center, Project 4, Anonas, Ateneo, Katipunan and other areas nearby.

    Ride a train at any nearest LRT-2 Station, e.g. Araneta Center Cubao, Anonas, and Katipunan. Follow direction given at Route #1.

    If you prefer jeepney, ride one along Aurora Boulevard. Same as Route #1.

    Route #3

    From Novaliches, Quirino Avenue, San Bartolome and other areas nearby.

    Ride a jeepney with "Blumentritt A. Bonifacio" sign. Alight at Balintawak and ride an LRT-1 train bound for Baclaran. Get off the train at Carriedo Station and follow the direction mentioned above.

    Route #4

    From SM North EDSA, Trinoma, West Avenue, Project 6 and other areas nearby.

    Take a jeepney with "Pier South" sign. You only need one ride here. Just get off at Manila Hotel.

    If you want fast travel, ride bus bound for Monumento along EDSA's north bound lane. Get off the bus at Munoz and ride an LRT-1 train bound for Baclaran. Get off at Carriedo. Follow direction given at the introduction.

    Route #5

    From Alabang, Muntinlupa, Festival Mall, Metropolis Starmall, Sucat and other areas near these locations.

    Ride a jeepney with "Pasay Rotonda" sign. In Pasay Taft Rotonda, ride an LRT-1 train bound for Monumento/Roosevelt and get off at Carriedo Station.

    Route #6

    From Pampanga, Bulacan, Zambales, Subic and other locations in Northern Luzon.

    Ride a bus, FX or van bound for Manila and get off at Cloverleaf Interchange in EDSA. Walk towards Balintawak Station of LRT-1, ride a train bound for Baclaran, alight at Carriedo Station and follow the direction mentioned at the introduction of this post.

    Route #7

    From Cavite, Tagaytay, Bacoor, Kawit, Dasmarinas, Imus, Bacoor and other areas near to these locations.

    You can take a bus bound for Lawton and get off Manila City Hall. Use pedestrian underpass and go towards the south bound lane of Padre Burgos and ride a jeepney with "Baclaran Mabini" or "Vito Cruz Mabini" sign. Ask the driver to drop you off at Kalaw corner Del Pilar. Walk along Kalaw westward or towards Manila Bay. Cross Roxas Boulevard. Walk further until the road bend to the right and Quirino Grandstand shows up.

    Route #8

    From SM Mall Of Asia or MOA.

    You can take a jeepney shuttle bound for "Buendia aka Gil Puyat Taft" at the North Wing Terminal. These shuttles are parked near the Toilet. Ride an LRT-1 train bound for Monumento or Roosevelt at Gil Puyat Station and get off at Carriedo Station. Follow direction given at the above.

    Route #9

    From Fort Bonifacio Global City, Market Market, Guadalupe, Rockwell Center, Taguig and other areas nearby.

    Ride a jeepney bound for Guadalupe and ride an MRT-3 train bound for Taft. From Taft Station walk towards LRT-1 EDSA Station and ride a train bound for Monumento/Roosevelt. Get off the train at Carriedo Station. Follow the direction given above.

    Route #10

    From Pasig, SM Mega Mall, EDSA Shaw, Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong and other areas nearby.

    Ride a jeepney from Pasig bound for Quiapo. Get off the jeep at EDSA. Ride a train bound for Taft at Shaw Station. If you're from Megamall, ride a train at Ortigas Station. From Boni and Pioneer, ride a train bound for Taft at Boni Station. In Taft, ride an LRT-1 train bound for Monumento or Roosevelt and get off at Carriedo Station. Follow direction given above.


    Location Map of Quirino Grandstand
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    16 Jun 2011

    Driving Directions To Cirque Du Soleil's VAREKAI

  • 16 Jun 2011
  • Lagalag


  • Varekai, a world class touring acrobatic production of Cirque Du Soleil is now in Manila. Performances are scheduled to be held from June 22 to July 24, 2011 at Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park.

    Here's how to get to the site from different parts of Metro Manila by car:

    Route #1

    From Alabang, Muntinlupa, Sucat, Festival Mall, Metropolis Starmall and other areas near to these vicinities.

    Take northbound lane of either Skyway or Osmena Highway aka South Super Highway. Major repair of Buendia-Osmena flyover is on-going so you must avoid that area. My suggestion is to exit Skyway in Magallanes and turn left on EDSA.

    Drive all the way to Roxas Boulevard, the road where a flyover passes through. Turn right onto Roxas Boulevard and drive all the way to Rizal Park. You will pass through Roxas Boulevard-Gil Puyat flyover and cross four intersections with traffic lights before you get to Rizal Park. These intersections are Pablo Ocampo, Quirino Avenue, Pedro Gil and UN Avenue. Rizal Park is next to UN Avenue. It is bordered by the next intersection with traffic lights. This intersection is Kalaw, if you turn right, and Katigbak Drive aka South Drive, if you turn left.

    After crossing UN Avenue, change lane to the left and turn left on Katigbak aka South Drive. Quirino Grandstand stands approximately 330 meters from Roxas Boulevard. Just follow the road as it turns right. Parking spaces abound around the area.

    Route #2

    From NAIA Terminal 3 and Newport Resort World Manila.

    Take Resort Drive from Resort World Manila and Newport City and turn right onto Andrews Avenue, the main road between NAIA-3 and Resort World Complex. Coming from NAIA-3, take Andrews Avenue and make a U-Turn to take the opposite lane.

    Drive on Andrew Avenue. Pass through the big rotunda with giant sculpture and turn right again to the extension of Andrews Avenue. Stay on Andrews Avenue all the way to Roxas Boulevard, crossing respectively these intersections with traffic lights: Aurora Boulevard aka Tramo, Domestic Road, and Quirino Avenue.

    Turn right onto Roxas Boulevard and drive all the way to Rizal Park. You will pass through two flyovers in Roxas Boulevard, EDSA-Roxas flyover and Gil Puyat-Roxas Boulevard flyover. You will also cross four intersections with traffic lights before you get to Rizal Park, namely, CCP Complex/Ocampo Street, Quirino Avenue, Pedro Gil Street and UN Avenue. After crossing UN Avenue, change lane to the left and turn left on South Drive also known as Katigbak Drive.

    The road turns right and Quirino Grandstand stands after the turn approximately 330 meters from Roxas Boulevard. Parking areas abound around the area.

    Route #3

    From Cavite, Tagaytay, Naic, Kawit, Bacoor, and other areas nearby.

    Take either Aguinaldo Hi-way or the new Cavitex and drive towards Coastal Road. Stay to the middle of Coastal Road past NAIA Road until road name becomes Roxas Boulevard. Stay to the middle of Roxas Boulevard and drive all the way to Rizal Park. Last intersection with traffic lights that you will have to cross bears the sign that read UN Avenue. After crossing UN Avenue, turn left on the next intersection which is Katigbak Drive aka South Drive. Its opposite road to the right is Kalaw. Quirino Grandstand is located after South Drive turns to right approximately 330 meters from Roxas Boulevard. There are ample parking spaces around the area.

    Route #4

    From Fort Bonifacio Global City, Market Market, High Street, Forbes Park, McKinley Road, and other areas nearby.

    Take the south lane of 5th Avenue, one of the prominent main roads inside Fort Bonifacio Global City. 5th Avenue becomes Lawton Avenue. Stay to the middle of Lawton Avenue and drive all the way until you cross Osmena Highway via Osmena Highway-Lawton Drive Overpass. Lawton Avenue becomes Sales Road, and it now runs under the elevated NAIA-3 Exit ramp of Skyway. Soon, Sales Road turns right, and it becomes Andrews Avenue.

    Drive all the way on Andrews Avenue, passing through a big rotunda where a giant sculpture is erected. Andrews Avenue becomes Airport Road and it ends up in Roxas Boulevard. Before you get to Roxas Boulevard, you would have crossed three intersections with traffic lights, namely, Aurora Boulevard aka Tramo, Domestic Road and Quirino Avenue. Turn right onto Roxas Boulevard and drive all the way to Rizal Park, passing through two flyovers, EDSA-Roxas flyover and Gil Puyat-Roxas Boulevard flyover, and crossing four intersections with traffic lights, namely, CCP Complex/Ocampo Street, Quirino Avenue, Pedro Gil Street and UN Avenue.

    Turn left on the intersection next to UN Avenue to get to Quirino Grandstand. There are lots of parking areas in the vicinity.

    Route #5

    From Rockwell Center Makati.

    First Option. Take Estrella and turn right onto EDSA. Stay on EDSA all the way to Roxas Boulevard, the intersection with flyover after the last station of MRT-3. Turn right onto Roxas Boulevard and drive all the way to Rizal Park. After crossing the fourth intersection with traffic lights which is United Nations Avenue, turn left on the next intersection to get to Quirino Grandstand.

    Second Option. For those who avoid traffic in EDSA. Take the west lane of JP Rizal. West lane is the one nearest to the edge of the Pasig River. Drive past Makati Avenue all the way to the junction of Chino Roces/AP Reyes Avenue. There's a McDonald's Store at the corner of JP Rizal and AP Reyes. Turn right onto AP Reyes and make a U-turn and then turn right back to JP Rizal.

    Stay to the middle of JP Rizal until road name change to Tejeron at the area where a Puregold is situated to the left. Tejeron ends up in Pedro Gil Street. Turn left on Pedro Gil and right onto President Quirino Avenue. Immediately, change lane to the leftmost and turn left on Quirino Avenue Extension. From Quirino Avenue Extension, turn left on United Nations Avenue. Drive all the way to Roxas Boulevard where UN Avenue ends. Turn right onto Roxas Boulevard and turn left on the next intersection with traffic lights which is Katigbak Drive aka South Drive. Quirino Grandstand shows up as the road turns right. Parking spaces abound around the area.

    Route #6

    From Eastwood City Libis.

    First, turn right onto Eulogio Rodriguez Jr Avenue aka C-5 from Eastwood City Complex. Then, make a U-Turn underneath the flyover to get to the south bound lane of C-5. Take the south lane of C-5 aka Eulogio Rodriguez Jr Avenue, cross Ortigas Avenue via Ortigas-C5 flyover and turn right onto Julia Vargas Avenue.

    Turn left on San Miguel Avenue. Turn right onto Shaw Boulevard, the road where San Miguel Avenue ends, and take Shaw-EDSA flyover to get to the other side of EDSA. Stay to the middle of Shaw Boulevard west bound lane and drive all the way and turn left on one way Old Sta Mesa Road, the road opposite N Domingo Street which is to the right. Drive on Old Sta Mesa past two T intersections to the left, and then make a U-Turn onto Valenzuela Street, a road intersecting Old Sta Mesa in an inverted Y-Intersection. Note: You can make a shortcut to Valenzuela Street from Old Sta Mesa by passing through Prince Court Hotel driveway. You will notice lots of motorists turning left onto the hotel. Drivers give one peso to an employee of the hotel in-charge at the driveway. Upon exit of the hotel driveway, turn left and then change lane to the right. Next T-intersection to the right is Paco-Sta Mesa Road, where Sta Mesa Bridge is located. Turn right onto Paco-Sta Mesa Road, pass through Sta Mesa Bridge and take the flyover next to the bridge.

    After passing through the flyover, next junction bears the sign of Quirino Avenue. Turn right onto Quirino Avenue and immediately make a U-Turn at the next intersection (Zamora) to get to the other side of Quirino Avenue. President Quirino Avenue bends to the right. Next intersection with traffic lights is Quirino Avenue EXTENSION which is connected to President Quirino Avenue by Plaza Dilao Road. Turn right onto Plaza Dilo Road and then go right at Quirino Avenue Extension.

    Stay on Quirino Avenue Extension all the way to the junction where five roads meet - Quirino Avenue Extension, Guanzon, Cristobal (north), United Nations Avenue, and Cristobal (South). Turn left on United Nations Avenue and drive all the way to its other end which is in Roxas Boulevard. Turn right onto Roxas Boulevard and finally, turn left on the next intersection with traffic lights which is Katigbak Drive aka South Drive. Quirino Grandstand is located approximately 330 meters from Roxas Boulevard.

    Route #7

    From SM Mall of Asia.

    You can either come from Seaside Boulevard, the road at the back of SM MOA, or Jose Diokno Boulevard, the road at the front of SM MOA. Either way, take the north bound lane. Seaside Boulevard turns right. Diokno intersects Seaside Boulevard. From Diokno turn right onto Seaside Boulevard.

    From Seaside Boulevard, turn left on Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard, the main road where Seaside Boulevard ends. Stay to the middle of Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard and cross Gil Puyat Avenue Extension. Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard ends up in Gil Puyat. Road name becomes Magdalena Jalandoni which ends up in Pedro Bukaneg. Turn right onto Bukaneg and then turn left on Roxas Boulevard.

    Drive all the way to Rizal Park, crossing three intersections with traffic lights, namely, President Quirino Avenue, Pedro Gil Street and United Nations Avenue aka UN Avenue. Turn left on the road next to UN Avenue which is South Drive aka Katigbak Drive to get to Quirino Grandstand.

    Route #8

    From Greenhills and nearby areas.

    Take the west lane of Ortigas Avenue and turn left on Santolan Road. Santolan Road becomes Pinaglabanan after crossing P. Guevara Street. Pinaglabana ends up in N. Domingo Street. Turn left on N. Domingo Street. Drive all the way on N. Domingo, crossing T-Intersection of Araneta Avenue and main intersection of V. Mapa Boulevard. After crossing V. Mapa intersection, road name becomes Old Sta Mesa Road.

    Drive on Old Sta Mesa past two T intersections to the left, and then make a U-Turn onto Valenzuela Street, a road intersecting Old Sta Mesa in an inverted Y. Note: You can make a shortcut to Valenzuela Street by passing through Prince Court Hotel driveway. You will notice lots of motorists turning left onto the hotel. Drivers give one peso to an employee of the hotel in-charge at the driveway. Upon exit of the hotel driveway, turn left and then change lane to the right. Next T-intersection to the right is Paco-Sta Mesa Road, where Sta Mesa Bridge is located. Turn right onto Paco-Sta Mesa Road, pass through Sta Mesa Bridge and take the flyover next to the bridge.

    After passing through the flyover, next junction bears the sign of Quirino Avenue. Turn right onto Quirino Avenue and immediately make a U-Turn at the next intersection (Zamora) to get to the other side of Quirino Avenue. President Quirino Avenue bends to the right. Next intersection with traffic light is Quirino Avenue Extension which is connected to President Quirino Avenue by Plaza Dilao Road. Turn right onto Plaza Dilao Road and then go right at Quirino Avenue Extension.

    Stay on Quirino Avenue Extension all the way to the junction where five roads meet - Quirino Avenue Extension, Guanzon, Cristobal (north), United Nations Avenue, and Cristobal (South). Turn left on United Nations Avenue and drive all the way to its opposite end which is in Roxas Boulevard. Turn right onto Roxas Boulevard and finally, turn left on the next intersection with traffic lights which is Katigbak Drive aka South Drive. Quirino Grandstand is located approximately 330 meters from Roxas Boulevard.

    Route #9

    From Araneta Center Cubao.

    Quezon Avenue intersecting Araneta Avenue will be closed to all private vehicles starting June 20, 2011. Take Aurora Boulevard's west lane, cross EDSA, and take E. Rodriguez Sr Avenue. Drive all the way to the other end of E. Rodriguez Sr Avenue which is located in Welcome or Mabuhay Rotunda. Turn right onto Quezon Avenue and make a U-Turn to get to the other side. Drive towards Espana Boulevard past Mabuhay Rotunda. Drive all the way to Lerma where Espana Boulevard ends. You will pass by UST. Turn right onto Lerma and left onto Quezon Boulevard Underpass to get to Quiapo. Cross Pasig River via Quezon Bridge.

    Quezon Boulevard bends to the left at Lawton and road name changes to Padre Burgos. After crossing an intersection with traffic lights, Padre Burgos bends to the right. And Lagusnilad Underpass appears to the left. Avoid the Underpass, take Padre Burgos Street. Cross Finance Road, General Luna Street and Palacio Street intersections, all with traffic lights. Next main intersection is Roxas Boulevard to the left and Bonifacio Drive to the right. Cross this intersection to get to Quirino Grandstand which is visible as the road turns left. There are lots of parking areas available around the area.

    Route #10

    From SM North EDSA and Trinoma.

    Quezon Avenue intersecting Araneta Avenue will be closed to all private vehicles starting June 20, 2011 to give way to the construction of Quezon Avenue Underpass.

    Take West Avenue and turn right onto Del Monte Avenue. Turn left on A. Bonifacio Avenue and right onto Blumentritt. Turn left on Aurora Boulevard and then turn right onto Dimasalang.

    Next main intersection is Lacson. Cross Lacson Avenue and take Laon Laan, the road opposite Dimasalang. Turn left on Quezon Boulevard and drive all the way to Quiapo, passing through Quezon Underpass. Cross Pasig River via Quezon Bridge.

    Quezon Boulevard bends to the left at Lawton and road name changes to Padre Burgos. After crossing intersection with traffic lights, Padre Burgos bends to the right. And Lagusnilad Underpass appears to the left. Avoid the Underpass, take Padre Burgos Street. Cross Finance Road, General Luna Street and Palacio Street intersections, all with traffic lights. Next main intersection is Roxas Boulevard to the left and Bonifacio Drive to the right. Cross this intersection to get to Quirino Grandstand which visible as the road turns left. There are lots of parking areas available around the area.

    Route #11

    From Pampanga, Bulacan, Subic, Zambalez and other parts of Norther Luzon.

    Take NLEX and head towards Manila. NLEX ends up in Balintawak Cloverleaf interchange which is in EDSA. Road continues by the name of A. Bonifacio Avenue. So, just drive on NLEX and cross EDSA under EDSA flyover and then continue driving on A. Bonifacio Avenue. Drive on A. Bonifacio Avenue up to its southern end which is in Blumentritt. Turn right onto Blumentritt. Turn left on Aurora Boulevard aka Maceda and then turn right onto Dimasalang.

    Next main intersection is Lacson. Cross Lacson Avenue and take Laon Laan, the road opposite Dimasalang. Turn left on Quezon Boulevard and drive all the way to Quiapo, passing through Quezon Underpass. Cross Pasig River via Quezon Bridge.

    Quezon Boulevard bends to the left at Lawton and road name changes to Padre Burgos. After crossing intersection with traffic lights, Padre Burgos bends to the right. And Lagusnilad Underpass appears to the left. Avoid the Underpass, take Padre Burgos Street. Cross Finance Road, General Luna Street and Palacio Street intersections, all with traffic lights. Next main intersection is Roxas Boulevard to the left and Bonifacio Drive to the right. Cross this intersection to get to Quirino Grandstand which visible as the road turns left. There are lots of parking areas available around the area.


    Location Map of Quirino Grandstand
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    3 Jun 2011

    Espana Boulevard Circa 2011

  • 3 Jun 2011
  • Lagalag


  • For years, Espana Boulevard has been an image of a city of denial. Denial that this main thoroughfare in the old district of Sampaloc is unsafe, deteriorating, hard to drive at night, no street lights and the bulwark of different kinds of bad elements. I remember early last year. I was driving past 10 pm on the way home. Espana Boulevard was not lighted that time, a man suddenly appeared in front of me running while crossing the road. I was shocked and the sudden step on the break almost smash my face on the wheel.

    There were times, we're afraid of riding jeepneys that pass by along Espana, because 'robbery hold up' usually took place in the area near PNR railroad crossing. Robbers ran towards the slum area after robbing passengers at gunpoint. That was the main reason I developed a habit of riding a jeep at night in front of the passenger vehicle.

    That was then. Espana of today is the exact opposite of the Espana of yesteryears. I was surprised to see the whole stretch of one of the oldest roads in the metropolis. It's been a while before I took this route again after getting used to taking the route of Ayala Boulevard-Magsaysay-Araneta Avenue and sometimes Recto-Legarda-Magsaysay-Araneta. I hate traffic.

    But last Wednesday, I decided to give it a try. At around 9:45 pm I passed through Quezon Underpass and turned right onto Lerma until I got to the west end of Espana. As soon as I approached Lerma and Espana junction, I got to see a change that I thought very peculiar for a district like Sampaloc. As we know, areas from Sampaloc to Mabuhay Rotunda were very outdated and no amount of attention from authorities seemed to modernize it. But what I saw while on red signal is a sign of a very auspicious undertaking for the local government of Manila and a beautiful sight to behold for motorists and commuters. Lights. Very shining lights in the center island and in both sides of the old boulevard. But the lights are not your ordinary lights of any city streets. These ones are much like of those in the parkways. The railing of the center island is very noticeable, too.

    The traffic lights turned green and I drove on, turning left on my subject street - Espana. And... WOW! I was ecstatic. Truly, a magnificent work of architectural engineering and landscaping. Espana Boulevard transformed! Now this is what a boulevard should look like.

    What struck me the most?

    First off, the road widened and elevated. Unlike before, the whole stretch of this street was so narrow and somewhat immersed in the ground. I still remember the steps along the both sides of the road from Lerma to UST and even beyond Lacson Avenue. If you gotten off an automobile for example in front of UST, you needed to climb the steps to get to the sidewalk. Today, it's like a parkway where you can get in a vehicle from the sidewalk in a very convenient way.

    Second, the entire center island has been changed beautifully to blend with the aesthetically designed lamp posts. The old barriers has been changed with ergo designed railings. I think, too much attention has been given to materials, style and costs of the entire center island rehabilitation.

    Third, ultimately, the parts of the boulevard that compliment the lightings in the center island are the opposite sides of the boulevard which are now dotted with promenade lightings. Brighter than its counterparts in the middle of the boulevard.

    I could still imaginge, prior to this rehabilitation, both sides of Espana are dark and eerie at night. One word to describe it is 'ugly'. Now, it's totally different. You couldn't help but feel relaxed when driving in the middle of this highly evolved boulevard in the off peak hour of the night when there are less traffic. With those very bright aesthetically designed lights come passing to your both sides, your stress will be lessen, that's for sure. I just wish the Espana Boulevard that I see while driving go beyond Welcome Rotunda and stretch up to Quezon Avenue and Timog. But the beautiful night sight on the road only lasts up to Welcome Rotunda. Needless to say, this is an amazing change.

    Another major change that caught my attention is the lighted 'BABAAN AT SAKAYAN' stations located in strategic areas along the new Espana Boulevard. Each 'BABAAN AT SAKAYAN' or Loading and Unloading in English, is a complete package with the waiting shed full of lights to drive away robbers, holdapers and snatchers. An advertisement full of neon lights above the roof of each waiting shed is very eye-catching.


    And the most amazing part of the image change of the whole Espana Boulevard that capped it all is the construction of plant boxes on both sides of the road. Now landscaped, Espana can now be considered boulevard in the real sense of the word. This is what I mean when we say living up to your name.

    Sad to say, this post about Espana Boulevard transformation might soon become a diary of once famed street. In our metropolis, all improvements don't stand the test of times. Its inhabitants always play the lead role of the culprit in havocking the environment - both man-made and God-given. As what happened to the railings in the center islands in front of the Metropolitan Theater which by now are broken and with large parts missing, slowly part by part, piece by piece, the integral body of this boulevard will be eaten by those this project is built for.

    It is saddening to know that some of the inhabitants of this city always think on how much money would earn for them a kilo of an iron or light fitting they forcibly stripped and detached from a roadway. After all, in a third world country stomach comes first before the surroundings. In this regard, I sincerely wish there were agencies of National Government with the only task of looking after these projects for the Filipino people. After all, these are people's money which constructed them. Anyway, I am sure the maintenance and longevity of this amazing project will be taken care of the present administration of the city of Manila. The question is... Who will do the job after the term of the current Mayor - horable Mayor Alfredo Lim? Well, look what happened to the railings of Quezon Boulevard in front of Metropolitan Theater.


    I also wish local authorities who built this project can also provide some measures to safeguard long term existence of this very well thought and masterfully designed project. Even this early, we could see signs of things to come that await this project. Vandalisms are already visible in some waiting sheds like this one in this photo.



    Whatever happens, this boulevard will go down in the history of city planning as one of the most if not the most improved roadways in Metro Manila of 2011.
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