Summertime in Manila: Blue Skies and Scorching Heat.
These photos are from 2012. I realized I haven’t walked around the city for a long time since I started my preparations for something so there.
More than a year ago today, the RH Law was enacted to a law. Months later, petitions stopping the implementation of the law is filed at the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court hasn’t released a final decision yet.
The irony is, those without uterus has the most opinion on these matters.
So last March 19, Thusday the DOTC presented (as it always do) to prospective investors some of the big mass transport projects already out of the Feasibility Stage. When I say big, it’s really big, ambitious and costs a lot of money. When I say a lot of money, all of the projects presented bust cost US$ 9 Billion.
Finally, one of these is the Integrated Luzon Railway System.
Well the project consists of rehabilitating the old PNR North and South Mainlines, reviving the Nueva Ecija line (possibly an extension to Cagayan Valley terminating at Tuguegarao City) the Batangas Line and the long overdue extension to the end of Luzon in Sorsogon. See it here http://ppp.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Project-Brief-Invest-Transport-PH-18Mar2014.pdf
My opinion on this is:
- The rail gauge should be all changed to Standard Gauge. The Current PNR South operates on Narrow Gauge, making the track unsuitable for upgrade to the High Speed trains. Changing the gauge to Standard conforms the tracks to the international standards and will make it cheaper for us to upgrade to Bullet trains in the future.
- Everything should be built in double tracks, not in single track. Currently only Tutuban to Alabang is in Double Track, everything else is single track. By double tracking the railroad, more train trips are done, more revenues for the train services and more people and goods are moved.
- I think this is a better plan than during the Arroyo Administration of bidding and building the North and South Lines separately. I like it that the project is more of a unified plan for the whole of Luzon.
- The PNR Charter was last enacted on 1964, and is set to expire this year after a 50 year concession. If not extended, then bye bye to our dreams of a national railway system. As of now, only PNR is mandated by law to establish and maintain the railway system. Maybe this charter renewal of PNR must include the legalization of the private sector to take part in the establishment of the railway system.
- DOTC is so inept at this, so better establish another cabinet position just for railways or yes, transfer PNR, MRT and LRT to DPWH because it’s a mainly engineering thing.
- We still don’t know if a Philippine company has the financial clout to implement this project that costs 250-300 billion pesos unless under the so called PPP scheme there will be sharing of the construction cost between the National Government and the Private Sector partner. (So see how the 60-40 ownership limits of the constitution restricts us to even expand this?)
- Even a layman knows that the possible extension to Cagayan Valley is feasible. The Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon as we know is the main crop producing regions of Luzon. Think of all the volume of agricultural products that will be transferred from these regions to the urban centers of Luzon and how will introducing freight trains reduce the cost of food here in the Metro. The long term gains of railway transport to agriculture must be looked very closely by the NEDA.
Also, we should ask updates from the DOTC regarding the Mindanao Railway System. The growth of Mindanao can’t be stopped by now, so the best way to further extend this growth is to establish their own railway system in the soonest possible time.
Hi, is somebody here an ERDT Scholar or knows one? Can you rely some of your experiences being one? Message me please.
Have you read this? I laughed at the photos of the food, and man who is her tour guide?
You will be shocked, kids, when you discover how easy it is in life to part ways with people forever. That’s why when you find someone you want to keep around, you do something about it.
A Heritage of Smallness by Nick Joaquin
Society for the Filipino is a small rowboat: the barangay. Geography for the Filipino is a small locality: the barrio. History for the Filipino is a small vague saying:matanda pa kay mahoma; noong peacetime. Enterprise for the Filipino is a small stall: the sari-sari. Industry and production for the Filipino are the small immediate searchings of each day: isang kahig, isang tuka. And commerce for the Filipino is the smallest degree of retail: the tingi.
What most astonishes foreigners in the Philippines is that this is a country, perhaps the only one in the world, where people buy and sell one stick of cigarette, half a head of garlic, a dab of pomade, part of the contents of a can or bottle, one single egg, one single banana. To foreigners used to buying things by the carton or the dozen or pound and in the large economy sizes, the exquisite transactions of Philippine tingis cannot but seem Lilliputian. So much effort by so many for so little. Like all those children risking neck and limb in the traffic to sell one stick of cigarette at a time. Or those grown-up men hunting the sidewalks all day to sell a puppy or a lantern or a pair of socks. The amount of effort they spend seems out of all proportion to the returns. Such folk are, obviously, not enough. Laboriousness just can never be the equal of labor as skill, labor as audacity, labor as enterprise.
The Filipino who travels abroad gets to thinking that his is the hardest working country in the world. By six or seven in the morning we are already up on our way to work, shops and markets are open; the wheels of industry are already agrind. Abroad, especially in the West, if you go out at seven in the morning you’re in a dead-town. Everybody’s still in bed; everything’s still closed up. Activity doesn’t begin till nine or ten— and ceases promptly at five p.m. By six, the business sections are dead towns again. The entire cities go to sleep on weekends. They have a shorter working day, a shorter working week. Yet they pile up more mileage than we who work all day and all week.
Is the disparity to our disparagement?
We work more but make less. Why? Because we act on such a pygmy scale. Abroad they would think you mad if you went in a store and tried to buy just one stick of cigarette. They don’t operate on the scale. The difference is greater than between having and not having; the difference is in the way of thinking. They are accustomed to thinking dynamically. We have the habit, whatever our individual resources, of thinking poor, of thinking petty.
Is that the explanation for our continuing failure to rise—that we buy small and sell small, that we think small and do small?
Are we not confusing timidity for humility and making a virtue of what may be the worst of our vices? Is not our timorous clinging to smallness the bondage we must break if we are ever to inherit the earth and be free, independent, progressive? The small must ever be prey to the big. Aldous Huxley said that some people are born victims, or “murderers.” He came to the Philippines and thought us the “least original” of people. Is there not a relation between his two terms? Originality requires daring: the daring to destroy the obsolete, to annihilate the petty. It’s cold comfort to think we haven’t developed that kind of “murderer mentality.”
But till we do we had best stop talking about “our heritage of greatness” for the national heritage is— let’s face it— a heritage of smallness.
However far we go back in our history it’s the small we find—the nipa hut, the barangay, the petty kingship, the slight tillage, the tingi trade. All our artifacts are
Privilege Speech is the new “Pulpit Bullying”. Damn, those are where our taxes go.
The proposed MRT 3 - LRT 1 North Avenue Common Station
This is the expected alignment of the North Avenue station for LRT 1 (Yellow), MRT3 (Blue) and the proposed MRT 7. The green one is the proposed walkalator connecting the North Avenue Station to MRT 7.
The original plan should have been at the front of SM North but the curvature of the railroad makes it not so good for the platform, and that’s why the part at Trinoma is more better.
Well, I think once the common station is already fully operational, expect that some of the North Avenue MRT 3 riders might be diverted to LRT 1. Since a big chuck of the riders of MRT 3 depart at either Makati or Pasay, they can go depart at the Gil Puyat (Buendia) and EDSA Taft Station with a longer trip. This is aside from the seamless transfer of train passenger from MRT 3, MRT 7 and LRT 1 at this station.
But of course, we have to wait for this… impatiently.
Q:What are the measurements of the Rizal Shrine? I need this for my Heritage fair.
My God, are we gonna be like, our parents? Not me. Ever.