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Hawaiian ‘highway’

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The Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 Project is living up to its expectations based on the rave reviews the elevated expressway, stretching from Buendia, Makati City to the North Luzon Expressway in Balintawak, Quezon ity, has been getting lately.

Motorists boast less than 20 minutes travel time from Quezon City or even Bulacan to Makati City and vice versa on the just completed toll road. Being connected to Skyways 1 and 2 in the south of Metro Manila, Alabang- and Cavite-based motorists are also happy getting to Makati in a breeze.

Aside from the speed in travel, the stress-free drive through the five- to seven-lane and uncongested highway is a favorite topic in office conversations of workers who have tried it. Of course, its free use until the end of the month is an added bonus.

While the Skyway benefits Metro Manila, Calabarzon and even Central Luzon motorists, residents in Barangay Hawaiian in Silay, Negros Occidental also have a “skyway” mode of travel after flashfloods caused by torrential rains last 8 January washed away the hanging bridge that links the village to Barangay Patag.

Like the Department of Public Works and Highways, locals built the Hawaiian “highway” in no time to replace the lost bridge and allow access to and from the village. And like the Skyways in Metro Manila, the Hawaiian’s version offers speedy crossing for every villager who needs to get to the other side.

Lately, a woman with bags of vegetables made the crossing in mere seconds. A sick villager was also “airlifted” through the passage.

According to the Silay engineering office, the Hawaiian “skyway” will serve the villagers for a while since it will take some time before a bridge can be constructed, which requires planning and bidding. Also, using a banca or raft to cross the river is unsafe because of the strong current.

In any case, the villagers get the drift and have no complaint about getting harnessed and gliding through the makeshift zipline for that thrill of “riding in the sky.”

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