Things are really starting to go back to normal. Travel restrictions are more relaxed and dining in restaurants is now allowed, for the fully vaccinated, of course. Malls are back to pre-pandemic hours — longer now, since they are readying for Christmas, then we have food fairs and holiday bazaars that are opening, and, by this week, the number coding scheme might also be re-implemented. Talk about normal.
On one hand, you can take traffic and having more cars on the road as a good sign. Those mean that more people are vaccinated, out and about, and the economy is on the up and up. On the other hand, you can take traffic and having more cars on the road as an invitation to yell into the void that is EDSA on rush hour, which you inevitably will do because it has been known to be hellish.
To be very technical though, traffic in the metro is not like being in hell, it is most like being in purgatory — a place or state of suffering drivers go through to get to heaven, whatever or wherever they perceive it to be. But I digress.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairperson Benjamin Abalos said Friday, 19th November, that the agency is looking into implementing the color-coding scheme due to traffic rising to pre-pandemic levels. Noting that public transportation is only up to 70-percent capacity, he said that the scheme will only run during afternoon rush hours, or the hours between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. This way, people will not be deprived of the use of their car for one whole day and instead would just have to wait for a couple hours before going home on their coding day, which I thought was a considerate idea.
Also, on the 19th of November, the longest flyover in Mindanao was inaugurated. Located in Tagum, Davao del Norte, the project was started in 2017 and is part of the successful “Build, Build, Build” program of the Duterte administration.
It sits in the most strategic intersection, I heard, and is a dream come true for the people of Davao, as said by Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Roger Mercado. I am happy for the people of Tagum, the palm city capital of the Philippines. I love Davao, I believe it is a beautiful place and I am glad to see the progress being made, not only there, but also all over Mindanao.
I look forward to the time I can drive around the whole place.
Do you know the other piece of good news I heard over the weekend? It is not only that NLEX Corporation reintroduced NLEX “Lakbay Norte,” but also that it tapped Geely as their mobility partner. So not only will NLEX Corporation help the tourism industry of the Northern and Central parts of Luzon bounce back but it also helps Geely gain a stronger foothold in the industry.
When I get asked where I would go as soon as this pandemic is through, I answer, Baguio! With a pitstop in Ilocos Norte, specifically the town of Bacarra, where my late father’s family is from.
More specifically at the town plaza where the bust of my great grandfather Ceferino Acosta, a local town hero, stands. And then another pitstop at the Patapat Viaduct to finally capture those “aweXome” shots of me and my ride along the coastline — I have seen so many of these photos from car guys on social media, and yes, I am envious and look forward to the day I will get to do it, too.
Since I will already be in the area, I will also drop by Pagudpud before going on my merry way to the land of strawberry taho, pine trees and cold weather. Man, I miss traveling. Big kudos to NLEX Corporation for restarting this tourism campaign.
Do I think they made a good choice partnering with Geely? Short answer is yes. Geely is slowly but surely proving that China-made cars are worth looking at, and, more than that, worth trusting.
Geely vehicles are packed with safety features and technology that rival those of Euro cars and higher-end model vehicles, without the usually-hefty price tag! Granted, I have only seen a Coolray up close, and my thought is, if you can move past the car being called “Coolray,” you will see that it is indeed bang for your buck.
And that is the tea this past week has offered me, which I am all sharing with you, Mum, and my dear readers. Have a great week ahead. Get in touch with this humble columnist at the1Xeres @gmail.com or anywhere on social media @The_Xeres.