THE ROAD AHEAD

I’ve travelled 500 miles to catch my teenage señorita’s Graduation rites. Only to be caught in a 5-hour traffic mayhem. It’s revolting to be deprived of a special occasion — especially when you’ve come a long long way. Filipino time, however, saves the day, with the ceremony starting late. Plus, a battery of opening remarks and lengthy speeches, I was able to make it the program proper.

From Manila to the tip of Luzon in nearly 24 hours. It’s faster if I have crossed the Pacific via air balloon!

LYCEUM OF APARRI CLASS 2014, Gertrudes Valenzuela by Elmer Nev Valenzuela

From hereon, what lies in-between these mortarboard wearers and TRIUMPH is a road filled with traffic jams and hitches and gridlocks. And maybe beyond 500 miles. But there’s just no shortcuts to any place worth going.

7 comments

  1. spencercourt

    Where did she graduate from? And which one is her in the photo? Is that just her barkada or the whole graduating class?

    When I lived there, the “big” highway was Highway 54 (EDSA is name now I believe) and once out of Makati area it was only two lanes. I understand now there is a multi-lane toll road going north.

    To get to Baguio fast, and with less chance of accident, I took a midnight bus which normally arrived in Baguio around dawn. Buses did not have AC then, so leaving at midnight meant a cooler trip and also less passengers.

    When I went back to Manila in 1995, we took a Rabbit bus to Baguio. Comfortable, individual seats, AC and even movies from a small screen in front using a DVD player. Don’t recall how long it took but it wasn’t too bad.
    Didn’t want to fly because we wanted to see the “countryside”, which included the ash from Pinatubo eruption.

    • elmer

      Barkadas from Class ’14 of Lyceum of Aparri. You have a very vivid memories of travelling to the north. Buses to Baguio w/o AC? You must be referring to the defunct PANTRANCO bus. I remember going to Baguio and back, via this liner. No AC. That was in ’86. A decade later we went to Bataan via Philippine Rabbit. Again, no AC. Im not sure if they STILL dont have aircon buses at that time or we are just cheap.

      Today, we ride on freezing cold buses we wish they have heaters!

      • spencercourt

        Don’t know if it was PANTRANCO. I was told that during the 60s at least my mother’s family, which is from Pangasinan, owned that company and then Marcos made them sell it to one of his cronies.

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