Living in the south is one of the best place to be. Devoid of pollution, the urbane life in this metropolitan area which comprises Paranaque, Las Pinas and Muntinlupa is the enclave to many white collar workers as well as the rich and the famous.
When my family bought a lot year in Alabang over 30 years ago, this place was the answer to all the traffic snarls in Metropolitan Manila. As urban development beckoned, the area started getting congested. Once upon a time, there was no need for a Skyway. I would drive from my home to Makati in 10 minutes flat! And my Volkswagen Beetle, eventually a Brazilia and then Toyota Corolla Liftback, went through the South Luzon Expressway with a breeze.
Today, south of Manila is still rapidly developing with malls sprouting left and right with Ayala Alabang Town Center, Filinvest's Festival Mall, SM Southmall, SM Muntinlupa, SM Bicutan, SM Sucat and of course the Gokongwei's Robinson Starmall.
Our nifty cozy town suddenly boomed.
Which goes to part 1 of my blog.
Have you ever driven yourself from point A of Alabang Zapote road (which starts somewhere after the Filinvest Exit) to SM Southmall? Upon reaching the Las Pinas junction (which is somewhere in the BF Homes entrance) near Toyota Alabang, there is terror in your eyes as you try to traverse that long stretch. And I mean, you need to stretch your patience.
So what's all the traffic about in Las Pinas along this road?
Recently, the Las Pinas local government had declared that it was not implementing the MMDAs window for color coding. Which meant that if your plate number ended in a certain digit (1 or 2 for Monday), you cannot ply the road leading to Las Pinas. Those eager traffic enforcers, instead of manning the traffic spots are found in the middle of the road so that they can catch violators!
I have nothing against local governments that want to defy the MMDA rule. After all, they claim to know their city more than Bayani Fernando. I despise, however, local governments that seem NOT TO know where the real trouble spot is. So I am bashing at the Las Pinas local authorities and trying to hopefully point out to them that they should rethink their traffic scenario.
First are the jeepneys that ply Alabang Zapote road. Discipline is definitely NOT in their vocabulary. Being less educated (which is the pathetic reason provided) is NOT a reason to load and unload passengers anywhere they please. And there's this bus station right after the Shell Station there. I don't know who owns it, but it's definitely a no-no to load and unload passengers, specially on a tight road.
Then there are the people of Las Pinas who make a U-turn right in the middle of the road. Just because there is NO barrier on the middle road, should not give them the right to make a U-turn when and where they want. Mayor Nene Aguilar (who happens to be a relative of Manny Villar) must realize (if he has not yet, someone should knock some sense into him) that Las Pinas is one of those places where several subdivisions (almost found in every few hundred meters) abound. Those that live in the various subdivisions, particularly those coming from BF Homes Paranaque seem not to know the adage that "intersections should be kept open".
Of course, there's the market along the Alabang Zapote road right after SM Southmall. This is a nightmare market because of the mayhem that the sellers and buyers create. This wet market should be moved to another place where there is far access to the main road. Take for example the BF Homes Paranaque wet market where it is located right inside the subdivision!
There are also junk shops and car repair shops that lie right smack on the street. And the cars and public utility vehicles that want to have their cars repaired do so, right on the street. It's not like there is no car repair shop in the area. There's a very big one just right after Toyota Alabang and there are so many gas stations along the road.
These are actually the underlying factors that make the traffic along Alabang Zapote road in Las Pinas a living nightmare, a waste of gas and manpower, and the city government seems to be looking away. It's not the color coding scheme of the MMDA. That forms a miniscule of the traffic problem. And why punish the everyday citizen that actually pays taxes and makes this country run? Those jeepney drivers, bus drivers, small car repair shops, tricycle drivers, etc. DO NOT even pay taxes. Why the need to support their daily living? The answer lies in the election and the votes these people rake in.
If Las Pinas is what we will envision our country to be in 2010 when Manny Villar runs for president, then this country is doomed. His hometown is a perfect reflection of what this country should not be.