QUEZON CITY, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – Liberal Party (LP) vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo is known for her simple ways, consciously trying her best to avoid the spotlight and the television cameras.
Many will remember the last State of the Nation Address (SONA) by President NoyNoy Aquino, when Robredo was caught taking the backway stairs to the Congress Assembly Hall to avoid the red carpet festivities. That was before she was named LP’s vice presidential candidate.
Well, yesterday, Robredo was caught riding a passenger bus in Cubao, Quezon City, on her way to her hometown to spend the Holy Week holidays. On camera, she said it was just practical for her to take the bus which only costs P1,000 as opposed to a plane which would be $7,000.
So, the CNN camera crew that interviewed her on the bus just HAPPENED to be at the bus terminal. What a lucky television crew.
And judging by the CNN video, the bus was already in motion, on its way to Naga City. CNN just HAPPENED to be headed to the same destination as Robredo.
It’s more fun in the Philippines.
CABANATUAN CITY, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles® ) – We’ve seen many success stories about small businesses being transformed into multi-billion enterprises — like Apple, Amazon and Google. They all started in some family garage.
The Philippines has its share of business success stories, but none as amazing as that of Baliwag Transit, Inc., a bus transportation system with offices and terminals in various parts of Luzon. It mainly services routes to and from Metro Manila and Northern and Central Luzon. Most of its terminals are located in the province of Nueva Ecija, where some of its terminals are located in San Jose City, Baliuag and Cabanatuan City.
We can say that Baliwag Transit started in a garage, literally.
On Friday, the lowly bus company unveiled the latest unit of its fleet — an Airbus 380.
The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by European aircraft company Airbus. It is the world’s largest passenger airliner, and the airports at which it operates have upgraded facilities to accommodate it.
Unfortunately, no airport in Nueva Ecija is big enough or equipped to accommodate the Airbus 380.
So for now, the Baliwag Transit jumbo jet sits by a terminal at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. And travelers to and from Nueva Ecija will have to take the old reliable motor bus.
It is a success story nonetheless!
MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) –
Relief is finally coming to the millions of daily commuters on Metro Manila’s light railway system, the LRT and the MRT.
The mass transportation system has been plagued by overcrowding, long and winding lines, accidents and constant passenger frayed nerves. Not to mention the latest unpopular fare increases which have prompted quite a few protest marches.
Acknowledging that the situation is all but hopeless, Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Jose Emilio Abaya today announced that the government is giving up on the MRT and will revert to good old buses.
But in order not to make the already nightmarish traffic that’s a common daily occurence on Metro Manila’s roadways any worse than it already is, Abaya said that the government will replace the trains with 5-decker buses.
Initially, some 500 units of the tall buses were ordered from Volvo and are expected to arrive in Manila from Sweden by April 1st this year. Each bus has a seating capacity of 250 passengers. Standing capacity will easily add another 250 passengers per bus. Abaya said the 500 units should be sufficient to fill the gap that the MRT trains will create once they get de-commissioned.
The first deck of the buses will be reserved for senior citizens and people with disabilities, as well as for people who suffer from acrophobia, or the fear of heights. Acrophobics must present a doctor’s letter or certification in order to use the first deck.
Metro Manila may finally see the end to its public transportation woes and its mass transit system could become a model for the world.