Friday, July 06, 2007



posted by Señor Enrique at 5:36 AM


Blogger Photo Cache said...

is this what you have been telling b4 that it is close to vehicular traffic? it does look nicer (1st photo) w/o cars. what is all the construction going on, getting ready for cars again?

July 06, 2007 6:10 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Yes, Photo Cache. This is the strip of Avenida Rizal that was transformed into a pedestrian mall by then Mayor Atienza. It is now being turned back to once again allow jeepney traffic.

Most Manilans believe that it is the glut of jeepneys that ply the streets of Manila that create traffic snarls. You should have seen the city during jeepney strikes -- what a joy for all motorists and the environment!

July 06, 2007 6:29 AM  

Anonymous rhodora said...

I wonder if it will be more beneficial to re-open this strip to jeepney traffic.. Just thinking.

July 06, 2007 7:47 AM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

The Jeepney being part of the pinoy public transpo for many years has now become a headache for Manilenos. There is just too much of them on the streets! As long as the rules and tansportation by laws are implemented, then this problem of congested by ways will remain and diesel fumes will continue to choke the city. Part of the problem also is the office that regulates the permit to allow this Jeepneys to ply the streets of Manila. Shouldn't there be a quota to fit the capacity of certain routes? How many illegal passenger jeepneys are freely plying their trade on the busy avenues of Manila? As long as we patronize this type of illegal activities, then they will be there to take a piece of the illegal business. police foot patrols or barangay tanods in uniforms will keep the streets safe and hopefully will encourage people to walk more for short distance errands or trips to and from work. A good excersize to burn all the adobong baboy,rice and binagoongang taba for lunch at work!

July 06, 2007 9:53 AM  

Blogger carlotta said...

am i glad i got to walk there last year. the mayor certainly didn't waste time in opening the avenida for traffic again. he should have just regulated the number of jeepneys instead in order to regulate traffic.

July 06, 2007 11:08 AM  

Blogger nerdluck said...

I feel sad about this development. It was much better when it was closed to vehicular traffic. Is the returning mayor planning to put manila back into how it was the first time he was in office? I shudder at the thought... I remember getting mugged back in 1995 when I was in college.

July 06, 2007 11:20 AM  

Anonymous gracing said...

Again, congratulations on your fantastic photos. Parang nandiyan talaga ako! I think your photos just demonstrated the need for a pedestrian mall. In most of your shots, there are people actually walking along the road. How can all these people possibly fit on the sidewalks when the jeepneys are allowed in? Just last Dec when I went to Divisoria, yung mga tambutcho ng jeep, minsan talagang katabi na ng legs ko. Feel ko yung init at usok! However, I do understand that jeepney drivers need to make a living, whether or not they have legal permits. Hmm.. how does one choose?

July 06, 2007 12:22 PM  

Blogger pusa said...

omg! its really happening! i havent been there for a week, well i always pass through it but riding the LRT. hope something good will come up with this plan

July 06, 2007 1:25 PM  

Blogger Urbano dela Cruz said...

we really need a paradigm shift. It's not about jeepneys or traffic, it's that we don't build streets instead we build roads.

Noypetes, why are the jeepneys still around, and why are there so many colorum/illegal plyers? Basic economics: supply meets demand.

Solution? Focusing on improving our public transportation instead of just improving traffic. (i.e. moving people vs. just moving vehicles)

July 06, 2007 1:44 PM  

Anonymous kyels said...

Let's hope for the best for this new plan. But congestion will further increase if they are more jeepneys in the city, isn't it?

July 06, 2007 3:30 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

The vendors, Rhoda, have begun staking their claims on the sidewalks of Avenida Rizal :(

July 06, 2007 8:17 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...


You raised the very same questions that came to mind when I was pondering how Manila can implement a much more efficient and modern mass transit system to complement the light rail transit.

However, It is exasperating to go against the pervading local mentality -- that to just even think of eliminating the jeepneys is often perceived as harboring anti-poor sentiments.

July 06, 2007 8:25 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I am beginning to miss the comfortable spacious pedestrian mall, Carla. It will soon be back to the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd when walking around Manila.

The saddest part of it all are the city kids who had been enjoying the Avenida Rizal pedestrian mall as a safe playground for them. Now, they have no safe area to play. This is why I've included a picture of them in this photo essay. They are the hardest hit, I think.

July 06, 2007 8:29 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Crowded walkways actually inspire more crimes being committed to the pedestrians, Nerdluck. Much easier for the culprits to evade capture by losing themselves themselves in densely traveled areas.

July 06, 2007 8:31 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

That is the very point that saddens me, Gracing. The pedestrians in Manila really do not have any comfortable areas to traverse on.

Would you believe that the vendors had already set up shops along the sidewalks on b oth sides of Avenida?

July 06, 2007 8:33 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I surely hope so, too, Pusa! Otherwise, it can only be disheartening.

July 06, 2007 8:34 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

"Solution? Focusing on improving our public transportation instead of just improving traffic. (i.e. moving people vs. just moving vehicles)"

To implement such viable solutions, Urbano, may be deemed as proliferating poverty amongst thousands of jeepney drivers who will be deprived of a source income.

July 06, 2007 8:37 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

The irony of it all is that most of these jeepneys are oftentimes not fully occupied, Kyels.

Like you said, we can only hope for the best to come out of this.

July 06, 2007 8:39 PM  

Blogger apol said...

Before I moved away I would go to Manila when I had free time, sometimes to shop, often to just walk around and soak in the city's unique energy. Rizal Avenue was one of my haunts. I loved how it was made into a pedestrian-only zone! So now looking at the tiled walkway asphalted away and knowing that there's no more place for people to walk around and for the tiangges to set up is for me disturbing and very very sad.

July 06, 2007 10:13 PM  

Blogger A! said...

Tagal ko na din di naka-visit sa site mo Senor..busy na kasi ang expectant mom.

Oh well..I used to go to this place when everytime I am in Manila. Its been a routine with my Uncle to go around the metro. Sana di na matraffic dito after that renovation of the road na ginawa nila. Pero, ang saya ng daan nato...kahit traffic sa dami ng tao at sasakyan. Ingatz!

July 06, 2007 10:44 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most despicable act by the Mayor of Manila.

GREENPEACE, where are you?

July 07, 2007 12:49 AM  

Blogger Aura said...

Hi SE,
Dont know if I should be glad or sad about this new development in Mla.I had the chance to walk at Avenida Sept.´07 & i thought it was nice to see that finally they did something new & good gesture for the pedestrians to walk & shop quietly in the area but it was´nt so..kabi kabila ang sidewalk vendors no control at all! Shoping is good though if you have the patience & ear to withstand the noise all around,cd´s, music, videos,etc.etc,etc. I know that the vendors needed a place to sell their goods to survive & this is something that the mayor should think about..give them a specific place to sell their goods..its not easy i know but they should try to relocate all the sidewalk vendors in Mla to give chances for the legitimate xhopkeepers in the area to grow.
Since i left Mla in `84,in my opinion Avenida & Cariedo was in better state than now..
Congratulations to all your photo journal postings!

July 07, 2007 1:15 AM  

Blogger Urbano dela Cruz said...

senor enrique,

"To implement such viable solutions, Urbano, may be deemed as proliferating poverty amongst thousands of jeepney drivers who will be deprived of a source income."

who says the jeepney drivers won't be part of the solution? they are valid stakeholders. they would welcome a transition from the boundary system (which by the way, shapes their driving behavior) to a standardized salary system.

Mexico and Jakarta's BRT system has done just that -organizing the drivers into concession operators. The drivers get better (more predictable) pay and benefits and better hours.

The operators become shareholders and move into more formal corporate structures.

How anti-poor is that?

Solutions proceed better when we drop the either-or assumptions.

July 07, 2007 1:17 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Senor Enrique,

There are now several piles of what appear to be bricks & paving stones on the median of the street between Intramuros & the Lawton Park n Ride. I don't recall them being there 2 weeks ago.

Is it possible that the P40 bricks from the removal were unceremoniously dumped there? Or are these bricks for something else? What happened to Mayor Lim saying that these bricks are to be saved for other projects? If those are the bricks, anyone can just go & get them at night when noone's looking


July 07, 2007 7:28 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I, too, loved walking on Avenida Rizal whenever heading towards Quiapo, Escolta, or Binondo, Apol.

That whole of Avenida's pedestrian mall was such a breathing space -- wide and spacious -- compared to the narrow streets of the places I frequent. And to now take that away is depressing, really.

July 08, 2007 6:42 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Hi A!, better take it easy these days. When are you due?

Yes, talagang masaya ang lugar na ito. Hindi lamang sa mga matatanda kundi sa mga bata na dito na din naglalaro kasi safe sila -- walang mga sasakyang dumadaan.

Ingat ka lagi!

July 08, 2007 6:45 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

However, anonymous, the merchants of this area may not agree with our sentiments. They believe that reopening Avenida to the jeepneys will usher in much needed business.

July 08, 2007 6:47 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thanks, Aura!

Having been a New Yorker once who walked oftentimes, I guess, I wanted a similar experience here in Manila. Although it can be hot most times, it is far better to walk or take a calesa in these areas than take a cab or jeepney.

But our sidewalks are just uncomfortably crowded due to the vendors that occupy them. No walking space anymore in most parts.

July 08, 2007 6:51 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

That I didn't know, Urbano.

It's just everytime I mention the elimination or controlling the number of jeepneys, tricycles and pedicab in the streets of Manila, Almost always someone would mention that these drivers or operators are dirt poor and wouldn't have any other source of income. It's the same mentality that vendors propagate -- "take away our means to sell on the streets and we die of poverty."

How come we have no urban planners like those in Jakarta and Mexico?

Or could it be our politicians who are simply to blame?

July 08, 2007 6:57 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Oh, my. Are your serious, RMD?

That's what I heard exactly -- those bricks and other items removed from Avenida will be used in future city projects.

What a waste of taxpayers' money, indeed.

July 08, 2007 6:59 AM  

Anonymous kapitangkiko said...

I share your sentiments. What a despicable act!

Also illustrates traditional Philippine politics. The first thing you do after getting elected is to UNDO whatever the previous administration did. No matter how good they were. In fact, especially those that they have been appreciated for.


July 08, 2007 2:27 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

If undoing something significant created by a previous administration is an accepted norm in local politics, then it is quite understandable why Rizal Avenue was immediately reopened to vehicular traffic, Kapitang Kiko -- instead of first addressing certain city ills that require utmost attention. Then we are indeed more like kids than matured citizens. Yes, it is sad.

July 08, 2007 4:01 PM  

Blogger reyd said...

One fruitful word about this blog thread ~ (istambay )
- I noticed that there are lots of kibitzers watching those construction workers.
Maybe the istambays are amazed of the new machineries? or as usual, waiting to punch on whatever leftover materials and take them home.

Istambay(stand-by) tayo ~ I guess we just had to be one and hopefully the result of this move by Mayor Lim would do more good than bad.
I can imagine those LRT concrete foundation and underlayment would turn black when they let in the smoke-blechers.
Anyways, Avenida had been through this situation if not worse during the LRT const., can I say, "Avenida is alive again"?

July 09, 2007 6:23 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I think some people, by nature, are just drawn to the activities at construction sites, Reyd. It's the kids in us, I guess.

In NYC, although a certain area may be barricaded with plywood boards during construction of a new structure within it, oftentimes the construction management will cut through windows big enough for passersby to look into and watch the activities inside.

And surely, there would always be a number of people fascinated by such goings on.

As for Rizal Avenue, I can only hope that everything will turn out all right for everyone involved.

July 10, 2007 6:34 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It might not help the cause of Avenida,but writing and discussing our feelings and concerns actually is therapeutic to all who feel agrieved by the recent events on Manila.Who knows, a better idea might come out, and possibly be useful for the city.


July 10, 2007 6:49 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

A very insightful and apt remark, IndioBravo.

Many may not realize it, but we are indeed adversely affected by such staggering changes, and discussing our feelings is a tremendous help. Healing, in fact.

Thank you!

July 10, 2007 7:41 AM  

Anonymous Gio "ANAKDUKHA" na Di talaga Tiga-Maynila, pero Minahal ang Maynila.. said...

Wag na tayo mag-inglesan para mas maintinidahan nila na nanjan sa "PUWESTO" NGAYON!

MAGKANO ANG NAIBULSA?! JUAN!! MAGKANO NANAMAN ANG NALAGAS SA IBINAYAD MONG TAX! P'nYetz! Hindi talaga uunlad ang Pilipinas pag ganyan!

July 12, 2007 6:07 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I, for one, appreciate your candid yet passionate reply, Anak Dukha.

Nakaka-asar ngang talaga ang mga pangyayaring tulad na ito! Sayang din ang pera ng mga mamamayan.

July 12, 2007 6:43 AM  

Anonymous Gio "ANAKDUKHA" na Di talaga Tiga-Maynila, pero Minahal ang Maynila.. said...

Hindi ba't isa sa mga flagship o agenda lagi ng bawat government unit ang "Sustainable Development"?

Is this act of this Mayor sustaining the Development done by the previous local administration? (Hindi lang sa AVENIDA, marami pang lugar sa Manila ang makararanas ng tulad nito)

Some would react, "the action is also for the good of the Manileños" Pathetic! How can this be good if this government official keep on thriving with the old school political attitude "TRAPO"!

Come to think of it, every one needs a space to breath in a very crowded city like Manila! Where? for Manileños -- in AVENIDA! But, its sad that the AVENIDA PEDSTRIAN MALL is now history....

I remember once, when I went to Quiapo Church to attend the Holy Mass for the first time. I felt glad and invigorated that after hearing the Good News, I passed by AVENIDA and saw happy faces sharing quality moments with each one's company... A family dining together in those turo-turo under the LRT Rail path... Kids playing and laughing... Lovers walking hand in hand as if they are comforted of the ambiance as they strode towards LRT station... Students lauhing out loud of their funny moments in school from a long day of brain drilling studies... and the common "Tao" simply having a past time eating fishballs with a cup of buko juice on the side...
Picture it out on your imagination and feel how sad it is to know that all of these wonderful moments are now "HISTORY"... SAD...

July 13, 2007 12:42 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

"... happy faces sharing quality moments with each one's company... A family dining together in those turo-turo under the LRT Rail path... Kids playing and laughing... Lovers walking hand in hand as if they are comforted of the ambiance as they strode towards LRT station... Students lauhing out loud of their funny moments in school from a long day of brain drilling studies... and the common "Tao" simply having a past time eating fishballs with a cup of buko juice on the side... "

I've seen similar scenarios that you've depicted during the many times I've walked this avenue, Anakdukha, and these scenes I'll miss the most. Sad, indeed.

July 13, 2007 6:55 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that too much to ask of the local govt.?Isn't it their duty to provide basic needs to the people,like having public spaces like these?Sometimes I'm thingking,why no one has thought of a signature campaign to save Ped-Ave.Just wondered if it could have helped.


July 15, 2007 10:09 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

You may want to check out Carlos Celdran's site, IndioBravo.


July 16, 2007 6:38 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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