Road to traffic

Published January 1, 2020, 12:00 AM

by Jullie Y. Daza


Jullie Y. Daza
Jullie Y. Daza

Before NLEX, SCTEX, TPLEX and all those time-saving expressways, the trip to Baguio for us kids of the last century was four to five hours long. Today, with all the infrastruc­tures and RFID, it’s still four to five hours, if you’re lucky.

Time-saving expressways? Not when there’s an accident on the road. Not when the human popula­tion has grown by leaps and bounds and the car population just as fast, if not faster. (Around 349,000 ve­hicles were sold last year, with car dealers complaining of dips and dives in sales.)

More cars on the road mean more accidents, and ac­cidents mean time lost as the road has to be cleared, police have to ar­rive on the scene, the injured have to be taken care of.

On Dec. 27, 2019, the road to Baguio on SCTEX was a kilometer-long jam of cars waiting to move because up ahead a van and a smaller vehicle had figured in a smashup. Long after the arrival of two tow trucks to push van and compact car to the shoulder, traffic had remained jammed.

On the brighter side, think what travel would be like without NLEX and co. The wonderful thing about pain, as my amateur psychologist friend explains it, is that once you get over it, you for­get how bad it was.

Thus the traffic going into Benguet was not even a memory by the time the zigzag on Kennon Road hoved into view, a view made even more pleasant with sunflowers dotting the scene like yellow embroidery on a green tablecloth.

More surprising, the political billboards of 2016 had vanished from sight.

Still, the City of Baguio could do with more pine trees. With DENR and UP Baguio leading the campaign to preserve and plant more pines, Mayor Gen. Benjamin Magalong has his work cut out for him.

Baguio needs another Baguio, one refreshed with the prime of nature’s jewels – blue sky, white clouds, yellow wind, multicolored flowers, green pines, purple moun­tains.

What do the kind and gentle folk of Baguio think of us rude and crude people from the lowlands who seasonally mess up their gem of a garden city?

One may right­fully add that it’s the same story with that other dream of a vacation place, Tagaytay.