When I was in college, I dreamt about the Philippines I did not see. I wanted to explore the 81 provinces with my own eyes, to meet the Filipinos who live there, to find out their dreams and aspirations. As I jump from one province to the other, I realized that traveling across the country is difficult. Even the trip to the airport could take two hours.
As a student, I dreamt of a nation without roadblocks. I didn’t realize that 10 years after, I’d be part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” team. And since July 2016, according to Secretary Mark Villar, DPWH has completed 25,343 kilometers of roads, and 5,271 bridges.
People would often ask — what is “Build, Build, Build”? It is a springboard, a chance to turn a dream of connecting Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao into a reality. It means connecting 81 provinces, 146 cities and 1,489 municipalities.
In case, you’re in the mood for a road trip, here’s a list of projects you can try:
- Sorsogon City Coastal Bypass Road
If you want to explore Paguriran Lagoon, or hike Mount Pulog, then you might want to drive thru the scenic 5.52 kilometers Sorsogon City Coastal Bypass Road, which traverses seven barangays — Pangpang, Tugos, Cambulaga, Talisay, Sirangan, Sampaloc and Balogo. The new expressway, equipped with bicycles lanes, starts at Daang Maharlika and ends at the existing transport terminal in Sorsogon City.
- Tarlac Pangasinan La Union Expressway
If you are a thalassophile like me, then you’d love the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX), an 89.31 kilometers expressway connecting Tarlac, Pangasinan, and La Union.
Whether you’re surfing in San Juan or cliff-diving in Tangadan Falls in San Gabriel or hanging by the kitchen bar of Flotsam & Jetsam, the completion of the new section from Pozorrubio in Pangasinan to Rosario in La Union this 2019 will make your travel more efficient by almost 50 percent.
Now, travel time from ManIla to Baguio has been reduced to only three hours.
- Coron – Busuanga Road
If you are planning to hop from Coron, Busuanga, and Calamian Islands, you may opt to take the newly widened 72.53 kilometers Coron-Busuanga Road.
- Central Luzon Link Expressway
Want to visit Minalungao National Park in Nueva Ecija? It’s closer with the opening of the 30 kilometers Central Luzon Link Expressway spanning from Tarlac City to Cabanatuan. Travel time between Tarlac and Nueva Ecija will be reduced from 70 minutes to only 20 minutes.
- Boracay Circumferential Road, Region VI
Heading for Boracay? It would be hard to miss the newly widened 21.64 kilometers Boracay Circumferential Road. The new road has reduced travel time from Cagban Port or Tambisaan Port to Ilig-Iligan Beach by about 40 to 45 minutes.
- Alimusgan-Bai-Caganayan Road leading to Kaparkan Falls, Brgy. Caganayan, Tineg, Abra, CAR
Never been to Kaparkan Falls in Tineg, Abra? Drive by the 11 kilometers Alimusgan-Bai-Caganayan Road to reach the waterfall plunging over limestone terraces.
- Guindulman – Anda – Badiang – Cogtong Road
Want to swim in a limestone sinkhole or enjoy ancient cave paintings? Drive thru the 12.84 kilometers Guindulman – Anda – Badiang – Cogtong Road. Nearby is the Combento Cave, the Cabagnow Cave Pool, and the Lamanok Island.
- Urdaneta Bypass
Heading to Pangasinan to visit the Manaoag Church and the Hundred Islands of Alaminos? Try the 7.2 kilometers Urdaneta Western Bypass Road, which serves as an alternate route to Manila North Road, Urdaneta-Dagupan Road and Urdaneta-Manaoag Road.
- Subic Freeport Expressway
Heading for Bataan or Zambales? Try the new 8.2 kilometers Subic Freeport Expressway which connects Hermosa in Bataan to Subic in Zambales within a span of 10 minutes.
- Davao City Coastal Road
The 18 kilometers Davao City Coastal Road passes thru the coastal lines of Junctions Bago and Talomo, Matina Aplaya, Roxas Avenue, Sta. Ana Wharf, and R. Castillo. When completed, it is expected to reduce travel time from Davao-Cotabato Road to R. Castillo Avenue by about 30 minutes.