THE VIEW FROM RIZAL
Last week, the local government of Antipolo City received an invitation to the inauguration of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 2 extension project.
The inauguration is scheduled for this coming Tuesday, June 22.
The news that the LRT Line 2 extension project is finally going to be inaugurated is welcome news. It is happening at a time when positive development in our country serves as an important source of inspiration. The completion of the project and the expected commencement of the light rail transit service up to Antipolo City also symbolizes the fulfillment of a promise and is a tribute to our ability to hold on to our faith that the future holds something bright for all of us.
Residents in east of Metro Manila had looked forward to the completion of this project for quite some time.
In fact, the construction of a light rail transit system that would reach up to Antipolo had been talked about since the early 1990s. A friend of ours told us that he decided to quickly look for a residential property in Antipolo City for his family when he heard about the plans for an LRT 2 extension. He said this project would surely raise the price of property in the area and would provide for an alternative means of transportation.
Small entrepreneurs from the area had also long been excited about the completion of this project. The system – when fully completed – would provide a convenient and efficient means of transportation from Antipolo and Marikina to as far as Divisoria and Pier 4.
When the trains start to ply the extension route, our children would have a faster ride to their schools in Quezon City and in the University Belt in Manila.
Our white-collar workforce would also have strategic connections to transportation to the business districts in Ortigas, Makati, and Quezon City.
We were, at first, hoping that the trains could begin plying the extension route as early as 2019. Technical setbacks caused a reset in the timetable. We were praying for the opening to happen in 2020, but then, the pandemic happened.
Finally, we will witness the inaugural run of the trains this coming week.
The last station in this new extension line is located in Masinag – that place where Marcos and Sumulong highways intersect.
That the Antipolo station of the extension line should be built in this site is symbolic and inspiring. After all, “Masinag” literally means “full of light”. Its Filipino root word is “sinag” – a ray of light. In our culture, the “ray of light” signifies Hope.
Some of our elders in Rizal and Antipolo have told us that they could not imagine that the day would come when a modern train system would come to the province.
Some of them recall that there used to be a train system that reached up to Antipolo. This must have been in the turn of the 20th century. There is hardly any trace of that train system. Only the names of some sitios and streets such as Daang Bakal, Siete Media among others, remind us that there used to be a railroad track that connected the Antipolo hills with the lowland.
That ancient railroad must have ferried thousands of pilgrims to Antipolo in the early 1900s.
Today, with the completion of LRT Line 2 extension, visitors to the Pilgrimage Capital of the Philippines will have one more efficient and convenient way to reach the Cathedral of Antipolo to pray for peace and good voyages.
This development inspires us to hold on to Hope in other areas of our lives.
We can keep our Hope alive that the end of the pandemic would be in sight sooner that we think.
Government agencies supervising the implementation of quarantine measures have eased up restrictions in several parts of the country. Research agencies say the average number of daily cases appear to show that we may be over the hump, at least for now.
Also, last week, millions of doses of anti-COVID 19 vaccines were reported to have arrived in the country. This raised Hope that communities outside of the heavily-favored National Capital Region might receive a greater share of the antidote to the dreaded disease.
The dictionary defines “hope” as the “confident expectation” that a desire will be fulfilled.
It is different from “wish” or “wishful thinking”.
Even while the LRT line 2 project languished in major delays, we stuck to Hope.
We kept our confident expectation.
We can do the same with the other challenges we face today.