A reflection on my 8th year

Eight years ago today, I started this humble venture out of a great deal of interest and passion to write about the metropolis I was born and raised in. Normally I would reminisce at this time as to how far this venture has come, with so much happening in the blogging realm and in my personal life, let me also take this opportunity to be in a more reflective mood, to the say the least.

image by ryomaandres | CC-BY-SA 3.0

Thus, I can’t help but look back to where I was 8 years ago. At that time, I was wandering aimlessly in the blogosphere, having started and eventually abandoned 2 blogs as the passion to continue them died out. At the same time, I was starting to feel dissatisfied with my career in that crazy BPO environment where I was at the time. I needed a diversion from it all, where I can be more loose and free to talk about the things I’ve long been interested in that few, if at all, seem to share in one way or another.

Given the state of affairs I was in at the time, I found it an opportune time to revive an old idea that I had, though it was originally intended to be some sort of a TV show that I actually went as far as pitching it to Probe Productions. Yeah, I was young and foolish, more so back then. But I learned my lesson at that point: if you want to do things right as they should, you have to do it yourself, somehow in some way.

After much thought and deliberation, I finally got around into working on the site, albeit with that lingering feeling of uncertainty if my passion for this project will be enough for me to stick around longer as a blogger. And the rest, they say, is history.

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A Tribute to Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya

With less than three months to go before the end of the glorious administration of Benigno Aquino III, it is but apt on this April Fools Day to pay tribute to one of the greatest cabinet officials of his administration, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.

How can the Urban Roamer pay tribute to his legacy without mentioning his illustrious lineage as the great grandson of the greatest president ever Emilio Aguinaldo. So what if Aguinaldo is accused of killing Andres Bonifacio and Antonio Luna? Those are just unfounded accusations of a biased liberal media and internet, you hear me? But I digress…sorry about that.

Being a Cornell University graduate, Sec. Abaya has proven himself to be competent guy when he entered the government sector. As a politician, he served as representative of Cavite’s old 1st district, who managed to help pass important legislation such as….such as….sorry I’m too lazy to make an effort today. So do your damn research and stop bugging me!

Sorry, the Urban Roamer is feeling testy today. But back to our tribute, Abaya made a name for himself as a staunch defender of the glorious administration of Benigno Aquino III and his Daang Matuwid. Never mind those criticisms against the “alleged” incompetence and corruption in the Aquino adminstration. Again, the work of the evil and biased liberal media and internet y’all!

As the incumbent Transportation Secretary since 2012, Abaya has made a number of remarkable achievements. Because of him, our transportation system is now known all over the world. Thanks to him, our transportation reached unique milestones such as derailed trains that even go past the railway tracks, brokedown trains, long queues of passengers especially along Line 3 because of the lack of trains, bullets in luggages that magically appear in our airport…Sec. Abaya has done such a wonderful job.

Yes, Abaya deserves a royal treatment! How dare you say otherwise??

And to those who have been criticizing Sec. Abaya for his remarks about the traffic being not fatal, it’s your fault! You should be using helicopters or planes instead to get around the metropolis!

As far as I’m concerned, Sec. Joseph Emilio Abaya is the best transportation secretary, evarrrr!!!!

And yeah, I am really, really stoned and drunk right now as I write this. Can you tell?



Guest Post: Surviving Soul-Crushing Holy Week Traffic

by Carlo Miguel Castañeda

Note: Yup, the Urban Roamer accepts guest posts now. If you have anything to share about interesting events and places in the metropolis or some tips in urban living that may fit this site’s content, do email me at karl@theurbanroamer.com. Remember that it will be my discretion as to whether I will post your content here and not every submission is guaranteed to be published. Thank you!

The forecast is always similar every long holiday: be prepared for traffic along the various expressways that lead out of the metro and into the provinces. This is something you tend to expect, and often prepare for, but that still doesn’t change the fact that the tendency is that you are going to get stuck in soul-crushing Holy Week Traffic.

Traffic at the North Luzon Expressway (photo courtesy of the Philippine Daily Inquirer)

So between the buses and all the other cars that you may encounter out there on your way to wherever you plan on spending the long weekend, here are a few ways you can keep your cool while you move at a snail’s pace. Continue reading


A Heritage Mapping Volunteer’s Postscript

After one year of serving as a volunteer for the Wikimedia Philippines Heritage Mapping Project, my tenure has officially ended last May 1.

To say the least, it has been a wild ride (especially towards latter half of my run) in which I have learned some new things and gained new insights that are both good and bad. Pardon me if I’ll be waxing some nostalgia in this piece from time to time. Continue reading


Internet in the Philippines: 20 Years Online

This is somewhat of an off-topic entry, but today is a momentous occasion, not only for me but for all of us who are reading this or some other website, connecting to people via email or social media, posting or reacting to memes and other viral messages or posts, streaming or uploading online media, among many, many others we have been doing in cyberspace for the past 20 years.

It should be, because on this day 20 years ago, the Philippines went online, making that historic entry in the young but growing Internet landscape thanks to the efforts of the Philnet project, which was a collaboration of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the academic community.

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