Christmas in the City 2015: Beating the Holiday Traffic

For many of us denizens of this crazy (in ways both good and bad) metropolis, the Christmas season is something we look forward to each year. What we don’t look forward to though is the traffic, traffic whose intensity is a red as the color of the Christmas lights or Santa Claus’ outfit.

EDSA traffic (file photo courtesy of the Philippine Star)

Sadly, it is a reality we have to live through at the moment, no thanks to the lack of the needed infrastructure needed to ease the traffic and the fact that the metropolis itself has been very, very congested for years now.

With the infrastructure still being built or waiting to be built at this time, at the moment the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has thought of some measures to help commuters survive the Christmas traffic hell, which we will be talking about today. Continue reading


Postscripts From The Earthquake Drill

Last July 30, the entire Metro Manila participated in a simultaneous activity called the Metro Manila Shake Drill, an earthquake drill organized by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in coordination with various risk reduction and rescue teams. The aim of this activity was to promote awareness on the possibility of a deadly earthquake with the presence of the West Valley Fault in the eastern part of the metropolis as well to educate the people on what to do if and when this earthquake strikes.

drill at the area of SM Megamall (courtesy of the Inquirer)

(courtesy of AP Photo/Sun Star)

students doing the techniques in case of an earthquake during the drill (courtesy of Metro Manila Today)

Many establishments, groups, as well as the general public,  participated in this activity as they practiced the techniques on what to do when an earthquake hits and witnessed the various simulations like accidents and injuries that would arise from an earthquake, to give an idea on what to do when these incidents occur.  Continue reading


Nazareno Blues and Other News

Today, there are no classes and city government work in the City of Manila as it celebrates the Feast of the Black Nazarene, an event the Urban Roamer has written about in the past.

This year though has been an interesting one not much because of the event but due to the sidelights which have gotten a bit more attention. Continue reading


A Metro Manila Film Festival 2014 Postscript (and a movie review too)

Christmas season in would not be complete without the movies. And by that, I mean the movies being shown at the annual film festival held at this time of year, the Metro Manila Film Festival or MMFF.

First launched in 1975, the MMFF was an occasion where local filmmakers get to release films without having to worry about competition from foreign films during the Christmas season, something that has been an object of irritation among some cinephiles who are deprived of seeing some Hollywood film early. (like in the case of the original Lord of the Rings trilogy films which were released here in January instead of the same Christmas season opening in the US, thanks to the MMFF) Continue reading


The Pasig River Ferry: A Different Commuting Experience

It is with great honor to announce that the Urban Roamer has contributed his first piece for the popular site When In Manila!

And for this one, the roamer talks about the commuting experience riding the Pasig River Ferry, the excerpt of which can be found below:

Ever since the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reopened the Pasig River ferry service to the public last April, I have heard some mixed reactions about the service – some were good and some were bad.

Negatives aside, I was still curious to experience what commuting via the Pasig River ferry was like. Fortunately, as I was in the vicinity of Guadalupe one afternoon, I decided to take the Pasig River ferry all the way to Intramuros and get the feel of the service for myself.

The fare itself costs about P50, (from Guadalupe to Plaza Mexico in Intramuros) riding in a tugboat type of fleet. The trip itself took about almost an hour – kinda lengthy compared to the trains and other land-based vehicles that we have (that is, if there is no heavy traffic). However, the journey itself is a relatively smooth one.