187 Days: “Dirty & Noisy Manila”/”Runabout”

5:30 AM 30 September 2008

I woke up early at 5:00 AM, had my morning ritual, wore my running kit, and picked-up my The North Face Hydration Pack (where I packed my camera, cellphone, ID and cash) and I was out of my place at 5:30 AM.

I had a 3-hour “runabout” along C-5, EDSA, Buendia Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, and The Fort. I was able to cover a distance of 23.06 kilometers in 2:57:48 hours to include my time in brisk walking, crossing the road along the pedestrian lanes, climbing pedestrian overpass, eating two servings of “taho” along the way, buying Propel Vitamin Water in one of the 7/11 Stores and taking some pictures along the sidewalk of EDSA.

I had an average pace of 7.52 kms/hr; 1,597 total calories spent; total ascent of 1,128 meters and total descent of 1,118 meters.

While I was at The Fort area and as I approached the BHS loop, I saw Bards aka Banana Running from a distance. After finishing one big loop of BHS, I joined her and stayed with her for two repetitions of her 800-meter speed runs. I was amazed and surprised on her improvements since I joined one of her running workouts at he BHS last May/June with her friends. This morning, she was consistently running with a time of 4:20-4:25 minutes for the 800-meter distance. I told her that she was doing “Yasso 800” where one would easily determine his/her projected finish time for the marathon from his/her time to run a 800-meter distance. With her time of 4:20 minutes for the 800 meters, she is expected to finish her marathon in 4:20 hours. Bards, you are doing great on your training!

Well, having a “runabout” along the major streets and places in Metro Manila is a nice experience for anybody to know what is really happening on the streets and feel the “reality” on the ground. If you are inside your car travelling along these streets, you could hardly hear the noise of the vehicles; smell the “smog” and the drainage along the streets; and see how “dirty” the streets are!

While I was running, I could see the elevated sidewalks along the Lawton Avenue (on the side of the NAMRIA and Bonifacio Heights) are uneven and cracked all the way to the old Gate 3. The streets at Guadalupe are dirty and full of trash piled up on the side of the streets. There are lots of ambulant vendors selling food, newspapers and accessories at the corner of Buendia and EDSA occupying most of the pedestrian’s sidewalk where a group of MMDA traffic enforcers were seen standing 50 meters away. I wonder if these vendors are authorized to engage in their business along the busy streets by the MMDA.

I could see also a lot of “street sweepers” along EDSA which in my estimate would take them days to clean the streets from the dirt and trash being thrown by pedestrians as well as passengers alighting and waiting for bus at the waiting shades. I really don’t know if it would be better to install or place semi-permanent trash bins along the streets so that peole would be advised or trained to place their trash to these bins or for the local government to employ “street sweepers”. I guess, even if we employ “street sweepers” and install trash bins, our streets are still dirty with scattered trash!

 Ok, we will see what the following pictures would say…

A rotten trunk of a tree along the sidewalk of EDSA being used as a trash bin!

One of the “street sweepers” along EDSA but she does have any trash bins with her!

The area/location where the newly-planted “ficus” plants at EDSA are being used a trash bins!

If you are inside the bus, jeepney, or your car, you could hardly see these trash on “islands” planted with ornamental plants. Where are the “street sweepers”?

Lastly, I don’t know the significance of this “pink” line painted on the sidewalk at EDSA. Moreso, with the black steel posts on the sidewalk. If MMDA would like to discourage drivers from parking their vehicles along the sidewalk, then these posts are unnecessary. Definitely, the sidewalks along EDSA are not parking areas for vehicles and I know this regulation since the ’70s.

I hope to have more “runabouts” in Metro Manila in the coming days and weeks.

3 thoughts on “187 Days: “Dirty & Noisy Manila”/”Runabout”

  1. tanx for running with me BR hehe lets aim for that time but anything below 5hours will be achievement enough for me. btw, you are so right about the trash bins. I didnt have my fuelbelt with me and was carrying a water bottle. From BHS to Ayala, I didnt find a trashbin for it until I reached Glorietta.


  2. kingofpots

    highaltitude, LA “runabout” experience was totally different from what i’ve experienced in manila. there were more nice spots to see abroad than here. running with you will be a nice workout. thanks.

    bards, i know you’ll be able to attain your goal on your 1st marathon. i think i have to run with you more often. yup! i wonder why we don’t spend for the basic needs in waste management. we are only fond of talking and writing but no action. very sad!


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