I’ve done a few local travelling in the last two months and will now have something to say about the two expressways that dot the opposite sides of Manila.
To the South is the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) which connects commuters going to and from Alabang, Laguna, Batangas and Cavite.
The North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), on the other hand, is the gateway when you want to go to and from Bulacan, Pampanga, Olongapo, Tarlac, all the way to Pangasinan and Baguio.
As a commuter, I just can’t help but lament how the South Luzon Expressway has been left behind in road development. While travelling via NLEX is painless and hassle-free because of the world-class highway, the same cannot be said of the SLEX which suffers from perpetual bottleneck because of diggings and repairworks. Shame, shame, shame.
I wonder what this portends for tourism and investments in the two areas. Where would you rather plunk down real estate investments in? The South has impressed me as being overcrowded, and even that white elephant called the Metro Manila Skyway is a joke. Where else can you find a Skyway that suffers from traffic sometimes, and doesn’t really serve it’s purpose (besides being expensive) because it stops in Alabang??
As a tourist, I’ve avoided travelling to favorite places like Tagaytay because the image of being stuck in traffic along the SLEX haunts me. For instance, during my last trip attending the Pahiyas Festival in Quezon, we were stuck in traffic for more than an hour near an Avida Land development in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, on the way back to Manila. Just imagine how worse it can get when the rains and bad weather come.
In contrast, a recent drive to Pampanga took only one hour to get, from Manila to Angeles City. That was certainly impressive. It was just like travelling from Makati to Manila.
Of course, in the future, I hope things improve for commuters in the South of Manila but for now, as far as the roads are concerned, it’s being left very far behind.