Friday, August 6, 2010

The Pathfinder | C-6 First Part

Seen from an altitude where Boeings and Airbuses glide through the sky, the unobtrusive bend at the tip of Bicutan appears impressive despite its unfinished state. It is the terminus of a road less-traveled: a back-door passage in the making to the already congested arteries of a sprawling metropolis. How it was conceived may have been lost to memory. Its final completion remains to be known. What exist at the present is a portion of the circumferential road that will connect the two major expressways linking the capital to the rest of Luzon.

Known as the Bulacan-Rizal-Manila-Cavite Regional Expressway or C-6 to those who have passed along its two-lane stretch, the circumferential road would serve as a beltway for buses and trucks going to the north and south of the country. C-6 would bypass Metro Manila by slithering through the outskirts of the city. Its Northernmost entry point would be in Marilao Bulacan and its Southernmost end point would be at the heart of Cavite City - just across the city hall. However, much of the cityside would have to be torn down and paved with asphalt or even blood before the two major expressways get to meet. There will always be the issue of right of way, of communities being uprooted, and even the bidding of road construction will always be a powder keg for corruption.

How I learned of this new circumferential road was already lost in memory. Like its creation, I cannot recall whether it was at the SONA of the ex-president where she made reference to its construction as a measure of progress, or was it in Wikimapia where its muddy vein first appeared. Suffice to say, the discovery sparked the old flame for finding new passageways. I was pouring over maps since I was a kid. But the critical mass to embark on an expedition was still lacking. How can I enjoy the view without someone to share it with? The desire took a backseat until such time I started stalking a blog that struck a chord with my inner nature.

Determined to discover the new circumferential road the blogger wrote. I followed his directions until I found myself at the exact spot where the end of the road gives way to wide open spaces.

On my way home, a trigger made me remember the map that gave birth to the pathfinder in me. It was a colored illustration of Manila. The city landmarks were drawn in isometric view. I remember the Quezon Memorial Circle, the rotund Araneta Coliseum and the surrounding Cubao Commercial Center, the names of hills that make up the Sierra Madre Range east of Pasig, the glitzy Ayala Avenue lined with buildings that are now derelict compared to new office towers.

It was a city map laid out in my grandfather's home office. I remember tracing with my little finger the roads that lead to certain destinations: Edsa begins in Taft Avenue and ends in Monumento. Marikina was still a flood plain and so was Cainta and Taytay. There was still no mention of Fairview and the edge of Commonwealth Avenue was the Iglesia ni Cristo Central Chapel. Manila then is Manila now, except the city is cluttered by too many skyrise condominiums sprouting like mushrooms every year. The map was lost to oblivion, but it served its purpose well. The next thing I knew, I was beginning to pay attention to jeepney signs and their destinations.

I would discover these places myself many years later.



Alterjon said...

see those houses beyond? I live there. no, seriously.


delightfully haunting. one for a coffee table book. pag nakompleto mo ang six installments pa-publish natin. financiers anyone? :)

red the mod said...

Because being a pathfinder affords us that sense of control, of knowing our way around things, of comprehending the landscape of our consciousness if only for the immediate physical landscape. But moreso, because we long to find our way, to understand, to discover order, and to have direction and a destination.

That's why I love commuting, and equally so, getting lost in the urban fabric.

Yas Jayson said...

boyscout! :D

Désolé Boy said...

you're not real, yes? haha

anyway, sometimes to appreciate things, you have to take a few steps backwards, so that when you look closer again, things would be different. and then you'll find yourself in awe of the beauty you once ignored.


Icy Flame said...

I read about this in Wikipedia and I'm raring to see this completed. Dadaan ata 'to sa area namin sa Cavite eh. =)

demonyito said...

fishpond ba yan sa pic?
i guess C6 eased up the EDSA traffic quite a bit?

Mu[g]en said...

Icy Flame:

It would take decades before it reaches yours. Ganon talaga ang usad ng progress sa Pinas.

Desole Boy:

Fiction much? Lolz. That is the moral of the story. There's a difference between what you see online and what can be offered when you dare see the spot in person.


Pinagplanuhan. ;)

Mu[g]en said...


It's Laguna De Bay. Hehehe. C6 will bypass C5 and Edsa. Di mo alam kung saan yung C5 no? Lolz.


You absolutely hit the spot my friend. :)


Haha. I don't have the skills to create a coffeetable book. Red can do the commissioned work better.


So you're from that Breeze Subdivision?