New Skyway Ramp to Open on December 1

Hi everyone! Have you been struggling with the constant heavy traffic along the northbound lane of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) since September due to the construction of a Skyway extension project (planned to reach Susana Heights) within the Alabang viaduct area?

Well here are the good news: effective December 1, 2019, the third lane of the at-grade level of the Skyway will be re-opened and the brand new, two-lane ramp connecting the Alabang viaduct to the elevated Skyway will be opened to the public!

The anticipated developments should result an improvement of the flow of traffic going north.

“These enhancements will ensure that there will be five lanes available to northbound SLEX vehicles during rush hours, even as we go full blast with the construction of the Skyway Extension project. Motorists will be able to use the original three lanes at the at-grade section, plus 2 more lanes at the elevated section,” San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said according to the press release.

Due to the construction of the new ramp started this past September, traffic worsened as road space was reduced. What used to be five lanes on the northbound direction of the SLEX at the Alabang viaduct was narrowed down to three lanes. The City Government of Muntinlupa itself implemented a one-way traffic scheme along the east service road in connection to the construction.

Skyway managers made the hard adjustments by reconfiguring and maximizing the first section of the elevated Skyway coming from the Alabang-Zapote road to three lanes, from the original two.

The operators stated that with the new ramp connecting to the elevated section, northbound traffic from SLEX can be accommodated without significantly impacting traffic coming from the Alabang-Zapote road.

It was pointed out that the original design for the Alabang-Zapote road Skyway ramp, built by the previous concessionaire, is one lane northbound and one lane southbound. At certain times in the morning, when traffic is heaviest, both lanes are used for northbound traffic.

As such, they emphasized that the advantage of the new three-lane configuration at the start of the elevated portion is that lane assignments can be easily adjusted depending on traffic volume. Even with the new ramp in effect, motorists coming from the Alabang-Zapote road will retain the use of one to two lanes, depending on traffic volume.

With regards to night-time southbound traffic, which normally gets heavy, more or all lanes—including the two lanes on the new ramp–can be assigned for southbound use.

To put things in perspective, the Skyway Extension project is an initiative by SMC worth P10 billion designed to extend the Skyway from Alabang to SLEX near  Susana Heights and the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX). Completion of the whole project is set for December 2020. By then , there should be three additional northbound lanes and two southbound lanes on either side of the existing SLEX. It will allow both northbound and southbound motorists to bypass the Alabang viaduct.

This is welcome news and there should be relief starting Sunday (December 1).

In my personal experience, I work at an office in Calamba, Laguna and since September 25, traveling back to Alabang became more challenging due to the increased traffic congestion. Many times, the tail-end of the traffic jam going north along SLEX reached the Susana Heights area. Some times, the tail-end was at the Southwoods exit.

We will soon find out starting Monday how the promised benefits of the new Skyway ramp will improve the northbound flow of vehicles.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

My Observations: Mardi Gras Bazaar 3 at Madison Galeries

Hey everyone! This morning I made the trip to Madison Galeries in Barangay Cupang, Alabang, Muntinlupa City to visit their Mardi Gras Bazaar 3 activity which was held at their 3rd floor facility. The bazaar, which is my first time to visit and look around, officially opened today and will last until tomorrow (November 24).

Upon entering the Madison Events Place, I saw sections of many kinds of products displayed and waiting to be sold. Already there were lots of people shopping, looking for the best deals and trying to decide which items to buy for their needs or for gift-giving this Christmas.

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Lots of nice looking stuff at this side of the venue.
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Wanna save P349.75 for a rice cooker that also serves as a lunch heater?

What caught my attention instantly were the discounted rates on all the products offered. There were these electric fans of varied sizes (from the personal mini-fans to the desk fans) that had these attractive prices. The same can be said about pillows, dolls, tumblers, rice cookers, toys, home appliances, some electronic products and many other times that were displayed.

After looking around initially and carefully analyzing what to choose for Christmas gift-giving (which is the main purpose of my visit today), I finally went ahead choosing five items. Because I did not have a bag, I carefully picked the five items and carried them as I lined up for checkout.

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The products for sale were placed in an organized fashion.
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This where customers line up for check-out and paying. There were sufficient people assisting.

At the cashier, an assistant helped me put the items for checking. I asked if they had a bag I could use to carry them on my way out, and the lady behind the counter said they had one for P25. After agreeing to it, they brought out a really large shopping bag. It was so large, there was still a lot of vacant space inside even though my items were in it. The shopping bag is reusable and I like that!

And so I left Mardi Gras Bazaar 3 feeling happy and satisfied. I achieved my objective of finding some good items for Christmas gift-giving. Now I’ll have to wrap these items.

For those of you reading this, I highly recommend going to Mardi Gras Bazaar 3 at Madison Galeries ASAP if you really have to shop for your needs or for your Christmas gift-giving plans. Tomorrow is the last day already! Today was my first time ever to attend a Mardi Gras Bazaar at the Alabang shopping mall, and it was a good experience.

Oh yes, I should mention that Madison Galeries has a very nice looking Christmas tree at the ground floor that you should see. Really nice for picture taking!

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I like this very much!

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To others reading this, if you are dissatisfied with print media and you want your community/organization/business to be featured on this website, please contact me locally via mobile number 0905-3350831 or via email at Carlo.Carrasco@gmail.com

We can negotiate, work together and be achievers together.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Mardi Gras Bazaar 3 at Madison Galeries on November 23 and 24

Hey everyone. Madison Galeries in Barangay Cupang, Alabang, Muntinlupa City will be the place to be at for shopping as they will be organizing the Mardi Gras Bazaar 3 on November 23 and 24, 2019.

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Mardi Gras Bazaar 3 will take place at the Madison Events Place at the 3rd level of the open-air mall. It is the same air-conditioned, indoor venue where the successful Village Food Fair 2 was held and this means shoppers can go around looking for goods to buy in comfort. The hours for the bazaar is from 10AM to 9PM on each day.

The bazaar organizers promised that there will be a discount of up to 80% off on what they described to be a huge selection of toys, house ware, gadgets, accessories, gift items and other things that could suit your needs or your Christmas shopping goals.

For the newcomers reading this, Madison Galeries is located along Don Jesus Boulevard between Alabang Hills Village and the West Service Road in Muntinlupa City. BF Homes residents who intend to go to the mall without using the service road can pass through Alabang Hills Village provided that their vehicles have valid non-resident car stickers issued by the Alabang Hills Village Association.

For your personal needs or Christmas shopping needs, consider Mardi Gras Bazaar 3 and mark November 23 and 24 on your calendar.

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To others reading this, if you are dissatisfied with print media and you want your community/organization/business to be featured on this website, please contact me locally via mobile number 0905-3350831 or via email at Carlo.Carrasco@gmail.com

We can negotiate, work together and be achievers together.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

 

Christmas Bazaar and More in Alabang Hills Village this November 29 to December 1

Hey everyone! If you are looking for a new destination for your Christmas shopping or shopping for your needs, then be informed that there will be a Christmas bazaar inside Alabang Hills Village in Muntinlupa City that will start from November 29 up to December 1, 2019.

According to an Alabang Hills Village Association (AHVA) official, the bazaar (formally titled Baratilo & Bingo sa Pasko) will be held at the two covered basketball courts and at a portion of the grass near the old village clubhouse. The schedule of the organizing of the bazaar will be from 9AM to 9PM on each of the three days.

More notably, the AHVA revealed to me that there will be a lot of sellers. As of today, confirmed are 72 sellers of dry goods, 32 sellers of food and beverages, and 29 ukay (used items) sellers. Expect to see a big mix of products like clothes, shoes, bags, household items, appliances and the like. As written on the bazaar’s title, there will also be bingo games held although the precise venue and other key details are not yet available as of this writing.

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Christmas decorations inside Alabang Hills Village.

As with the past bazaars and special events held in the village, non-residents are welcome to visit and shop in the bazaar. Naturally, non-residents who are bringing vehicles that do not have Alabang Hills stickers are required to leave their ID cards at the village gate in order to enter.

For more information, contact the AHVA by calling landline 8850-8254 and  8850-9631.

 

My Observations: Muntinlupa City the 8th Most Competitive Highly Urbanized City of the Nation in this Year’s Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI)

When it comes to being competitive among the many cities of the Philippines, making the Top Ten of the most important category is a big achievement already. Thanks to the respective news releases of Business Mirror and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) the latest Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) for 2019 showed that Muntinlupa City is now the 8th most competitive highly urbanized city (HUC) of the entire nation.

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Specifically, Muntinlupa is one of six Metro Manila cities that made the Top 10 of the Most Competitive Highly Urbanized Cities category as revealed during the 7th Regional Competitiveness Summit held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on October 24.. The city that is home to Ayala Alabang, Alabang Hills, Filinvest City and Northgate Cyberzone is the only South Metro Manila city to make it in the Top 10 of the said category. This is a notable improvement over last year’s results.

Muntinlupa’s Public Information Officer Tez Navarro responded to my inquiry by saying that their administration is glad that the city made it in the Top 10 among HUCs. I also made inquiries to my sources within the city governments of Parañaque and Las Piñas and, as of this writing, nobody responded. The Most Competitive City for HUCs is Quezon City.

In my view, it’s not surprising that Muntinlupa made it big given the City Government’s (headed by Mayor Jaime Fresnedi) continued public services, efficiency and the local economy’s strong growth. Muntinlupa also made it in the Top 10 on the categories of government efficiency and infrastructure.

As for Parañaque, this year marks another chapter in history in which the city (whose local government unit is led by mayor Edwin Olivarez) failed to break into the Top 10 among Highly Urbanized Cities. In the 2018 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index, the city that is home to BF Homes subdivision as well as those fancy casinos and resorts of Entertainment City ranked 14th among HUCs and 21st place overall in the competitiveness chart that includes HUCs and component cities.

Going back to this year’s Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index, Parañaque got tied with Caloocan City for the 3rd place ranking for the Most Improved LGUs category among HUCs. The Most Improved LGU for Highly Urbanized Cities is shared at the top by Valenzuela and Malabon. When it comes to economic dynamism and infrastructure,  Parañaque got mentioned.

Now that the CMCI for 2019 has been published, now is a good time to take a close look at the infrastructure quality and government efficiency in Parañaque. Very recently traffic along Presidents Avenue (the road that connects Dr. A. Santos Avenue with the BF Homes commercial zone and the villages) worsened due to the three road operations (two belonging to Maynilad and one with the Department of Public Works and Highways) happening there at the same time. Those operations occupied significant space on the road making the flow of traffic tighter and more congested. Already motorists who travel regularly along Presidents Avenue are already annoyed with the worsened traffic congestion and a few of them questioned as to why is it that the City Government did not bother to send inspectors on the three road operations. Going back to this year’s CMCI, government efficiency is clearly where Parañaque is lacking.

As for the City of Las Piñas, there is a lack of available information as to how it fared among HUCs in varied categories as of this writing.

Ranking the Competitiveness

According to the CMCI website, The rankings of Cities and Municipalities are based on the sum of their scores on four pillars: Economic Dynamism, Government Efficiency, Infrastructure and Resiliency. Provincial rankings meanwhile are based on population and income weighted average of the Overall scores of cities and municipalities under a province.

The Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index or CMCI is an annual ranking of Philippine cities and municipalities developed by the National Competitiveness Council through the Regional Competitiveness Committees (RCCs) with the assistance of the United States Agency for International Development.

My Observations: Village Food Fair 2 at Madison Galeries

After worshiping the Lord at church this past Sunday in Las Piñas City, I proceeded straight to Madison Galeries in Barangay Cupang, Alabang, Muntinlupa City to attend their special event of the day called Village Food Fair 2.

Months ago, out of curiosity, I attended the first Village Food Fair held at that same open-air shopping mall and I had fun looking around and enjoying some food and beverages. The pleasurable experience I back had then made me wish that the mall would organize another food fair and, as what happened this Sunday, they delivered!

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The food vendors outside the Madison Events Place.
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High-quality beef sold for shawarma.

At Village Food Fair 2, I visited first the food stalls at the 3rd floor just outside of the Madison Events Place (which is a large, air-conditioned hall) where food products like shawarma, rice meals and freshly cooked meat were served. I noticed beef wagyu offered in both packed and in cooked form.

Inside the Madison Events Place was a whole lot of vendors that offered a great variety of beverages and food to choose from. There were packaged sushi rolls, coffee (in powdered form, in beans and in brewed form), organic pasta, noodles, dumplings, pies, nuts, beans, sandwiches, carrot cakes and the like. On keeping the atmosphere lively, the mall operators hired a lady to play the guitar and sing on the spot.

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A customer waiting to be served.
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This lady sang nicely during the food fair.

There was a whole lot to choose from Village Food Fair 2 and I am very glad that Madison Galeries organized this. As a coffee enthusiast, I ordered black coffee mixed with condensed milk. That coffee was prepared for me with the utmost care as two containers were used to pour and mix the coffee and condensed milk together before serving it on a cup. I liked the taste.

I went outside Madison Events Place to try a chicken shawarma. The chicken was really well cooked and the vegetables and pita used made each bite a delight. I got my money’s worth as a result. Before going home, I bought Barako coffee powder from one of the vendors inside Madisons Events Place.

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This looks yummy!
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Coffee, honey, chocolate and other nice stuff for sale.
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Organic pasta for sale. 

In conclusion, I should say that my experience with Village Food Fair 2 was even more pleasurable than the previous time. It sure was nice to see a wide selection of food and beverage products of nice quality along with several customers making transactions with the sellers. I sincerely hope for another Village Food Fair to be organize there at Madison Galeries which is clearly the best open-air shopping mall to be at in South Metro Manila. For Ayala Alabang residents and BF Homes residents (as well as those living in related communities like Tahanan Village) reading this, to visit Madison Galeries without having to travel along the West Service Road from Parañaque, I highly recommend securing a non-resident, passing thru vehicular sticker from Alabang Hills Village Association (AHVA) so that your access will be better.

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Sushi rolls being sold.
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The other sellers inside the Madison Events Place.
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This one really smelled good as the cooking went on.

My thanks to Madison Galeries and the concessionaires who made Village Food Fair 2 happen. I would love to attend another edition of it in the near future. Village Food Fair is easily a standout among all food fairs in South Metro Manila.

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To others reading this, if you are dissatisfied with print media and you want your community/organization/business to be featured on this website, please contact me locally via mobile number 0905-3350831 or via email at Carlo.Carrasco@gmail.com

We can negotiate, work together and be achievers together.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

My Observations: New Starbucks at Madison Galeries Coming Plus Fatmelts Diner’s Expansion at Pergola Mall

If there is anything notable about South Metro Manila, it is the fact that there is a “thin” border between the cities of Parañaque, Muntinlupa and Las Piñas in close proximity to Alabang-Zapote Road.

Look Concha Cruz Drive inside BF Homes subdivision. Part of it falls under Parañaque while the remaining part leading to Alabang-Zapote Road falls under Las Piñas City. Parallel to Concha Cruz Drive is Ramon Tirona street connecting Parañaque to Muntinlupa City through Alabang Hills Village.

Along the straight, long road that links Alabang Hills Village to the West Service Road is the nice looking, open-air mall called Madison Galeries which I occasionally visit. During my latest visit, I noticed something on the ground level…Manila’s Best Coffee is gone and in its place is the ongoing establishment of a new Starbucks Coffee branch.

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The upcoming Starbucks Coffee shop at Madison Galeries.

Not only that. I noticed the said Starbucks also took a lot more space of the mall. There was another commercial joint beside Manila’s Best Coffee that is no more and its space got consumed. This is a huge Starbucks coming and there is always that possibility that it will help Madison Galeries attract even more customers. Consumers coming from BF Homes who wish to visit Madison Galeries by car will need a passing-through car sticker from the Alabang Hills Village Association first. Otherwise they will have to travel the long way along Dr. A. Santos Avenue or Alabang-Zapote Road to make it to the mall through the West Service Road.

Speaking of new things, I also noticed a change going on at the ground floor level of the Pergola Mall in Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque City. Check the picture below.

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Fatmelts Diner is renovating and expanding at Pergola Mall.

Fatmelts Diner, a favorite food and beverage joint in the BF Homes community that has operated for many years now, is undergoing renovation and expansion. Similar to the upcoming Starbucks at Madison Galeries, the diner also consumed additional commercial space (not pictured) that was previously occupied by Di’ Mark’s Pizza.

I can only speculate that more space will mean more seats and tables for customers and more kitchen space and cooking equipment. How this will improve the quality of the food and service remains in question. Still this is something to look forward to once Fatmelts Diner reopens.

The thing about Pergola Mall and Madison Galeries is that, if you drive a car and you have the required car stickers (to pass through the villages), they are both reachable and you can enjoy what each place has to offer. This is one of the charms of South Metro Manila.