My Observations: Pizza Telefono’s Pepperoni & Mushroom pizza and Super Telefono pizza

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from consuming the featured food from Pizza Telefono. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Firstly, I want to thank the Lord in Heaven for the recent re-opening of the Alabang (Westgate, Filinvest City) branch of Pizza Telefono which was a very welcome development during this time of COVID-19 crisis. I’m really happy they resumed operations here in Alabang which should interest not only residents of Muntinlupa but also those in BF Homes (via Concha Cruz Drive).

Secondly, I want to thank the people of Pizza Telefono Alabang branch for fulfilling our family’s take-out orders of a thin-crust and a hand-tossed pizza even though they had a very hectic day last Sunday…Mother’s Day 2020!

On the topic at hand, here’s a look at the two pizzas we ordered from Pizza Telefono: the thin-crust Pepperoni & Mushroom pizza and the hand-tossed Super Telefono pizza.

20200510_182447.jpg
Thin-crust Pepperoni & Mushroom pizza. Quite noticeable was the lack of mushrooms prepared by the Alabang branch.
20200510_190532.jpg
A slice of Pepperoni & Mushroom pizza

The Pepperoni & Mushroom pizza came with mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and mushroom in fresh button form. Upon first bite, it was tasty and somewhat crunchy. I could tell it was well cooked. However, the mushrooms were lacking due to a lapse on the part of the people who prepared it. Even so, this pizza proved to be good enough and I should say that I myself am not even fond of pepperoni. Someone else is.

Next was, literally, the heavy hitter…the Super Telefono pizza. This one was loaded with ingredients composed of salami, pepperoni, Italian sausage, sweet ham, ground beef, bacon, parmesan and some vegetables!

20200510_182407.jpg
The hand-tossed Super Telefono pizza. Look at all the toppings and cheese!

As it was a hand-tossed pizza, each slice of Super Telefono was not only very delicious but also quite filling on its own. That clearly is not surprising because hand-tossed pizzas are thicker and richer. Take a look at the pic below.

20200510_190840.jpg
A Super Telefono slice.
20200510_190900.jpg
A closer look at the Super Telefono slice. Each bite of this is rich, flavorful and filling!

I should mention that I love the dough Pizza Telefono used on the Super Telefono pizza. It has a nice texture that can be felt when chewing on it. The slice soft enough for ease of chewing.

When it comes to pizza goodness and satisfaction, I will say that the thin-crust Pepperoni & Mushroom pizza is good but I’m not convinced to choose it the next time I order a thin-crust pizza at Pizza Telefono. I will recommend it, however, to anyone who loves pepperoni on their pizza.

As for the hand-tossed Super Telefono pizza, I highly recommended it to all you who read this. Even if you’re not the kind of person who is into pizza with multiple ingredients on it, I still recommend eating it at least once. I had a great satisfaction with Super Telefono pizza for its taste, very good dough and got filled. Definitely Super Telefono is something I would not hesitate to order again in the near future.

In case you are interested with Pizza Telefono, visit them at https://pizzatelefono.com/

Also check out my previous article of their Alabang branch and my first dine-in experience with them right here.


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: Even during quarantine, the Chinese connection still caused problems in Parañaque City

Months ago, I wrote that the City of Parañaque became a hot spot for crime incidents involving Chinese nationals and that the said city had more of such incidents than its neighboring cities here in South Metro Manila.

And then the coronavirus disease COVID-19 struck the world and this resulted community quarantine here in the Philippines which was recently extended into mid-May. Under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), most businesses were halted, mass gatherings were prohibited and people were told to stay at home so that the risk of infection would be reduced. The authorities have been struggling with testing people for COVID-19 while local government units (LGUs), including barangays, have been working to manage their respective communities and perform services like distributing relief goods to families, implementing curfew, etc.

Even though the ECQ has been implemented for over a month now, there were still problems in Parañaque City caused by Chinese nationals. I’m talking about the illegal online gaming operation involving 44 Chinese nationals (with 23 Filipinos) and illegal clinics and a stockroom filled with medicine from China.

Let’s start first with the illegal online gaming operation that was found in Mayuga Compound, Barangay Tambo with details from the Manila Bulletin report.

Excerpt: Forty-four (44) foreign nationals and twenty-three (23) Filipinos (fourteen female and nine male) engaged in an illegal online gaming operation were arrested by the combined team of the Regional Special Operation Unit, Southern Police District, and the Parañaque City police Friday night.

Police said that the suspects were arrested at about 7:30p.m. along Mayuga Compound, Barangay Tambo, Parañaque City.

The police said that prior to the arrest of the suspects, members of the RSOU received a telephone call from a concerned citizen who reported that a group of armed foreign nationals were seen outside their residence violating the curfew hours imposed by the city government while the country is under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Upon receiving the information, members of the RSOU immediately coordinated with the SPD and the Parañaque City police for the arrest of the suspects.

The police said that verification was made and they found the group of foreign nationals with firearms visibly tucked in their waists loitering around the said place.

The suspects, upon seeing the approaching policemen, immediately ran inside their house. A chase ensued that led to the discovery of the illegal online gaming operation of the suspects.

Police recovered cash amounting to more than P1.3-million, 255 Chinese Yuan; 73 Chinese passports; two .45 caliber pistols; two .9mm pistols; nine internet modems, 40 cellular phones; 17 pairs of keyboard and mouse; 36 different brands of laptop computers and assorted computer cables.

Wow. That’s such an operation. How exactly was it set up so discreetly? Was the apartment owner aware that the rented place was turned by the foreigners into an illegal business operation? Also when exactly did the Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) of Parañaque City discover the first details about the illegal online gaming operation? Was Barangay Tambo even aware of the illegal operation?

As a result of the arrest done by the law enforcers, the ball is now up to the Bureau of Immigration to decide whether to deport the 44 Chinese nationals or not. Whatever their decision and no matter how long the investigation will take, it is clear that this incident made the City of Parañaque look bad.

To put things in perspective, Parañaque is the hot spot of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Metro Manila with 414 cases as of April 26 and the City Government and the barangays have been struggling to prevent the spread of infection while managing the communities. As seen many times on social media, pictures of many people crowding the public wet markets (palengke) in the city showed clear violations of social distancing. As such, the fear of a possible COVID-19 outbreak in Parañaque is entering more people’s minds.

Next, let’s take a look at the illegal clinics and the stockroom filled with Chinese medicine with details from CNN Philippines’ report.

Excerpt 1: Authorities raided two illegal clinics and a medicine stockroom in Parañaque City on Sunday night.

Among those seized in the stockroom in Barangay Baclaran in Parañaque was a large shipment of medicine for respiratory illnesses allegedly being used as a possible treatment for the coronavirus disease. There is no confirmed cure yet for COVID-19.

They found many more boxes of medicine and medical supplies from China in the stockroom, such as boxes of dextrose and medicine ranging from antibiotics, anti-viral drugs, and medicine used for treating sexually transmitted diseases.

“They have all kinds of medicines. Na-amaze ako kasi puro injectables silang lahat,” says Paranaque City Health Officer Dr. Olga Virtusio. She adds, “Kakaunti ‘yung oral meds, madami ding through IV (intravenous) fluid.”

[Translation: I was amazed because most of the medicines I saw were injectables. There were a few oral meds, but there were a lot of IV fluids.]

Meanwhile, some types of medicine sold by the two illegal clinics are a herbal supplement is used as a traditional Chinese treatment for colds, fever, cough, and sore throat and a non-prescription drug for flu and respiratory illnesses.

“The team is thinking na most probably they are really catering to the POGOs around, especially noong nagkaroon tayo ng massive routing of the different clubs at madaming nakitang prostitution. Mostly chinese ang nahuhuli,” the doctor added.

Authorities said they acted on a tip from a disgruntled worker from one of the illegal clinics. The owner of one of the clinics allegedly took her quarantine pass. As a result, the helper informed officials of what she called a “hospital” catering to mostly Chinese patients.

Excerpt 2: After the city government closed down the place, authorities found another similar clinic just a few blocks away.

Police found a Chinese man claiming to be a doctor in the second clinic. He did not speak on camera but presented what he claimed to be his doctor’s license in China.

The local government said they are finding out who owns this clinics and the stockroom.

Charges will be filed against the owners for violating quarantine laws, medical regulations, and for operating without necessary permits. The confiscated boxes of medicine will be turned over to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for testing.

Two illegal clinics that most likely served Chinese nationals located just a few blocks away from each other…could those two be connected with each other? As for the medicine imported from China, I wonder if they were cleared by the officials of customs. When exactly did the City Health Office led by Dr. Virtusio become aware of the illegal clinics? Did anyone from Barangay Baclaran notice the anomalies within their territory?

With these cases combined – the illegal gaming operation and the illegal clinics – I wonder if there was any bribery involved in establishing the illegal operations, how much the local authorities knew about their existence, and how exactly are Parañaque officials dealing with Chinese nationals who really had no intention to follow local laws.

It is fortunate for law enforcers that a disgruntled worker from one of the illegal clinics tipped them while a concerned citizen did the right thing by calling them about the presence of foreigners who were armed with guns. What exactly were those guns for, personal protection or as a means to threaten the local community’s members?

Whatever is happening behind the scenes with these two recent developments, what is clear is that Parañaque is still a hot spot for illegal activities involving Chinese nationals and the connection with mainland China. How the local authorities will deal with them is a big question mark.

You the reader might want to ask yourself: Are Chinese nationals already setting up Parañaque to be a key location for a future military invasion by mainland China?


For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

Thanks for reading!

My Observations: COVID-19’s impact on crowded fun-oriented events should be taken seriously

For the past few weeks, the coronavirus disease COVID-19 halted much of the world’s societies and economies compelling families to stay at home as the authorities struggle to prevent infections from spreading.

Community quarantine and regional lockdown have been implemented which strongly limited people from traveling around and also negatively affected truck deliveries which really hurt manufacturing and other key economic sectors like food production (and the businesses that sell food), retailing and more.

Unsurprisingly, special events that attract a lot of people as attendees have been postponed or cancelled. In the city of Parañaque here in the Philippines, the planned 2020 cityhood anniversary celebration had to be scaled down dramatically because of COVID-19-related fear. The said celebration’s most popular events such as the Bb. Parañaque beauty pageant and the Sunduan Festival could not be organized and as of this writing, no new dates for organizing such events have been announced. Under the current quarantine procedures, mass gatherings have been prohibited.

That being said, it would be best to forget about crowded fun events for the short term and just focus on being safe at home, managing your precious funds and maintaining faith in the Lord (note: study the Holy Bible and pray in tongues to Him).

Speaking of fun events, Comic Book Resources (CBR.com) published a new article that caught my attention titled Coronavirus Could Be the Beginning of the End for Super Conventions. It caught my attention because I myself had attended several pop culture events, including the gigantic Comic-Con International in San Diego, California (AKA San Diego Comic-Con).

Let’s focus on this excerpt from Comic Book Resources:

Comic conventions long have been an integral part of fan communities. Before comic-book movies and TV shows were a multibillion-dollar enterprise, fans looked forward to these annual gatherings as a chance to be surrounded by people who shared their interests. They (were) a sacred place where fans could collectively celebrate something they were really passionate about.

And they were fun. Really fun. Fans from across the country would make the pilgrimage to get up close and personal with the writers and artists they idolized. It was a dream come true for members of what was then a tight-knit community.

Over the years, that’s all changed. The conventions that were so beloved by a small group of people have ballooned into massive undertakings, drawing thousands of people from all over the world. They’re not so much fan-driven conventions anymore as much as they are trade shows for the entertainment industry.

That’s not to say these super conventions aren’t fun in their own right; they absolutely are. They offer fans a chance to witness major announcements, take part in Q&A’s with their favorite stars and celebrate pop culture on an unprecedented level. They’ve become an annual staple for the promotion of the latest film and television franchise projects, and big names continuously turn up.

Now, however, with the justifiable closure of these conventions due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s unclear how much we really need these super conventions.

To put things in perspective, any convention that is focused on fun would not be possible without the strong interest of multiple fans or enthusiasts who are not only willing to make time to attend such an event but also bring a good amount of money with them and spend on their respective interests.

The San Diego Comic-Con in California, the New York Comic Con in New York, and the AsiaPop Comicon here in the Philippines all require paying a fee (for the ticket or badge) in order to enter the venue which has most entertainment events and booths that fans can go to.

When it comes to special activities, private screenings of trailers of upcoming blockbuster movies occasionally get organized as well as Q&A panel sessions with entertainers or industry professionals, press conferences and more.

However, we are now living in the age of social media, wide access to the Internet and smartphones which enable users to take pictures or videos in high-definition and upload them for people to see online. Think about it carefully.

What good is a closed-door press conference with celebrities when a fan in attendance can capture everything on video and beat the bloggers and members of the press by releasing content on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?

What good is a private screening (which restricts attendees from taking footage) of a trailer or a short scene from a highly anticipated blockbuster movie when such content will only be released by the movie studio on YouTube, Facebook and other sites where Internet users can watch for free at the comfort of their homes?

What good is a fan convention if attendees post pictures/videos of embarrassing moments (example: someone throws a pie on the face of a movie star in front of the fans) online within minutes and become viral?

What good is buying classic comic books at the comic convention when the comic publishers themselves failed to wipe out the widespread online piracy (note: entire issues of comic books in digital form) of their comics which people can find and read for free?

One key point here is that fan conventions and other fun-oriented events that attract a lot of people are slowly losing their relevance. Convention organizers will have to come up with ways not only to stay relevant, not only to ensure exclusive stuff in their event is truly exclusive, but also innovate and raise the convention’s overall quality.

Going back to COVID-19, it is clear that the said virus is highly infectious and this alone defeats the purpose of organizing a huge event for as long as the risk of infection remains. As of this writing, local authorities are struggling to clean and disinfect places. Killing the virus is a costly and time-consuming affair.

Recently, the 2020 edition of the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) had to be canceled due to COVID-19 which was a huge blow to many video game and technology companies that had signed up for the event. Microsoft, which was supposed to showcase their upcoming Xbox Series X console at E3, promptly announced it will organize a digital event instead.

Think about those words: digital events. Digital events can be done by companies to make a special presentation of their products or services in the form of a lengthy and detailed pre-recorded video or by organizing privately their showcase event (held in a venue that the company has all to itself) live via livestreaming. With the access of the Internet and the massive reach that social media provides, digital events can make fan conventions even more unnecessary. Digital events are also very useful for companies because they not only have complete privacy but also a lot more control in terms of creativity as well as amount of information to be released. This also spares companies from the hassles of crowd control as well as rampant questioning from members of the news media.

Together, COVID-19, wide Internet access and social media are factors that make organizing crowded fun-oriented showcase events more challenging than ever before. Why bother attending a local beauty pageant live in Parañaque City when viral infection, live-streaming and even crime incidents could happen?

Even after the end of this COVID-19 crisis, the community quarantine and regional lockdown, I foresee that it will take a lot more time before life really goes back to normal.

By then, I don’t think enthusiasm for crowded fun-oriented events would be restored to high levels immediately. Sports events, in my opinion, have a better chance of resuming given the nature of sports competition which remains very important with Filipinos. Other events like food fairs and shopping bazaars are more important to people in the local communities than beauty pageants or fan conventions. What people clearly want once this current crisis is over is worshiping the Lord together at church on Sundays.

Attending church is more essential than a crowded beauty pageant or a fan convention. There is no doubt about that!


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. 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: BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair plus Bazaar was a Fun Experience

Hey everyone! I want to share to you all that there is nothing like community building and social interaction through the organizing of an in-village event that emphasized food and beverages which brought people together. Which people specifically? The local residents, the non-resident visitors, government officials and the cooks and entrepreneurs who did their best offering food and drinks for sale.

That specifically happened during the recent BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair and Bazaar which was held on December 7 and 8 by the facilities (open-air basketball court plus the covered stretch nearby) just steps away from the village clubhouse along D.Jakarta street, BF NorthWest, BF Homes Subdivision, Parañaque City. For those who are new to this website, the successful event was previously published here (with an update on November 17).

20191207_164908.jpg
A portion of the food fair at the open-air basketball court of BF NorthWest.
20191207_173538.jpg
Food and beverage vendors selling at the covered section just beside the basketball court.

Before sharing my personal experiences and observations, I want to announce to you all that the BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair and Bazaar was, indeed, a big success pulled off nicely by the organizers such as the BF NorthWest Homeowners Association, Inc., the BF HomeSarap Facebook group (visit their group by clicking here) and other supporters and stakeholders.

According to BF NorthWest Governor-at-Large Lorea Miren, the 2-day event attracted between two hundred fifty to three hundred visitors and 90% of the vendors (whose food and beverage offerings were of good quality and nice variety) sold out! Speaking of visitors, the fair was visited on December 7 by Paranaque City Councilor Wahoo Sotto during the day while his fellow Councilor Jackie Bustamante-Mendoza (accompanied with her son) arrived during the evening. Wow! BF HomeSarap’s event was graced by two highly important people from the City Government!

20191207_175606.jpg
Parañaque City Councilor Jackie Bustamante-Mendoza (middle) with her son Juancho (left) and BF NorthWest Governor-at-Large Lorea Miren posed for this website during the evening of December 7.
20191207_172102.jpg
Special food by the bilao offered.

Apart from the organizing of the 2-day food fair and bazaar, a major factor in the event’s success was the wide variety of goods offered for sale by the sellers and makers who participated. According to Lorea Miren, many applied to be part of the fair and she and the organizers carefully curated what each seller offered before granting their approval. This was a painstaking process as the organizers aimed high with both variety and quality that consumers can benefit from.

In my personal experience of enjoying the food fair and bazaar, I can confirm to you all that the variety of the food and beverage products was great while the selection of non-food items (at the bazaar) was interesting.

For the food, there were burgers with fries, fresh meat, roasted pig from Cebu, brownies, potato chips, sushi rolls, fresh vegetables, comfort food in jars, buttered shrimp, chili garlic crabs, fruit jam, tuyo, Spanish-style sardines, grilled squid, barbeque, salted duck eggs, Angus beef tapsilog, pies, cereals, cookies, oatmeal bars, deli meat and a whole more! The variety was so great, there was indeed always something that someone can enjoy. The many food makers/sellers belonging to the BF HomeSarap FB group (whose founder Ditas Antenor personally monitored the event and kept in touch with the people) really delivered great stuff from their respective kitchen to the tables at the food fair! For the newcomers reading this, Antenor founded BF HomeSarap on the social network on April 2019 and, as of this writing, the FB group now has over eight thousand members!

20191207_173343.jpg
Comfort food in jars!
20191207_175146.jpg
This burger was tasty and filling.
20191207_173221.jpg
Cebu lechon caught the attention of many.

With regards to the non-food items that formed the bazaar, those items were not as numerous as the food but what was offered for sale was varied enough and interesting. There were clothes, bags, shoes, toys and other household items that were good enough for Christmas gift-giving. There were also some premium products such as imported thermal water bottles, kitchenware, fragrances, etc.

20191207_173244.jpg
Some interesting items for sale.
20191207_174557.jpg
Shoppers looking for the best deals.

My companion and I arrived at the food fair during the first hour of opening of the food fair on the afternoon of December 7. Together we had a nice time not just checking out the food for sale but also talking with the vendors who were gentle, helpful and informative to talk with. After buying some snacks and drinks, we sat at the available chairs and table and had a nice talk just as more people visited the food fair. I noticed that, as time passed, each vendor had guests to entertain and sold something to. There were also families, barkadas and others who visited checking out what were on sale, lining up to buy something and enjoy socializing. It was, indeed, a lively food fair that was driven by community interaction.

The next day, after attending worship at our church, I revisited the food fair and brought home some really tasty sushi rolls for lunch. Really tasty and fresh!

20191208_112455.jpg
Demand for Angus beef tapsilog was so strong, it got sold out!
20191207_172026.jpg
Nothing like ordering burgers and fries by the van!
20191208_113140.jpg
Fine food products nicely displayed.

Overall, the BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair and Bazaar was a big success and I personally had a nice time there. With a very nice variety of products to choose from and enjoy, the BF HomeSarap vendors (and the non-food item sellers) were not only pretty good but also deserving of being discovered. Truly the BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair and Bazaar is easily the most special food and beverage event of the entire BF Homes community (and even on the Barangay BF Homes level) for 2019.

Here are some good news: there is a plan to organize another BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair and Bazaar in the summer of 2020. That is something we should all look forward to. As such, to really be very updated and be able to reach out to the many food specialists, you are all encouraged to visit BF HomeSarap at https://www.facebook.com/groups/987695754755106/

And finally, here are some words from BF NorthWest Governor-at-Large Lorea Miren regarding the BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair and Bazaar that went from concept into an actually realized event.

“The BF HomeSarap Food Fair was one of those opportunities that allowed the sellers, organizers and anyone around us the chance to feel what a community affair can bring – home cooked food and the joy it brings. Thank you to all the sellers, who not only ‘brought it’, but rocked it!  For their ability to adapt, enjoy and show off their culinary talents,” Miren stated. “It takes one cook to have a meal, but it takes a community to serve it.”

20191208_112956.jpg
Walking through the tables of vendors in this covered section was always worth doing.
20191208_113131.jpg
BF HomeSarap Food Fair is a nice way for food makers and new entrepreneurs in the food industry to come out and reach out to new customers to help their business grow.
received_1439382896230263.jpeg
Nothing like being offered deli meat on the weekend. (photo contributed by Lorea Miren)

For more BF Homes community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

+++++

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

You can check out my varied marketing services (including Twitter boosting) right here.

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

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: Muntinlupa City to Implement New Traffic Scheme No Later than October 13

Since the start of the construction of the Skyway extension project on the evening of September 24, traffic got worse on the northbound lane of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). The result? The construction – which resulted eating up road space – made traffic more congested than before. As I drove on the way to the office in Laguna on September 25, I saw many vehicles (heading north) jammed together tightly from the Alabang viaduct up to around twenty kilometers going south in the jurisdiction of Laguna.

And then I later experienced the hardship of being in the traffic jam going back to Alabang that same day. The trip home took an additional one hour and twenty minutes for me.

The next day, it took me more than an hour again to reach Alabang from Laguna going home. Only this time, I took the exit to go to the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX), turned to Daang Hari and go to Alabang. On the other side of the SLEX, motorists traveling north took the exit going to the National Road of Muntinlupa. National Road is composed of only four lanes, take note.

As the Skyway operator confirmed that the project construction will last until late 2020, we the motorists have no choice but to accept the new reality that the worsened traffic will be the new normal along the SLEX.

The City Government of Muntinlupa noticed this problem. The construction also affected the East service road’s traffic which caused inconvenience to the businesses and residents who often travel there.

This is why today (September 30), the City Government formally announced the implementation of a one-way traffic scheme at the East service road no later than October 13. The purpose of this new move is to address, and hopefully ease, the heavy traffic motorists are experiencing.

Already a consultation was organized by Traffic Management Bureau chief Danidon Nolasco with representatives from San Miguel Corporation Tollways, EEI, transport groups, and subdivisions and companies situated the East service road.

Nolasco said SMC Tollways anticipate at least 14 weeks to finish the construction of the extension project with the currently imposed stop-and-go traffic scheme. He added that construction period will be reduced by half if a one-way traffic scheme will be enforced.

Motorists are advised that a northbound one-way traffic route will be implemented at the East service road from Alabang viaduct going to Sucat Interchange on or before October 13. While, the West service road and Baybayin will remain two-way in traffic as usual.

The representatives of the business establishments located in the area agreed to the new rerouting plan and requested that the new traffic scheme to be disseminated and implemented immediately.

As for the Skyway extension project along the East service road, EEI Project Manager Joe Ilagan said at least forty-one columns will be erected and the project’s bored piles and columns will be situated in between the service road and expressway. This is why road space is reduced resulting worse traffic on both the service road and the northbound lane of the SLEX.

The elevated toll road extension project from Sucat skyway off-ramp to Soldiers Hills, Muntinlupa is expected to be completed by December 2020.

Until that project is completed and traffic relief is realized, we motorists really have to adjust ourselves and be more patient using the SLEX. Heavy traffic obviously costs the nation’s economy (and us, the people) a lot of money and time. Imagine all the appointments, all the planned flights, all the opportunities get lost because SLEX northbound traffic prevented people from reaching their respective destination.

As the Christmas season approaches, vehicular traffic will get even worse due to the anticipated rise in business transactions related to Christmas-related spending. Take for example, the many commercial joints here in South Metro Manila. People will go out to the shopping malls (in Parañaque, Muntinlupa and Las Piñas), the bazaars and in BF Homes to buy items for gift-giving. Trucks will be going around to deliver food (example: catering), hardware and other ordered products.

Better start getting used to the new normal along SLEX. Plan your moves ahead of time as well.

My Observations: National Campus Press Freedom Day Signed Into Law Making July 25 A Declared Date Of Observation

July 25 of every year will mark the observation of National Campus Press Freedom Day in all educational institutions.

This is the result of Republic Act Number 11440 (National Campus Press Freedom Day Act) that was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on August 28 and it was only yesterday (September 10) that a copy of the document (which includes signatures of Senate President Tito Sotto and then Speaker of the House Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) was released to the media.

“It is hereby declared the policy of the State to promote, protect, and safeguard the constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of expression, speech, and of the press,” the law read.

“As part of media, the campus press is an important institution in promoting and protecting the freedom of the press and the freedom of expression. As a testament to its remarkable contribution in the continued advancement of these freedoms, the State shall, as a matter of policy, promote the observance of July 25 of every year as ‘National Campus Press Freedom Day’,” it added.

Under RA 11440, educational institutions are mandated to provide full support and assistance to the preparation of the annual program of activities and events to be conducted by students in observance of National Campus Press Freedom Day.

It remains to be seen, however, if the campus press (specifically the news publishing divisions) of academic institutions nationwide would warmly embrace RA 11440.

Another thing to point out is whether or not National Campus Press Freedom Day will add anything at all on inspiring student writers to learn better and improve their craft before graduating and searching for writing-related jobs.

On face value, the campus press is supposed to help students develop their skills in writing news, features and opinions, as well as verifying the facts. Such orientation is supposed to help these future professional writers find the right companies (that offer writing posts) for jobs from the national-level press right down to the local communities.

If you – the reader – are one of those aspiring to work professionally as writers in the near future, be aware that there are some local community publications around that prefer to publish propaganda (self-serving and promotional in nature) instead of practicing real journalism. The good news here is that there are lots of writing-related jobs offered by companies (including those founded by foreign investors) here in the Philippines that focus more on marketing, SEO (search engine optimization), client-specific documentation and other types of writing jobs that are different from journalism and propaganda.

You really want to work as a professional writer with a competitive salary and attractive benefits? Search for jobs in the corporate sector and the national-level media outlets.

In today’s world of social media and widespread wireless access to the Internet (with multiple Wi-Fi spots present nationwide combined with more Filipinos acquiring smartphones), accessing news online is gradually becoming the more preferred way for people looking for news. Going back to National Campus Press Freedom Day, we will find out soon enough if it will help improve the standards of students aspiring to be writers and news searchers.


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