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Olongapo-Castillejos Road: Subic

May 2012
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I took the following photos en route to the venue of our annual planning workshop. This year our office went to San Antonio, Zambales and our trip allowed me to photograph road conditions and characteristics along the Olongapo-Castillejos Road, which is a national highway. Like most Philippine highways, one will notice the operations of the ubiquitous tricycle, a motorized three-wheeled paratransit mode popular and dominant in many towns and cities.

City limits – boundary of Olongapo City and Subic municipality with one of the most colorful arches I’ve seen along a national road

Rounding the curve – some congestion due to the slow-moving trailer carrying a backhoe/excavator

Passing distance – a platoon of vehicles passes the slow-moving truck. With no vehicles along the opposing lane, many vehicles succeed in the passing maneuver

Regional buses – including mini-buses tend to stop anywhere along their routes and tend to cause congestion like pedicabs, tricycles and jeepneys

The real Subic – Municipal hall of Subic town. People always refer to Subic as the former US naval base; the area of which was carved out from the provinces of Zambales and Bataan. In reality, no part of the Subic Freeport is in Subic town and the name comes from the bay rather than the town.

Good roads – the roads along the national highway were mostly in good or excellent condition including those in the CBD or bayan

Busy streets – traffic was relatively heavy along the highway at Subic

Mixed traffic – aside from the typical jeepneys, tricycles and motorcycles everywhere, there were a significant number of buses and trucks

Parade of tricycles – like most towns around the Philippines, roads are often dominated by local traffic most especially tricycles that are used for public transport in even large cities

Air conditioning? – we came upon this tricycle carrying a block of ice (apparently purchased by a passenger) and wondered what would be left of the block once they reach their destination

Open road – past Subic town center, traffic was already very light

No overtaking – many sections along the road featured a solid orange-yellow line along the middle of the highway that should be understood as no overtaking. Shoulders are also clearly marked by the solid white lines on either side of the carriageway

Curvature – overtaking is discouraged along curves as sight is limited and therefore restricts drivers’ and riders’ capabilities to properly discern opposing vehicles.

Passing sight distance – the view from our position as we prepared to pass a slower moving vehicle in front of us illustrates sufficient PSD for us to succeed in our maneuver. Note the perceived distance between us and the vehicle in the opposing lane.

Clear for take-off – such scenes along low traffic volume highway sections around the country and elsewhere seem to invite drivers to speed up.

Bridge before the boundary – I didn’t pay attention enough to see the name of the bridge and had to google it. Pamatawan Bridge allows people to cross the Balaybay River in Zambales. Just after the bridge and visible downstream from our position in the photo is the arch welcoming travelers to the Municipality of Castillejos.

Municipal boundary – like many others across the country boundaries are marked by arches like the one in the photo welcoming travelers to Municipality of Castillejos. This one though is among the more appropriate ones given the town’s name, which translates to “small castle.”


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