On bicycles as a preferred mode of transport
Sharing this article on bicycles being the perfect mode of transportation. It is framed with respect to the concept of the 15-minute city. Here is the article:
Johnson, R. (April 19, 2023) “Embracing the 15-Minute City: 7 Reasons why Bicycles Are the Perfect Mode of Transportation,” Momentum Mag, https://momentummag.com/embracing-the-15-minute-city-7-reasons-why-bicycles-are-the-perfect-mode-of-transportation/ [Last accessed: 4/29/2023]
To quote from the article:
“Bicycles are aligned with the goals of sustainability and climate action, as they contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and congestion. In a 15-Minute City, where the focus is on creating sustainable and climate-friendly communities, bicycles can be a powerful tool to achieve these objectives. By promoting cycling as a viable transportation option, cities can reduce their carbon footprint, mitigate climate change impacts, and promote a greener and healthier way of living.”
On air quality in subways
I saw this article on Wired and immediately read it as the topic to me was interesting. I have been using when I lived in Japan in the 1990s and in Singapore in 2010-2o12. I have used the transit system in many other cities including in the US and Europe. And so the topic of air quality in subways (particularly the stations and inside the trains) got my attention. I guess this is not entirely an issue for ground-level and overhead systems like what most of Lines 1, 2 and 3 and the PNR are. Only Line 2 has one underground station (Katipunan Station) and perhaps has that issue. Here is the article about the air in subways:
Baraniuk (April 24, 2023) “The Filthy Truth About Subway Air,” Wired, https://www.wired.com/story/subway-air-health/ [Last accessed: 4/25/2023]
To quote from the article:
“The big unknown is whether all of this particulate matter is actually causing health problems for people. Millions of commuters use metro systems, in many cases for multiple hours a day, five days a week, for years on end. And thousands of transport workers spend even longer in the tunnels. But there are no widespread signs of severe or acute health problems among these populations, even if pollution levels in subways exceed recommended limits. Could there be more subtle, chronic effects, however—impacts on lung, brain, or heart function?”
Indeed, metros or subway systems have been operating for over a century and so far there is limited that we know about the health risks concerning their use by passengers. But this is something to keep in mind as the Philippines builds its first subway line in Metro Manila. The depots and the situation of workers thought may be a different matter. I recall one of my colleagues at the university doing a quick study of the Line 3 depot, which is underground (i.e., underneath the Trinoma Mall), and measurements showed the air quality to be quite bad. Imagine working there and being exposed to that everyday. Those conditions merit further study but require immediate action to improve working conditions considering the impact to health.
On sleepy drivers
I am sharing this article on sleep-deprived driving as there appears to be low awareness of the dangers of this behavior as opposed to the typical drunk driving or driving under the influence (DUI) cases that we often hear or read about in the news (mainstream or social media).
Britt, R.B. (April 18, 2023) “Sleep-Deprived Drivers Might as Well be Drunk,” Medium.com, https://robertroybritt.medium.com/sleep-deprived-drivers-might-as-well-be-drunk-887aab48c1c [Last accessed: 4/21/2023]
To quote from the article:
“A 2016 study by AAA linked lack of sleep in the past 24 hours to dramatically higher crash risk, in hour-by-hour increments:
6–7 hours sleep: 1.3 times the risk
5–6 hours: 1.9 times the risk
4–5 hours: 4.3 times the risk
<4 hours: 11.5 times the risk
The risk of a crash drops to zero if you simply stay off the road, of course. Otherwise, the bottom line is pretty clear:
“You cannot miss sleep and still expect to be able to safely function behind the wheel,” said David Yang, executive director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.”
So make sure you get your sleep because it is really important for you to function not just as a driver or rider. It also applies to other activities or tasks as well whether you’re working, studying or playing.
Been there, done that
A map share went viral the past week as people thought about the places they’ve been to. The map showed the provinces in the Philippines (there are other versions featuring maps of other countries like Japan) and you’re to determine whether you’ve lived there, stayed there, visited there, alighted there, passed there, or never been there. I am sharing my map here instead of on social media. My definition of ‘lived there’ is if I actually have a residence in the province. ‘Stayed there’ is if I at least spent the night there. ‘Visited there’ is more an excursion for me including making a stopover to have a meal. ‘Alighted there’ is a bit unusual for me since it should be the same as ‘passed there’. ‘Passed there’ for me is simply going through the province without stopping for a meal, to buy something, to take a few photos or a toilet break.
On bicycles and first responders
I am sharing this article on the use of bicycles by first responders, particularly the police for their work:
International Police Mountain Bike Association (April 11, 2023) “Why Bicycles are Great for Police and First Responders,” Policemag.com, https://www.policemag.com/patrol/news/15382905/why-bicycles-are-great-for-police-and-first-responders [Last accessed: 4/15/2023]
To quote from the article:
“The advantages of using bicycles in public safety include:
• Bicycles can easily penetrate crowds – in highly congested areas police, EMS, and security personnel on bikes can move around more easily than patrol cars and ambulances.
• Response time in heavy traffic is improved – during their trial period in Orlando, bike medics responded in less than one minute 55% of the time; less than two minutes 83% of the time; and less than three minutes 95% of the time; contrasted with an average of four minutes for motorized rescue units.
• Stealth advantage – bicycles give officers the “stealth advantage” – because they are silent. Cops on bikes can ride right up to the scene of a crime before they are noticed.
• Police, EMS, and security cyclists lead by example – promoting helmet use and bike safety to the community and its children.
• Bicycles are great for public relations – an officer or a medic on a bike is much more approachable than one in a patrol car or ambulance.
• Bicycle use promotes good health – and departments benefit from decreased healthcare costs.
• Bicycles are enjoyable – even occasional bike duty improves morale.
• Bicycles are cost-effective – the average cost per bike is approximately $1200, a fraction of the cost of a cruiser, an ambulance, or any other motorized vehicle – and the annual maintenance costs are low.
• Bicycles are environmentally-friendly – no fossil fuels or emissions, and less parking surface is needed.”
While there are no disadvantages mentioned in the article, the advantages are clear and can be assumed to outweigh the cons of using bicycles. This is especially true in an urban setting where the items mentioned above are applicable and surely gives police and other first responders an advantage. In the Philippines, where the image of a bad or corrupt police officer is one who has bulging tummy, more physically fit and approachable officers on bicycles will surely improve the image of the PNP and other traffic enforcers as well.
Quezon City’s Green Transport Office Bike Patrol
Motorela – Paratransit in Cagayan de Oro
Our recent trip to Cagayan de Oro reacquainted us with their paratransit. While they looked like tricycles at first glance, they are actually 4-wheeled. Instead of a motorcycle with side car (with one wheel), this is a motorcycle fitted with a body that has two wheels (total 4). These are called motorela, which look like the Thai tuktuk.
These can seat 9 passengers including the driver. The design though appears to put a lot of stress on the motorcycle due to the weight of the attachment plus the weights of passengers. Typical motorcycles are not built for these loads.
Departure via Mactan Cebu International Airport Terminal 2 – Part 2
In Part 2 of this short series (and a very late post at that), I share more photos at Mactan Cebu’s International Airport Terminal 2.
MCIA is equipped with modern bag scan machines
These are now installed in most major airports in the country but the first time I saw these outside of NAIA was in MCIA.
The long corridor from the final security check to the pre-departure areas
The terminal is spacious as can be seen in this photo (and in the previous Part 1).
There are many restaurants and cafes to choose from inside the terminal.
There are generic ATMs around the terminal for the convenience of travelers who might need cash or do other transactions using these machines.
Information counter in the middle of shops and restaurants
Souvenir shops have products mainly from Cebu. Others are from other provinces or regions but mostly from the Visayas.
Another shot of the information counter with the souvenir shop across from it
Cafe at the terminal just before the gates
There’s a nice ramen restaurant at the terminal. I will write about this but in another blog.
Premium lounge sign showing airlines whose passengers may use the lounge. Beside is a sign showing terminal guidelines including the wearing of face masks and the urge to regularly sanitize and practice physical distancing. This was over a year ago so perhaps they have a different sign at the terminal now.
A closer look as the premium lounge sign
A look at the entrance to the pre-departure lounge of Gate 20
A view of the terminal and the tarmac
Tube waiting for the next aircraft to dock
The modern design restrooms are clean and spacious.
I took this photo of the floors.
Drinking station near the toilets
A familiar shop is this WHSmith, which we used to see only in airports in other countries including Changi and HK.
A look at one of the Duty Free Shops at MCIA T2
A glance along the corridor shows most shops and restaurants open
Familiar brands like Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf have branches in the terminal
Burger King is beside this donut shop – the donuts are really good and I took home a box from this shop.
Gateway to the departure gates Terminal 2 cafe menu
Another look at the tube while waiting for our plane to arrive.
Other aircraft at the airport includes private planes and military aircraft from the adjacent air base.
I already mentioned that this is a late post. We traveled to Cebu back in July 2022 and perhaps many things have changed since then. The terminal’s features though should have few changes aside from having more people there as restrictions due to COVID-19 have been lifted. I just wanted to post this as a form of closure for an unfinished series featuring MCIA T2 before I start posting on other airports.
In-flight meals on board Philippine Airlines: MNL-SIN-MNL
Before I start posting about airports and air travel from more recent trips, I am posting on inflight meals on a recent international travel. Such meals are not usually served on-board domestic flight (you can pre-purchase for Cebu Pacific or purchase quick meals on the their flights).
Our first international flights since the onset of the pandemic in 2020 were supposed to be on Singapore Airlines. Inflight meals on board SIA are usually good as per our experience whether on Business Class or Economy. Unforunately, that trip didn’t push through due to a typhoon. We moved our trip and we flew Philippine Airlines instead. Here are our inflight meals on board Philippine Airlines.
My inflight meal tray included an appetizer, a bun and orange juice.
Pasta with chicken and vegetables
Beef with rice and vegetables
We were curious about the packaging for what looked like our dessert with our inflight meals.
And we were delighted about this being an Auro chocolate
Auro chocolates, I believe, currently are the best chocolates readily available on the market that are made in the Philippines via Davao.
I had chicken inasal (hidden under the carrots and broccoli) on the flight back to Manila.
More on inflight meals in future posts!
Bisikleta Iglesia – Visita Iglesia on a bicycle
I read this post shared by a former student-advisee about a Bisikleta Iglesia being organized in Quezon City. Here are some information I got from the post:
More details on their Facebook page:
Of course, if you’re more into longer distance rides and even older churches, there are other routes to consider around Metro Manila. Manila alone would have so many churches to include in a Visita Iglesia itinerary such as the Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church, Binondo Church, Sto. Nino Shrine, Paco Church, San Sebastián, Remedios, St. Jude, San Miguel and Quiapo (Black Nazarene). I will look for other itineraries shared and try to share them here before Holy Thursday. For those who are more adventurous, I share an old post (April 2019) about a bike able itinerary in Rizal:
Back to ‘old’ normal for air travel in the Philippines
Before we embark on another trip this week, I just wanted to share that it seems all is back to the old normal in as far as air travel is concerned in the Philippines. There are few, if any, exceptions based on what I and colleagues have experienced while traveling domestically. The only difference now from pre-COVID-19 air travel is that people are required to wear face masks inside the aircraft. Inside the airports, masks appear to be optional though most people wear them.
The March-April 2023 issue of Cebu Pacific’s Smile Magazine features places to go while in Tokyo, Japan, a popular destination these days as foreign travel restrictions have eased.
Cebu Pacific provides passengers with their Smile magazine on-board their aircraft. Philippine Airlines domestic flights don’t have magazines (unless they do on Business or First Class) for Economy passengers. I noticed also that PAL did not have duty free items on-board their aircraft (at least for the MNL-SIN-MNL trips we had recently). I know that other airlines have resumed duty free sales on-board so perhaps this is just a cost-cutting thing for PAL. Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific’s inflight shop is open and selling souvenir items on their domestic flights.