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Top Gear Philippines

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

Remember this date: September 8th, 2015. That's the day traffic in Metro Manila ground to a paralyzing halt from the afternoon rush hour until past midnight. The reason? It rained...hard.

From Quezon City to Alabang, both motorists and pedestrians were part of this one big frozen picture of helplessness, an unfortunate development on the second day of the Highway Patrol Group's much-praised takeover of EDSA. As floodwaters rose in crucial areas, vehicles got bottled up with no alternate routes presenting a possible escape. The appalling gridlock was such that even the normally sharp Waze got befuddled like a corrupt government official being grilled at a Senate inquiry.

Meanwhile, hundreds--perhaps thousands--of pedestrians lined the streets desperate to hitch a ride home. Many of them opted to wade knee-deep water just to make forward progress.

We left our office on Pioneer Street in Mandaluyong at 8pm for a 9pm Rolls-Royce event in Makati City. After 50 minutes, we finally emerged from the cloverleaf on Boni Avenue, and had to now crawl along EDSA together with honking cars manned by incredibly vexed drivers. We decided to turn back by making a right onto the opposite cloverleaf road. We had dinner in the area before going back to the office. By the time we got back, it was already 11pm. A good three hours of our time had been flushed like the cheap dimsum beer drinkers like consoling themselves with after realizing the memory of a paramour cannot--will not--drown in alcohol.

Nevertheless, we knew we were still in a much better position than most. And that, friends, is what living in Metro Manila has been reduced to: being grateful that only three hours of your life went down the drain.

Photos from Kent Ocenar, Bernard Pundik, Jaypee Luga, Micah Mutia, Cris Picasso de Guzman, Enritheka Isa, Gim Montano, Paolo Malig, Benedict Exconde, Fre De Rick, Renz Gawat, John Ram, Dexter Don Cacatian, Mina Cruzada, Ela Florendo, Paulo Rivera, Francis John Gesmundo Tapawan, CJ Basallote, Arvin Repol, Isiah Jonas Ranos, Jay Lago, Angelo Ballesteros, Gian Carlo Mirasol, TJ Lorete, Juanito Dylan DS, Mark John Edison Nuñez, Joseph Salonga, Kat Gagui, Dolf Viaje, Ervin dela Torre, Jenjen Velasquez and Garry Cruz

 

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

September 8, 2015, Metro Manila traffic

Vernon B. Sarne
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