Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Detour

In countries around the world where government officials are chosen through reasonably fair democratic elections, the politicians share one common attribute; they wish to be reelected and desperately try to convince the voters to put them back into office.

It's easy to see that this is an election year in Philippines. Through out the country, money to repair roads and bridges has miraculously appeared in government budgets. Before you folks in the United States become too smug, let's look at the situation there. Every election year, politicians promise to release funds for repairing the infrastructure when they are reelected. They're put in office and the repairs are not made. In 2008, Obama made repairing the infrastructure a major objective. Now, 8 years later, Hillary Clinton is making the same promise because the infrastructure is in need of repair. At least in Philippines, the roads do get repaired every four years.

One such repair job being done now is on a bridge between our apartment and the Poblacion area of the town. A temporary wooden bridge has been erected to allow passage via motorcycle or foot. Cars, trucks and tricycles have to choose an alternate route.

The most obvious route is taking the road going in the opposite direction toward the highway at Maslog. It's not exactly convenient.

Signs have been posted showing an alternate detour going from Cangmating to Poblacion. Cathy and I accidentally came upon that route months ago before the construction began on the bridge. The distance is shorter than going through Maslog, but unfortunately it's not a viable option. Only about 1/4 of the road is paved. The remaining 3/4 is very bumpy and I'm sure it's not good for an auto's suspension. I suppose if one were driving a company delivery truck where the vehicle's suspension was not your problem it could be different, but the road is too narrow for large trucks to travel.

Last year, the Via Crucis walk went from the church in Poblacion through Magatas and back to the church. The original plan for this Good Friday was to walk from Poblacion through Cangmating. This would have put the walk going past our apartment. The bridge work put a stop to that plan. The vehicle leading the Via Crucis can't finish the route. Not only that, but having the hundreds - if not thousands - walk across the narrow wooden bridge wouldn't be safe. This year, the Via Crucis will follow last year's route through Magatas.

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