Lawton as the Terminal Capital of Manila

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Lawton Plaza was named after General Henry Ware Lawton. General Lawton was the highest ranking American official killed in the Philippine-American War. He was shot by a Filipino sharpshooter at the Battle of Paye in December 19, 1899.

Lawton Plaza was officially changed to Liwasang Bonifacio (after Philippine hero, Andres Bonifacio) in the 1970s. However, people have been so used to calling this place Plaza Lawton that the old name is still commonly used to this day.

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Today, Lawton is known to be one of the busiest districts in Manila. It is home to various public transport hubs plying to different places and provinces around Metro Manila. These public transport terminals include Park ‘N Ride, Light Rail Transit Central Terminal, Manila Multimodal Terminal and Pasig Ferry Lawton Terminal.

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These terminals are always filled with long lines of people, mostly students and office workers during afternoon rush hour. Alongside the exhaustion that the passengers are trying to bear, they also have to deal with heat because of poor ventilation in these terminals. Other than that, safety can be a problem in this area. There is a lack of police visibility and people, especially students who are in a hurry to go home, can be very prone to snatching.

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It is recommended that the officials make these Lawton terminals a safer and comfortable area for everyone who is traveling to or from their homes. Keep the area clear from potential snatchers or holdapers by making police power visible. Plus, provide better seats or waiting area for those who are waiting for their rides. Keep the waiting area properly ventilated. Also, it is better to strengthen the regulation of the terminal vehicles such as the vans, buses, jeeps and the ferries to keep causing too much traffic on its pathways.

   _MG_9817Lawton remains an important area in the city. It’s like this portal that will bring you to your desired destination. We don’t want that portal to close in any way. Why don’t we take care of it and keep it very much alive?

A Teacher’s Portrait

ILAYA

“The best thing about teaching is we mold, nurture and cultivate the child’s total personality from nothing to something and even everything of him. In teaching we teachers play critical roles in facilitating the achievement of total learning experiences of the child.” – Jane Putong

Mrs. Putong is a retired teacher since June 2013. She served as Master Teacher 1 in Rodriguez St. Elementary School and Master Teacher 2 in Pura V. Kalaw Elementary School that makes up her 42 years in service. More than anything in being a teacher, she’s most proud of being a journalism adviser for she believes she has helped mold the future deliverers of truth. Today, Mrs. Putong continues to teach, but this time she imparts the teachings of Jesus with the members of Handmaids of the Lord as a household leader/facilitator. Other than being a teacher, Mrs. Putong is known for her elegance and love for white.

“The challenge in teaching is to make the students: problem solvers, cooperative workers, self starters, information managers, flexible thinkers and effective questioners. But when you achieve it, it’s all worth it.” – Jane Putong

Padyak

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(Photos by Racel Jamisola and Kimberly Ilaya)

“Salot.”

“Abala.”

Those are the words we usually use to describe what was once a unique and adored ride on the streets of Manila, the Pedicab. But this cycle rickshaw has been through a lot already to catch up with life and is still continuing to stamp its feet to keeping going. But what’s the need for it to keep moving?

A lot of people say that it’s good for nothing, a cause of delay and disorder on an already jammed road of this big city. This isn’t a lie. There is too much variety of vehicles existing in Manila and these little ones are being redundant. For a single small street, there are at least 10 pedicabs lined up but only 2 or 3 will be working. The others will remain at rest there and will be turned into beds. That’s 7 pedicabs taking up parking space for 4 or 5 cars. That’s 7 pedicabs with 7 drivers loitering and lingering the streets!

In fact, according to the Manila City Hall officials, there are an estimated number of at least 10,000 pedicab drivers plying in the city of Manila. However, only around a thousand is said to be registered. The most number of them can be found in Divisoria, Malate and Intramuros.

So, we’ll go back to the question, why do these little vehicles need to endure? Are they entirely bad to our society? Well, they are not a bad idea, not at all. In 1991, they were actually first used in Manila to be an ease with the sudden increase of gasoline after the Gulf War. Today’s situation isn’t far different from at that time. Besides, pedicabs endure mainly because a big part of this city’s population is under the poverty line and “Padyak” is one of the limited decent jobs they are capable of.

The true problem here is isn’t the pedicab itself but the governing system that is supposed to be properly implemented on them by the people on the position. In Manila, there are six ordinances enacted since 1991 covering the regulating and revenue earning mechanisms. However, these ordinances do not consider provisions for Non-Motorized Transportation facilities like terminals. Likewise, pedicab operation is not governed by any national policy. How can you expect order without really working for order and organization at all?

Our idea of good transportation is mobility and accessibility in a safe and environment friendly mode. It seems to be difficult to achieve considering that the people of Manila have different needs and demands depending on their varied income group level. Yes there are local policies enacted for the betterment of the pedicab industry, but nothing has really been done with it.

On the bottom line, it is recommended for government officials to make better plans for the improvement of the overall transport system in the city through integration. Starting this with a small transport mode like the pedicab is a good way to set things right. No one specifically needs to wish for pedicab to stop existing because it’s like asking the poor drivers to be thieves rather than to be your companion while riding around the beautiful city of Manila.