If you have been in Hong Kong or San Francisco once, then you might have seen their own tranvias still running, enduring the test of time. Manila had a working and efficient tranvia system, I daresay more extensive than the current LRT-MRT system we have today. The war and the emergence of the jeepney will ultimately kill any moves to revive the lines. Manila’s streetcar system was started out by a Spanish Public Works official Leon Monssour, apparently inspired by the same streetcar systems in New York and Paris. He envisioned a five line network with a central station in Intramuros and radiating out of the walls, to Plaza San Gabriel, to Malate Church, to Malacanang, to Sampaloc and to Tondo. His proposal was submitted to Madrid and found favor there, the problem is an entrepreneur’s initiative (who said PPP is new?). And that entrepreneur surfaced out to be Jocobo Zobel de Zangroniz, along with engineer Luciano M. Bremon and Madrid Banker Adolfo Bayo, they formed La Compania de Tranvias de Filipinas, and the concession was awarded to them. The system was built from 1885-1889, the Malacanang line was not built but the Malabon Line was instead built. Of the five lines, four operated using horse drawn streetcars and the Malabon line operated on steam. The entry of electricity, industrialization and Americans will trigger a significant change in the tranvia system. Increasing population and economic activity rendered the old horsedrawn streetcars obsolete, and by 1902 the American Government invited bids for the establishment of an electric streetcar system, though this was published in the Philippine Islands and in the US, only one bid was submitted. This is the build of Charles Swift of Detroit, upon award of the bid, he formed the Manila Electric and Rail Company, Meralco. By 1913, the system has now 9 lines, out of the originally planned 12, with an extension from Paco to Fort McKinley (Taguig). The system will serve Manila and its suburbs until 1943, when electricity run out of the city because of the Japanese Occupation. The tranvias will be destroyed in the War, leaving only the ruin tracks as a reminder that Manila back then had an excellent transport system. Some of the tracks are still seen in Divisoria, waiting perhaps for an interested investor for the revival of the system. But only recently, the DOST and UP started to jointly developed an Automated Guideway Transport System inside the Diliman Campus. The AGT lines inside the campus serves as the laboratory for future improvements for our mass transport systems, if expansions, prototype models or improvements must be warranted. For instance, the current LRT and MRT designs are not that very suitable to narrow and unexpandable urban roads, just see the Taft Avenue and EDSA for example. The DOST project might be the savior our long lost tranvia lines are waiting for. For the news, click here.
THAILAND: From the National Geographic Channel’s Hooked Follow Up,”Kik” Rujirot Phanpraphat (left) caught an estimated 6.5 feet and 265 lbs. Siamese carp with a rod and line in Bung Sam Lan Lake, Thailand.
♫Ang pangalan ko ay Manny, Manny, Manny.♪ ♫Ang dami ko ng money, money, money♪ ♫tinalo ko si Mosley, saya saya ni Jinkee.♪ ♫Ang dami ko ng cha-ching, cha-ching.♪ ♫Ang dami ko pang ba-bling, ba-bling,♪ ♫Ang yaman na ni Freddie, may pang ballroom na si mommy.♪♪
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The space shuttle Endeavour blasted off Monday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida; it’s the final flight for Endeavour and the next-to-last shuttle flight for NASA. Endeavour’s commander is Mark Kelly, husband of wounded U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was at the space center for the launch. After this flight, Endeavour will be sent to its new home at L.A.’s Exposition Park.
“Love is as much of an object as an obsession, everybody wants it, everybody seeks it, but few ever achieve it, those who do will cherish it, be lost in it, and among all, never… never forget it.”—Curtis Judalet (via salveo)