Memphis Marriott Downtown
March 10, 2008
This post was inspired by my long drive from the Mississippi Gulf Coast to Memphis, Tennessee yesterday. The whole drive took about seven hours covering about 400 miles (1 mile = 1.6 kilometers) including one stop to fill up my truck's gas tank (~28 gallons), pick up some guides and maps at the first Tennessee welcome center, withdraw money from my bank's ATM, and stop at a rest area. I wanted to take some pictures of the drive but my camera ran out of battery. Anyway, at the highways (Interstate Highway 10, MS Highway 49, and Interstate Highway 55) I drove, most of the vehicles I saw were cars, pick-up trucks (called trucks here), SUVs, minivans, and 18-wheeler truck-trailers. A lot of people are traveling as well as goods and materials are being transported across state boundaries. These are signs of domestic travel and interstate commerce.
While driving, I kept thinking about highways and roads in Mindanao. Road conditions, driving distances, vehicle types, travel time, rest areas, gas stations, restaurants, lodging places, tourist attractions, etc ...... What about at night, is it safe to travel and transport goods and materials in the roads of Mindanao? Merchants and producers need to deliver their products to various destinations or points of sale or consumption on time to provide for the orders of their customers. People need to arrive at their destinations on time for personal or business reasons to fullfill their commitments to friends, relatives and clients.
During our last visit to the Philippines in 2006, we did some traveling by public transport. Charter bus trip from Caticlan, Aklan to Tigbauan, Iloilo and from Bacolod to Dumaguete. These trips were different from the ones I made with public buses from Zamboanga to Pagadian, Pagadian to Linamon, Iligan to Cagayan de Oro, Cagayan de Oro to Butuan between 1986 and 1988. We stopped in one town about two hours from Dumaguete to buy coffee and have cigarette and restroom break. The children did not make it in the public restroom while the private restroom of the local bakery was not available for public use. We decided to stop in a dark spot somewhere in the highway to have the restroom break sometime before midnight.
In late 1960s to early 1970s, I also remember the trips I made from Marawi to Iligan, Marawi to Malabang, Ozamis to Dipolog, Iligan to Pagadian, Pagadian to Zamboanga, Iligan to Cagayan de Oro, Cagayan de Oro to Butuan, Parang to Cotabato, Malabang to Kapatagan (via the tunnel), Maluso to Isabela, Cagayan de Oro to Manolo Fortich, and many more. I do not remember the buses traveling at night in those areas. I suppose these buses do not travel at night nowadays for obvious reasons.
Highways, roads and streets are the links between suppliers and buyers of manpower, materials and finished products. They link up surplus regions with deficit regions. Should you travel the roads of Mindanao next time, please share you exprience for us to know more about them. Thank you.