General Admission

TPLEx makes Baguio closer to home

By Al S. Mendoza

 

WITHOUT a doubt, the TPLEx (Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway) is making wonders, travel-wise.

It benefits mostly Manila-based motorists going up North and back.

Making business North-bound has become more profitable than before as time spent on the road has now been cut drastically.

The travel time gained by businessmen is translated tremendously into added profits due to more hours spent closing more deals than the usual.

The pluses are simply immense since the advent of TPLEx.

While I concede that NLEx and SCTEx were big blasts themselves for motorists for years now, it cannot be denied that the addition of TPLEx has made it a Grand Slam of expressways for North-bound trippers.

The hassles of long trips always get to the nerves and, irritatingly enough, they mostly deprive us of more valuable, worthwhile, things to do.

And with the opening of the TPLEx only a while back, things got better and better and better.

What used to be an excruciatingly 7-hour car ride from Makati to Baguio City is now radically reduced to a little less than five hours.

Makati to Baguio is roughly about 250 km.

From the toll booths past Balintawak up to Baguio is about 232 km only.

There is a big signage that you will not miss as you descend to Baguio’s Kennon Zigzag that reads: “FROM HERE TO MANILA VIA TPLEX: 3.5 HOURS.”

Right on the dot!

I had validated that myself when I motored home from Baguio only last Wednesday.

I left Baguio at 4:04 p.m. and I was at the NLEx toll booth at 8:06 p.m.

It would have easily been 3-1/2 hours were it not for the 2 pee stops at 2 Petron stations and a collision-caused jam involving one SUV and two buses near Angeles City.

What made it more a virtual cruise along the triple expressways was the opening of the Pozorrubio exit of TPLEx only last Dec. 6.

Travel time has been further cut to nearly 40 minutes.

One quaint reality produced by the opening of TPLEx exits at Urdaneta, Binalonan and now Pozorrubio: the Matutina’s Restaurant in Urdaneta has remained as strong as ever.

I thought Matutina’s would be empty, if not closed, on January 1.

Wrong.  It was packed to the rafters!

Baguio-bound motorists would exit in Carmen, Rosales, joining a sea of Matutina’s clientele on the first day of 2018.

I think it’d be that way even with the opening soon of the Sison exit, all the way to the final exit of TPLEx in Rosario, La Union.

My salutations go to San Miguel Corp. President/CEO Ramon S. Ang aka RSA for his heroic efforts at building the TPLEx.

With his admirable visionary inclinations, I will not be surprised if RSA would soon rehabilitate the Kennon Zigzag and make it one of the world’s wonders, equipping it with two state-of-the-art stopovers complete with restaurants high up the mountains.

I can’t wait to see the dream become a reality.

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