160-pound Run in Pictures

So I got tagged on Facebook during the recent 3K fun run. 

I could use some weight loss. (Image from Facebook)
Smile, it’s a fun run. (Image from Facebook)
Two laps around the scenic Nuvali lake. 
Not gold but feels like one.

Credit for the first two image goes to those who shot it during the event. Thanks!

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Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Taking a dip with the in-laws today.)

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Green and Go

So apparently the continuing number of clueless drivers falling victim to the Nuvali trap, plus maybe the accompanying rude honking from those queueing behind, has gotten the attention of whoever are in charge of its traffic management systems. The other night I noticed that they modified the traffic light configuration that would now allow a stress-free drive to the famous Nuvali lake.

Drivers turning left from Nuvali Boulevard to  Evozone Avenue now face a green light instead of the previous red which in effect eliminates countless moments of embarrassment for those stuck confused in the middle of the channelization islands. Good job. Problem solved, yes? Not quite. 

The ‘should I stay or should I go’ dilemma now has new owners. This time the unfortunate drivers are those exiting the Solenad 2 area as they would be looking up at one red light and a green light at the same time at some point of the traffic signal sequence. These lights were once in synced but in an attempt to resolve the original Nuvali trap the traffic admin inadvertently caused another. So how to go about this? That closest light in front of you is your signal. Pay attention to it if you’re the first at the intersection and please be considerate if you are behind one confused guy. Don’t honk if you can help it.

Those red lights spell trouble. This is from the perspective of those coming from Solenade 2.

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After more than five years of observing people sweat it out in Nuvali, I finally got the chance to run in here. This Friday I found myself in a 3K fun run around the Nuvali lake as our company kicks off its annual sports activities. It was a run against all odds but it was one good run. This event made me realize that I could actually run coming from a night shift and while nursing a leg injury which I got from my last run in February.  If or when my leg improves, I would surely do another post  graveyard shift run soon.

My first Kinesio tape was worth it.

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Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Survived my 2nd Saturday at work.)

Driving: All About Law And Culture

Man has the ability to adapt. It’s the main reason evolution happened and continues to happen. To survive we adapt to change–consciously or not–, whether it’s change in environment, social or financial status, weather, or technology. Name any factor and normally we would see anyone adapt to it one way or another. Such inherent nature to adapt is also true in the way we drive.

In the Philippines, our beloved country, law and culture play a big role in the orderliness–or the lack of it–of our traffic flow. Everyone I’m sure would agree that day in day out we would shake our heads in despair somewhere some time during our daily commute. As a stimulus, the chaotic traffic sends our brain looking for answers, answers we may not find but we seek nonetheless. We are that desperate that more often than not  we start using techniques we use in problem solving sessions at work while stuck between smoke belching buses, sneaky motorcycles, unruly pedestrians, inconsiderate drivers, and non-performing enforcers. Nothing sucks so much energy than bad traffic, second are bad bosses.

It is a known fact that we live in a country with so many laws yet a few of which are implemented to a tee. Whatever the reasons behind the ongoing transgression we may not know although corruption would definitely be one. Does the word bribery ring a bell? Our dear governing traffic bodies down to the policemen and to the deputized enforcers still have a lot to be desired.

Then there’s that one thing strongly ingrained in our culture. One that works both in our favor and against us is what we call diskarte.  While diskarte is among the many Filipino words that have different English equivalent, you’ll know it once you see it happen. Diskarte is what makes that couple sandwich their infant while on a motorcycle–or worse, e-bike and without helmets. Diskarte is why our buses are packed and why the drivers would still pick passengers, not to mention anywhere they’d find an opportunity to do so. Diskarte is why we see colorum vans. Diskarte is why  flying coffins–commonly jeepneys–exist and why professionals continue to patronize it as their means of transportation to and from work despite the risks. Diskarte is why some logistics companies overload their trucks despite poorly maintained brake systems. The list is almost endless.

It is everyone’s wish that time would come when we see our traffic conditions improve. When? Your guess is as good as mine. Until such time people behind the LTO, LTFRB, PNP, and all other related agencies seriously gather their heads and balls (no pun intended) altogether then we can just continue to expect to witness circus, chaos, and diskarte happening all around us and all we could do is keep our fingers crossed that at the end of the day we return home unscathed. We just have a looong way to go until the time we see a much more civil driving environment.

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Last night I was behind one vehicle stuck in the Nuvali trap. It was an SUV but it doesn’t look like the one that had me looking like an ignoramus the first time I made the mistake so I passed it without any fuss but the next cars weren’t as forgiving. Looks like this trap is going to embarrass more clueless drivers.

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I recently installed an app from called Sketch by Sony Mobile Communications and it is what I used to create the image above. The app has features I didn’t expect like the capability to do layers. It was what got me busy yesterday while waiting for Marcus finish his day’s physical therapy. The app is available on Google Play Store.

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Mood: 1/10 Honks! (Survived another week at the place that of all things it should not lack is a working speaker set.)

The Nuvali Trap

I am beginning to memorize the sequence of these lights. I seem to have figured out the interval when the other turns on and when the other turns off. In a matter of three days I have observed the exchange of green, amber, and red along with the number drivers who made their own share of embarrassing moments while stuck clueless in the middle of this road intersection just a few meters away from our building. This has become my personal entertainment whenever I take a sanity break from the blinding desktop monitor and the nauseating call recordings.

Social media have exposed lots of bad drivers, thanks to the popularity of dashcams and their equally eager owners who either would have the clean intention of correcting a mistake or just have their own share of viral videos no matter how trivial it is. Whatever the intent may be, in the right hands, all these are data that could be used to improve our road conditions and eventually the flow of traffic. But is technology friend or foe?

The answer depends on whom you are asking. Try the drivers who have fallen victims to what I’ve started to call the Nuvali trap. The intersection in this area has a configuration wherein there is a wide channelization island. According to Massachusetts Department of Transportation, these islands are meant to control traffic or provide pedestrian refuge especially in a busy crossing. Those who know how Nuvali would get packed with cyclists, runners, motorists, and pedestrians and sleepy call center agents during the peak hours would understand the importance of these channelization islands.

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Street view during the ongoing installation. (Image from Google.)

For more than five years, this particular intersection never had a traffic light. Flow of traffic was mutual. The sign We Share The Road At Nuvali was more than enough. Traffic incidents were confined to fender benders as far as I’m concerned. But this popular weekend venue would soon get busier than before. Installing traffic lights therefore becomes a must. And this is when the awkward moments start to happen.

nuvali20street20view2_zpsanktjqiq
The Nuvali trap is in the middle of two channelization islands. That traffic light has been the cause of awkward moments.

Drivers prematurely stopping at this intersection have been common since they activated the traffic lights. It’s easy to blame driver’s competency or even the corrupt LTO.  Or even Duterte just to spark fire with the trolls. But I would understand any driver who points a finger at the presence of the wide channelization island as the factor to the Nuvali trap. The width of the islands gives the perception that the driver faces another red light and needs to stop even if just a second ago he came from a legit left turn. Trust me, the dilemma to cross or not is real.

I know this for a fact because I made the same booboo which is the very reason I’ve been frequenting the smoking area even if I neither smoke nor vape just so I could observe if I’m alone in this embarrassing moment or not. I’ve checked my Facebook and thankfully none has posted a video of a confused bald driver somewhere in Nuvali. Thanks to you SUV driver who flashed your headlight behind me as if you were having diarrhea. Now I understand. Please accept my apologies. Blame the Nuvali trap.

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Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Stuffs we left in the US have arrived.)