20 June 2014


This structure where a clock is attached and fountain are one of the landmarks of Marikina City.
Marikina City, considered as the Shoe Capital of the Philippines. Aside from this known fact there are two things I would like to impart (if you have not been to Marikina) and remind you which can easily be translated in a word that is common to all of us but partially difficult to practice – discipline.

A typical afternoon in Marikina  City while waiting for the red light.
One. When in Marikina follow traffic rules especially if you are a pedestrian.

I remember when I told my father that I am going to Marikina for the first time he was very persistent in reminding me to be mindful of the traffic rules. It was like I am a first grader all over again. He lectured me about the traffic light: red for stop, green for go, and orange for be ready. “Do not cross if it is not a PED XING (pedestrian lane). I was glad I my father gave me a heads up. As it turns out the Marikina government is pretty much serious of implementing its rule and regulation.

There in the busy street near Marikina Sports Center, Marikina Wet and Dry Market, and a grocery store not too far, traffic lights  are erected (I lost count on how many were there). And in every post there are Traffic Personnel that will assist you in crossing the street or will catch you if you are jaywalking. If you are caught you will be given a fine (it is a payment for disobeying a certain rule) either you will pay or you will do a community service. Do not hate them it is there job. As a traveler you are bound to follow the rules of the place you are visiting. Besides, it is a common rule all over the world.

Two. When in Marikina do not litter.

This one I discovered on my own. While I was walking to the jitney terminal station I overheard one woman talking to a guy, “Ngayon, alam mo na bawal magtapon kung saan – saan ng basura dito sa Marikana.” (In English, “Now you know that it is not allowed to throw trash just as you wish here in Marikina.”)

I think that guy just paid his fine instead of doing a community service because he was in a hurry.

As a person who cannot cross streets without an aid this is great news. Oh, okay I can cross road lanes but it would take minutes before I reach the other side because I cannot calculate whether a driver is speeding or not even though there is a traffic light. I am literally afraid that cars would hit me. When in Marikina it is different, I can walk with ease because I know that there are still enough seconds before the cars go running.

With regards with the garbage rule I have completely no problem with it. Ever since I put my trash in my bag whenever I cannot find trash bins. I hate it when people just throw plastic wrappers outside the cars window or when they left their trash as if it a treasure and someone will get it.

How about you? Do you know common facts about a place that you think other people should be aware of?

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Maira Gall