Commuter walkways in Metro Manila: The highs and lows of overpasses, underpasses

May 4, 2018 - 5:28 PM
Some of what make the Ortigas Overpass a welcome part of commuters' daily routine: a covered walkway and plants HANDOUT PHOTO

Commuting in the busy metropolis is an everyday woe for the city’s 10 million residents. But for some, there are looked-over corners in the concrete jungle that provide some comfort and convenience.

Art under the heart of the CBD

A RedditPH thread about the Makati underpass system in the city’s  central business district pays tribute to the underground walkway.

One user who used to pass by the underpass during her previous employment looked upon the walkway with fondness, remarking that each underpass “had its own character.”

Some also discussed the murals in the walkway. The murals are the product of a 2015 project by the Makati Commercial Estate Association and Shell, where students artists from around the country were commissioned for the artworks.

The murals have landed the Makati underpasses on travel guides such as this one.

A book lover’s nook in the Manila City Hall underpass

The underpass connecting the Manila City Hall and Intramuros, also known as the Lagusnilad, is a special case. For the majority, it might be the worst underpass in the city due to the pollution and high crime incidence.

A online petition has been circulated asking for Manila City Mayor Joseph Estrada to remove the stands illegally put by vendors along the walkway.

But despite the complaints thrown against the underpass, some see the beauty amid the decay.

A Twitter thread from 2017 discusses a secondhand bookstore in the underpass where beloved literary classics can be found.

Safety and comfort in the Ortigas overpass

The newly-built set of overpasses in the Ortigas Center meanwhile provide some comfort for travel-weary commuters.

Installed just least year, the new set of covered elevated walkways are wide enough to accommodate the high volume of commuters in the area. Plants are also lined along the walkway, providing pedestrians with a literal breath of fresh air amid the hustle and bustle of the city.

It also boasts of a new extravagant feature: a large fountain complex that lights up at night.

Runway Manila: A footbridge unlike any other

Opened in 2017, Runway Manila is different from the usual pedestrian overpass in the metro.

The 220-meter enclosed and airconditioned overpass can hold up to 2,000 people at a time, and includes moving walkways and elevators to help passengers move around.

Runway Manila bridges the Newport City complex and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal-3. Conceived so as to spur tourism, it costs P1.9 billion to make.

Since then, restaurants and food concessionaires have also set up shop in the walkway. It currently has a perfect 5.0 score based on ten reviews on travel assistance app Trip Advisor.

The Notorious Don Antonio Overpass

While it provides a good vantage point for photography afficionados, the footbridge in the Don Antonio area along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City is the source of a lot of commuter horror stories.

One Facebook user recently related how her phone was pickpocketted while crossing the footbridge.

Other Facebook users have shared their experience losing valuables, such as in the case of this one post all the way back from 2012.

One user meanwhile shared heartbreaking footage of what a trip across the footbridge is like. He puts the spotlight on beggars camping on the bridge, pleading for local authorities to help them.