THE GREAT PHILIPPINE RETURN!
It had been six years since I last step foot in the Philippines, a combination of a few things leading to the break.
Like the last run, it was to be only short. Eight days was my limit and much had to be packed into this time. A 20th anniversary party, catching up with many friends (new and old) and time out photographing the transport.
Transport wise, not a huge amount has changed over the past six years.
The national railways (PNR) struggle on with little government funding and the overhead systems struggle to cope with patronage well beyond that which they were designed for.
Services to Calamba, touted by PNR back in 2011, have still yet to eventuate. As does the return of the Bicol Express.
LRT1 and MRT3 are still not connected, either direct or through a common station. While a whole fleet of Chinese vehicles mean't for the MRT3, still langish at the north end of the system, awaiting the day they can be laced in service to assist with the ridiculous peak hour crowds.
Point to Point (P2P) buses have become a popular part of the Philippine transport scene, but they are subject to the same horrid traffic problems as the normal services are.
I am currently working of a trip report, a link for which will appear here. However, over the coming weeks the Semi-Retired Foamer will be showing many of the shots taken during this momentous event.
We start with Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport prior to departure.