There are three ways to reach Bicol Region: By air, by sea, and by land. There are also three ways to travel by land: By train (which is currently being rehabilitated), by commuting, and, well yes, by South Road.

The term “south road” never dawned on me until a revered consultant and former NEDA Director, Tony Buenaventura, asked: Nag southroad kamo?

Earlier, I thought “southroad” refers literally to the road going to the south of Manila — that is, SLEX, then Maharlika Highway, then the Quirino-now-named Dinaya …err, Madaya …, err, An-daya Highway. Or, it could be a different route, I supposed, taking diversions and shortcuts. Pero pareho lang palan kan mga inaagihan kan mga bus. Hence, I realized the new meaning exclusive to the Bicolanos: Southroad means travelling to Bicol with a private car.


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