It is true that walking is a very big help to improving your health and overall well-being. Walking is the easiest exercise every working person can get during their busy days. While walking in other countries is highly recommended, walking in Manila, Philippines isn’t always good—especially when passing through streets with heavy traffic.
Facebook user Mico Taberdo is now the talk of the nation after he walked 20 km for eight hours from his school to his Quezon City home. Why did he do it? Apparently, the 20-year-old Advertising Arts student from the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) did it for a school project, documenting his journey on a vlog. He first intended to create an advertisement about a certain brand of bottled water as the assignment was for a product ad.
But instead of creating a short ad as a school requirement, his journey turned out to be an eye-opening message for the government and citizens of Metro Manila. He saw many things that need to be improved and changed to have a better environment for many pedestrians.
To get to his family residence in Fairview, Quezon City, Mico needed to go through the metro’s busiest thoroughfares: España, Quezon Avenue, Commonwealth, Regalado and Quirino. “Google said it would take me four hours and 30 minutes to get home on foot,” he told the Inquirer. “I thought it would be easy.”
However, it was far from easy. He had to squeeze in through crowded sidewalks and narrow passages, braving the heat and the air pollution, avoiding pits left open by construction workers, and came across at least 17 dogs.
“I was really forced to get off the sidewalk and use the road instead because of the parked cars and construction work,” he said. “I think I even jaywalked across G. Araneta Avenue because the overpass was left unfinished.”
Mico also took note of the blocked ramps supposedly meant for persons with disabilities. Some of the ramps had even electric posts barring the way.
“There were so many obstacles, and pollution really greeted me at Commonwealth Avenue from Quezon Memorial Circle,” Mico recalled. The sun was already about to go down when he arrived home at 5:15 p.m. He started walking at 9 a.m.
His video immediately garnered attention from fellow users, which gained thousands of likes and shares in just a matter of hours. But for Mico, the experience was an eye-opener that he wanted to share with other fellow Filipinos, in hope to raise awareness.
“When I took up the challenge, I initially thought of the children who would cross mountains and rivers just to attend school,” he said. “Now I feel a stronger connection with those who have such daily struggles. I hope our roads would become more conducive to walking so that many people would be encouraged and see this as a solution to traffic.”
“I think many were able to relate to the video because, at a certain point, all of us thought about our daily commute and asked: ‘What if I just walk home?’”