Buses, bridges, and trains

[Photo source: newsline.ph]

By Joe America

If you live in the Philippines, you live on an island. You can’t get on a freeway and blast across the nation like you can on Interstate 10 in the US. Island living is delightful because there are so many beaches. It is problematic because everything from gasoline to mother-in-law coming to visit means hopping from one island to another. It is inconvenient, it is expensive. Especially mother-in-law.

Well, the national government feels your pain. A national bridge-building program has been proposed that will create a national land transportation network that is awesome for its ambitions.

The program is explained by Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III via The Daily Inquirer article “Gov’t to build key bridges worth P270B“. Eight major bridges connecting Luzon to Mindanao and to the Western Visayas (Cebu, Bohol).

If I read the article correctly, the bridge projects will be presented for approval to the NEDA Board individually so some may drop out if they examine the financial benefits versus costs carefully. All will of course fall within the master plan for bridges and so have some “reason for being” other than just cost benefit.

I wonder about the feasibility of building these bridges. Four of the bridges are between 18 and 25 kilometers long. They may be bridges or they may be tunnels. They don’t know yet. I’m skeptical. For one thing, I visit Cebu and that city is a rat’s nest of congestion that rivals Manila. Will a highway connection to Leyte via Bohol relieve that congestion or add to it? What exactly will the highway bring to Cebu? Cheaper products because of reduced transportation costs?

It will make Leyte a hub of the interconnected highways from Luzon to the north via Samar, south to Mindanao, and west to Bohol and Cebu. Will Tacloban and Ormoc thrive as Cebu thrives, enriching this mostly poor region?

Could be. Our local Biliran Island construction businesses truck in quality sand from Ormoc, Leyte, because shipment of sand by barge is prohibitively expensive. Yet the roads are always breaking down because of these excessively heavy loads and the relentless rains. Major highway work is endless to keep the roads whole.

So there is a building cost, and a maintenance cost. I wonder if they include the maintenance cost in the cost/benefit analysis. And how do they peg the benefits, anyhow? Do they look at the bridge connecting Samar and Leyte to measure the amount of traffic it carries, and the purpose? I’m guessing such research is not in the calculations, yet it should be.

But my greater concern other than maintenance costs and understanding the real benefits is whether bridges are highest priority. If we agree there there is a limit on how much can be spent without driving the nation’s debt through the roof, which projects will generate the greatest value?

Here is the sizing of the bridge program weighed against the big projects in NEDA’s Build Build Build effort:

  • Mega Manila Subway: P356 billion
  • Southern Railway: P299 billion
  • Bridge Program: P270 billion
  • Northern Railway: P211 billion

If I study a comprehensive Cebu traffic relief program as something to use to compare bridges with, in a benefit comparison, I walk away puzzled. There are a variety of programs discussed or proposed or underway. An P50 billion expressway to run through much of the island. A new bridge to Mactan Island (where the airport is located). Bus rapid transit program for P16 billion, a light rail line proposed as an alternative. A private monorail train system proposed as an alternative to those two. The mayor and transportation secretary are locked in battle, one for buses, the other for light rail. The bus line has NEDA approval. The Transportation secretary wants it cancelled. It’s a political mess. Situation normal.

Cebu clearly needs a large investment in rapid transit to increase the flows across the city and to relieve the interior streets. But there seems to be no master plan at all. It is just reactive, piecemeal, political, angry. Not harmonious and uplifting.

And if the question is one of choice, between freeing up congestion in the major cities versus connecting the cities via bridges, the benefits of which have not been quantified . . . I’d opt for unplugging the cities. A part of that would be lengthening the urban corridors, as is being done in Manila with north and south train lines. I’m sure the comparative benefits can be calculated.

I tend to see the bridges as pipe dreams. Even if I would like to cut across Leyte and drive to Cebu for dinner.

…….

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Comments
62 Responses to “Buses, bridges, and trains”
  1. I consider other bridges more important.. diplomatic bridges and their kind.. to Kuwait, EU:.

    http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/when-bridges-collapse/ – just wrote this, strange coincidence.

    ————————-

    1) yes to rapid transit in cities. Master plans needed. Unified approaches. Not like Manila’s incompatible LRTs and MRTs. Many lines with rolling stock usable on all lines. Maximum two different systems – Munich has S(uburban) and U(nderground) trains. S-Bahns are high capacity for the long hauls into the suburbs – 50 km in all directions, bringing people to and from work. U-Bahns cut through the city. For Metro Cebu, BRT was planned. Cheaper to get going than an MRT. Many poorer countries decided for BRTs of some sort. You can leave the lanes and continue as standard busses once you are out of the heavy traffic areas. Express bus lines are another charming idea. LImited stops make them nearly as fast as undergrounds or trams in some cases. But have a plan.

    2) yes to connecting urban areas. Proper train lines to the north and south of Manila, preferably with double decker commuter trains like you have in Japan, for example. Freight train infrastructure also makes sense to be part of this, even with rails leading up to ship container ports, truck load/unload.

    3) plus enhanced port capabilities – instead of fancy bridges. Container facilities and Ro-Ro ferries for cars – the latter as the alternative to flying to some other island. Container facilities are also important to avoid moving stuff 500 km across Luzon instead of shipping it – except perishables!

  2. Andres 2018. says:

    Road expansions, skyways and subways first before bridges.

  3. karlgarcia says:

    Why did our ferry system failed to launch.
    On top of my mind.
    1. Disasters due to storms and overloading.
    2. Only a few big players wirh lots of single proprietor small players.

    What actually is the state of our ferry system.

    http://www.marina.gov.ph/national_forum/Session%202/Where%20is%20the%20Ferry%20Industry%20Now%20090913.pdf

  4. Micha says:

    If we can actually afford those, these mega projects are laudable undertakings for public good. But that is the question that has not been asked in this proposal.

    Is the national government going to source the funding locally or, as is most likely, it will have to again borrow from foreign entities?

    If it’s the latter then the heck with it, it will in the short term and in the long term cause more harm than good for the country and its indebted people who will eventually have to take on the burden of paying back those foreign sourced money. Nothing perpetuates our poverty and enslavement than being disproportionately indebted to a foreign denominated currency.

    ……..

    That, and the high probability that somebody in Dominguez’s circle of friends will get handsomely wealthy from this corruption prone multi billion projects.

    • The Philippines is borrowing a lot from outside and I suspect commissions are lavish.

      • Micha says:

        Dominguez is a member of that exclusive club called Philippine Oligarchy Inc. That he is now in charge of the public coffers is like having the fox guard the henhouse.

        The political opposition should, if they still have their balls, agitate and inform the public of this unfolding scam, oppose any more foreign loans and expose the get rich scheme of admin officials and allies.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      I want to say something positive about building bridges but I can’t find anything.

      The phrase that comes to mind is “like a bridge over troubled water.”

      All I see is a greater sea of troubled water. And no one is laying himself down.
      *****

  5. josephivo says:

    A bridge is so much more than a bridge:

    1. Build a national identity, linked by a bridge feels different from being isolated. (Ask the Brits about it before their Brexit)

    2. National pride. “We can build more than a nipa hut.”

    3. Letting people die is worse than providing dole outs. Dole outs are worse than paying bridge builders. Job creation.

    4. Technological progress, innovation. (it took 600 experts 10 years to design a long innovative Hangzhou Bay Bridge in China.)

    5. A bridge has to be part of a network, it helps create overall strategies. Self-driving trucks…

    6. And… strengthen politicians by means of unlimited kick-backs 🙂

    Where are the civil engineers and planners to put some meat on the bones? The historians to compare with similar solutions elsewhere in the world (Malesia and the second Penang bridge, Bahrain-Saudi causeway, China’s river delta crossings, Sweden-Denmark bridge, Channel between UK and EU…) We need more input to make a judgement.

    • 1. national identity.. the Dutch built their own land. Polder by polder.

      2. national pride.. “en volk dat leeft, bouwt aan zijn toekomst” – is on the monument at the middle of the Afsluitdijk, the majestic dam and road that is the core of the Zuiderzee works.

      “A people that lives, builds for it’s future”. The Zuiderzee works closed the stormy Zuiderzee, turning it into the more manageable Lake Ijselmeer, making space for new reclamation – and a direct route from the Randstad metropolitan area (Den Hague-Rotterdam-Holland) to Friesland. To be exact Westfriesland, as Ostfriesland is in Germany. Strange that both Germans and Dutch laugh about the Frisians. Shows how isolated the area once was. PLEASE do not laugh if I tell you I once spent two weeks vacationing in Groningen.

      3. There is a certain thrift I notice in Dutch public works. Sometimes the crossing between two motorways is not a cloverleaf, much less a US-style 4 level crossing. Those who go straight have a bridge or an underpass, those who change go on a roundabout – simple.

      Micha’s caveat about getting into foreign debt is very true. So it is advisable to favor mainly local companies and use only as much foreign technology as necessary. Makes the maintenance much cheaper as well. Local realities much also be taken into account. For example you don’t work additively in creating mountain roads in the tropics with their very torrential rains. You carve streets out of the mountains so they aren’t washed off – basic.

      4. Again, ramping up your own expertise is a long, long process. Why not ramp it up first by creating an own wagonbuilding company, a local one, that can create wagons for all kinds of trains – local, regional, national, freight, container? Next – railbuilding companies… like that.

      5. The San Juanico bridge was part of the grand vision of Marcos – the Pan-Philippine highway. Indeed it seems large parts were completed. But the Bicol railway still worked in 1978, that is for sure, and it was allowed to rot in favor of highways. Forget self-driving trucks in a country were children play on national roads, or even live as squatters near the runway – I don’t know if this is still the case but one kid was run over by a plane in NAIA in 1995. You may have to have proper fences around a railway, but what if they are stolen, like what happened to the telegraph lines along the Bikol Express from time to time? I wonder how many people stole rails for scrap metal – this happened in Russia during the extremely hard times just after Communism fell, major lines that worked perfectly before fell into disrepair..

      … the major European bridges and tunnels are part of making travel thru Europe faster.. there already IS a certain volume.. for example the tunnel to make the connection between Hamburg and Copenhagen fully ferry-free is going to cut at least an hour of travel between the two cities. Does the Philippines already operate at a level where cutting an hour of travel time is a major economic factor? Cutting at least an hour off the commute of millions in Metro Manila is a higher priority, I am sure. The electrification of the Munich-Zurich line, with its famously named “Intercity Albert Einstein” train – and finally making it two track in all places – would also make the travel time more like less than three hours, not over four hours like now.

      Of course if one considers that the Swiss already finished the amazing Gotthard Basis tunnel, an achievement even for the tunnel building Swiss, cutting travel time across the Alps phenomenally both via train and motorway, then speeding up Munich-Zurich with a view to having an alternative Munich-Milan route (the other being Munich-Verona-Milano) makes sense. Even that the Gotthard tunnel is made for heavy freight trains, not only fast trains. The core of the European speed train network is of course clearly Franco-German – some connections via Belgium, to the Netherlands, to Switzerland, and the Spanish are also catching up. But it is always about powerful economic regions that already have interaction.

      So the lesson is – make already existing economic areas stronger by improving their internal connections first IMHO, THEN make the sensible and economically feasible connections. So in the Philippines I would concentrate on Metro Manila first, then the connections to Clark/Subic and Calabarzon, then the connections to Tarlac, La Union.. and to Naga City. Some of that stuff is already there like TPLEX etc., train connections are totally missing. Then of course the Mindanao highway and train – one can build both simultaneously using the same right-of-way, why not? Germany has some examples of high speed lines built directly beside existing Autobahns – easier as the noise pollution is already there and no new areas have to be disturbed, it is a bit like adding a lane on each side of the Autobahn.

  6. madlanglupa says:

    There wasn’t any sort of a master plan announced about public works nor genuine national development in general, except maybe the whole objective of this government — and VACC — is to simply exterminate anyone of the lower class but involved with narcotics which they deem as the root of all sin.

    ———–
    http://news.abs-cbn.com/focus/04/27/18/when-kim-met-moon-the-historic-korean-summit-in-photos

    From where he came from, having participated in Operation Paul Bunyan… President Moon ought to be bought a case of beer.

  7. https://www.philstar.com/business/2018/04/27/1809712/water-crisis#sORtI5KPxMUMLMVF.01

    This is probably one top priority that should be addressed – water supply in Metro Manila:

    Maynilad and Manila Water are already quarreling over how much water the two concessionaires should be getting from Angat. Maynilad customers suffered water rationing for a few days..

    ..Maynilad is using a very expensive process of osmosis to clean water from the rather polluted section of Laguna de Bay near Sucat. There had been times when pollution was so bad they had to stop drawing water from it altogether, causing a shortage in supply for residents in Parañaque, Muntinlupa, and Las Piñas…

    the other issue of sewage in Metro Manila is most probably worse than anything in Boracay.

    • Housing.. in line with Micha’s thinking on self-reliance, the Swiss are helping Filipinos build modern housing with bamboo – a material with many positive characteristics.. and local.

    • karlgarcia says:

      http://www.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/mdocs/en/wipo_ip_mnl_15/wipo_ip_mnl_15_t4.pdf

      In the Philippines, only 10% of wastewater is treated while 58% of the groundwater is contaminated;
      • Only 5% of the total population is connected to a sewer network. The vast majority uses flush toilets connected to septic tanks;
      • Since sludge treatment and disposal facilities are rare, domestic wastewater is discharged without treatment;

      • NHerrera says:

        karl: sounds like an apt topic for infrastructure development because of future impact and health considerations — affecting tourism and the economy. A country-wide CESSPOOL waiting to happen? I hope NEDA is studying this too.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        On the other hand, a sewer network might end up dumping untreated waste into the sea — just like in Sydney and Boracay.
        *****

        • karlgarcia says:

          Man! Close Philippines like NH suggested.

        • Proper sewage treatment is expensive – but necessary. I guess in Sydney it doesn’t matter because there hardly are any neighbors – the stuff disperses before it reaches the penguins or the Maori of New Zealand. Now if Munich would dump its waste untreated into the Isar – which joins the Danube at Landau.. and everybody did the same, including Vienna which has more people than Munich’s 1.5 million, poor Budapest and even poorer Belgrade..

          The traditionally warlike Serbs would have every right to unpack their curses (worse than anything Duterte can offer) and go to war against everyone upstream for that pollution. Centuries ago is no argument, as populations were significantly smaller than today.

          This is the major sewage treatment plant in the north of Munich. Different pools where you have bacteria, plankton and algae to use up what is yummy-yummy to them and yucky for us. Before the pools there are big grids to catch bigger objects (sanitary napkins etc.) and small grids to catch smaller objects (used condoms etc.). Imagine the brown pools as being truly mabaho – they are. They are constantly stirred to keep the reactions ongoing. The final result is water good enough to release into the river nearby – and lots of SLUDGE.

          Sludge towers like these (very small in the picture above, this picture shows the scale of the towers AND the plant) are used to dry the sludge. Imagine carabao dung, except that the 1.5 million people of Munich are the carabaos, including me. One does not need Sassots taequations (which are wrong as usual, as she follows Duterte’s dictum to ignore algebra) to know the magnitude of this. Since 1998 there is a furnace to burn all that dried sludge.

          In the maps of Boracay I have seen so far, no space for a sewage treatment plant. These things are scaleable, That technology should be one the Philippine ramps up very quickly. Possibly even combine older biogas research (pig manure) with turning sludge into energy. Imagine a full-cycle solution for an island like Boracay, almost like on a space shuttle. That kind of technology, perfected by Filipinos, could be exportable. Dreams are a start I think.

          • The inner tube like structure at the back is no longer part of the sewage treatment plant..

            it is the Allianz Arena where FC Bayern München plays.. 75 thousand seats.

            http://img.fotocommunity.com/allianz-arena-58edf427-6392-4c6a-a794-35dca24598cc.jpg?width=1000

            The small hill behind the plant used to be Munich’s garbage dump.. similar to how the garbage dump of ancient Rome is now the Monte Testaccio… now I know Manila no longer has Smoky Mountain but it is Payatas now if I remember correctly?

            • More on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sewage_treatment

              The first part of filtration of sewage typically includes a bar screen to filter solids and large objects which are then collected in dumpsters and disposed of in landfills. Fat and grease is also removed before the primary treatment of sewage..

              ..Sewage may include stormwater runoff or urban runoff. Sewerage systems capable of handling storm water are known as combined sewer systems. This design was common when urban sewerage systems were first developed, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.[2]:119 Combined sewers require much larger and more expensive treatment facilities than sanitary sewers. Heavy volumes of storm runoff may overwhelm the sewage treatment system, causing a spill or overflow. Sanitary sewers are typically much smaller than combined sewers, and they are not designed to transport stormwater. Backups of raw sewage can occur if excessive infiltration/inflow (dilution by stormwater and/or groundwater) is allowed into a sanitary sewer system. Communities that have urbanized in the mid-20th century or later generally have built separate systems for sewage (sanitary sewers) and stormwater, because precipitation causes widely varying flows, reducing sewage treatment plant efficiency.

              The illustration gives an idea of the typical process..

              • NHerrera says:

                Irineo: thanks for the informative text and pictures — an illustration of doing the essentials before the problem gets worse. I took note of the scalability of the hardware.

              • sonny says:

                Reading all this I think it will do the Philippines good to super-accelerate our science and aerospace engineering so we can design rockets and use space as the disposable sump of choice, a benign pollution I would call it where earthly non-recyclable refuse is vaporized and recycled as elemental Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen, et al. Theoretically doable.

              • sigh, even outer space is slowly but surely filling up with junk: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_debris(also known as space junk, space waste, space trash, space litter or space garbage) is a term for the mass of defunct, artificially created objects in space, most notably in Earth orbit, such as old satellites and spent rocket stages. It includes the fragments from their disintegration, erosion and collisions. As of December 2016, five satellite collisions have resulted in generating space waste.

                As of 5 July 2016, the United States Strategic Command tracked a total of 17,852 artificial objects in orbit above the Earth,[1] including 1,419 operational satellites.[2] However, these are just objects large enough to be tracked. As of July 2013, more than 170 million debris smaller than 1 cm (0.4 in), about 670,000 debris 1–10 cm, and around 29,000 larger debris were estimated to be in orbit.[3] Collisions with debris have become a hazard to spacecraft; they cause damage akin to sandblasting, especially to solar panels and optics like telescopes or star trackers that cannot be covered with a ballistic Whipple shield (unless it is transparent).[4]

              • sonny says:

                … double sigh, Irineo … my escape thesis to aerospace for the Philippines still holds, i.e. accelerated aerospace education and training to be technicians and scientists for the world, as part of youth paths. Pretty soon 2nd, 3rd, 4th generation technologies will be the ones open either for domestic or international labor needs. It is not unthinkable that we look to other planets as “loops” open for earthly cycles.

              • The present challenge I think is to manage the cycles on Earth. I don’t think the settlement of other planets will happen that quickly. To really get rid of garbage you would have to at least shoot it onto the moon and that stays expensive.

                I see more potential in the new uses of composites and components made from natural materials – abaca (car chassis), pineapple fibers (fake leather) and bamboo. A strategy of own industries is probably better also than just breeding for labor export. My opinion.

              • Space-based disaster mitigation though makes sense, like what Diwata-1 is starting to do. Project NOAH with its land-based sensors plus eyes in the sky to track erosion, flooding..

                AND a good hires camera in space could also track drug boats, soil thiefs and more..

              • sonny says:

                Agree with you 100 per cent. It is the survival and quality of life journeys that I am hoping for as both solution and developmental marking of time for present and future of our country. Even for now, the sun does not set for the Filipino. The Islamic Majapahit empire has propped up a big portion of the Malay archipelago; it is not unhealthy to think that the Filipino can prevail as a stronger western alloy, organically grown also even in some parts.
                🙂

              • That is a nice dose of optimism in these difficult times.

            • sonny says:

              Karl, thanks for the link on Manila’s water ‘laundering’ situation. When the wife was still working,her office building sat (street-level) on top of a water treatment facility which was directly 135 feet below. It is part of the Chicago TARP System, the Chicago Area Deep Tunnel Project. So it was a daily reminder of a serious and vital part of living. By 2029, this system is projected to have cost $3.5 billion. Really serious money too. I wish the Manila system the same success.

              The Chicago project involved many Filipino civil engineers along with other American engineers. So I am convinced Manila is not short of similar talent.

  8. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    “When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. . .. . ”

    ————————

    I saw the complete above statement in its original manuscript with some words crossed out. I never thought I will hear them spoken by Clive Owen (the guy who also portrayed Ernest “Papa” Hemingway in another film). And I thought it’s preposterous to even think TSOH blog is the wakatan (read genius) metaphor of the film WORDS and PICTURES (from NETFLIX). A word is worth a thousand pictures and a picture can’t be described by a million words.

    I long wanted to write blog piece on the longest word Anti-establishmentarianism but there is still not enough juice to squeeze. To me words and pictures have no irony or paradox. Just as it is in the movie, I humbly think no matter how hawkers hack it, TSOH has given words and pictures BODY AND SOUL like the movie did; notwithstanding and in spite of the eche bucheche of wakarangs. Watch the movie to forget pop corn and savour a glass of cool ice cream floating over chilled champagne.

    • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

      don’t ask me, I just don’t know why I included this in my Volume One of Constant Winds:

      KISS

      Quick and slow
      Quick becoming slow
      Slow but long
      From neck to cheeks
      Back from cheeks to lips
      Lips to lips
      No longer
      Quick and slow.
      Eternity in 10 seconds.

      Sunday, October 2, 2005

      Wrote that Thirteen years ago before I saw Clive Owen did it with Juliet Benoit
      the ending kiss indescribable with words.

      • NHerrera says:

        Popoy, I don’t want to go to netflix to see the full movie, but clicked the video. I was waiting to see the 10-second indescribable ending kiss, but did not see it. Oh well, I just used my imagination. As my favorite physicist Einstein said, “imagination is more important than knowledge.” Old, as I am, I was titillated by that 10-sec kiss you described from the two talented movie stars.

        • NHerrera says:

          Say, about that word in the blog article, “bridge” — a kiss is a bridge between two people.

          (Ok, I stop. Enough of my Sunday inconsequentials.)

          • Sup says:

            ”based on this research, will rate your make out on a scale from “dry, prudent kiss,” which transfers a meager 1,000 bacteria, to a “hot” one, spreading bacteria in the millions”. …. 🙂

            http://time.com/3587838/bacteria-spread-kissing/

            • karlgarcia says:

              What do you get when you fall in love?
              A guy with a pin to burst your bubble
              That’s what you get for all your trouble
              I’ll never fall in love again
              I’ll never fall in love again
              What do you get when you kiss a guy?
              You get enough germs to catch pneumonia
              After you do, he’ll never phone ya
              I’ll never fall in love again
              Dontcha know that I’ll never fall in love again?

            • NHerrera says:

              Sup, karl: Gotcha! What will Popoy say?

            • edgar lores says:

              *******
              This is one way to build up our immune system. A favorite way.
              *****

        • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

          the video is just a trailer, the movie is long and boring not titillating to Tagalog teleserye enthusiasts. But I wasn’t able to guess the ending.

      • sonny says:

        Indeed, Juliette Binoche is one sensual lady.

        • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

          Hah, hah, hah,
          My laughter is as loud and long
          as those of Jack and Dina
          in the film before they
          smooched for the ending.

          THERE YOU GO here is
          my retort to your kind pansins.

          I misspelled Juliette’s name and surname
          But didn’t mistake the sensuousness
          of her beauty nor the sensuality
          of her thespian talents.

          With only the brain and
          Without imagination there could be
          No theory of relativity or speed of light
          Imagination is what made cavemen
          Discard their clubs and loin cloth
          To embrace Parisien couturiers
          Christian Dior or Pinoy’s Pitoy Moreno.

          Imagination makes
          Victoria Secrets more revealing;
          Why Playboy’s exposure conflagrates
          the libido of gays and straights.

          IMAGINATION brings words
          And pictures into devastating action,

          If a kiss is like a bridge between two fires
          It should be long with breathless passion
          Like the San Juanico, a Maharlika bridge
          of love of Malakas for his Maganda.

          Bacteria and kisses is science
          Urban legend; hard and long,
          deep and fierce kiss cleanses
          And disinfects each other’s lips
          As royalties rise like mountains
          If you ask Hollywood
          kissing millionaires.

          The Beatles said what everybody remembers
          They are more popular than Jesus Christ
          That’s before they kissed each other good bye
          And after long hours in Hamburg’s cheap bars
          In-between poking, humping
          and shagging Fraus and Frauleins
          When they’re doing R and R to catch pneumonia.

          My last words that’s truly ambitious
          is to paint in words a Degas or a Picasso
          If for every man there naturally habituates
          A Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide
          There too for sure in every man
          Breathes a soul so deep of
          An artist and a poet so all his life
          he lives by his words in pictures.

          • Speaking of Secrets not Victorias
            the Swiss underwear called Calida
            has nothing to do with a SolGen
            and his rumored young mistress

            The young man called Justice Joslin
            is probably not any kind of Attorney
            but certainly preferable to women
            of his age than the old moonface

            in heaven, they say, the lovers are Italians
            and everything is organized by the Swiss
            In hell, they say, it is exactly the opposite
            We shall not yet touch on St. Pauli’s bars

            • Back on topic, line 62 of the Hamburg Transit Corp. lands at St. Pauli pier, near the famous St. Pauli red light district. There was and always will the an “Ilongga Bar” in that district..

              Quite simple in design and efficient in use.

              The frigate in the background is just by chance – the wharf where they build the newest frigates – and maintain the older ones – is just across the fish market.

          • sonny says:

            🙂 Then pity those who can’t wax poetic, I say. But do bleed red and warmth do feel the same.

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