A Travel to a Longer and Healthier Life



The Pan-Philippine Highway, which runs 3,517 kilometres from north to south, is a network of highways, bridges, and ferries that connects Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. It was planned by then-Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos in 1965 and is known as the Maharlika Highway. The Asian Highway Network recognizes it as AH 26, and every five kilometres or so, road signs prominently display these initials.

Unfortunately, if you choose to go south to Mindanao over this lengthy and twisting route, you will be disappointed. You'll get to witness the countryside's wonderful, terrible, and ugly sides. This journey will provide us with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reflect. 

The good and bad of the countryside

The road

The provincial road was a welcome treat to Metro Manila drivers, simply because it was liberating to drive in the open with just you and the car and the constant temptation to accelerate and go very fast. No traffic jams, no number coding, no traffic aides, no pedestrians, and no headaches. The drive along the coastal roads in Misamis Oriental or even the tortuous mountain road in Atimonan was relaxing and exhilarating. Our eyes feasted on the greens and blues over the horizon everywhere we turned. We don’t get this luxury every day in the city. But in the concrete jungle, every shade of colour plastered on buildings is artificially created, and so is the experience. 

The clime

The countryside was naturally cool and refreshing. The breezy mountain road leading to Liloan begged us to switch off the car’s air conditioning and it was just unnecessary. In the city, malls are cool, but as soon as you step outside, it can be extremely hot along with the temper of the people. 

The food

Finding good food is always on the top of some travellers listed when they go travel anywhere. Some of them, especially Filipino travellers in the Philippines, fancied getting a taste of local cuisines like ginataan, pinakbet, tinolang isda, paksiw, or bulanglang in the restaurant before the trip, , But, sadly. Some of the fast-food restaurants had virtually killed of the community eateries.

Against popular chains backed by powerful TV advertisements, the local or a native restaurant could barely survive the competition. Fast food restaurants at least offered clean comfort rooms, but some people could not hide their discomfort in eating food dipped in oil or butter, served with sticky gravy and sugar-loaded soft drinks. 
That’s why, people suddenly realized how this scenario actually depicts the state of food options and health in our country. It is no wonder heart disease, diabetes, and cancer continue to rise exponentially as more and more Filipino prefer fast-food fare to lutong bahay. 

It is disheartening to note such a sad shift for the Filipino taste buds. Our health is plainly compromised on the plate. Our collective path is frankly downward. 
As a people, looking forward to a future trip when we can be more appreciative of local talent, culture and resources for these tend to lead more toward health and happiness. May we choose to eat healthy foods, and live healthy lives.


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