Build bridges, not burn them. Did it ever make you wonder how past communities connect with others? How do culture and tradition get passed on from one place to another? Food, clothing, produce, or even our way of speaking all these things had to travel from island to island to create a network between regions and cities. With the Philippines classified as an archipelago, access is crucial for economic development. Literally, there is a need to build bridges.
Bridges are more than just platforms that get us from point A to point B. Bridges create access to jobs, ensure stable supply and demand flow, and connect people to essential services. Plus, driving through these bridges offer a scenic view like no other.
The vision of the “Build, Build, Build” program of former president Rodrigo Duterte aimed to “achieve a golden age of infrastructure in the Philippines to enhance mobility and connectivity, as well as spurring economic growth.” Since 2016, a couple of bridges had already been inaugurated for public use. In case you have not visited them yet, here are some of the newly-built bridges that you can already access. Did we mention that most, if not all, of them, are way too iconic? They would really invite you to get out of your car to take a few Instagram-worthy snaps.
Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge (Rockwell Bridge)
One of the first projects that had been completed before the change of administration is the box girder bridge called the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge, more commonly known as Rockwell Bridge. To put it simply, it connects Mandaluyong City, through Pantaleon Street via Barangka Drive to Estrella Street in Makati by crossing Pasig River.
The P1.46 billion bridge was inaugurated on July 29, 2021. If you haven’t tried using this bridge yet, this could be the best time to do so. We highly recommend you pass by on your way to or from Makati for a breezy night drive and be in awe of the iconic Rockwell skyscrapers.
Bonifacio Global City-Ortigas Center Link Road Project (BGC-Ortigas Bridge)
Many people call this bridge the “warp zone” for a reason. Despite BGC and Pasig being relatively next to each other, it would still take some time to get to either destination. Considering the traffic condition on both sides of EDSA and C-5, you are likely to spend more time on the road than usual. Thankfully, in 2021, the BGC-Ortigas Link became accessible to the public which immediately delivered some improvements in the traffic flow.
On top of the shortened travel time, the wide lanes that accommodate more vehicles also contributed to BGC becoming even more accessible to people from the north and east side of Metro Manila. With the prices of basic commodities, including fuel, continuing to fluctuate and make us scratch our heads, shortened travel time could equate to more money saved. It also helps that just like the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge, BGC-Ortigas Link also does not fall short when it comes to a stunning view.
The most recent bridge that became accessible to the public is the tied-arch bridge of Binondo-Intramuros. Primarily intended to help ease the traffic congestion in Metro Manila, it is noteworthy to mention that the project is also a symbol of Filipino-Chinese friendship. This joint project of the Philippine Government and the People’s Republic of China is one of the two flagship infrastructures of the “Build, Build, Build” program, with Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge as the other.
Among the three mentioned newly-opened bridges, Binondo-Intramuros Bridge offers the best sunset view of Manila Bay. So, if you are in the mood for some cinematic drive, this bridge can surely offer exactly that.
Bridges connect people to services, culture, and tradition. In a developing country like ours, creating more opportunities is paramount if we are to achieve economic well-being and quality of life for every Filipino. As more bridges near their completion across the country, we can only expect that every city, region, or island connected to another will continue to create jobs, better opportunities, a stable food supply, and access to services.
Just like in the past, these bridges do not only serve as platforms for ease in mobility and logistics, but they also bridge the gap between culture and technology. They are symbols of comfort and quality of life. But if that’s too deep for you to take in, just go get your car keys, hop in, and go for a ride. Visit these iconic bridges to remind you that crossing a bridge never takes as long as one might think—unless you get stuck in the middle of it. Even then, don’t fret. Call a friend to save the day. Their numbers are below.