If you are going to Nasugbu, Batangas and you are from Manila, you have no choice but to pass through Tagaytay City or at least it’s neighboring towns like Alfonso, Amadeo, Mendez, etc. Have you ever been to Tagaytay especially on a weekend? The climate is cool, right? But the traffic? Damn right it’s as crazy as hell! For those who’s not familiar with Tagaytay, it’s more or less like Baguio – a busy city on a mountain! A lot of us in Laguna, Batangas, Cavite and Metro Manila prefer Tagaytay when we want to cool down and relax. That’s when the narrow streets of Tagaytay gets clogged. But not everyone stuck in traffic up there is visiting Tagaytay, some live there, and some are just passing through as they make their to or from Nasugbu and it’s neighboring towns.
Thankfully, the number of cars might just decrease as an alternate route will be open to the public soon. It
will be is the longest underground road tunnel in the Philippines. It will connect Ternate, Cavite and Nasugbu, Batangas through Mt Palay-Palay. The longest in the Philippines, eh? Just how long is it?
According to SEG Rockworks and Engineering, together with SANVIL Blasting Services, the project started March of 2009. Okay, that’s already 4 years of digging and paving. First, let’s hear some trivia and make a comparison while we are at it. The longest road tunnel in the world is Laerdal Tunnel in Norway at 24,510 meters (that’s exactly how long EDSA is) and took 5.5 years to complete. The Menora Tunnel in Malaysia is 800 meters long and took 3 years to complete. So, just how long is this LONGEST TUNNEL of ours? 300 meters. Oh no, I didn’t forget any zeroes there. Three. Effing. Hundred. Meters. It’s been 4 years and still under construction!
From an article of GMA News: “…the resort’s developer, Boulevard Holdings Inc. (BHI) said they held the final blasting ceremony last November 29 and had several motor vehicles pass through..” Keyword there is “ceremony”. I was there mid-March and only light vehicles, if not, only motorcycles can pass through. There are still construction works on-going in the tunnel and the roads leading to it.
According to the people working there, they even close the tunnel to all vehicles Monday - Saturday from 8AM-5PM when they work “extensively” on the structure. They also added that they may deny passage anytime as they see fit. Anyway, I was there on a Sunday and only a handful of workers were there. From Ternate, at KM 67 make a left on the highway. The tunnel is only 3 kms away.
It is very dark inside. There’s also a lot of debris as construction is still on-going. There are scaffolding blocking portions of the road so anything bigger than a tricycle might not be allowed to pass. After passing through all the ruckus inside the dark tube, you’ll be rewarded of a refreshing view of Batangas.
Here’s a little trivia. On a previous post, I mentioned that the islands nearby, El Fraile and Carabao Island was fortified as Forts Drum and Frank. What about Limbones Island, you might wonder. Well, according to Fots2 of corregidor.proboards.com (click here to learn more) the island only served as the “eyes” of the Harbor Defenses of Manila Bay.
I needed to be in SM Rosario for lunch so I saddled up and rode back into the tunnel. I actually have it on video. It’s here. Yes, it’s shaky and noisy.. But if you can tolerate that, maybe you can also watch these downhill skateboarders I tailed on my way down to Ternate.
I have really not seen much of Cavite and I’m glad that on this day, I headed that way. I shall come back for more.. As for my tire.. I’m keeping it! :)