Make EDSA more colorful & beautiful
Pocket gardens under the MRT track. How I wish these structures could get a fresh coat of paint to complement the garden.
Make EDSA more colorful & beautiful
RAZZLE-DAZA - Pat-P Daza (The Philippine Star) - September 28, 2020 - 12:00am

I’ve been driving along the EDSA northbound from Ortigas Center to ABS-CBN for the past six months, and I must confess that it was only recently that I noticed that there were more plants and a few small trees along the center aisle. Under the MRT stations, I also observed pocket gardens that had lush greens and some flowering plants. I was also pleasantly surprised to see more vertical gardens on the walls of the underpasses where plants were healthy and thriving.

This was a welcome sight after all those years when all one could see on EDSA’s walls was dirt and grime. Plants not only absorb the carbon dioxide emitted by the traversing vehicles, they also provide a refreshing dose of aesthetic pleasure that we can all benefit from while stuck in traffic.

When I interviewed MMDA EDSA traffic manager Col. Bong Nebrija a few days ago on Teleradyo, I congratulated him on the project. He replied that it is the Landscape Management Division (LMD) of MMDA which maintains this greenery program. The LMD team waters and prunes the plants constantly to ensure they stay healthy. He admitted, however, that vagrants use the pocket gardens as toilets, or worse, set up make-shift homes there. How sad it is to note that there are those who would vandalize such projects that were created to beautify our surroundings.

Nice shady trees are dotted along EDSA northbound in front of Camp Aguinaldo

Ideally, I’d like to see the entire stretch of EDSA (23.8 km) lined on both sides with tall trees to give motorists and pedestrians shade from the sun’s harsh rays. If Japan and Korea have their cherry blossoms and Jakarta has its rubber trees, why can’t the Philippines have fire trees or bougainvillea trees with fuchsia, white, orange or lilac flowers adorning our avenues and expressways?

Nice shady trees are dotted along EDSA northbound in

While we’re beautifying EDSA, may I also suggest that the MRT’s tunnels and posts be painted as well? These concrete structures are such “in your face” eyesores, and yet there’s no effort to improve their appearance. All the LMD needs is a fresh coat of paint to do wonders. Better yet, maybe they can hire artists to transform these dreary blank canvasses into vibrant pieces of art. I’ve observed a few art works adorning portions of the walls of EDSA’s southbound lane, but they don’t occupy much surface area to be truly impactful. My hope is that one day, EDSA’s walls will be covered with such bountiful eye candy that we’ll forget that it was once infamous for being a giant gallery of billboards, as a balikbayan friend aptly described it.

While this suggestion may seem untimely or frivolous to some, I see it as an opportunity for citizens to band together and be productive and creative. If we can organize clean-up drives along Manila Bay, why can’t we make EDSA more colorful and beautiful?

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