Manila to Baguio in 3 hours? And a tollway up to Laoag?
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Manila to Baguio in 3 hours? And a tollway up to Laoag?

Romar Fernando

July 22, 2020

  • 7-22-2020-TPLEX-MANILA-BAGUIO-3-HOURS-ILOCOS

    How does a “Manila to Baguio in three hours” sounds to you? Or a tollway up to the far way north?

    No one can disagree that we absolutely love places in the north. Baguio City the summer capital of the country, we admire going there anytime of the year to enjoy the cool weather and numerous parks and venues it can offer. The province of Pangasinan is enjoyed for its churches and distinct destinations and delicacies. Adventurers like to take a trip to La Union for its beaches and surfing activities. And everyone indeed adores the Ilocos provinces for its rich history and beach destinations as well.

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    Photo Credit: Sec. Mark Villar Facebook Page

    Despite these stuff that the northern provinces have to offer, the extensive travel time would kill your desire to go up north. Baguio City in its usual course would take you six to seven hours on the road and you can spend whole day or whole night off the road just to reach the Ilocos provinces.

    Recently, we just heard in the news the newly inaugurated Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway or TPLEx. It eases the longer hours travel without getting through the provincial roads in Tarlac when going to the provinces of Pangasinan and La Union. It will be a greater help to those coming from Metro Manila going to certain parts of northern Luzon.

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    Photo Credit: Sec. Mark Villar Facebook Page

    The construction of the expressway started in 2013 under the Aquino administration and now done after completing seven segments.

    Because of this recent development, our expressway experience will now start in Balintawak, Quezon City all the way to Rosario, La Union through NLEx, SCTEx and TPLEx.

    But how about driving all the way to Laoag City, Ilocos Norte via tollway? Sounds too good to be true right?

    Well, the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) have pitched the plans of extending the expressway up to the far way north. You read it right, SMC hopes that TPLEx will soon reach the sunshine city of the north someday in 2022.

    The initial plans will be the extension of TPLEx to San Juan town in La Union, a good 66-kilometer drive from Rosario town.

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    Photo Credit: Sec. Mark Villar Facebook Page

    “Next niyan, from San Juan, La Union, idudugtong ‘yan to Laoag [Ilocos Norte] na. Can you imagine, all of a sudden, ngayon lang with this TPLEX biglang sumikat na ‘yung Baguio eh ‘diba? Sikat na ‘yung San Juan, La Union. Dami nang taong pumupunta ng Vigan [Ilocos Sur]. What more kung mayroon ‘yang tollway all the way to Laoag,” said SMC president Ramon S. Ang.

    It sounds ambitious but what if it can be a reality in the future. Manila will be getting closer to the north, even closer. This will also help boost the growing tourism in the Ilocos region.

    All we can do for now is to wait for a go signal. High hopes should be then placed in our plans.

    Stay safe and sound. Drive safely!

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