Tuesday, August 26, 2008

PSHS Grand Alumni Homecoming 2008

Source: http://www.pshsaa.org/

TO ALL Philippine Science High School (PSHS) Alumni:

It's going to be a green homecoming this September!

This year's silver jubilarian batch, the PSHS Class of 1983, has decided on going green - its theme for the PSHS Grand Alumni Homecoming this September 6,2008. The emphasis is to promote environmental awareness and to share ways onhow we can address environmental concerns.

Pls. visit the PSHS AA website: http://www.pshsaa.org/

Pre-register online on or before September 3, 2008 and get FREE FOOD on homecoming night.

You may also take advantage of the EXPRESS LANES dedicated to pre-registrants.

Click here to register: http://www.pshsaa.org/prereg3.php


Raffy Saldaña

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ants and Traffic Jams: Can Ants Solve Traffic Congestion?

Note: In conducting literature search for my Katipunan traffic congestion study, I encountered an interesting video about the topic "ants and traffic jams." In this video, the ant colony optimization algorithm is discussed in connection with solving a perennial urban problem: traffic jams or congestion.

Click on the image to view the video.

Source: http://www.slatev.com/player.html?id=1681718043

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pisay Concert 2: 'Ganito Kami Noon, Eh Ano Ngayon'

. Photo Caption: PETA Theater, No. 5 Eymard Drive, New Manila, Quezon City (behind Quezon City Sports Complex)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Katipunan Traffic: Aerial View of Katipunan Avenue (in the Vicinity of Ateneo de Manila University)

. Caption: An aerial view of Katipunan Avenue (in the vicinity of Ateneo de Manila University). Map extracted from wikimapia.org by Raffy Saldaña (http://raffysaldana.blogspot.com/)


To understand why traffic congestion occurs in Katipunan Avenue in the vicinity of Ateneo de Manila University, one has to consider the location and the movement of people and vehicles in the area.

As can be seen from the map shown above, a major part of Katipunan Avenue between the flyover and University of the Philippines-Diliman is covered by Ateneo de Manila University and Miriam College. Katipunan Avenue divides the combined area of Ateneo and Miriam and Xavierville Subdivision in Loyola Heights. In the morning, there is an influx of vehicles crossing Katipunan Avenue from Xavierville going to Ateneo and Miriam. Also, vehicles coming from La Vista Subdivision (near Miriam College) have to cross to the other side of Katipunan and make U-turns going to Ateneo or Miriam.

A similar event occurs near lunchtime (around 11:30 a.m.) when pre-school students from Ateneo and Miriam leave their respective schools, contributing to the traffic congestion during lunchtime (from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m.). In the afternoon, around 3:00 p.m. another traffic congestion occurs when grade school students from Ateneo and Miriam leave their schools. The next traffic congestion occurs between 4:30 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. when high school students, college students, and employees of Ateneo and Miriam leave the two campuses.

However, a major contributing factor to the traffic congestion in Katipunan Avenue (in the vicinity of Ateneo and Miriam) is the fact that Katipunan Avenue (which was made part of C-5 Road, a national highway) ends at the La Vista area in the intersections of C.P. Garcia (near University of the Philippines-Diliman) and Tandang Sora Avenue -- which are much narrower roads compared to Katipunan Avenue.





PSHS "Pisay" Concert 2: Practice Session 1

Photo 1: Concert Banner
Photo 2: Batch '78 Representatives

Photo 3: "From" Batch '79
Photo 4: Batch '80 Representatives
Photo 5: Batch '77 Representatives (The "Singing" Ph.D.'s)

Note: Today (23 August 2008) I attended a practice session at the Philippine Science High School Auditorium for the forthcoming PSHS Concert: "Ganito Kami Noon, Eh Ano Ngayon", a project of the PSHS Alumni Association.

Representatives from PSHS Batches '77, 78, '79, '80, '82, '83, and '84 were present during the concert practice.

Click below for the link to the photos taken during the practice session:


Katipunan Traffic: Videos of Congestion on 20 August 2008 (Due to Suspension of Classes)





Friday, August 22, 2008

Katipunan Traffic: Congestion on August 20, 2008 (Due to Suspension of Classes)


NOTE: Last Wednesday, 20 August 2008, the Philippine National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) decided to suspend classes in all levels mid-day (12 noon) due to heavy rain. I drove all the way from Alabang (and hurdled the traffic in South Superhighway and C-5 road) to be in time for my first class at 11:30 a.m. When I arrived in Ateneo, we were informed that classes were suspended starting at 12:30 p.m.

I was not feeling well that day, I had a bad case of sore throat and headache. I wanted to go home to rest but there was heavy traffic inside and outside the campus due to sudden influx and outflux of vehicles. I decided to leave my car inside the campus and walked to my condominium unit in Xavierville. Along the way I took photos and video clips of heavy traffic congestion in Katipunan as a result of the suspension of classes during mid-day. I estimated that the congestion lasted for more than two hours.

I came back to school at night to get my car when traffic congestion was already gone.
Click on the link below to see more photos of Katipunan traffic congestion on 20 August 2008:
(Suggestion: choose 'slideshow' option.)


To the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) -- please do not suspend classes during mid-day. If you have to suspend classes, do the announcement the night before so that students need not go to their respective schools anymore. Also, please leave the responsibility of suspending classes to school heads (principals and presidents). In the case of Ateneo and Miriam, I don't think that classes had to be suspended last Wednesday. What resulted was ANOTHER DISASTER because of heavy traffic congestion due to sudden influx and outflux of vehicles.

Things like heavy traffic congestion in Katipunan can be avoided if there is proper planning and coordination.


Sophomore Computer Science Students 'Having Fun' With Discrete Mathematics


Photo Caption: My AMC 124 (Discrete Mathematics, Part 1) class consisting of sophomore computer science majors. Taken on 22 August 2008 in Ateneo de Manila University.

Click on the link below to view the photos. (Suggestion: Choose slideshow option).



Raffy Saldaña

PCSC Certificate


I receive regular requests from authors/presentors of papers in the Philippine Computing Science Congress (PCSC) organized by the Computing Society of the Philippines (CSP) that I issue them a certificate which states that the Proceedings of the PCSC is a peer-reviewed publication. Shown here is the required certificate. Click on the figure to see a larger view.

Raffy Saldaña

Thursday, August 21, 2008

BSPT Batch D: Reunion with Tess and Friends

Note: Tess Gagui-Ichinose (my college classmate and friend, NSDB-PNC BSPT Batch D at the Phillippine Normal College) and her family who are based in Tokyo, Japan were in town recently. Last Tuesday, 19 August 2008, we visited Tess in her condominium unit in Alabang. Tess recently celebrated her birthday. Aside from Tess, those in the photo are Morey, Ronald, Cora, myself, and Chloe (Cora's daughter who is also my inaanak or godchild).

Below are some photos taken during Tess's post-birthday celebration in Alabang. Note: A Filipino birthday celebration is incomplete without the 'pancit' (Filipino-Chinese pasta). The 'pancit' is for 'long life'.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Katipunan Traffic Monitor: "Car Race" on a Monday Morning


Caption: Two cars appear to be engaged in car racing in the Katipunan-Aurora flyover on Monday, 18 August 2008, about 6:00 a.m.

Note: This morning (Monday, 18 August 2008) I took a video clip of traffic flow in the vicinity of Katipunan-Aurora flyover near Ateneo Grade school. Today is a NON-WORKING HOLIDAY so there are no classes (all levels) and offices. I was surprised to see two cars that appear to be engaged in car racing in the Katipunan-Aurora flyover at about 6:00 a.m. I estimate that the speed of each car is more than 100 km per hour. Click on the photo or the link to see the video.

Raffy Saldaña

Video Link:



Katipunan Traffic: The Tricycle Factor

. Caption: An MMDA sign on the footbridge infront of Ateneo de Manila University in Katipunan.

Caption: Tricycles in the vicinity of Katipunan and Xavierville Avenue.

Note: Today (18 Aug 2008) I monitored a news article in Philippine Inquirer Online about tricycles and Katipunan traffic. Below is the link to the article and its contents:


Tricycle ban at Katipunan Ave draws complaints

By DJ Yap
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 18:46:00 08/17/2008

MANILA, Philippines--Tricycles have been banned from plying the stretch of Katipunan Avenue by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, drawing complaints from transport operators, students and residents.

In another attempt to ease traffic on the busy thoroughfare, the MMDA began strictly enforcing the tricycle ban on Katipunan Avenue last Friday, saying tricycles led to even worse traffic in the area.

But Alex Baay, president of the Loyola-Pansol Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association, said the ban drew complaints from passengers and residents especially those headed to the Ateneo de Manila University or Miriam College.

"A lot of passengers are affected, especially students. They have to walk several meters just to go to the other side," he said in a phone interview.

Baay said he, along with barangay (village) and transport leaders, sought a moratorium on the tricycle ban with Quezon City Vice Mayor Herbert Bautista, who was the acting mayor in the absence of Mayor Feliciano Belmonte Jr., in a recent meeting.

But nothing was set in the meeting, as the MMDA had yet to respond to their written request, he said.

Baay added the erratic traffic policies of the MMDA, such as rerouting schemes and the closing and opening of U-turn slots -- not tricycles -- have been causing the traffic gridlock in the area.

But MMDA Traffic Operations Center Executive Director Angelito Vergel de Dios disagreed, saying tricycles were a big factor in the traffic situation on Katipunan Avenue.

"They're not supposed to be there. They affect traffic. They obstruct passing vehicles all the time when turning corners," he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer, parent company of INQUIRER.net.

Vergel de Dios added that the MMDA was only enforcing an existing tricycle ban on national roads.

He also said the agency also reopened a U-turn slot in front of Miriam College to help ease traffic "in the middle of C.P. Garcia and Aurora Boulevard."

Vergel de Dios said that as of Sunday, the MMDA's proposal to change the entry point of Ateneo from its Gate 2 to Gate 3 still remained under discussion by the school board.

The MMDA proposed restricting entrance to the campus to its Gate 3 instead of Gate 2 in order to prevent bottle-neck traffic there.

Motorists, most of them parents of students, have assailed the MMDA for its rerouting schemes, which they claimed turned the area into a cause for road rage because of traffic gridlocks.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Katipunan Traffic Without Congestion

Katipunan traffic without congestion???

Yes, it is possible... but only on a Sunday :)

Below is a videoclip of Katipunan traffic (in the vicinity of Ateneo de Manila University) taken on Sunday, August 17, 2008, 6:10 p.m. as part of a preliminary study on traffic congestion in Katipunan.

Raffy Saldaña

Link: http://booleanlogic.multiply.com/video/item/30/Katipunan_Traffic_Without_Congestion_81708

Imagine There's No Traffic

Note: My blog is about my world (Raffy's World) which intersects with the world of thousands of people living/working in Loyola Heights, Katipunan area in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines.

Part of this world is the traffic congestion occurring every weekday (which is true in most parts of Metro Manila).

Today, I remember the song of John Lennon -- IMAGINE.

What if we include a paragraph in the song about traffic?

Here is my first attempt:

Imagine there's no traffic
Congestion in Katipunan
No wasted time and gasoline
And no air pollution too
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Below is the lyrics of the song "Imagine" by John Lennon:

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one


Raffy :)


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Katipunan Traffic Video: Clogging in Katipunan Corner Xavierville Avenue


Caption: Traffic congestion in Katipunan corner Xavierville Avenue during the morning rush hour (taken at 6:45 a.m.) on 15 August 2008. Taken by Raffy Saldaña (http://raffysaldana.blogspot.com/)

Note: Click on the photo to see the video clip.


Related Links:




Katipunan Traffic: 2nd Day of Documentation (15 Aug 2008)

Photo Caption: Traffic congestion in the corner of Katipunan Ave. and Xavierville Ave., 6:45 a.m., 15 August 2008. (Photo by Raffy Saldaña , http://raffysaldana.blogspot.com/).


1. The two-way two-lane Xavierville Avenue is turned into a one-way road by undisciplined overtaking drivers during the morning rush hour traffic. Recommendation: MMDA traffic personnel should be assigned in this area during traffic peak hours to ease the traffic congestion.

2. The morning rush hour started earlier on 15 August 2008 compared to the previous day. Although the clogging in the bottom portion of the Katipunan-Aurora flyover (towards North) has eased, the congestion was shifted to the the Katipunan service roads (on both sides) and under the Katipunan-Aurora flyover affecting mainly motorists going into the Ateneo Grade School Campus through Gates 1 and 2... R. Saldaña.

Click on the link below to see the photos (Suggestion: choose the slideshow option):


Related Links:



Friday, August 15, 2008

Another Reader's Comment on the Traffic Problem in Katipunan

: Today I received another comment from one of the readers of my blog (using the name "Stan"). I decided to publish his comments verbatim:



I read with interest your/others’ comment on Katipunan traffic. I would like to add a few of my own.

(1) the former u-turn slot underneath the NBS footbridge is inherently dangerous esp for motorists going north via the flyover; and must be permanently closed IMHO. Several unsuspecting souls have already hit the concrete barriers. Good thing nobody has been killed yet.

(2) I together with many others believe the major cause of traffic jams in Katipunan is the Ateneo community. If Ateneo goes on vacation (e.g. on a religious holiday), Katipunan becomes a virtual speedway.

(3) Within the Ateneo community, the grade school contributes highest to the “traffic footprint”; more than college and high school combined. A grade school holiday means a decongested Katipunan (even if the college and high school have classes). I would blame GS parents/yayas/drivers for this as many park in no parking zones esp during “sundo” time allowing only a single lane for passage.

This practice lengthens the queue of cars entering Ateneo thus worsening the mess along Katipunan.

If the community prefers to use their cars, then they must learn to live with the daily jams.

And, isn't it about time for Ateneans to learn to use public transpo and/or their legs.


Note: STAN did not identify himself (practically, he is anonymous). Could he be someone from MMDA? Just wondering ...


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Videos: A Preliminary Study on Traffic Congestion in Katipunan (in the Vicinity of Ateneo de Manila University)

6:45 a.m., August 14, 2008

Photos: A Preliminary Study on Traffic Congestion in Katipunan (in the Vicinity of Ateneo de Manila University)

(Click on the photos to see a larger image.)

6:00 a.m.

6:00 a.m

6:00 a.m

6:00 a.m.

6:30 a.m.

6:30 a.m.

6:45 a.m.

6:45 a.m.

6:45 a.m. (Xavierville)

6:47 a.m.

7:00 a.m.

7:00 a.m.

7:00 a.m.

7:30 a.m.

7:30 a.m.

7:30 a.m.

(All photos taken by Raffy Saldaña. All Rights Reserved.)
While pondering on the problem of traffic congestion in Katipunan Avenue in the vicinity of Ateneo de Manila University, I decided to do my own data gathering (to be used in my mathematical modeling and computer simulation studies of traffic dynamics).

This morning (14 August 2008) I woke up early and took photos and video clips of the "evolution" of traffic congestion in the area of Katipunan Avenue which includes the Katipunan-Aurora fly-over, the intersection of Katipunan Avenue and Xavierville Avenue, the road from Aurora Avenue to Katipunan Avenue coming from Marikina City proper, and Ateneo de Manila University Gates 1 and 2. This area includes the u-turn slot for vehicles going South and making a u-turn towards North.

Some Notes and Observations:

1. I took photos from 6:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. in the following times: 6:00 a.m., 6:30 a.m., 6;45 a.m., 7:00 a.m., and 7:30 a.m.

2. From a smooth traffic flow at 6:00 a.m., traffic flow becomes heavier with peaks occuring at 6:45 a.m. in the intersection of Katipunan Ave. and Xavierville ave. , and at 7:00 a.m. in the right side of the Katipunan-Aurora flyover going to Ateneo (from the south).

3. Traffic flow eases starting at7 :15 a.m. and becomes relatively smooth at 7:30 a.m.

4. Gridlock occurs between 6:45 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. in the intersection of Katipunan Ave. and Xavierville Ave. due to the heavy volume of vehicles trying to make a u-turn under the Katipunan-Aurora flyover.

5. The two-way two lane traffic at Xavierville Ave. becomes a one-way three-lane street due to impatient drivers who occupy the left lane to make a right turn to Katipunan Ave.

6. The heavy volume of traffic occurs between 6:45 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. because at this time period grade school students (including prep and kinder) are being brought to the Ateneo Grade School through Gates 1 and 2. The Ateneo Grade School students must be in their classrooms before 7:15 a.m. because the customary flag ceremony (which signals the start of the schoolday) begins at 7:15 a.m.

7. Clogging in a portion of Katipunan-Aurora flyover occurs around 7:00 a.m. because vehicles going towards North are being deterred by vehicles exiting from the Ateneo Gate 2.5 and those vehicles entering Gate 2.

Raffy Saldaña

Notes on Traffic Gridlock, Game Theory and the Prisoner's Dilemma

Photo Caption: Katipunan traffic gridlock (Source: Ateneo de Manila University Physical Plant Office)

Last Friday, August 8, 2008, a traffic gridlock occurred in Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City in the vicinity of Miriam College and Ateneo de Manila University. (See related link: http://raffysaldana.blogspot.com/2008/08/more-traffic-woes-in-katipunan.html )

What is a gridlock?

Here are some notes that I gathered from a Wikipedia article:

"1. Gridlock is a term describing an inability to move on a transport network. The term originates from a situation possible in a grid network where intersections are blocked, prohibiting vehicles from moving through the intersection or backing up to an upstream intersection.

2. The term gridlock is also widely used to describe high traffic congestion with minimal flow (a "traffic jam"), whether or not a blocked grid system is involved. By extension, the term has been applied to situations in other fields where flow is stalled by excess demand, or in which competing interests prevent progress.

3. The traditional form of gridlock is caused by traffic heading in one direction blocking cross traffic at an intersection. In many jurisdictions, drivers are prohibited from entering an intersection if they cannot clear it before the traffic light turns red. If drivers follow this rule of the road, gridlock will be prevented and traffic will only be slow in the direction that is actually congested. One method of reducing gridlock is to aggressively enforce penalties for vehicles that block intersections.

4. Another type of gridlock can occur during traffic surges between highway on-ramps and off-ramps located within a quarter mile of each other. Traffic exiting the highway may back up and block the entering vehicles.

5. Gridlock is sometimes cited as an example of the prisoner's dilemma (from game theory). Mutual cooperation among drivers would give the maximum benefit (prevention of gridlock), but this may not happen because of the desire to maximize one's own benefit (shortest travel time) given the uncertainty about the other drivers' commitment to cooperation."


To an applied mathematician and computational scientist like me, studying traffic dynamics is quite interesting because traffic is considered a nonlinear and complex phenomenon. Modeling and simulation of traffic dynamics is a useful tool that the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) can utilize in the management of traffic in Metro Manila, particularly in the Katipunan area.


MMDA: Tricycles No Longer Allowed in Katipunan

From the Ateneo Blueboard:

(Thursday, 14 August 2008)



1. MMDA (Metropolitan Manila Development Authority) personnel informed tricycle drivers and operators this morning that tricycles will not be allowed along Katipunan starting tomorrow, Friday 15 August 2008. This was confirmed by MR. ALEX A. BAAY, President of the Loyola Pansol Tricycle Operators and Drivers Assoc. (TODA) and Mr. ROMEO C. MORALES, President of Loyola Heights TODA.

2. Katipunan is part of C5, a major thoroughfare, and tricycles are not allowed on major thoroughfares.

3. Some LPTODA (Green) and LHTODA (White) tricycles will try to enter the campus very early tomorrow morning and provide tricycle services on campus.

4. Tricycle terminals will be allowed near Gate 2.5 footbridge and at Gate 3.5 footbridge.

5. Tricycle-riding members of the community may encounter problems going to school and offices tomorrow.


1. Campus security has learned from an unofficial source that MMDA will extend the concrete barriers separating northbound vehicles coming from the flyover and the service road till past Gate 2.

2. This means that only northbound vehicles using the service road will be able to enter Gate1 and Gate 2.

3. Northbound vehicles coming from the flyover will have to enter Ateneo via Gate 3.

From the University Plant Office
Ateneo de Manila University

More Feedback on the MMDA Experimental Traffic Scheme in Katipunan

Below is an article published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer that I have monitored recently:

Katipunan rerouting by MMDA draws flak from motorists
By Jeannette Andrade, DJ Yap
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:55:00 08/09/2008
Source: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/metro/view/20080809-153543/Katipunan-rerouting-by-MMDA-draws-flak-from-motorists

"MANILA, Philippines – Motorists, most of them parents of students in campuses along Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City, lashed out at the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for its rerouting scheme that they claimed has turned the area into a virtual breeding ground for road rage by worsening traffic problems in the area.

Surging blood pressures and chaos, they claimed, have become daily fare for motorists who pass through Katipunan Ave. on their way to the Ateneo de Manila University, Miriam College and the University of the Philippines.

The resulting gridlock has angered motorists like Gary de Jesus who proposed that the MMDA discuss their traffic schemes with the school officials in an e-mail he sent to fellow motorists, saying the agency should have warned those affected by the implementation of the changes.

He also suggested additional U-turn slots for the thousands of vehicles that use Katipunan Ave. leading to the campuses of the three big schools in the area.

A fuming parent responded to the e-mail with a scathing piece on the “propensity of the MMDA to experiment with not-so-well-thought-of schemes that have to result in chaos before they are finally scrapped.”

The parent cited what he said was a simple law of physics that no two things can occupy a single space, pointing out that a single U-turn slot beneath the flyover at the boundary of Quezon and Marikina cities cannot accommodate all southbound lane vehicles.

The MMDA, however, defended its decision to reroute traffic, saying the scheme benefited more commuters than inconvenienced others.

“What we’re doing is for the greater public, not just those who live in subdivisions,” said Roberto Esquivel, head of the MMDA’s traffic enforcement unit.

He said the majority of the complaints came from homeowners in subdivisions like Xavierville and La Vista, and not from regular motorists. “Traffic especially on the southbound lane sped up significantly,” he said.

“Those who complain about the rerouting scheme should realize that Katipunan Ave. is not a subdivision road. It’s a national road. The MMDA, not the subdivisions, has the authority to implement traffic schemes as it sees fit,” Esquivel said.

MMDA Traffic Operations Center director Angelito Vergel de Dios, however, said the agency would study the complaints. “If we have to abandon the scheme, we will do so. We’re here to improve traffic, not to worsen the situation,” he said.

MMDA: Experimental Traffic Scheme in Katipunan to Continue

During the news on TV (Channel 7, Unang Hirit) yesterday, August 13, 2008, a Metropolitan Development Authority (MMDA) official announced that the "Experimental" Traffic Scheme in Katipunan will continue.