In the news last week, it was announced that 4 final bidders for the Php 60-billion Light Rail Transit (LRT 1) Cavite extension project are among the biggest business groups in Asia. While I was reading the news it was funny for I was wondering what the extended LRT 1 line would be like in the future being based and predicated upon by who among the bidders would be chosen.
One of the final bidders is the tandem of Metro Pacific investments and Ayala Group, owners of Smart and Globe telecommunications respectively. Would this mean that in case this rare tandem wins the bid there would be free wi-fi inside the train? And since these business empires own ABC 5 tv station and chic malls respectively, would there be days when showbiz personalities be assigned as kaheros and kaheras (cashiers) while the riding public can shop for trendy garments and dine elegantly inside the train?
What about the other builder, that is, SMC Infra Resources, the owner of San Miguel? Would this mean there would be free bottle of San Mig Light beer or a complimentary grilled Purefoods hotdog on stick for the riding public if they buy stored-value tickets?
Another bidder is the tandem between Malaysia’s MTDC and South Korea’s Samsung. Would this mean, there will be a promo in which the biggest LRT spender/rider will have the chance to win a free trip to Malaysia and Korea? And what about not allowing IPhone users to ride the LRT 1 extension since it will be constructed by Samsung? Would a Samsung cellphone’s Contactless Payment feature through its NFC (near field communication) chip be utilized in paying for your train ride? Imagine, having your Samsung phone simply touching an NFC payment reader and you are allowed access and entry inside the train?
Lastly, there’s the DMCI Holdings, one of the most reliable residential construction company of this country. Would there be a promo for the train-riding public of having a chance to win elegant fully-furnished houses in one of the lush residences of Metro Manila whom they developed?
I know that these are too farfetched. And I know that I am nuts.
By the way, my first train ride was the old LRT 1 line that stretched from Baclaran to Monumento during the early 80’s. Nengkoy (my mother) tagged me along one weekend to ride this electric-operated train, the first in Metro Manila. During its first few months of operation the Marcos regime decided that the fare would be free and complimentary for the citizens of the metro to get the feel on how safe it was. During those naïve and inexperienced era, the Manila citizenry had the notion and misconception that you could get electrocuted when you ride the new train since it is run by electricity.
Still by the way, when Nengkoy and I reached Monumento we entered Jackman store in Caloocan to buy a piece of payong (umbrella) then went back again to Baclaran still via the LRT. That was one of my most exciting train rides.