I HAVE this friend who got married to an American and lived in the US for some years. In her first travel back home to Siquijor, she brought her husband with her. In the jeep ride up to the rural villages during a special tour for Tom, Sheila noticed the rocky path they passed. “I'm sorry about this bad road,” she said to Tom.

The husband looked at her and asked, “What road?”

And you, dear reader don't you have enough of road news?

You wake up in the morning to get on the road for the trip to offce. Even just at the moment when you look out of the window---the sight of the road is part of your morning image.

You arrive at the office and read road news.

This road will be closed for the June 12 parade, said one news item in the celebration held on Independence Day. Road repairs are going on in Cebu City and the rest of the province, say local government officials. And there are road projects, like the Sangi-Bugho road in San Fernando, and all others repairing or constructing, affecting traffic and your life. There are also problems, like about the question of cutting trees to make way for wide roads. Complaints, too, there are, about unfinished road projects. The good news include farm and market road projects, also road widening. prospects

And more on roads.

A good road in today’s time could make a passenger sit back and relax during the ride, or freeze in fear over the speed that a driver could make just because the road is smooth and anyone could go flying along the road.

There was a time when there were no roads as we know roads now. There were, perhaps, what we’d call pathways, the cave men walking away from the home cave to hunt, then coming back home in rocky paths. One day it probably occurred to a bright neighbor to use the strength of animals, not just human power, for the transport of things in a smoother path and to strengthen connectedness of villagers.

So there were tracks made by horses, and other friendly animals empowered on the road, allowing humans to move things along more intently in development, pulling and pushing in walks and runs. Using human power, man moved things with the use of animal power to transport things on the road. Thus, came the use of sleds or wheels on stone-paved roads or the tar-paved ones. The stone-paved road was in the early civilizations, like during the Roman empires..

That was all before the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. When the steam engines came along, stronger roads were needed than what the ancient civilizations had. Strong, smooth roads continue to be needed in modern development for success in human production and consumption.

The United States has the biggest road network in the world, that is, a total of 64 million kilometers. The country with the next biggest number of roads is India with a total of 4 million kilometers.

The Philippines has the 25th biggest road network in the list. The country, according to a Wikipedia report, is considered to have a bigger road network than, say, Belgium, Greece, Malaysia and others. But an information in Wikipedia says transportation in the Philippines, which includes the use of roads, is “relatively underdeveloped partly due to the country's mountainous areas and scattered islands” and in the “under-investment” in the nation's infrastructure programs.

But responsibility over roads doesn't only lie on the public works officials but also in barangay leaders and citizens. There are cases of mis-use of roads by the villagers themselves, such as barangay residents turning a part of the road into a basketball court, or small businesses setting up tables for quick meals for sale. And of course, the parking sins.

(ecuizon@gmail.com)