One of the most iconic roads in Metro Manila is Katipunan Ave., the road of UP, Ateneo, and Miriam College. The long stretch from starting at Boni Serrano and closing at C.P. Garcia is known for being a youth hub. Just outside the schools are numerous
Ahh yes, Katipunan. As with most of the historic roads in Metro Manila, Katipunan is a road everyone has a love-hate relationship with. The terrible Katipunan traffic is an institution in itself and is deeply ingrained in modern Filipino culture. The volume of cars is at its worst when students are being dropped off at around 7 in the morning, and when students are going home at around 5 in the afternoon. At these times, it can take a solid hour to get from one end to the other. During more hellish periods like road works, floods, and accidents, the number can double. This is the Philippine traffic situation at its finest, and its right outside your school!
Despite the hustle, Katipunan has bustle. It is one of the brightest avenues in town with its restaurants, activity centers, and commercial spaces. Restaurants of all kinds are found here, catering to lovers of Filipino, American, Japanese, Chinese, South American, Arabian, Italian, and even French cuisine. Numerous bars line the Katipunan strip facing Ateneo. Students from around town fill these up starting the afternoon and way into night, even on weekdays.
When I say that Katipunan is the land of the youth, I do not exaggerate. Many students of UP, Ateneo, Miriam, and other schools live nearby, may it be since birth or as dormers. Katipunan has supermarkets, clinics, parlors, churches, banks, and service centers of all kinds that cater to the needs of its residents. These are all priced accordingly.
Across C5 is Katipunan extension, which has a tad less traffic. This area is more oriented towards the Blue Ridge-St. Ignatius-White Plains crowd. It houses a more premium dining experience as it caters to families and professionals more than students. This area is near many auto shops as well.
Katipunan is alive and is driven by the families and students that populate it. It is almost its own ecosystem, and every community deserves its own study. For the many students, Katipunan is not just the road to their classes, but the road to their future.
Photo from WikiCommons.