At around 12:30pm of January 2, 2010, after a week-long Christmas vacation in my beloved hometown Pio V. Corpus in the province of Masbate,I was already at Cataingan Port onboard a Ro-Ro barge going to Bogo, Cebu. The barge ferries buses to and pro the Ro-Ro ports of Cataingan, Masbate and Bogo, Cebu in a daily basis. Since buses were fully booked at that time, I just boarded the barge and planned to catch up a bus trip for Cebu City upon arriving Bogo City. My earlier trip going home was also through the same Ro-Ro barge. To sum it up, my vacation trip marked my first-time-experience traveling on Ro-Ro since it started operating Bogo-Cataingan route as early as April 2009.
Masbate is now part of the highway chain known as “Strong Republic Nautical Highway” which is also dubbed as the Ro-Ro Project by the Arroyo administration. The project which is one of the flagship programs of the Arroyo administration is funded in part by Asian Development Bank. As a result of the project, portions of the main roads leading from Pio V. Corpus (my hometown) to its neighboring towns are now concreted and expected to be completed even beyond Arroyo’s term. It’s mind-boggling for us, Masbateno’s, that it took generation of eon and foreign aid funding before roads which are apparently for carabao’s use are transformed into roads for vehicle’s use -- while most of the roads in Masbate province had been reported as first class roads even during the Marcos regime. My fellow Mabateno’s know that the improvements the province is experiencing right now due to the Ro-Ro project are not attributed to any politician in the province; they are useless.