31 January 2018

The Dengue Misadventure - The Cost of Recovery

Irene's recovery is the utmost priority. But that recovery has a cost. Php408,749.50 to be exact! It seems absurd that a single mosquito bite would cost that much but that truly was our bill. Even if we can find the mosquito who bit Irene, I'm sure he wont have that much money to pay for what he did!

The Bill That Shocked The (our) World
By day 9, it was established that while Irene still has fluid on her lungs, the diuretic therapy was effective in flushing it out. We were begging to be discharged as we can no longer afford to stay in the hospital. Literally. We were both on the same plan of not telling the nurses or doctors of any more pain, headaches, rashes, whatsoever. The running bill was the miracle cure! Morning of day 10, we were finally released!
Irene's room at Asian Hospital
But we need to settle our bill first.

The Skyway Conundrum: Online People Power

After the outrage on social media, the skyway management finally gave in.

The Skyway Conundrum: The Day Skyway Stood Still

For a couple of years now we have accepted the fact that using the skyway is our new norm. There was no turning back. The 9-kilometer stretch took us less than 30 minutes to reach Makati. The Php23.00 toll difference seems worth it.

The pile-up approaching the new runway tollgate
It was. Until the skyway management started construction on a new toll plaza near C5. At the time when vehicles were just passing through, traffic was already piling up, adding maybe at least 5-minutes to our travel time. At that time I have already foreseen that it will be a disaster once the tollgate is functional. Imagine an ETC (RFID) user who used to just pass though the ETC lane to enter skyway and then exit as he pleases now has to stop and pass through another ETC lane just to get out of the skyway system.

The Skyway Conundrum

Being a northerner since birth, I didn't see myself living in the south, paying toll fees everyday. I was used to the hour-long jeep-LRT-jeep combo to and from work in Makati. Only when my wife and I were looking for a new place to move-in to, that I slightly considered living in the south. When the other options were out of our budget range, the south became the smart choice. I've been a southie for three years now.
Along East Service Road
Crunching the numbers I accepted the fact that we had to pay Php49.00 per entry and exit to and from Bicutan. That's Php98.00 per day or roughly Php3,000 in a month. For a year I got used to traversing the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) from Bicutan to Makati until I got tired of the morning stress it brings. Upon exit at Nichols toll plaza, you have to inch your way from left to right just to have a good position to exit to EDSA. I found a temporary solution entering through Magallanes but EDSA would still bring me my daily minimum requirement of stress. There's got to be a better way.

Enter: Skyway.