Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘In Traffic’

Traffic has eaten our lives

September 03, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: In Traffic, Places 4 Comments →

Photo from InterAksyon

As lifelong veterans of traffic, we formulate explanations as to why it is so bad. These explanations are not thorough or accurate; in many cases, they’re not even right. They are increasingly desperate attempts to make sense of the black hole that swallows us up every time we go out on the street. They constitute a mantra of urban life.

The traffic is heavy because it is raining.
Because it is rush hour.
Because it is Friday.
Because it is payday.
Because there’s been a vehicular accident.
Because the highway is being repaired.
Because there are shopping malls right along the main thoroughfares.
Because the skyway is being constructed.
Because the truck ban has been lifted.
Because the trains aren’t running.
Because there are too many colorum buses.
Because there is no urban planning.
Because the motorists don’t follow basic road rules.
Because this and that.

Read our column at InterAksyon.

Vote for the world’s biggest air filter at Cannes

June 15, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Health, In Traffic, Science No Comments →


Boysen KNOxOut’s Project Edsa, the murals which make up the world’s biggest air filter, is in contention for the ACT Cannes 2014 prize.

Watch the Boysen Project Edsa video here (leftmost, third from the top) and click on the heart to cast your vote on Facebook.

Voting ends on 19 June.

ACT Responsible is a Switzerland-based, non-profit organization that collects the best ads promoting sustainability, equitable development and social responsibility in a bid to highlight how creativity is used to raise awareness on the world’s major issues.

Lungs on EDSA

May 02, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Design, In Traffic No Comments →


The latest in the Project: EDSA series of murals is now taking shape on the Rockwell EDSA wall between Buendia (Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue) and Estrella, Makati. When finished, it will cover 1,000 square meters of wall.

Designed by the creative team of TBWA, “Lungs” is being painted with Boysen KNOxOUT. KNOxOUT is a revolutionary air-cleaning paint that turns toxic air pollutants into a harmless residue that washes out in rain. Making “Lungs” a massive air purifier.

You can see the murals in the KNOxOUT Project: EDSA series on the San Lorenzo Wall between Ayala and Pasay Road, Makati (by Jose Tence Ruiz); the pylons and parapets of the MRT on Ortigas, Pasig (by B+C); the Aurora Cubao underpass, Quezon City (by Tapio Snellman); and under the southbound flyover on Tramo, Pasay (by Erika Tan).


“Lungs” and the Boysen KNOxOUT project have nothing to do with the wall paintings under the Buendia flyover, which are being undertaken by a another company. It’s nice to see different groups taking an interest in the highway, but with vast areas of EDSA in need of attention, they need not squeeze into the same intersection.

Lock your car doors

December 12, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: In Traffic, Places 4 Comments →

At a quarter to two this afternoon we were sitting in traffic in the Guadalupe interchange en route to Rockwell when a group of kids surrounded the taxi. There were about six of them, pre-teen, early teen, in T-shirts and shorts. One of them hopped onto the back of the van in front of us then somersaulted onto the roof of the taxi. The other kids stuck their faces in the windows and pounded on the doors. It was like being in Mad Mad: Beyond Thunderdome, or getting stuck in open auditions for a Glee remake of Fame, which is scarier. Then the kids started rattling the door handles and trying to open the doors, which were locked.

The driver looked straight ahead and refused to notice the rumpus. We have heard of thieves lurking in intersections, opening car doors and grabbing whatever they can (It’s Xmas). The kids may have been high on solvent. We were listening to Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants (50th anniversary edition). It is hard to be fazed while listening to hard bop. Then the traffic started moving and the wild ones went off to harass another car. They could still be down in Guadalupe, freaking out random motorists.

What kind of city do you want?

December 03, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, In Traffic 3 Comments →

Manila skyline photo from the National Geographic.

From our column Emotional Weather Report in the Philippine Star.

A week from now Manny Pacquiao will meet his Mexican archrival Juan Manuel Marquez in the ring for the fourth time. Many believe that Marquez was the true winner of their last bout, which Pacquiao won by a split decision (and that Pacquiao was the winner of his fight against Bradley, the result of which seemed like a correction). Of all Pacquiao’s opponents it is Marquez who has been the greatest threat, if not the match for the Filipino champion. Will Marquez have his overdue victory, or will Pacquiao end all debate at last?

I won’t even venture a guess. However, I can tell you in all certainty that in the morning and early afternoon of December 9, the streets of Metro Manila will enjoy very light traffic. There will be few cars on the road; everyone will be watching the boxing live from Vegas. It should be a good time to do your Xmas shopping. The only time city driving will be this pleasant is during Lent, when the residents go on vacation. As no one will listen to my suggestion that we barricade all access to Metro Manila (So they can’t come back in and we can de-congest the streets forever!!!), we can only hope that Pac-man goes on fighting. His matches offer us the rare reprieve from the daily hostage situation on the road.

Public Stress Relief Station

November 15, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: In Traffic, Places, Projects 4 Comments →

Street artist fra.biancoshock installed an ingenious antistress station in a Milan bus shelter consisting of bubble wrap sheets in three stress relief dosages: 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and 10 minutes. via Laughing Squid

Offices could have a padded cell in which stressed-out employees can scream their lungs out, punch the wall, or break a set of cheap plates (bit more difficult with padding).