A couple of years ago, I wrote about the confusing intricacy of the streets of Metro Manila, a constant challenge for a magician finding his way to a venue to catch a performance.
I said then, and let me quote myself (because I have a narcissistic love for my own words): “In case you didn’t notice it, Metro Manila is a labyrinth of streets, a great number of which is unmarked. The Metropolis is also so large there are many places I have not gone to— strange streets and out-of-the-ordinary-route places.”
That’s right, folks. In a huge city where public officials love to put up tarpaulin signs and billboards of themselves at the slightest excuse, many streets in Metro Manila are unmarked. As in, there are no street signs. If Magellan were born today, he wouldn’t be able to find his way around the Metropolis and explore it.
In all these years, the handy tool I’ve been using to keep myself from getting lost in the maze of streets of Metro Manila is the Metro Manila CitiAtlas. It is a map so beautifully organized and accurately rendered that even a slow wit like me who failed in map reading as a Boy Scout many years ago can understand the directions.
However, just like many tools in paper form, it’s been pushed on the wayside by technology that has increasingly turned us into a paperless society. Thus, with my discovery of the Google Maps, the CitiAtlas has been relegated to disuse. I still bring the CitiAtlas in my van when I travel from gig to gig for backup, just in case I lose my way to the venue. This has never happened, though, so my copy of the atlas just stays on the dashboard unused.
If the CitiAtlas is easy to use, the Google Maps are even easier. All you need to do is enter the address on the search box, and voila!, Google brings up the map of your destination. Google can even give you directions on how to get there.
All this, of course, looks nifty, but if your car has GPS (mine doesn’t), you have something even niftier.
Anyway, gone are the days when you come to the party late and sheepishly tell the birthday mom “we got lost”. With Google Maps and all the technological wonders today, that excuse just won’t be as convincing anymore as it used to be during the Jurassic age of maps.