One of the reasons why it is so difficult to travel in Samar is because of the conditions of the roads, including the National Highway. Here are some previously unpublished pictures of the road conditions, from my recent trips from Calbayog to Catbalogan. Before I get started with the pictures, though, I want to appologize about the quality of the photos. These were taken through a dirty window on a moving bus.
I thought this sign was kind of interresting. No, not the FIELDS sign, the smaller one to the right. It says “SLOW DOWN MEN AT WORK.”
Here you can see a roller machine. It is used for packing the base of the roadway, and also after blacktop is used. Using blacktop is new for Samar, and only some parts of the National Highway have seen blacktop. Previously they mostly built with cement, and that is still widely used. Recently I heard that one of the reasons they are switching to blacktop is because it cannot be used to build houses. With cement, a large percentage of the materials just “disappear.”
This next picture shows a section of the road in serious need of construction!
Very much of the work is still done by hand. Here you can see workers building a ditch along the National Highway. When they are finished, the ditch will be lined with stones and cement… if the project makes it that far.