Tuesday, November 23, 2004


Who in the hell is he?!

Okay. If you, while getting lost along Taft Avenue or was crossing the Luneta towards the National Museum complex happened to notice this sign and wondered what it was all about, you are not alone.

I first saw this sign while crossing Estrada Street and Taft Avenue towards La Salle from my Spanish class at the Mayflower Building and sabay kamot sa ulo, knowing too well that this University is Tsinoy Heaven, I was wondering why this dear city headed by one who is of Chinese-descent would name a non-existent street in honor of Ped Xing.

Who is Ped Xing, exactly?

"It's Pedro Xing-Hua, from a wealthy Chinese family," Manila Mayor Lito Atienza said in jest in one forum at the Westin Philippine Plaza, after one of the guests asked him to reveal once and for all who Ped Xing was.

So who is Ped Xing? He is Chinese, he is Filipino, he is every nationality when he or she crosses the street. Ped Xing simply means "Pedestrian Crossing." (Source: www.inq7.net by Tarra Quismondo).

Look here: PEDestrian Cross(X)ING. I learned that the first time while reading Micheal Tan's column in the Inquirer.

Dan Simeon, an architect at the City Development and Planning Office, said the installation of the Ped Xing street signs began early this year as part of an on-going project called Lighted Street Sign and Multi-Traffic Signals. Mr Simeon said, "I think Manila is the only city in the Philippines where the Ped Xing street sign has been installed".

True and in fact, it can be found in many areas in the US, too. There was even a 'study' of sorts regarding this street sign in New York. (See below)

An Interactive Binaural. Audio Environment Produced by Lynda Williams and Christopher Seguine
Technical Direction: Christopher Seguine. Installed at VR 91 and The San Francisco Art Institute.

PED XING is an interactive binaural audio environment. Standing on a street corner in New York City, you have to decide blindly when it is safe to cross. When you think it is safe, you step out onto the "smart street" and hear what happens! Audio recorded in 3D binaural sound. The smart street is embedded with pressure sensitive triggers which detect when the step occured during the sound track. Will you get hit by a cab or mugged?

So there, dearest friends. Smile when you see Ped Xing, our new and dear friend on the road.


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