Discovering the Kilometer Marker

Land trips especially the long ones could be boring. You will just sit the whole time and there is nothing else for you to do except look outside the window and stare with only the houses, and occasional signage to entertain us. Every once in a while you will notice, at the edge of the highway a short yellow post with letters and numbers written on it. For those who are wondering what these are, they are called Kilometer markers.

Kilometer markers are placed every one kilometer along the highway basically to guide motorists as to where they are or where they are heading.


So what are those letters and numbers supposed to mean? let’s look at the picture above. This picture was taken somewhere in Bangkal near the PLDT office. Starting at the top we have KM, which indicates the units of the distances are in kilometers and then we have 1518 which means that while taking this picture, I am 1,518 kilometers away from a reference point. Originally, the reference point is called Mindanao’s “kilometer zero” which is in Marawi city. But since the construction of the Maharlika Highway a.k.a the Pan Philippine Highway, Davao City’s reference point or “km zero” is in Luneta (Rizal Park).



"Kilometre Zero fronting Rizal Park" by Handtell - Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons -

“Kilometre Zero fronting Rizal Park” by Handtell – Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

let’s go back to the yellow marker above, DC means that if you are in a car and this is your point of view, you will be heading to Davao City. The lowest number tells us that I am currently 7 kilometers away from Davao City’s “kilometer zero”. So where is Davao City’s “kilometer zero”? It is situated along Quimpo Boulevard somewhere in between the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Almendras gym. Look for a rice mart and directly infront of that you will find the km marker.



Km 0 infront of a rice mart



The back side of the “DC 0” marker which indicates that at this point, it is 15 kilometers away from a place with a starting letter T, which I guess is Talomo.

Additional information on kilometer markers:

– Kilometer markers are supposed to be found on the right side of the road if you are travelling away from a kilometer zero. So in the first pic since we are going towards the KM zero, the marker will be seen on your left side.

– Kilometer zeros are “localized” on different islands but some provinces uses the country’s kilometer zero as their point of reference which is in Manila. This is basically because of the Maharlika Highway a.k.a the Pan Philippine Highway with the reasoning that you can drive from Manila to Mindanao using this highway.



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She is a Civil Engineer by profession and a full-time faculty in the School of Engineering and Architecture at the Ateneo de Davao University, where she graduated in March 2007. She is currently taking up Masters of Engineering major in Civil Engineering from the same university.

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