Aha moment with these road markers

By Kate Shiene Austria, PIA

The vacation is over. Most of us traverse the long and winding roads to enjoy the most awaited long weekend and spend the holy week in our respective provinces. Some traveled by air and sea while most of us traveled by land.

For those who have experienced the ‘carmageddon’ during the Holy Week rush, we can’t help but notice everything around us.

One of which is the road markers. Have you seen the ‘AH26’ sign on the road? Aside from the usual road signs you’ll see this blue sign along national highways.

Did you know that AH stands for Asian Highway? This is a network of highway routes of international importance within Asia that covers over 141,000 kilometers of roads across 32 countries.

The Asian Highway (AH) Network was conceived by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) for the coordinated development and upgrading of existing regional highways system among the member countries as well as to promote international trade and tourism.


The Philippines, as one of the 32-member countries of ESCAP, has been assigned the Asian Highway route number ‘AH26’. This route links the major seaports and cities in the country. AH26 route comprises mostly segments of the Pan-Philippine Highway or the Daang Maharlika from Ilocos Norte (Luzon Island) and ends at the international seaport in Zamboanga City (Mindanao Island) with a total length of 3,517 kilometers.

The AH26 route markers were first put up in 2013 by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and are located at every 8 kilometers of the AH26 route.

Another road marker you’ll see is the kilometer marker along the national highway. Kilometer markers are the yellow-painted upright cement poles at the side of the road that have numbers and letters written on them. These markers can be used by travelers for navigation especially when they are not familiar with the area.

KM (or just K) stands for kilometer, while the number below it is the driving distance from the Kilometer Zero (KM 0) located across Luneta in Manila. This will tell you how far you are from the nation’s capital – the City of Manila. In the above photo, it is 176 kilometers away from Luneta.

Below it is the initial of the next town or city, while the number tells you how far you are from it. In this case, ‘A’ stands for Atimonan (Quezon) which is 4 kilometers away.

Further, if the kilometer marker is on the right side of the road, that means you’re driving away from Manila. If it’s on the left, then you’re heading toward the capital.

The next time you hit the road you’ll be familiar with those road markers which you may (or may not have) noticed before. Safe travels! 

Photo by Wikipedia Commons via PIA

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