I too onced experienced bad traffic, but it was in Cebu. Nabiyaan jud entawn mi sa amo untang giapas masakyan nga fast craft because it took us more than 3 hours to reach the pier from Mactan airport! Mactan to pier was supposed to take only less than 30 minutes to travel few years ago in the past.
You mentioned that while you were walking, sweating & panting, you overheard some upset foreigners, some with kids, saying "this is NOT fun"; "we don't enjoy Manila or Philippines"; "we won't come back here", some OFWs said this made them think if they will settle for good & retire in the Philippines, etc... This is a big blow to our country's image! If this continues, our tourism industry and economy will surely suffer. This is one of the top major challenges that the next president and the next set of leaders of our country should be tackling first and foremost.
Even more not getting better during peak seasons, bad traffic situations/condition is getting to be one of the serious problems a ["fast growing"] emerging economy like the Philippines has to find real effective solutions if the country is ever to cope with the impact of the administration-boasted development trend -- otherwise our "fast growing" economy could crash (like the Mitsubishi Montero Sport) because of this trending purported economic SUA (Sudden "Unintended" Acceleration).
When it comes to public perception, nothing quickly erodes people's trust and confidence in government administration than an unpleasant traffic experience. Traffic problem in the major cities of the Philippines is getting worse which overwhelms the current administration's competence that seriously threatens to deplete its political capitlal dry and seemingly grinding the gears of its political will to a less-than-acceptable level.