june 1, 2001

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GB Etc.

 I was restless once more, and I wrote a story. I welcome all your comments about it.


 It's both sad and interesting to note the vast gap between the haves and have-nots in the Philippines. The gap is most evident here in Metro Manila, where shanties and hoovervilles live meters away from high skyscrapers and corporate centers.

I would guess that since you're reading this blog, you live in a middle- to upper-class family, that you probably own 2 cars, you go to a private school, and that you eat three square meals a day.

You and I are part of the urban minority, my friend. We may not want to admit it, but we are the haves, and we have gained from the have-nots.


 Roll down your car window. Inhale the noxious exhaust fumes. Look out at the shanties and the people living in it. Smell the rain. Experience how everyone else experiences it. Ignore your parents' protestations. After you've had enough, roll up your window and turn your aircon to full blast.

I admit, Metro Manila isn't the best city in the world. Whoever says that the Metro is should try a non-aircon bus in traffic at 1 in the afternoon.

What happened? Neglect? Only neglect?

Look closer. We are the source of the problem.

Athena has a point.

But who built this city? Who maintains it? Who lives in it?


 We are the haves. We have the power and the money. We, the urban minority, control this city and this country, whether we want to deny the fact or not. We should stop protesting that the government should do something. Who controls the government? Us.

Maybe I'm making a gross generalization, but think about it. This metropolis wasn't built on thoughts and ideas; it was built with mortar, brick, and cement. Those things cost money. Where did the money come from? The government. Who paid the government? Every tax-paying Filipino citizen.

Yet, instead of building enclaves to protect us from the ruin, shouldn't we save the ruin? We have the money. We have the resources. Shouldn't we help the government?

Instead of running away from the problem, shouldn't we be part of the solution?

Reality check

 But that isn't the reality we have. Instead of helping out, we voice out our concerns. We say, hey, these are the problems we have. Period. Nothing more.

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