Pangarap. Dunong. Lakas. Pag-unlad. Maynila. Isang tula ng pag-asa

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This poem is part of Aurora Metropolis’ #Manila447 Series in celebration of Araw ng Maynila. The views expressed by the author does not reflect the view of all organizations he represent or he is affiliated with.


 

PANGARAP. DUNONG. LAKAS. PAG-UNLAD. MAYNILA
Isang tula ng pag-asa

 

Gusto kong makita at malasap,
Siyudad kung sa’n ating nilalasap,
Pamumuhay na may hinaharap,
Mamamayang may mga pangarap.

Kabiserang ganap ang pagsulong,
Gobyernong handa laging tumulong,
Sa pagsubok ay hindi uurong,
May galing at walang hanggang dunong.

Kagitingan niya ay sadyang likas,
Kisig niya’y hinding-hindi aalpas,
Ganda’t tingkad man niya ay lumipas,
Kasaysayan niya’y tunay na lakas.

Ang kanyang tunay na hinahangad,
Bayang Manileñong may dignidad,
Tapat, ‘di maihahalintulad,
Kapit-bisig para sa pag-unlad.

Patuloy mong dalhin ang bandila,
Ikaw ang natatangi niyang tala,
Ngalan mo’y laging idadakila,
Pagpugay nami’y sa’yo, Maynila!

 

 

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MANILEÑO DOWNGRADED: “Citizen of the Capital” no more?

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This article is part of Aurora Metropolis’ #Manila447 Series in celebration of Araw ng Maynila. The views expressed by the author does not reflect the view of all organizations he represent or he is affiliated with.


 

Just recently, I’ve read a news about the transfer of the Capital City in line with the proposed Federal Constitution as replacement to our current 31-year-old Constitution.

Speaking on behalf of Rodrigo Duterte’s consultative committee (ConComm) which attempts to draft a “hybrid charter”, lawyer Roan Libarios said in an interview that under the proposed federal government, vital centers shall be divided to other metropolitan areas as way of distributing powers in different regions. He cited the former Clark Airbase in Pampanga as the new administrative center while Metro Cebu can serve as another center to decongest traffic in Metro Manila, the current National Capital Region (NCR).

Libarios emphasized that since the 1987 Constitution does not exactly mandate Manila or Metro Manila as the Philippine capital, the ConComm is open to proposals for a new capital centers that shall serve as images of our country to the world.

This raises many questions in my mind:
– Is Manila become less valuable socially, culturally and politically?
– Is being “congested” an enough reason to hinder Manila from becoming a national capital?
– Do Manileños fail to exemplify a living global image for Filipinos?

Let me share my observations in a micro-perspective: As a Manileño or someone who was born, live and observe the city of Manila for all of his life.

While it is not provided by the current charter, dictator and former president Ferdinand Marcos released Presidential Decree No. 940 on June 24, 1976 “establishing Manila as the capital of the Philippines and as the permanent seat of the national government”. This instituted the formal transfer of the Capital City title to Manila from Quezon City which was declared as such by then president Elpidio Quirino in 1948. Months prior to the declaration of PD 940, Marcos also issued Presidential Decree No. 824 on November 7, 1975 creating Metropolitan Manila and, at the same time, declaring it as NCR. Given these orders from a head of state at that time, it is suffice to say that Manila and Metro Manila are both legally proclaimed as national capitals, contrary to Libarios’ claim that there was no legal mandate on the designation of seats of powers.

However, in the course of Manila’s growing economy in the 1970s, Escolta, the country’s central business district (CBD), started to feel the hardships of running the country’s commercial facet. The issues of traffic congestion, lack of parking areas and bigger office spaces forced big companies and leaders of vital industries to search for new places and build their own business infrastructures. One great example is the Ayala group who saw the potential in the former Makati municipality from a vast empty land to a progressive CBD. The rise of the Ayala Empire in Makati has made Escolta down on its knees as the commercial capital of the Philippines.

Despite the loss of a vital gem in its crown, Manila continues to be relevant in the socio-political arena. It’s not just because Malacañang is located here but, also, Manila served as a significant venue to display the continuing saga of struggling workers, highly-vigilant students and youth leaders and movers of political reforms that led to policy changes, political shifts and, the most memorable of all, ouster of a president.

Linking to Manila’s socio-political value is its history that made the city an invaluable cultural paragon. Since 1571 when Adelantado Miguel Lopez de Legazpi founded the city as the seat of the Spanish empire in the East, Manila became the administrator and messenger – or a dictator, in this matter – of all important instructions and directives from the King of Spain and the Governor General. Even before colonizers controlled the Philippines, Manila’s leadership culture ran in its veins with the emergence of the rajahs, datus and other dominant leaders of pre-Spanish Philippines.

Indeed, it has all the aces to retain the title of the Philippines’ capital, but is it really enough for Manila to continue its duties of becoming the Capital?

Truth be told: Manila is generally filthy, unruly and crammed. Unlike other cities, the capital city shows slower economic development and uncomfortable kind of living. It is mostly dependent to the national government in terms of tourism promotion and development. Poverty is evident in almost all corners of the city and the local government which was led and managed by well-known political juggernauts after EDSA People Power Revolution remains passive with delivering services and initiatives to raise the morale of its citizens.

All of these dilemma made the worse generation of Manileños since pre-World War 2 years – downgraded, dispirited locals who need to endure daily battles first before studying, working and living with dignity, harmony and pride. More of us feel that the government sees us as important because we have their votes in the next elections. More of us feel that idolizing and supporting their cheap stunts have monetary and material value. More of us feel that Manila is no longer a classy, honorable home but a warzone where every day is a struggle and every moment is a chance for survival.

Yes, Manila may be losing the Capital City title once the current regime pushed their proposed system. It may be sooner than we think and we cannot do anything because we have a dirty-old tyrant in the palace.

But is it too late for us to change Manila? Is it too late to break the curse for our dear city? It is for us as one community of Manileños to decide and act.

 

 

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Tumatanda

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Paano ba masasabi kung tumatanda ang isang tao? Kapag madali nang antukin? Kapag mahina nang uminom ng beer? Kapag hindi na maka-relate sa gala ng mga mas bata sa kanya?

Kung ang pagbabasehan ay ang batas, ang edad na trenta ay preparasyon pa lang ng tunay na adult stage. 35 years old ang limitasyon ng kabataan. Sa kabilang banda, sa bilis ng mga pangyayari ay mas madaling maramdaman ang pagtanda at napupwersa ka nito na maging mature sa mga ginagawa mo sa buhay.

Marahil ay may iba’t ibang sintomas ng pagtanda ang mga tao. Pero isa lang ang sigurado ako: may mga dapat bitawan kapag tayo ay tumatanda na.

Isa rito ay ang pagiging bata. May points of argument sa sinabi ko pero aminin man natin o hindi, habang nadaragdagan ang edad natin, nababawasan ang kabataan natin. Maaaring alam natin ang trends ng bagong henerasyon pero may mga pagkakataon na hindi na natin siya masabayan. Pwedeng kaya pa nating suotin ang porma nila pero pwedeng hindi na natin kayang dalhin. Masyadong mabilis ang panahon ngayon na kahit tayo ay naiiwanan na nang hindi na natin namamalayan.

Pero talaga bang dapat na nating tuluyang bitawan ang pagkabata?

Naisip ko yan noong nakaraang linggo noong dumapo sa isip ko ang pagod. Trenta anyos na ako. Oo, bata pa rin kung tutuusin at marami pa akong nakakasalamuhang mas bata sa akin dahil sa klase na rin ng mga ginagawa ko sa buhay. Pero tinanong kong bigla ang sarili ko kung dapat pa ba akong umastang bata? Dapat ko pa ba silang samahan sa mga ginagawa nila? Dapat ko pa bang malaman ang mga alam nila na hindi ko na dapat inaalam?

25 pa lang ako, taong 2013, ay sinubukan ko nang mamaalam sa pagkabata ngunit hindi siya naging matagumpay dahil kinailangang kong magpakabata para sa mga ipinaglalaban ko. Ngunit sa pagtuntong ng 30th birthday ko nitong Marso, muling dumapo ang ideyang ito at alam kong hindi ko na siya dapat palampasin. Nagsimula na akong kumalas sa mga dati kong ginagawa, mas iniisip na ang mga bagay na nakalinya sa pagiging mas responsableng matanda at nakaibabaw sa pilosopiya para gumabay na lamang sa mga mas nakababata.

Hindi na ako bata. Tumatanda na ako. Iyan ang lagi ko nang bukambibig.

Pwedeng hindi kayo sang-ayon sa akin pero mas mabuti nang handa ako nang mas maaga kaysa magulat na lang ako na matanda na ako at nakahinto pa rin sa malaking kasinungalingan na hindi tumatanda ang tao.

Hindi na ako bata. Tumatanda na ako.

 

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