Monday, August 27, 2012

Philippines Day 11, August 27 2012

Today, I traveled to Manila's bargain shopping haven, Divisoryia. An enormous place containing a multitude of shopping complexes and street vendors to make it into one shopping hell extravaganza. Since today was apparently a holiday, it was jam packed. The streets and alleys were filled with whatever Manila could throw at it. It was if the paths were the veins, and us, the blood. It's an impressive sight. Though as much of a shopping showcase as it turns out to be, honestly, it really favors the female sex. For every 10 shops, you get one for the male individual. With me being a picky shopper, you can imagine what my feelings were (I managed to score a pair of shoes after 4-5 hours of searching). All in all, a great experience if ever in the Philippines.

But you know what? There was a recent controversy made by the director of the Bourne Legacy film, Tony Gilroy about his choice of filming in Manila. Apparently the choice was made because Manila was "so colorful and ugly and gritty, raw and stinky and crowded" It had made the news. People grew mad of the statement, showing the strong Filipino pride and patriotism. Others stated that it was just one aspect and should not be labelled as a whole. In my opinion...I think it does ring true. It's a fact that Filipinos should not hide because its so blatantly out there. Walk out the streets and you see the fine contrast of rich and the poor. Drive on the roads and you'll see unpainted patches of buildings, highway pillars, columns all in that plain drab grey. It's depressing. See the squatter areas, and how their homes are compared to the ever rising condos that are constantly built. Walk in Divisoryia and smell a whole combination of smells hitting you at once, be it fruits, sweat, piss or who knows what else. Ride the jeepneys and taxis and see how its pieced together, barely finding something that's kept on tip-top condition. As you read this, maybe you'll flare up and say that I'm over-exaggerating, or whatever words that can be associated with it. But honestly, that is what Philippines is. Despite the poverty, and stark contrasts to poverty and many other things, we LIVE on. We show our colors and show our ingenuity in making due with what we have. No matter how people are impoverished, we keep a smile and find a way, to live for the sake of living. That's why its more fun in the Philippines. It's because we strive to enjoy life, despite the drawbacks.

On my bus ride back home to the condo, a multitude of thoughts ran across my mind on how to better lives just a little bit. These of course, are not well thought out and not fool proof, but hey, a man can dream right?

  • Employ and ensure a stricter clean up system, make it a whole nation drive rather than keep it to the corporate areas. Laws to implement them, like how Davao does it time to time. Educate on it.
  • Paint. Honestly, Filipinos are colorful. Let our surroundings be so. Leave no place with that drab gray. It's depressing.
  • Set higher standards for many things, like transportation and god heavens, public toilets, be it in malls, restaurants (please keep them stocked, or have appropriate alternatives). 
Ah, well these are just ramblings of a bored man. Maybe they ring true, and I'd like to think and wish that these words would build into something great for the Philippines. But one can dream right?

That's my Filipino patriotism right there. 

No comments:

Post a Comment