MANILA IS DEAD.
Photos & Article by Jun Reynales
September 21, 2017, Manila City, Philippines – after years of neglect and moral decadence, yes Manila is Dead. It is but aptly that today, as we remember the victims and loss of those who suffered under that old Republic Act 1081 under the then President Ferdinand E. Marcos, we as Filipinos have to admit that our beautiful and once taunted “The Pearl of the Orient” have passed away already.
What happened to us? We blame the government for their callousness and ineptitude – for not taking care of every Filipino – from not providing viable social welfare programs, from giving proper education programs, competitive mass housing and education, failing in mass transportation and road infrastructure, and simply too selfishly too polarised and politicized. We blame each and every Juan de la Cruz in becoming too selfish and greedy. That each Filipino threw away moral values and social responsibilities over stature in society, over more money in the bank, over more personal and selfish gains and interests. Gone were the well-loved virtues of Integrity, Honestly, Social Responsibility and what is now prevalent these days are Anarchy, Deceit, “What’s Mine Is Mine, What’s Yours Is Mine” and “The Devil I Care” attitude pervades. All these happened a few decades already under our skin that it is so overwhelming that we grew indignant about it already.
Several generations since the 70s have wasted their chance in making our once beautiful country alive and bright. Our once fabled Manila Sunset by the Bay is now our giant pigsty and septic refuse that no one dares to even sit down and admire the place. Our mass transport system – from the MRT, LRT, PNR, PUVs is so horrible and sordid that we accept it now as our normal way of life; that an average time traversing EDSA and other main thoroughfares now is at a dismal 3-4 hours compare to the supposed 30-45 minutes. And that’s on a good day. We simply kill ourselves when we commute – either by our own private cars or public commuting daily, likened to the deadly heart attacked. And we’re the cholesterol who killed our city and our seas.
Our Eulogy. We remember our good times when we can travel EDSA from Makati to Ortigas Avenue in just 30-45 minutes, on a heavy rush hour on a weekday then. When watching a good and comfortable movie would cost you 20 pesos. We remember when we spend an average PUV fare of around 1-5 pesos for some few kilometre distances to our destination. We remember when we had a good conversation with friends face-to-face, sans those gadgets doing social media and not ignoring those besides us. We remember our weekend shopping cart filled up from some exclusive and upscale department store would just average to 1,000 pesos. Like that old famous song, we just need to have three 25 centavos to make a three minute phone call and be mindful of those cuing to use the phone behind our back, as how we were conscious of our etiquette and manners. We remember when we watch our television on primetime we see good news and beautiful things, we learn good stories and learn cultures. We remember that as each day breaks you can greet a warm-hearted “Good Morning” to a total stranger and wished the person sincerely well that day. We remember how our life in the city was as bright and warm as the sun during our summer days, when the air was without obnoxious and deadly polluted.
Our Prayer. May the next and future generations of Filipinos become more selfless and more socially-responsible, and may the future government gives more for taking care of the people than just be them-selves. We prayer that they inculcate again the value of Integrity, Honesty, “Palabra de Honor”, “Love of the Country”, and adhere moral values to heal and make the nation whole again. May we have more real heroes than just celluloid kind and done by media and PR strategists. And may the future generations of Filipinos may undo what the past and these present has sadly have destroyed and corroded.
In memoriam to the once called The Pearl Of The Orient, September 21, 2017, here in Manila and its cities, the Philippines.