Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Boracay and other madness

Got an email from former officemate and current exec. creative head of DDB Philippines, Roger Pe, about the sorry plight of Boracay. Sadly, it's not just Boracay that's suffering from abuse but a lot of other places as well.  I and some friends are dreaming someone can help sponsor our plan of putting a website chronicling in pictures and in words, old churches and old houses around the country before they get torn down and fade from our collective memory.

I don't know much about sociology but it seems to me that we Pinoys have very little regard for history. For one, we have very short memories (just take a look at the action on the political front). Two, oh, we love putting up ugly structures in place of old, charming houses masabi lang na me bago or modern. And we like doing things to death, like commercializing Boracay for example.

Is this because we're poor? Or a third world country? Methinks it's a lousy excuse. Taste, responsibility and a sense of uprightness are not a monopoly of the moneyed. On the other hand, some of the best things in life are the simplest. Take for example, the trees in the late, lamented Manila Seedling compound along Quezon Avenue. From what I've read in the papers, it was being cleared to give way to a depot/mall of sorts. Shades of what Joni Mitchell was singing in "Big Yellow Taxi" about "paving paradise to build a parking lot." I mean it took ages for those trees to grow and a good hour to cut these pollution-controlling, oxygen-giving trees. So where do we go from here?

If we don't act now and do something, I guess we will lose a lot of things we take for granted, Right in our lifetime -- the trees, the places of our youth from the beaches to the churches, the houses where we grew up. It maybe a throw-away, disposable-everything generation now but without a past to reconnect to, to learn from, we will not move very far forward.

P.S.  Am a bit extra tired today. The office badminton team went the distance last night - up to 11.30pm wouldja believe it? Missed playing with CentralCircle friends but I pray I'd be able to join the Saturday trip to Montalban Zoo. My last trip to a real, honest-to-goodness zoo was ages ago, save for the Highlands mini-zoo about 2 or so weeks ago. That would be a nice respite from the stress of the office.

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