Manila, Philippines – Manila is not the Philippines. The country is not Metro-Manila (M-M). The Republic, idyllic and romanticized as it may sound, may still be re-observed & found in the provinces. In the hope of unchanged & uncomplicated ways, effervescent, reflective of the inner soul of the local folk. Where time is irrelevant. Pity urbanites who wear a branded Philip Stein watch or are gifted by a loving son a “million peso bag”. But where I come from e.g. San Jose or Tanjay of Oriental Negros, or travelling to Santander Cebu via barge, or fast craft to Siquijor, who cares? Such inanities in dim lit seaside roads & coconut strewn sceneries only demands a special event, a ribbon laden function hall, a great gathering, and gawking social climbers who preoccupies with voyeurism & envy. And that is why, you have to ferry Metro-Manila invites & media to witness your jewelry, and “social onanism”. But then again, who really cares. Not my fisherman neighbor repairing his boat with epoxy.
Who cares in Tagbilaran City, Bohol if national news reports about the MMDA charging P200 in Metro-Manila for jaywalking? Is national news interested with Dumaguete, the City Council challenging the Mandatory Use of helmets? Or the constitutionality of said national law? Or Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama convened all the barangay captains simultaneous prospective opponent Rep. Tomas Osmena calling his pow-wow with barangay executives? Manila has become a hall of mirrors disjointed from the rest of the country. National news is about Manila. Provincial news is the rest of the archipelago. Media is partly to blame. That’s what happens when all the big media outlets are all in Manila. Majority of the news & public affairs content are Manila events. And it is also becoming media monopolies when instead of mere affiliates, they now own local stations with radio components to boot. Thank God, little has changed in our respective “places of birth” except a few new roads, street lamps, some bridges, repaired schools, and malls. Yes malls, the blight of M-M economic/polluted congestion.