Does Carlos Celdran have class and intelligence? Apparently the answer to that is a resounding NO.
Recent events have exposed the true character of this man. As much as he thinks he is doing the Philippines a great service, his actions and way of thinking only proves how unintelligent and low-class he is. It is very unfortunate that he has become a public figure that blinkered Filipinos follow, which has further contributed to the collective idiocy of the Filipino people.
Last month, he started an online petition against building a high rise condominium near the Rizal monument. Apparently, it was said that the buildings will destroy the view of the park. Furthermore, he likened the situation to France’s city of Paris where the Eiffel Tower is located — never mind the fact that Paris is Paris and Manila is still the stinky and dangerous city that it is. Ineed, Manila has been and continues to be the laughingstock of emerging Asian economies. It is a place where prostitutes chase white men and where you can’t use your smart phone for fear of being mugged.
[Photo courtesy Foter.com.]
I do not know what is there to preserve. I would definitely understand why the government of France would not dare build high rises anywhere near the Eiffel tower in a way that might ruin its view. They can afford to make such decisions and act on them because despite the economic mess Europe is currently experiencing at the moment, France is still a First World country. Plus, that’s the Eiffel Tower we’re talking about — one of the most popular tourists destinations in the world.
The Philippines, in contrast, is still Asia’s third world slum. Last time I checked, no one in their right mind really wants to undergo the Manila experience. The city has still to earn its place among the world’s great cities. For now, Filipinos should focus on job creation instead of worrying about monuments which are irrelevant to the turmoils the Philippines is experiencing.
Celdran had also posted a map depicting China as part of Philippine territory. This is would have been laughable if it weren’t for the fact that it highlighted even more the Republic of the Philippines’ weak military and outdated ships. Of course, Carlos did not just post the picture, he told China to kiss the Philippines’ “98 million asses”. Of course it’s not as if the People’s Republic of China would give Celdran the time of day given his lack of class and uneducated beliefs but, as I have stated earlier, he has many followers over whom this kind of thinking is so easily widely propagated. Oh I forgot – Filipinos already think like this.
Does Celdran know what he should be prioritizing? It seems that he is a very vain person, concerned only about the aesthetics of Manila. I can totally understand however why he is doing this. Celdran is a Manila tour guide. A rather challenging job to be doing in Manila, if you ask me. I can imagine foreigners going to Manila to try it out and likely coming out of the experience disappointed…
Look: people will say the Filipino people are nice, and indeed they are polite – we Brits might say “smarmy” – obsequious or ingratiating are maybe less pleasant words. But they do try. That does take the edge off the sheer misery of a crumbling, filthy, depressing city and an economy that exists only on the remittances of the smart ones who have left.
Sorry folks. I know there are many people who love the Philippines, but its economic development has been a disaster; the irony is that Manila is the headquarters of the Asian Development Bank (the reason I come here) and it has the WORST growth history of any of the ASEAN countries – Cambodia which was torn apart by civil war up until 1997 has a first-class airport (fresh ham and cheese sandwiches on foccacia, freshly brewed cappuccino , clean lounges) and some great restaurant food and hotels (see my next post). But the Manila, where the intelligentsia sneer at their Asian brothers and sisters for their lack of English, is beaten hands down even by little Phnom Penh and left standing by every other mega-city in the region.
Carlos Celdran is not likely to shy away from insisting that the Philippine economy is outperforming the US economy. Well Celdran, last time I checked most Filipinos, given the chance, would still move to the United States or even the land of your mortal enemy China, because your beloved Philippines cannot provide decent lives for them. Also, I have not heard an American saying I will move to the Philippines for greener pastures. Many, instead, go there looking for prostitutes, a trade which is abundant in the city where you work as a tour guide. Also, your ideas are not only appalling and completely delusional, they border on ethnocentrism — a style of tribal Medieval thinking. You act as if the Philippines has nothing to learn from other cultures such as the Chinese. May I remind you that this attitude is what resulted in the fall of many Islamic nations. They never bothered to listen to European debates on democracy and ingrained within their societies the thought that they do not need to learn from these discussions. Consequently, the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution all but passed them by. They are now dealing with the outcome of their insularity that infected their societies a couple odd centuries ago and this is what is bound to happen to the Philippines if we continue to fail at being a bit more practical in the way we think.
No man is an island and the same notion applies to nations. They continuously learn from each other. The United States of America began as a land colonized by Great Britain. India was under the Mongols, Turks, and eventually Great Britain. Great Britain (before it became great) was brutally conquered and ruled by the Norman kings of France. While it may be true that three nations have occupied the Philippines, Filipinos did not learn much from the experience and have continued to practice their culture of mediocrity. China had some time ago started to open its doors to Western ideas. Why would the Philippines think of itself as something so special that they would refuse to be influenced by other ideals and cultures? Carlos Celdran would probably answer that question in his usual the-Philippines-is-the-greatest-nation-ever manner.
I do recognize the futility of this article because Carlos Celdran is old and like they say, there is no use teaching an old dog new tricks. On the other hand there are some Filipinos who can tell right from wrong. Clearly, Carlos is not one of them.