Pinoy ambition seems to be all about striving to make enough money to insulate ourselves from the rest of our brethren and the squalor they generate. It's only in the poorest subdivisions that you don't you see armed guards manning key entry points. Therefore, if one thinks of the Pinoy dream as a constant struggle to enclose ourselves in increasingly exclusive enclaves then the inadvertent aggregate by-product of this mad clambering for the cream of Philippine real estate would be an underclass of citizens pushed into forgotten (well until commercial value is discovered) pieces of land. So much for a decent theory of why Payatas disasters still occur.

The approach of creating islands of "modern living" on seas of chaos and underdevelopment taken by the residential land developer - municipal planning tandems is very short-sighted. It, for example, created the 'choked main national road' phenomenon that manifests itself in virtually all Metro Manila boroughs from Quirino Highway in Novaliches and Katipunan Road in Quezon City to the Alabang-Zapote Road in Las Pinas and the Aguinaldo Highway in Cavite. Much of the congestion on these roads come from all the cul-de-sac layout type subdivisions feeding into these roads while not maintaining any road links among themselves.

Such is a reflection of a lack of concern for the growth and development of the overall community. The attitude that spurs such development direction seems to be rooted at the residential unit level exemplified by the average Filipino household, obsessed with cleanliness within the premises, but totally oblivious of garbage piling up in the surrounding streets and raw sewage bubbling up from clogged drainpipes.

So the make believe worlds of Makati, Ortigas and Alabang where money and social hubris drives pseudo-First-Worldism bustles with the indulgence of the Honda Civic class. No one can blame them and the author of this article would himself prefer hanging out in a Makati Mall than navigate the steaming streets of Divisoria.

And that's how it is. The enlightened class -- people who don't spit on sidewalks and leave a trail of peels as they eat an orange -- won't open their gates to the rest of us (understandably). The rest of us continue to throw garbage down sewers and rivers. The government picks up after us (well at least when major floods occur).

Seems to work out fine for now.

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The French Revolution: The similarities are too close to home nowadays. Teddy Benigno writes.

Three lies we "heroes" of EDSA I and EDSA II might be telling ourselves. We must face the truth about our class's accountability. Then and only then will we be able to lead others to the truth as well.

Where we are now is not an accident! The country is in this terrible mess because those who have the wealth and power DID NOT influence their "chosen" leaders to do what is right and to forbid what is wrong, because they profit from doing what is wrong and they enjoy doing what is forbidden.


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