A new day is upon us. Those who caused nine and a half years of misery will leave the palace by today, and will be replaced by a solid team with an idealist for a leader. Many hail this as a triumph of democracy, yet, it is too early to even say that change is upon us. Best that we look forward to a good day tomorrow.
Today, we celebrate the inauguration of a new Head of State, someone who will manage our affairs for the next six years, and someone who will definitely set the direction of our country for the next decade or so. Undeniably, he faces a most critical juncture in our history, and the challenges are truly daunting, to say the least. No amount of "image building" or "crisis prevention" will ever be effective once he strays from the path of change. The People, all 15 million and rising, have reposed their trust in him and expects him to fulfill his campaign promises. The level of trust and expectations are so high, one false move and deeper still is the abyss waiting for him and those who will break their promises with the people.
Half a million Filipinos will also make a vow to ever be supportive of the new government. This vow includes sharing the responsibilities of nation-building. Nation-building is not something to trifle with. This is serious business, and entails a lot of thinking, blood and sweat. Nation-building is not solely calling for unity. Nation-building is more of calling for those who have solid and doable visions for the country to share their talents with the new administration.
I watched an interview with Carlos Celdran over at the Explainer by my good friend, Manolo Quezon III, and Celdran talked about the "cosmetic overhauling" of metropolitan Manila, similar with what happened in Paris shortly after the war. Celdran says that Manila, especially Quezon City, has an enormous tourism potential and what we only need is one person or an agency of government who will be given one task of envisioning this reconstruction and put together a very solid plan. That plan should probably be patterned after "cantons"
I agree---Metropolitan Manila should actually be reconstructed or "remodelled" to impress visitors of this country. The greyish urban landscape should be reworked and given life, colors, that is. The colors of modernism should ever be present in our lives. These colors and hues should be expressed ever so strongly in Manila.
Look around, and you'll find that there is nothing to rejoice about in Manila. A tourist who is visiting will find nothing extraordinary here. He would have to leave Manila and go to Palawan or to any other city.
Manila should be transformed into Asia's new cosmopolitan city, not just a centerpot of trade and industry, but also of tourism and hospitality. There should be at least one place where malls are located and one long stretch of road filled with everything pleasurable about this country.
We should have more art galleries, more entertainment centers, more cultural landmarks and more places to go to to enjoy life.
Let's drive off bad luck and that ever present feeling of dread and drudgery of life, by infusing colors into our landscapes and throwing away these greyish and rotting images of a life.
Let us revive the wonderful glory of Manila in the 1930's. Those who lived during those times see a wonderful cornucopia of art, culture, prestige and greatness, all in one space. That space has all been lost and we all just see it in those old pictures.
Let us work together, the private and public sectors, to revive Manila. Let us create centers of life in each and every city and town in this wonderful country and show the world our greatness.
Let us abandon those thoughts of death and destruction from our minds, and focus on the good and great things. Greatness is upon us and we must seize it by the horns and make sure that we use this to create and mold a new country for us and for our children.