After the much ballyhooed article of the learned James Soriano, there is another post that is trending in the blogosphere. Geoffrey James Quartermaine Bastin’s blog post on Travel Blog has certainly infuriated a lot of Pinoys most especially the travel bloggers who promote and declare their immense love for the 7,107 islands we call home.
When I first read his post on how Manila is awfully disappointing, I admit that I had the sudden urge to punch him in the face and blurt out a load of expletives. That is not exactly the kind of words we expect people — foreigners at that to say about our beloved capital. Here’s some of what he said if you’re not keen on clicking on the link:
But my GOODNESS the Philippines!!! Or more precisely Manila, because you cannot and should not generalize about such a large country spread over thousands of islands. Manila – what a dump!
The city has got to be the disgrace of South-east Asia, all the more so because twenty years ago when I used to come through here en route to Papua New Guinea it was THE place in the region to come to for shopping and R&R. How the mighty are fallen!
Let’s start with the international airport. Ninoy Aquino International is exactly the same as it was all that time ago; the same awful green lino when you arrive, the same over-crowded Departure Hall, nowhere to sit if your check-in desk isn’t open. Once through security you find the same down-market shops, toilets that don’t work or are “under repair” and very few F&B places…
If Facebook had an Unlike button, this would get a lot of “unlikes” and angry comments from a lot of Pinoys. But we must admit the fact that what he said is actually true. It hurts to hear something like this from a visitor but he does have a point. We are not just used to this kind of negative insight on Manila and our mahal na bansang Pilipinas.
Maybe instead of putting all our energy in trying to defend our country –which of course is worth defending and dying for as the late Ninoy Aquino said–we should just try to improve and make the necessary changes. Let’s just show him that we will emerge from the mire in which he thinks we have sunk and and that we are not a “disappearing country”.
I travel 23 kilometers just to get to my place of work everyday and each time I ride the bus and see the awfully disappointing images of reckless drivers, garbage on the streets, children who ask for alms etc., I feel a sense of weariness. Weariness that sometimes make me think if its better if I just leave the country. But my weariness is overshadowed by my belief that we can be better than what and where we are now. The road is long but we will get there if we will just do our part no matter how small. I love my country and I will do whatever it takes to make it better just by being a productive and law abiding citizen.
Till my next rant. Peace and Stay Fresh Pilipinas. Buhayin ang Maynila (Ooops, that’s a politician’s slogan).
P.S. He did say that you cannot and should not generalize about such a large country spread over thousands of islands so let’s put his post in the right perspective.