Thursday, July 31, 2008

Remembering Old Manila

The Philippines was once Asia's richest nation after Japan.
That is something I learned early on in life from my grandparents (one of my grandfather's is a proud survivor of the Death March of WWII), parents, teachers in school, politicians, and even down to my yaya, friends, and mediamen. It is that knowledge gives me the assurance that hey, I guess we Flips aren't all that bad?! If we were second to Japan back in the day, that means we were richer than South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, China, Thailand and Malaysia. Sweet!
That fact is evident if you would look at old pictures. A relative from Arizona pointed out that Filipinos loved to wear suits back in the day,unlike now that it is not everyday that you see people wear their suits (unless maybe if you're a top executive or your dad is, in some company).
The tranvia! Manila's own electric cable car system (back in the day) was a proud testament to that. My mom told me before that Sta. Ana (a Manila district) once had LPG transported thru pipes unlike right now that it's done through the rusting container. They had it before, not anymore.

They used to call Manila the "Rome of the Far East". We had huge buildings that remind people of the ones found in Rome. We still had most of those buildings. But what had added? People in the streets, huge billboards, smoke coming from old, rusty jeepneys and buses, sidewalk vendors, trash, men peeing everywhere, and pictures of politicians splattered all across the Metro. We didn't have those things before. We have them now.
I won't make this post long. In fact I wanna end it right now. Think of Old Manila and the Old Philippines. That's a sound idea to make one feel depressed.

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