A recent visit to Guadalupe

My writer friend, Pepe, yesterday wrote a wonderful tribute to a great Filipino church, the Guadalupe shrine in Macati. Yes, there exist an old church in highly-developed, starbucks laden “Makati”. The last time I was here was when a friend got married (and I got invited!) . The church is near an extremely crowded housing area but is fairly easy to locate. If your coming from EDSA you’ll pass by this tough looking neighborhood. Just be cautious and mindful and you should be okay.

There use to be grand old houses in Guadalupe, especially near the river belonging to affluent families of Manila. All were totally annihilated during the two great wars. After the so called “liberation”, both formal and informal dwellings sprung up like mushrooms after a stormy night in  Guadalupe.

The provincianos colossal exodus to Manila started after the rebuilding of the ever loyal city. With construction and business being initiated everywhere, oppurtunities abound in the former battlefield called Manila. Most of these provincial Filipinos suffered deeply during the war: with homes, properties and lives ravaged, they had sought refuge and hope in the capital city and its nearby towns.

US money is being poured in to key projects designed to transformed the land into an American model. The catch was that we give them equal party rights, which means they can exploit us and our resources without limit. The act was named after its author, Sen. Millard Tydings, also known for the Tydings-Mcduffie act (to give Filipinos independence to stop the influx of Filipinos migration to the US). A whooping $600 + million in exchange for everything we have. Now, thats some old school sell out!

This massive centralization of development (opposite the farming communities the Friars developed into decentralized pueblos and later ciudades) has drawn millions of Filipino settlers to an already congested metropolis.  Up to now, we still haven’t managed to resolve this problem. Unfortunately, during the Yankee occupation, we were made into a industrial territory when we should be agricultural. This market development strategy, made Filipinos increasingly more dependent on American products, money and with modest prosperity right after the recovery, we now needed  American protection – which of course was not provided free as they never truly improved our military but made us buy their junk so we could stay inferior and beg them for help every time we feel threatened. The recent admission of Arroyo over possible involvement of US in Mindanao is nothing new, we’ve always been dependent, something that Anti-US Senador Erap learned when he became President Erap, “Kailangan natin ang tulong ng America”. Add to this is our governments shameless plea for US money over the recent calamities.

That’s enough for now.

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