I posted this update on the blog’s fan page earlier. What a relief that we not only have sensible people in NCHP but more important is that they’re historically sensitive decision makers too. We have lost so much of our tangible heritage that we have to stand up to protect what remains — and there’s not a lot of them standing. But it’s not only the old buildings, churches, houses and bridges that are being removed in the name of progress, even our intangible heritage like the names of the streets our grandparents grew up on are being recklessly removed.
The thing that we have to be on a look out for is that when politicians actively seek changing a place’s name he does so with an agenda, maybe personal but most likely political.
There are new land developments in Lucena and it would be easier to name a new street Felix Manalo but that wouldn’t have any political impact. It would be not as impressive as naming the portion of the street that leads to the INC compound under their founder’s name. The politician’s that are pushing for the change tries to convince, I think themselves because no one would take their word, that they’re not doing this to win any political favors. Well, that’s like religiously betting on a horse and saying that you careless if it wins the race.
Fact is that INC’s block voting appeals to politicians. It’s not their fault that they’re united when making such decisions but they, intentionally or unintentionally, influence politicians in the process. Block votes are like a delectable dish our power hungry politicians could not resist.
Here in Muntinlupa it is said that the INC’s decision to pull out their support from the past mayor was the reason he loss. Many believe that they’re the swing vote in that very tight mayoralty race. So it’s understandable that the present mayor would send his traffic enforcers to INC churches when they have services. Not so much to assure that traffic flows nicely but to ensure that the vehicles that goes to the church are prioritize. They realize that those people stuck in traffic won’t vote as one come elections time but the INC folks will — and that’s good enough reason to suck up to that religion’s leadership.
To prove my point, go to the city hall now and you’ll see large banners congratulating this religious group’s 100 years of founding. They’re the only religion that gets such attention. No other religion does–at least here where I have lived for two decades now. Catholics don’t get giant tarpaulins congratulating them for a new Pope — that would be unheard off, silly even, to these local politicians.
I hope this NCHP decision sets the precedence. No politician or group should be allowed to enact changing a name of a historical place. Here’s hoping that legislation be made on banning changing the names of our streets and towns. Such changes not only confuses the people but erases history and ultimately desensitize our memory from the importance of our past as a people.