By Elinando B. Cinco
The wonders are not sourced out of natural stuff, neither are they gifts from heavenly gods. They are man-made and are caused by the apparent lack of appreciation of what is common sense.
All these amazing elements emanate from this highly urbanized metropolis called Quezon City in the Philippines, soon to be renamed the “Federal Republic of the Philippines.”
Residents as well as visitors and passersby will only have to turn their sight either left or right and in no time at all, they are confronted with matters that bewilder the human mind no end.
Mind you, I am not thinking of the ethos and subliminal aspects of the city’s administrative managers. In this aspect, I am completely in the dark.
But here is one astonishing idea this metropolis north of Metro Manila is simply baffling.
Early late afternoon last Monday, while seated in the front passenger seat of my eldest son’s vehicle cruising Tandang Sora extension, I sighted a rectangular box lighted inside dangling in the branches of a tall tree, fronting the UP Town Center.
The words were cascading downward ending in the phrase, “2nd Place Quezon City.” No passersby or motorist would be able to discern what it is that sends this Capitol City to the “2nd Place.”
The message was vague all the more because of the small size of the box.
Obviously, the “2nd Place” is a prize of the city for achieving something, or maybe has been awarded by the League of Cities of the Philippines where Mayor ‘Bistek” Bautista is the immediate past president or, may be the present president.
“2nd Place” for what, or “2nd Place” in what?”
If the city has a dozen of those rectangular boxes installed in a dangling manner, their message would be a hanging suspense, in a manner of speaking. And that adds to the increasing “wonders” in this Capitol City.
But then Quezon City lives in a paradox of sorts. It is the richest city (thanks to its huge revenues in real estate taxes and penalties, business permits fees, financial obligations of its almost 70,000 SMEs, and annual fiscal obligations from its more than one million professionals) Not counting its gargantuan share in the national IRA.
Its Biblical size ( 16,000 hectares), is also a vital factor in committing various crimes. Its huge informal settlers population breeds poverty and induces criminality.
Criminals become bolder in their exploits. Last week, a deputy state prosecutor assigned at city hall was ambushed in his car while fetching his wife from work one late afternoon.
An apparent black mark of the city administration was the refiling of graft and falsification charges against a city councilor and his aide over his alleged hiring of “ghost” employees, a news item that appeared in a broadsheet daily last April 26.
The irony: the alderman’s case had been dismissed previously by the Court of Appeals “for lack of merit” in 2016.
In spite of some of the mess that Quezon City has gotten itself into, I like this place. A 36-year resident here like me and the hundreds of thousand others will never exchange what nature has gifted its more than 2.5 million citizens.
It is also here where his popularity as a movie personality was harnessed by traditional politicians of old, and then he himself polished his flair in local government governance, all done by this guy named Herbert Bautista.