Friday, June 19, 2009

I Dreamed a Dream

No, this is not about that beautiful song from Les Miserables that Susan Boyle made even more famous. It’s my dream that came to me as I was driving around these monstrosities we call Dumaguete streets.

I dreamed of an election-free Philippines. Yes. I dreamed of a time where the word “election” is but a distant memory. And why not? What’s the use of elections anyway, when it’s nothing but a farce, a charade where we fool ourselves into believing that we are electing people who would represent us in this great exercise we call Democracy. Ha-ha! Fat chance! We all know that those whom we send to walk the corridors of power represent all but one thing: their own interests. I need not elaborate on that. We all know what that means.

So how do our leaders come to us? How about via succession like how the royalties do it? In my dream, I had a vision of the son taking over the reign of the father. And why not again? It’s not as if this idea is totally foreign to us! Are we not seeing political dynasties everywhere we’d turn? Don’t sons, or grandsons, wives, and even mistresses join in the foray, with virtually the same motivation that aristocracies had when they intermarried … to keep the spoils within the family?

This is really sad. But let’s get realistic for a while. Isn’t this pretty much what is happening already?

I have to say this again. This is really sad. And what is sadder is that the condition of our streets had what prompted me to get transported into this ra-ra dreamland. I thought that with elections gone, we won’t have to do this daily rigodon as we travel around our city. Do I still have to elaborate on that? Ok. Are we not all saying, to explain away all these flurry of road cementing, that it’s because elections are in the air? I rest my case.

If I sound bitter, that’s because I am! Anybody who has passed through Calindagan will understand my sentiments. Half a kilometer away from the Catherina Cittadini/Don Bosco compound, you could already see the dust enveloping the area like a thick fog! On top of that is the monstrous traffic clog up during rush hours that has brought countless motorists unfathomable frustration, not the least of whom are the parents (that includes me!) of students of Catherina Cittadini and Don Bosco.

I just couldn’t, for the life of me, understand why the planners of this so-called road development project didn’t plan the cementing of this part of the highway in a better, more intelligent and more considerate manner! I am pretty certain that they didn’t miss out on the fact that there are two schools in the Calindagan area (not to mention Dumaguete City High School) with hundreds, if not thousands of students!

Could they not have anticipated the horrendous traffic that would result when the schools opened? THEY COULD HAVE, AT LEAST, FINISHED CEMENTING THAT STRETCH OF THE HIGHWAY FRONTING THE TWO SCHOOLS DURING VACATION TIME. Isn’t that pure and simple common sense?

Instead, they went on their merry way digging up the existing asphalt all the way to eternity and left the cementing until … surprise of all surprises (the surprise being all on their side of course, these brainiacs not having thought of hello?... THE STUDENTS!!!) … the students returned, unwittingly finding themselves tied up in knots in several places, as they troop to their schools by the thousands day in and day out!

And it gets worse! At some point in this nightmare of ours, the two gates in our school compound will not become passable for some period. And do you know what they expect us to do? Drop our children off in the Teletech area and leave them to their own devices from that point onwards. As if!!! If you are as conscientious a parent as I am, would you leave your children alone and allow them to walk all the way to their school unescorted and lugging their heavy bags behind? Of course not! And there are hundreds of similarly-minded parents out there. We would have to leave our cars where we could and walk our children to school. I wonder how they plan to fit hundreds of cars in that area outside the Teletech compound. This I have to see. But deep inside I know already. It will be the usual “bahala na mo sa kinabuhi ninyo kung mag-unsa mo!” scenario. As always, poor, poor us!

I can think of only one explanation why our present problem was never considered … these brainiacs do not have children in either Cittadini or Don Bosco! Otherwise …. Am I brilliant or what?

Whew! Huffing and puffing over our roads can be quite tiring! How about you? Any novel ideas borne out of frustration and acceptance over how powerless we really are? We are nothing but pawns, and pawns we’ll remain unless we do something. But what? That is the question. Vote? Ha-ha!

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