Dear Mayor Oscar Moreno

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I’M sure you have already made your New Year’s resolutions for 2014.

May I suggest one more for you -- and another one for our boss, President Benigno Aquino?

I’m glad the Gaston Park renovation is still ongoing, because something may yet be done to keep it from looking “over-concretized” -- like a beautiful woman who ruins her natural beauty with too make-up and hairspray.


We want some of our historic park’s original beauty to show through, don’t we, fellow-Cagayanons?

Please lang, gaw, keep the playground, and let it be grassy to soften the “sementado look” of the place.

I imagine your landscape architect abhors grass.

Maybe at home, this person is frequently nagged to water the plants and cut the shrubbery and grass.

So when you hired him/her to renovate Gaston Park, he/she must have vowed, “As God is my witness, I and the maintenance crew of Cagayan de Oro City will never cut grass again!”

Gaw, I know it’s additional work for your staff to keep the grass green and trim.

Yet, this service is the least you can give to children who only have the Gaston Park playground for communing with sand, grass, open air -- nature.

These children are the future of Cagayan de Oro and our country.

How can they become good citizens tomorrow if their development is stunted today?

Two important doors to a growing child’s development are physical exercise and an appreciation for nature.

How can these doors be opened if the children are cooped up in homes that are like chicken coops?

In school, they can hardly move in cramped classrooms built to accommodate 30 students but packed with 50.

A public school grandma said to me, “Pareho unta sa classroom ang sardinas karon.”

She talked about a time when a can of sardines was packed tight to bursting capacity; you had to shake the can to empty it of its content.

Nowadays, the grandma sighed, there is more sauce than fish to a can of sardines.

She concluded her observation with, “Lisud kaayo ang kinabuhi.”

Experts have the stock market as an indicator of the health of the economy.

Their jargon broadcasts to those who can understand the lingo -- I can’t that the economy of the Aquino administration is healthier than expected.

The grandma is bewildered because she has been hearing that since the time of Marcos, but so far she has not had a taste of the “trickle down effect” of the economic juices from the past and from the present government.

I asked, what’s the solution to the problem? I was amazed by her reply.

She said our country does not protect local initiative and enterprise.

She related how a cousin of hers was doing well in her soya business.

“Nag-himo siya og coop sa farmers. Maayo ilang dagan sa negosyo. Daghan sa Pilipnas nag-business sa soya niadto. Peron na-down pag-soya sa Nestle. Higante kontra duwende.”

She concluded: Our government does not care that our country could become an exporter of an exporter rather than just a “trabahante” of a foreign corporation that treats our land and people like a colony.

I remembered the above conversation when in a TV talk show a technocrat said the reason why the Philippines isn’t really booming in palpable, “trickle down reality” is because our economic policies do not favor local protectionism.

My God, I heard that in Grade six ages ago!

Gaw, please ask President Aquino to include in his 2014 plans: nationalism as the standard in shaping economic policies.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 08, 2014.


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