Former First lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos isn’t happy with the latest moniker or tagline if you will, given to the Philippines which is the “slums capital who eats pagpag.”
The former First Lady couldn’t help but reminisce when she was the Governor of Manila from 1975-1986 and former Minister of Human Settlements who reclaimed lands to build houses and mid-rise condominiums for the poor to give them decent place to live.
The former First lady recalled with sadness in her tone that her
husband former President Marcos were forced to create massive lands because the
rich who owns the lands did not want to share their lands to the poor.
Mrs. Marcos couldn’t help but compare the politicians of today in Metro Manila and outside who are doing little to address this issue because Mrs. Marcos says they want to keep the people poor so they can exploit, control, and manipulate them to do what they want.
Mrs. Marcos said little did the local politicians realize, this
has become the national symbol of our country today that we are the “SLUM CAPITAL”
of the world who eats “PAGPAG.” Our consolation is that this moniker isn’t in
the Guinness yet but soon it will be as that’s the international community view
Mrs. Marcos explained that even though not all Filipinos eat “pagpag”
other nationalities look at us as one people regardless if you are from Manila
or as far as Tawi-tawi, whether you speak Tagalog or Bisaya, we are all the same
Mrs. Marcos lamented that tagline “SLUMS CAPITAL WHO EATS
PAGPAG” is one of the most degrading and shameful name-calling that a country
and its people can get.
Mrs Marcos further elaborated that foreigners may see us as one with the most beautiful miss universe, a boxing champion, greatest singers and talents etcetera but at the end of the day, we are still low class in the eyes of the international community because we are NOT AS ORGANIZED and DISCIPLINED as Japan, we are NOT AS CLEAN as Singapore and NOBODY BUT Filipinos EAT PAGPAG! Harsh but TRUE!
Mrs. Marcos remarked some people suggests we build a tower like in Paris France their so-called Eiffel Tower, Petronas Twin Tower in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and the Tokyo Tower in Japan and but has mixed feelings about it. Of course, Mrs. Marcos believe what Filipinos can do but unlike those aforementioned towers, when you go to the very top of the view, all you will see below is cleanliness and green surroundings. But building a tower overlooking Manila as high as those towers mentioned, Mrs. Marcos asked, “What view from the top will you see?” Your guess is as good as mine.
Mrs. Marcos said that we Filipinos are not getting the respect that we use to get, NOT even with other ASEAN-member countries like Thailand and Malaysia that call Filipinos “PIGNOYS.”
Mrs. Marcos, with pride in her tone, said we worked so hard to
provide the basic needs of our people such as food, clothing, shelter, health
Mrs. Marcos stated the obvious and that is, we must address the factors causing the problem. Factors such as GROWING POPULATION, POOR URBAN PLANNING, POOR INFRASTRUCTURE, MISMANAGEMENT, INEFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP in local levels and WEAK IMPLEMENTATION OF LAWS.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Marcos can’t be prouder of what President
Duterte has done so far because the international community is starting to look
at the country in a positive light after ordering the clean-up of Boracay, Manila
Bay, Pasig Rivet etc and for the businesses to practice discipline. Mrs. Marcos
also sounded optimistic that once the Build, Build, Build projects are
completed, it will address major infrastructure problems that we have.
Mrs. Marcos though cautioned the public not to get complacent or
contented what we will have because honestly this is not enough.
According to her, we need to build on what President Duterte had
started and we can begin by having a genuine care to our less fortunate
brothers and sisters. How? Putting pressure to DSWD, National Housing
Authority, local government units and other government agencies responsible for
the welfare of the people.
Source: Imelda Marcos