In one Senate hearing, a local government official was heard defending a project, a building with parking slots within, that it was accordingly world class. It could mean of course, to an untrained ear ,that the edifice has the amenities and features like the best, if not above some of the grandest facilities, comparable with the finest, in the world. On the other side of the coin, it could also mean the world’s most expensive parking edifice. On both grounds, it may be true, whichever is nearest.
And speaking of world class, it may also be construed as a first, or foremost, in the world or by far, a record holder in the world’s best or worst category. It is of course different when it is said that instead of world class, the phrase “a class of its own” or in the legal parlance “sui generes” is used. World class means one that transcends the rest for a period until such time a new record is broken.
For a time, the country had attributes as “kidnap capital of the world” and “the worst airport in the world.” We have been contender for the “worst” record and seldom mentioned on the “best” category. While there were sectors advocating that we have “the most smiling people in the world”, we never inched closer to the top three “happiest country in the world.” We were however alluded to as one of the top three in the “the most corrupt in the world” grouping.
Sometime ago, we had a reputation as “the most dangerous place for media in the world.” This was after 37 media personalities were massacred in Maguindanao in one blow. This should make the country world class in the negative sense, but nevertheless world class just the same.
But there are also exceptional records. Pugilist Manny Pacquaio had 8 championship belts in 8 different weight class, considered the best record in the world of boxing competition. We have great singers too who would grab one and several voice competition awards in the world. In terms of individual talent, we are almost outstanding in the world. We have an abundance of exceptional, well, world class aptitude in individual sports category, wushu, archery, bowling, chess, largely in tournaments that do not require heft and size. But of course, it is government support that makes the winner. It is political will and consideration that determines a winning or failing mark. Without institutional support, the opposite happens, which likewise border on world class too in a different spectrum though.
We have dethroned the Jews and Africans, and recently the Chinese but threatened by Pakistanis as the most sought after domestic helper and seamen in the world. We are everywhere in the planet, probing our presence with our gifts and flair. We have done it without support, without assistance and without any blessing too from those who are elected and paid to be responsible. We shine on our own.
Truly, we have gone a long way to be world class in whatever stretch.