Last night I dreamt something like this. Listen while I recall:
Remove 20% of good housing in the country and virtually we can describe our land as the biggest slum area in the planet! (With, of course, indulgence to some barren and poor communities in Africa) And why not? Basically, it has been said in reality that almost 80% of the population in this region live below poverty line. They subsist on morsels and left overs. Exploitation is even a kind word to describe the consideration people have grown into for years. And the poor have no other recourse but to continue their plight for eternity.
(Note: The following refers to poverty incidence not poverty level. “Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)’s Annual Poverty Indicators Survey (APIS) showed that poverty incidence among Filipino individuals rose by 1.2 percentage points to 25.8 percent in the first semester of 2014 from the 24.6 percent registered in the first half of 2013.”)
(Note further: In New Zealand, there is no such thing as poverty line or poverty incidence. As a matter of fact, the Kiwi economy is so good that one can find poverty only in the dictionary.)
Over here, this impoverished situation is almost a cycle. The poor keeps on electing the moneyed or exploitative class, who in turn would be protective of their economic turf, engaging in transactions which would keep them above the rest; and to hell with their constituencies. Accordingly, the majority deserve their situation. Fools are better left as fools. They liked it that way anyway. It is not their lot actually but they elect exploiters and eventually consign themselves to be in that condition, hard and difficult it may be but they had no way out but are cursed, cursed by their state of poor selection.
Even the educational system is of no use. Social mobility within its purview is a myth. Students are merely trained to obey superiors, to be subservient to power, reckon authorities and accept exploitation as a way of life. To think and act against this arrangement is an offensive act, considered treason and these are penalized as high crimes. The youth are not educated to be prosperous but be generous with their industry. They are in effect seen and expected to be potential laborers, a cog in the furnace of influential families.
When government wanted to increase the viability of its coffers, it imposes taxes, add on and value added ones. Those in the business sector, those who are holding on the reign of economic power, the captains of industry would merely pass on the burden to the consumers, the public in general and their wealth never for a while disturbed. It is the people that shoulder the entire gamut of requirements. They are after all the buck where all intentions stop including sacrifices.
Collectively, they comprise the fledging village we call slum. It is also referred to as ghetto, shantytown, purlieu or plain squatter colony. It is one area without any pretension at order. Filth is everywhere, smut and rudeness a quality in every corner, one cannot ignore the odor, the chaos, the vulgarity. But there is one quality I admire. A lot of folks in this area are not that stressed. They are all quick to smile as if poverty has never created a dent on their existence. They may not know when they will get the next meal but who cares, they are happy that way. It is that brand of cheerfulness, blatant and almost expressionless but just the same there is contentment, resignation, submission and dependence
There is nothing new.
It would be the face of a regular community during and after the election. And the denizens deserve their fate.
Whenever I would take short cuts to a place I intend to visit and would have to pass through interiors in some dark alleys from one designated place to another like the highway to a public hospital, or from one store to a good restaurant, one must go through a maze of muddied, at times, arm’s length pathway and each bend a kid at times is splayed, ogling blankly or playing with something weird, children and adult alike, zombie like, roaming in a small space, looking like a propaganda poster on malnutrition, living spaces done in makeshift rusted partitions, easily ignitable light materials and yes, the appearance of fate. Everything from movable to immovable depends on fate.
Slum, short cuts, whatever. Whenever I take the easier albeit dangerous road, fate is scattered everywhere. Well, just to reach a place unmindful of safety and quickly, seeing disorder, dirt, penury, indigence, destitution, I too would refer to fate on my way to some places and quip —-BAHALA NA RIN!
Good grief! It was only a dream.