Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Paradise Lost?

Pristine white beaches, palm trees swaying in the breeze, sipping exotic fruit drinks. These are the images of tropical paradise.

But the Philippines, with it’s 7107 Islands (at low tide) has literally of thousands of miles of beach front property. In urban areas this property has often been relegated to the poorest areas. Note on the picture the densely populated waterfront compared to the rest of the city. While the open bays, gulf or sea offers a twice a day flush for raw sewage poured into it (the tide) the drawbacks of this kind of population density are far greater than the benefits. Disasters such as tsunamis, typhoons and epidemics sweep through these areas with devastating impact.

Yet these areas offer some of the finest in Philippine life too. People live in communities, know their neighbors and come to each other assistance when needed. What they lack in basic services is made up with tenacity of survival and sheer force of determination to make the best of it.

By all means, I do not want to glorify poverty. But I wonder if living so close to ones neighbor brings out the best in humanity that the folks, in the internet isolated affluent areas, have lost.

1 comment:

  1. Speaking as one who has lived in both country and town settings, I think it has to do more with what one values that creates community rather than proximity. We are in town now, but casual aquaintance is about as deep as community gets here. The annoyance level caused by those who insist on "expressing their individuality" at all hours of the night, or the sheer loudness of their passing by in (on) their vehicle is much worse in town than the country.