Monday, December 18, 2006

Philippine Tatler

I just received today via postal service a magazine called Philippine Tatler. I saw some familiar faces I used to socialize with (albeit some are a few years older and a few pounds heavier :) - some are childhood friends and classmates, and some names I have just heard of from the past.

It was nice reminiscing of my life in the Philippines back then and looking at the glossy pages with all the ternos and designer gowns and jewelries (South Sea pearls anyone?). The glossies were fun to look at but at the back of my mind two thoughts kept intruding into my full enjoyment: (1) a necklace on one of the matrons could have fed a family of 6 for 6 years in the Philippines! The disparity, the injustice! (2) the OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) who left loved ones in the Philippines in order to provide a better life 'back home' for these same loved ones and the 'haves' in the Philippines going along their merry way [op ed: silver lining of the OFW phenomenon is the rise of the middle class in the Philippines.]

After getting my fill of the pictures I went back and read the articles and one was most disquieting. The article's title is "The Air Over There." The article focuses on air pollution in Manila and compares Manila to other major cities. Here's the CliffsNotes on the comparative article:

Speaking of disparity and injustice, a Pinoy blogger, My Sari-sari Store, had posted a series of wonderful and well done black&white photographs - samples of the Philippine's dismal elementary public education & funding. Quite sad actually - but you could see the Filipinos' inherent joie de vivre come loud and clear in the photographs.