By Daniel Escurel Occeno
I was able to visit Metro Manila. There are no automobile dealerships in the small town of Gubat, Sorsogon Province so we had to go to Metro Manila and it was pretty costly getting the Toyota Revo serviced by the dealership supposedly to be serviced once a year with a local mechanic beforehand and we needed a place to stay for the two days with a two day drive there and back; but my mother decided to live a little so we stayed at a nice hotel instead of roughing it.
I almost did not want to go because I was involved with NaNoWriMo 2011; the “National Novel Writing Month is an annual internet-based creative writing project which challenges participants to write 50,000 words of a new novel between November 1 and November 30.” – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia on the Internet.
The trip meant four days of the 30 days during November while not writing on my novel entered with the NaNoWriMo writing contest because I did not own a tablet personal computer with a “word processor” software that I could have brought with me to write even while riding at the front passenger seat of the “Revo” during daylight.
I realize NaNoWriMo is a personal challenged to write a novel in 30 days with no prize money involved just personal satisfaction of writing a completed novel in 30 days and it might take me another ten years to publish a novel and get paid for it, but it was the principle.
My father needed wheelchair access so it was mandatory for me to accompany my parents. I felt like one of the police officers on the old “Ironside” TV show (1967-1975) wheeling around my father at the hotel, just to eat at the breakfast buffet restaurant inside the establishment.
My mother hired a driver that knew the “South Road” and the Metro Manila area, since I could not drive the 14-hour one-way drive to Quezon City and I could not drive the “Revo” to the Cubao commercial shopping area for the yearly service at the dealership and I could not drive the 14-hour one-way drive back to Gubat.
We stayed at The Sulo Riviera, a landmark hotel, in Quezon City to make the trip a somewhat costly vacation for my elderly parents in their mid seventies just to have a personal automobile serviced by a dealership. The last service was on June 2006 and (this time) I was very impressed with The Sulo Riviera Hotel make-over.
The last time I witnessed in person, not just on TV news events, the progress of the Metro Manila area was on December 2008 when my father celebrated his Golden Anniversary from graduating from Medical School at University of Santo Tomas.
Back then, I went around saying that other than Makati City, the Manila area and Quezon City looked dirty or old buildings needed paint or the entire area needed renovation; but it was not poverty and it certainly was not world hunger.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE YEARS MAKE!
The new TOLL highways and the new retail outlets to attract domestic tourism are comparable to any major city of First World countries. It will attract tourism throughout the world and more businesses will develop because of the ambiance so I am so happy for my birth country. The Philippines has ended its poverty.
The capable of success Filipino kids want the small midsize four-door luxury automobiles instead of motorcycles. Last time, the streets were scattered with motorcycles. This time, I probably saw two or three motorcycles zipping by during the various times while we drove around. There were hardly any motorcycles parked on the side streets.
Because of tourism and retail and entrepreneurship, the young upwardly mobile are finding success early instead of waiting for middle-age to work overseas for success.
I was really impressed with the new toll roads and the renovation of the business buildings and the construction of new retail outlets of mega stores.
Yes, there is congestion but city planning has organized the congestion and it did not appear to be a free-for-all of every which way was the right away.
Luxury small four-door midsize automobiles dominated the streets compared to the SUVs of gas-guzzlers of before. I did not think the capable of success wanted the two-door subcompacts promoted for preventing Climate Change, but the midsize designed for families is a step in the right direction.
The luxury small four-door midsize automobiles were what I wanted to manufacture in the Philippines if I had success in America after college and I could afford to buy General Motors to bring a manufacturing plant to Subic Bay, Post Cold War industrial zone, after the Berlin Wall fell. I knew; it was providence to eventually convert the American military bases to commercial properties.
I ruined my college education so not all dreams happen. I have a new dream; I would rather write fictional novels. I can make up the success with words; however, it might take years for reality to catch up, life imitating art.
My desires to be a Filipino-American billionaire saving the Philippines from poverty have fizzled so you Filipino kids capable of success should start an automobile company in the Philippines similar to General Motors, manufacturing luxury small four-door midsize “electric” automobiles or ethanol blend from sugar cane or soy bean diesel motors, which can run on current diesel engines using 100% soy bean diesel, especially for delivery trucks and passenger “jeepneys” and commercial bus services and the rail transits and power plants.
With the change over from SUV gas-guzzlers to luxury small four-door midsize automobiles, I can see sustainable growth for the next ten years with tourism and retail in the Philippine Islands, but eventually the fear of gasoline shortages and the need for alternative energy would be a thunderstorm cloud waiting to happen someday, named Climate Change caused by Global Warming from the fossil fuel discharge of waste gases.
The poverty is definitely over. We have high unemployment. More job creations are needed to prevent new poverty in the future, for without jobs an educated society will only go backwards.
I am often criticized that I promote the retail industry with the low wages in my quest to end the poverty in the Philippines with my freelance writing of articles, but I will again point out that retail products have to be manufactured or grown, creating more jobs, so I hope small manufacturing are flourishing in the Philippine Islands and local farmers are making a living, not to mention those that deliver the products or those that warehouse the produce.
I noticed several new high-rise buildings but with the growing need for automobiles the parking lot problem will be inevitable at locations of limited space. I thought; I saw one building having a first floor indoor parking or open sides for ventilation.
Solid cement molded old buildings could always be renovated with the first floor for parking and with escalators to the next level because of possible power blackouts, but carrying packages might be a burden without elevators powered by electricity.
I know; some of you Metro Manila residence want my opinion on how I feel about the toll highways for building new roads and maintaining better highways because personal transportation vehicles are needed to expand beyond living at metropolises.
I would prefer non-tax revenue for government responsibilities in taking care of the people in society.
How about nationwide legal “jueteng” and nationwide legal “mahjong” for non-tax revenue to repair roads and to maintain highways, especially in the Bicol Region? The potholes were vicious after the suggested yearly service from the Toyota dealership at Cubao on the 14-hour drive back at night.
There is no doubt in my mind; the Republic of the Philippines has ended its poverty.
Daniel Escurel Occeno
Gubat, Sorsogon 4710