The Lost Mountains of Manila

Manila. A cluster-fucked, dirt stained city whose main attraction is the super-duper, spend money you don’t have, mega Mall of Asia. It’s what happens to a place when the masses turn rotten from lack of green trees, clean air and hyper commercialism. For all the unbelievable beauty I left behind in Palawan, there too, must be an ugly side. And I found it in the muck of Manila.

After forking over a fraud cab fare, I’m thinking of the farmers I learned about from Benevolent Brandon The Activist on the long journey back from Banaue. How terrible it is that they are forced from their mountains that meet the heavens. Ripped from rich ridge lines that grow food into which they labored their love, just to become the urban poor in a piss pot like Manila. As if the few hundred compensation pesos given from the corporations pays for their rightful place in the sky. It makes me sick.

Today I thought I cried because I felt lost, cheated, and lied to all in an hour while passing through this mother forsaken city. But now as I ride the bus away to Batangas, I realize those weren’t my tears, the were theirs.

© 2012 Bernadette Ignacio

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