OPINION: The truth of the myth of Imperial Manila manila2014.org

OPINION: The truth of the myth of Imperial Manila Featured

(this article first appeared on news.abs-cbn.com)

If Bonifacio cried in Catanduanes, no one would have heard him. If Jose Rizal had been shot in Dapitan, the shots would not have echoed. If the battle had not been for Manila, the war of independence would not have started. If Ninoy Aquino landed in Davao, he would not have been shot. He would be a banana farmer. But the cry was in Balintawak; the shot was in Luneta; the exchange of gunfire was in Sta. Ana; and the last carpet of incendiary bombs was unrolled by America across Manila, burning everything the bombs already destroyed—and killing a lot of those the Japs failed to massacre. And the second shot was on a tarmac of the Manila International Airport.

Two million Manileños packed the long and winding streets where the body of Ninoy Aquino passed; from Santo Domingo to Luneta, through the city, all the way to Sukat. In the near distance you could hear the last nails hammered in the coffin of the US-sponsored Marcos dictatorship.

It was from Manila that tens of thousands of soldiers were trucked to battlefields in the north and the south, the east and the west of our country, to fight communism and Malaysian-financed Muslim secession. And it was back to Metro Manila that their cadavers returned; so that one night, while driving home from work, I saw and smelled our boys when the tarpaulin covering the trucks blew away.

Manileños of course come from everywhere in the country, including Davao where Manila and Bisaya settlers suffered horribly and fought savagely to keep every square inch of land that they took fair and square from Muslims who were not farming it. Everything came from, and returned to the capital of our dreams and of our nightmares—Imperial Manila.

In 1986, after 13 years of American sponsored military dictatorship, Imperial Manila shook off the shackles that bound the entire country before the astonished eyes of the wondering world. Manila became the global model of self-won freedom against the greatest global power. Manila was the inspiration of the succeeding liberation of Europe from Soviet tyranny as well.

The stupid say that the imperial role of Manila must end. The stupider campaign that if elected they will move the capital to the province they neglected. The Central Bank building that Cory built at the behest of my Tito Chito Ayala in Davao is a warehouse today.

When Imperial Manila goes, the heart is pulled out of the chest cavity of the republic; and all you have left is a hollow country; made up of men of straw blown easily in the first wind of adversity. For without Imperial Manila, you out there would be NPA target practice, and the rest of you would be bolo practice for Muslim rebels. Your children would be sold into sex slavery in Saudi Arabia, which is the custom.

Without Imperial Manila and its legions, so badly equipped and barely paid as they are, the poor would be scavenging in the abandoned mansions of the rich. Without the armies that are raised, trained, and paid for by Imperial Manila, there would be anarchy worse than we have experienced in the last 6 years. And without Imperial Manila, you would be eating bacteria in sari-sari stores instead of clean delicious fare in the food courts invented by SM Manila.

Romans came from everywhere the Roman sword reached. The best emperors came from Spain. Yet all of them—Sicilians, Spaniards, Dalmatians—all stood in ranks; wrapped in leather and iron; thick red cloaks cast over their shoulders; and they shouted to a man—not “I am from Tusculum or Sorrento” or some shit place in some shit province—but all in one, loud, voice, cried, “CIVIS ROMANUS SUM.” I am a citizen of Rome.

Sure, Manila is squalid, poor, filthy, crime-ridden, traffic congested, overpopulated because the provinces offer only despair. But for all that Manila is the capital of the first republic in Asia, modeled after the first republic in the history of the world. Manila is the despair, yes; it is the frustration, of course; but surely too the glory of our country; where the best and the brightest converge to compete from around the country. Davao has 900,00 voters. Metro Manila has 10 million voters. The Roman historian Tacitus said, “arcana imperii, the secret of empire is out, an emperor can be made in army barracks outside of Rome.”

But that will never be true of Manila; where the arcana imperii is: the secret of power is out—and has always been known: No president can be made or govern for long without Imperial Manila.

reade more: http://news.abs-cbn.com/video/opinions/05/03/16/opinion-the-truth-of-the-myth-of-imperial-manila

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