History versus Development, Culture versus Development and Modernization, Nature versus Development. Here in the Philippines we are always confronted with the dilemma of extremes. We have never perfected the art of harmonization. Either the other side suffers while the other one flourish.
Today yet another issue confronts us in our time. History vs. Development. A building being constructed more than 100 meter behind the National Hero shrine is being questioned and demands for its demolition is pushed as it blocks the former picturesque view.
I am a sentimental person, I love history. With this matter this is my personal take.
I’ve seen important landmarks in other countries, important landmarks with buildings around them, yet these statues/landmarks are not diminished, much more the people there are even more patriotic than we Filipinos.
My question is, what is there to boast about the landmark if we Filipinos cannot grasp or care to know and live what that landmark represents and what it wants to tell us.
That landmark I think is not intended simply as tourist spot, but a living testament of the grand ideals of our forefathers. What is the use of a picturesque landmark when the beauty of its message we cannot appreciate much more we cannot follow. Lessons of history should not just be seen, it must be lived, immortalized in our lives as Filipino citizens… not just in the stones.
Ironically while we struggle to protect the view of Rizal Park, question such as whether Filipino as a subject would still be mandatory in private schools is being considered, in fact more time is allotted to foreign languages than to Filipino subject. For educational field trips apparently Rizal Park, or Bonifacio shrine seldom find their names in the list, instead Enchanted Kingdom, Star City and Mall of Asia are more popular.
I hope this issue was resolved when things were just starting, not when the possible damage is as high as the two structures now.