Some dream must die-A A +A
Friday, August 3, 2012
SANITY has to be restored in Basilan if the communities in that island province want to regain its once beautiful, peace and pristine and glorious past.
Domestic and foreign tourists had always relish the idyllic Basilan and the jovial almost carefree islanders who welcome guests in their classic and inherent pleasantness.
The island drew investors from all over the country, opening up employment opportunities and perking local economy, which was vibrant than other island provinces southwest of the Zamboanga peninsula.
Tourism potential was most promising in this island than the better known places today.
But today, all those grandeur and future possibilities appeared to have fizzled out. The smiles, congeniality and hospitableness of the islanders had supplanted by threats, hopelessness, distrust and anxiety. The once peaceful paradise is plague with enormous obstacles, one the unending and vicious harassments of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist elements and the questionable alliance between the Abu Sayyaf and the separatist elements.
Add to that the kidnap-for-ransom activities of either of the two or both and the unrelenting assaults on plantation workers. You have a condition that drives away all the potentials that could have insure the liberation of the islanders from poverty and the stability of peace and order in the island.
The killing of plantation workers and some 11 members of government peacekeeping force in the province once more brought back the shroud of uncertainty and bleakness in the island. While the number of soldiers killed is alarming and devastating, the biggest loser here are actually the island inhabitant themselves as the incident will stigmatize those who had plans to come and invest in the island.
Until the coast is again clear, so to speak, and unless the island communities are clear who to support and abide with, will business and tourists try the water for any possible investment? But this one will take some time to come back.
As for now, the confidence level is back to square one. It takes people’s power to defeat their real enemy. The problem, however, is whether they know that the enemies here are the Abu Sayyaf terrorists, the kidnap-for-ransom syndicates and the secessionist fronts who still dream the futile dreams of seceding from the Republic of the Philippines.
That dream must die.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 03, 2012.