Editorial: Building on our gains-A A +A
Saturday, October 20, 2012
THE city is growing fast. Shops are opening, buildings are shooting up, hotels are coming in, and just about every empty lot is being built on. Traffic is working and population is growing.
This is the time when we have to step back as Dabawenyos and ask, what do we really want?
It’s the time to step up the plate to say, Welcome to our city, this is how we live, and this is how you should live. Something along the line of when in Rome, do as the Romans do. We’re in Davao and these new people chose to be in Davao, ergo, do what Dabawenyos do and has been doing. But only the good practices.
It’s the time to look back to all the gains we have achieved: a smoke free city since that smoking ban a decade ago; a city that goes to sleep to give each residents enough time to rest and be refreshed for a more productive day through the almost three-decade long liquor ban; the firecracker ban that has ensured the safety of our people and our pets for almost a decade now; the declaration that we are mining-free, to ensure that no one entity will dig up our lands to enrich themselves while leaving us with nothing but barren subsoil; the comprehensive women code that disallows pageants and shows that feature gyrating women in their most skimpiest; and yes, our preference for peaceful living.
For many instances now, we have tolerated the rich scions from some other place to lord it over our food and beverage establishments just because that is how they are. We never insisted that this is how we are, you should behave as we do in our city.
There are still newcomers and rebellious youth who insist on smoking where they shouldn’t be. We know the benefits we have enjoyed since our restaurants and hotel lobbies have become smoke-free, let us take it upon ourselves to remind anyone whom we see smoking where smoking is not allowed that we have this law that Dabawenyos have been obeying for a decade now and we cannot allot them to violate this law just because they want to. Let us not bow to the pressure of any trader who wants to reap the profits of the Yuletide season at the expense of our people’s fingers, lives, homes, pets and birds by allowing special consideration for the firecracker ban. The same with the liquor ban, which has ensured that the greater majority of us arrive home safe with just enough alcohol to carry us through the night.
Our beauty pageant candidates did not become any uglier just because they were not required to strut around in bikinis; and they are now regarded for how they carry themselves and not how they look like half-naked. Prudes, we may be called, but it has somehow achieved a community consciousness that puts greater appreciation of a person and not on her exposed skin.
But most of all, let us continue to stand as one against anyone who thinks he can get away with destroying what remains of our environment. The city and its bounty are for all of us, and if nurtured and nourished can take care of our children and children’s children. Let us not live for the day and instead build up on what we have already gained.
It will be difficult as more and more will be coming in to challenge how we live. But if we want to ensure that our city remains the nurturing city it has always been, then we, the residents, will have to do our individual task of ensuring that the values we have long shared and lived with will be carried on.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 20, 2012.