Velez: Thoughts on Araw ng Dabaw


THE Araw ng Dabaw will just be a platform for candidates. Even if it was earlier announced that politicians should not campaign, they will be walking posters by themselves.

Because some of these politicians are aligned with the party organized by our city leaders, they get free pass. Bong Revilla will be very happy to join this festivity, because he may not get a water bottle thrown like what happened in his visit to Baguio’s Panagbenga Festival.

If they get a free pass, I think we must also invite that guy who threw that bottle on Revilla, and do a repeat performance. That would be one reason to cheer this celebration.

Anyway, Davao is already 82 years old. That’s old enough to be your lolo and lola. It would be nice if this city hold activities or produce documentaries to remember Davao’s history.

Like, did we know Davao was formerly little Tokyo? Or what was the reason why Davao was populated starting in the 1910? Who are the longest serving mayors aside from the Dutertes?

What was Davao like in the 60s to 70s? How did it survive Martial Law? Alsa Masa?

What is Davao now? Where is it going? Is progress marked by tall buildings, malls, investments, and the traffic and migration problems that come along with it?

Along with this growth comes the problem of feeding the city. This was raised by one of the city’s dynamic groups, Masipag Mindanao, which observed World Consumers’ Rights Day last March 15.

The group held a “GMO Free” tarpaulin hanging and an organic festival in Mintal with their network farmers and advocates.

Our city has been a partner with Masipag and other organic advocates, by holding a two-day a week organic market. But it can still do more.

This city still has a wide area of farms, but this is threatened by farm conversion into subdivisions and plantations. Another threat to agriculture is the Rice Tarification Law which will leave farmers more vulnerable.

For a thriving city, this is one of many concerns. The thing we can do, aside from our celebratory mood, is to know that solutions should not just come from the leaders, but from the community that drives towards real progress and empowerment.

Unity, justice and peace should always be the norms of our city, be it whatever color or tribe we come. Madayaw.


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