IF I were a true blue resident of the bustling capital city of Manila, I would gleam with pride. No more tangled lines at busy sidewalks (shall I say street vendors), no more feces in public parks, and no more “lagay” given to “Eddie” and “Patty.”
In a span of a few weeks after being sworn in as the newly-elected mayor of Manila, Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso did not waste time to make a phenomenal start of his term. Making his signature image as a “Batang Maynila,” Mayor Isko has definitely won the hearts of many of his constituents, not to mention people from other provinces and cities like me. Watching from afar, all we can say is that change indeed has come in Manila.
Even to a point of brushing aside several death threats coming his way, Mayor Isko is bent on restoring the peace and order situation in the busy streets of his hometown. For a start, he has been on a relentless duty of clearing Divisoria, Recto, Ylaya, Juan Luna, Soler, Carmen Planas, Tabora, Asuncion, Villalobos, Carriedo, C. Palanca, Ronquillo, Raon and Evangelista, among others, of obstructions.
Mayor Isko is also keen on restoring the cleanliness and healthy environment in public parks, after he conducted an inspection at the Andres Bonifacio Shrine which he said is at least 50 human steps from the Mayor’s Office, and which he dubbed as the “biggest toilet” in the city. He led the flag-raising ceremony yesterday at the newly-refurbished park where he told the city hall employees, “Sa mahabang panahon, hindi ninyo napakinabangan bilang mamamayan ng lungsod ng Maynila (ang Bonifacio Shrine). Hindi na siya mapanghi, hindi na siya tae-tae island (For a long time, the people of Manila did not enjoy and benefit from this place. Today, this place is no longer filthy and teeming with human waste).”
Aside from this, Mayor Isko is also eager to restore and rehabilitate the Manila Zoo, which he claims is a “family-friendly” park. The said park, which has been ordered closed indefinitely by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in January, will be repackaged into an environment- and student-friendly tourist spot which will be managed by the local government unit and will not be sold, as ensured by the mayor.
All of these plans and actions, we can say, signal quite a good start from the first–time mayor. But we are in high hopes, that Manila has indeed found its long-lost Messiah in the person of the Batang Maynila himself, Isko. He said in every speech during his campaign; “Mga kababayan, walang magmamalasakit sa ating lahat na mga batang Maynila kundi tayo ring mga kapwa batang Maynila (Nobody will take care of the children of Manila but the children of Manila themselves).”
And how he embarrassed long-time politicians with this two-week performance. Other cities such as our beloved San Fernando is following suit. It’s never too late to start, and it’s always a good thing to choose a leader who really knows his constituency by heart. For now, let us all bask in the optimism that this change in leadership brings to the one glorious city that badly needs a reprieve from the old woes of traditional politics and old-school graft and corruption.