Malilong: Another year: road repairs finally?

YOU must be among those who have received hundreds of Christmas and New Year’s day greetings during the last couple of weeks. And you must have noticed that only a little more than fifty were extended personally.

Of course, you are grateful that friends and family remembered by sending you videos, emojis, GIFs and electronic messages through text, Email, Facebook, Messenger, Viber and WhatsApp during the holidays. But have you ever wondered how nicer it would have been to feel the warmth of a handshake, of a buss on the cheek or or of the voice from a phone call?

I guess I am just being old-fashioned, having been brought up in an era when letters were written in your hand, instead of typed, and when even telegrams had a name on them unlike the modern day text blasts or group conversations. Like most members of my generation, I happen to believe that when the sender makes an effort to give a personal touch to the form or content of his message, it makes the recipient feel special.

The GIFs and the videos are not even original. I’m sure you had many friends who sent you exactly the same images. The potbellied man whose abdomen exploded with stars and firecrackers? You must have gotten at least five of those from the same number of friends. The blinking “Happy New Year!” in red, yellow, green and blue? I’m sure you received that, too.

I did and forwarded them to my friends to give them something to amuse or disgust themselves with for Christmas or the New Year. I found the exercise cathartic.


It’s a new year and it’s 18 months since we had a new administration taking over City Hall, long enough for Mayor Tommy Osmeña not to notice the sorry condition of many, if not most, of our roads. Will he finally do something about it?

I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Osmeña has been preoccupied with recovering the SRP lots that his predecessor Michael Rama sold to SM, Ayala and Filinvest since day one of his new term. His obsession is not bad but only up to the point when he still remembers that he has other duties too, including keeping his constituents from the danger of sustaining a broken bone or a bruised forehead from our ill-maintained roads.

Sadly that does not seem to be the case as the mayor has not paid any attention at all to this part of governance. It couldn’t have been because he does not know that the roads had deteriorated under his watch since he travels regularly around the city. Besides, the media has not been remiss in bringing the sorry plight to his attention.

Some people are saying that Osmeña has purposely neglected the roads to shore up his reelection bid. How is that so? The mayor, they claimed, is counting on our short memories by letting our streets be with a view to repairing them in time for the May 2019 elections, secure in the belief that when the voters see the rehabilitated roads, they will forget that at one time they were so bad.

I refuse to believe that. Surely, Osmeña is better than that. But if this theory is true, then I have reason to face this year with optimism. It’s only 18 months before the next election so the repairs should start anytime soon if Osmeña wants the work to be completed in time to make him smell roses to the electorate.

Still, I am keeping my fingers crossed. There are just too many imponderables to consider.
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