Divisoria. An eye sore to those who hate to be in a chaotic traffic, piles of garbage here and there, home to undisciplined and abusive pedicab drivers and street vendors that come by the dozens.
We lived there for two years – inhaled the smog of Divisoria daily, Manila’s so-called “pride”, or for some, they say, “shame” due to the many irritants – pollution it brings, traffic it causes and pick-pockets that taint the busy commercial district.
Well, we’ve seen them all, experienced them, liked the place and oftentimes, disliked some of Divisoria’s “products”.
But to be honest, as much as people complain about a lot of things, one can’t deny the one pretty obvious asset of Divisoria – hard work of Pinoys and even Tsinoys alike.
Whether we like it or not, Filipinos are one of the hardest working people in the world.
Just imagine the daily grind ordinary Juan dela Cruz’s are willing to go through in a place like Divisoria just to be able to make both ends meet.
Street vendors in the so-called “Ber” months litter the C.M. Recto Avenue Extension, selling all sorts of things, from bargain shoes, clothes of kids, toys that go as low as “three items for Php100”, “samalamig” drinks like buko, orange or mango juice for Php5.oo or Php 10.00 per cup, setting these up in the normal dusty or muddy street.
Yes, we may dismiss such jobs as menial, dirty and a pain in the neck for drivers plying the route of C.M. Recto and Jose Abad Santos Street. But such is the kind of attitude Filipinos will take just to be able to earn a decent living, hoping that every peso they earn could be used to feed hungry stomachs of kids and send their kids to school.
There are bad sides and good sides we see in Divisoria. Some may argue that the bad sides outweigh the good ones.
The negative things about Divisoria may oftentimes overshadow the positive things. But as much as we want to curse the people or the obnoxious day-to-day life, it won’t help in any way.
Yes, it may take decades just to see the much “dreamed-of glorious” days of Divisoria – bustling with life and full of responsible and law-abiding people, come to reality.
But Filipinismo firmly believes that IT CAN happen and IT WILL happen as we, Filipinos learn to OWN this vision by doing our part – if you’re a driver, obey traffic rules even though everyone else does things their way; if you’re a businessman, charge just right; if you’re a buyer coming from another city and you see all sorts of negative acts, instead of cursing those who are “irresponsible”, bless by praying for them; if you’re a citizen living within the area of Divisoria, well, we hope you throw your garbage in its proper place…and if you’re a person of authority, lead, lead in a way to earn the respect of your subordinates.
Just imagine, if every Filipino will do their share in a small, busy commercial district like Divisoria; replicate it a thousand times in our country, we’d eventually see a “new” Philippines – a nation transformed and a people changed…a kind of Philippines that can be an inspiration and a blessing to the rest of the world.
Bilib sa Pinoy!