Wednesday, 11 March 2015

"Nostalgic for a disregarded aspiration"

"Nostalgic for a disregarded aspiration"

Its been a longer time after writing both cultural and political opinions.

Cultural in a sense that it involves music, art, heritage, and at the same time Political as it reflects this person's view on society and its realities behind. And although quite find it interesting to do such writeups, it is quite awkward to write those topics that usually seen separately if not in the news portion of the paper, yet the bottomline is that all is but interconnected especially after seeing disorder in regards to preserving heritage amidst frustrated modernity and at the same time the rottenness of the system that benefited from every demolition and building of a consumerist society in the name of development.

But speaking of development and heritage, it brought this person up a different kind of nostalgia, different from the typical church, walled town, brick and adobe house or neoclassical edifice kind, but also those with chimneys and water towers, high raised walls and steel roofs, that once dominating the suburbs in east, south of Metropolitan Manila.
This kind of nostalgia also reflects an aspiration that has been disregarded by a system which is a trader rather than a forger by nature. If it calls for realisation of an aspiration then maybe it was limited for a few entities and edifices, be it a plant for manufacturing tshirts and foodstuffs, the rest were plans left in paper or in one's thought or imagination; and that nostalgia is more than just a nostalgia to be recall, but a plan that has to be revisit and rekindle.

And speaking of foodstuffs lies familiar examples like Purico lard, Karo syrup, Royco soup mix, and Franklin Baker desiccated coconut, and everybody enjoyed those times consuming it yet however the factories were gone and hence forgotten. But for sure few amongst nostalgics recall the location, the façade, even the machinery and life within those compounds prior to its eventual demolition. Is it because they are once working in those places? Or perhaps passersby? Or even visited during a field trip since childhood? Nostalgic indeed.

Pardon to those whom likely to oppose, but no matter how old the idea of industrialisation and still be disregarded save for a few factories in Pasig, yet still the problem remains such as rampant unemployment and less production amidst abundant resources. And that age-old idea, mostly hidden in the archives is willing to provide a solution no matter how decades old it was just to curb down the issue this person had typed upon. Of what is having resources of its own if it has to be exported? Of what is waiting for outside investment if can't stimulate one's own? Of what is studying courses like Engineering and Sciences if can't be practised in its own homeland? The system which is trader by nature really disregards the idea and thinking of it as passé and not to deal upon it amidst rhetorics speaking about "newly industrialised country" and other similar terms, that the flour silos of Pasig and thr assembly lines at Laguna was enough for an "industry", while the rest been end demolished no matter it had contributed to the community's development.

Be it the brutalist architecture of the old Energizer factory at Mandaluyong or the university-like edifice of Magnolia at Echague. The old familiar edifice being seen by passer-bys at EDSA met its unlikely demise for a condo being built by SM (at the upper left part), while the latter's been intact and once used for a school owned by a prominent religious sect (at the middle left part). There were others that end leaving no trace such as the old Procter and Gamble plant at Velasquez, Tondo (with its blue roofs and a water tower that once featured the moon and stars symbol); and also the old yet "modern looking" Magnolia plant, known for childhood memories during field trips and sample ice cream, which was also end demolished years past and in its lot comes a mall and a condonimium being built rather than an adaptive reuse particularly at its front façade.

And yes, they call it progress the way people forget history in the name of moving on. In other countries, least a building, or a façade, has been kept for a living memory out of it, citing tis contribution to the district's own development. And as said earlier, it is also political, as the system as well as the concerned people had to resort in debating about developing a society that is backward in spite of its façade of development, of poverty amidst its propaganda of progress, that one has to cling on neoliberal principles of letting outsiders take over every enterprise in the name of international capital while the other speaks on domestic-based development such as industrialisation and allocating natural resources to domestic purspose. But to the vast majority? Nah, it has nothing to do with their lives except working to consume, if they care about heritage and end disappeared, life goes on with them with their favorite alibi such as moving on. 

After all, that is so-called development to be advanced and respected by many including those speaking of nostalgia, even justified that such aspirations, no matter how relevant and important, are deemed impossible since those are passé and be disregarded in favour of thing "new" (hence limiting to those what this person stated like churches and old houses); while few yet serious nostalgics would care to mind upon the state of old factories with its strange architecture same as those into old houses, walled towns, and churches. Few would even dare to engage in industrial archaeology   (besides posting about old trains), if not urging developers to do some adaptive reuse in remaining edifices as a reminder, especially after showing pictures that somehow reminisce their childhood interests of not their former jobs situated on those places. 
Those cherished times, as this person observed, actually made the concerned nostalgic mold their aspirations of a developed society, yet again these aspirations of an industrialised society and a developed community end rather hidden in both government or in a private company archive, (be it from Ayala or Lopez) if not in the pictures and sketches of a nostalgic's own imagination. Trying to "breathe it alive" through a post in social media.


Sometimes, in other history and nostalgia related pages comes commentators whom love to put current events, a post in which "patriots", "right-wingers", and "counterreactionaries" love to swam upon to.

In case of the fare hikes at MRT and LRT for an example, there are those whom speaking about the Marcoses with its development "to be taken pride of", while others wanting to let the private sector, be it from the oligarch or from the foreigner, take over out of their promises of "good service", or even letting fares be increased 100% with competition amongst mass transport vehicles for an alibi. Such debatable comments also mirror their nostalgia on mass transport, or even development in general that is merely a façade to take pride of.  
And the fact that their "nostalgia" for good service comes with these suggestions, whether it is a renewed form of "Marcos Loyalism" or letting the private sector like the Ayalas, Cojuangcos, or Pangilinan take over for chrissakes simply because they done good, while not knowing that they are also the ones keeping the corrupt order satisfied being dependent. 

Pardon this person's view but despite the development they have made, be it located in Makati or in Mandaluyong or Quezon City, it is the same sector that somehow made everyone annoyed about rising rates in water and in electricity, as well as oil that made most contemplating about Petron or Meralco as they were once government-controlled and hence affordable, if not cheap to pay off according to  a  nostalgic as concerned.

Anyways, just an observation though, but out of cherishing a past comes a variety of comments that are worth debatable. That if one has afforded to speak with Claro M. Recto's or Alejandro Lichaucho's be replied with those of Milton Friedman or even Bernardo Villegas, the way Marcos Loyalists got irritated with the comments coming from Lorenzo Tañada if not Jose Diokno.

That's all for now.