Sunday, April 19, 2009

2-Week Vacation at Manito Albay

"Infrastructure is the most important part of any developing country", this is what I realized today as I enjoy my 2-week vacation here in my very far province while observing the improvements and stagnant situation of the Manito town in Albay -- the town they say as 4th class municipality and is the farthest town in Albay province. Truly, in any developing world, infrastructure plays the most important role in enabling the development of a barrio, barangay and town. Such infrastructure is the one lacking in this town of Manito specifically the farthest barangays such as Pawa, Hulugan and Nagotgot. After almost 13 years I graduated high school and left the town to study in Manila, I can only say that the roads infrastructure has improved 20% thus the road from Legaspi is itself a rocky road and will present a dizzying trip to anyone who would visit the town more so with the roads connecting the barangays I've mentioned a while ago. Some improvements I noticed in terms of infrastructure is the cemented roads connecting Manito to Legaspi but there are still inconsistencies due to very rough roads which are not even asphalted and sometimes muddy when rained. Such poor infrastructure really inhibits the development of this town. Is this a proof of corruption or just a low budget from 
the government. If the roads infrastructure is 100% fixed, I think this town will surely crawl to be one of the most beautiful and prosperous towns in Albay. I can remember when I was a child, this town used to have fast motor boats which cut the travel time to Legaspi via water in just an hour or less. Such water travel has been removed orjust vanished for some reasons I don't know. If the town is really serious about the convenience of travel, such infrasture should be promoted which could lead to Manito products being easily marketed to Legaspi. I am just sad that the town depends now on PNOC/EDC -- lucky are those who are employed by the corporation or they will die in hunger. I heard my Uncle Papay Lebor saying that the Manito town was once okay during the start of the geothermal exploration and that is really true. One such proof is this birthplace of mine called barrio Banao. The first generation of settlers here were working in the geothermal plant and some of them were able to own hectares of land but as their children got married and had families which resulted to second generation where I belong, the life of the people becomes so slow as there are not much jobs from the  plant. All is left is the rough roads that not even PNOC don't care to donate to cement the roads they pass throught. All is left is the polluted rivers which was once a paradise of freshwater shrimps and carps which my cousins and myself get our free foods daily. If PNOC could have donated more funds to cement the roads so that the infrastructure will be okay even if they no longer hire more 
people from the barangays.  

Thinking of infrasture, I also thought of contributing by putting up the first Internet service provider by setting up a satellite antenna and re-distributing such resource through WiFi or WiMax. Cable television can also be introduced by utilizing satellite cable television. Such telecommunications infrastructure is the other thing lacking in this town. Although the cellphone GPRS signal is available but due to the poor situation of the residents, no one will care to surf the internet with a per minute charging. 

Knowledge or skills infrastructure is also lacking due to the absence of technical schools. But I heard that the first public college will open this coming semester. 

Anyway, as I think of the role I would play in the improvement of the town, I thought of the 
following career path:
- Continue w/ Accenture and raise/save money...
- Buy the Manito house and lot in poblacion through PAG-IBIG fund...
- Establish businesses such as:
 - TV/Cable/Internet
 - Graphics
 - Soft Dev
 - technological school
 - Hydroponics
 - Aircon FX transpo
 - Tourist spot
 - Speed farmer boats
- Retire in Manito town with Accenture retirement benefits
- Teach in owned technological school
- Write books 

Opps before I forgot, despite of the slow development and the very far mountainous place here, 
I am happy today because:
- I was now able to buy my parents a refrigerator, a TV, a bamboo sala set etc.
- I was able to buy house materials to contribute in building the house here in the barrio.
- I like the little house with room, sala, TV, ref, fresh air, good volcano view and of course water.
- I am so happy as we frighteningly used our first pressure cooker today!
- I am happy coz I was able to maintain humility and low profile.- I am still praying for God's continuous guidance and support so I can move on further.

Almighty God, please help me coz only You know everything about me. Only You know about the role I must play as I live in this world.

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