Skip to main content

"Singaporing" Manila – Reversing the Reality Part 2

The Real Face of Metro Manila

This blog is the continuation of the previous post: "Singaporing" Manila – Reversing the Reality Part 1

Here are some facts and figures about Metro Manila. In 2011, the population of Metro Manila (or Kalakhang Maynila) is 11,855,975. Consisting of 16 cities and one municipality, its total land area is 638.55 sq. km. A permanent resident of Manila is called Manileño. As of 2010, Metro Manila is the 11th most populous city in the world.

Here are some of the photos taken from different areas of Metro Manila today.





































You’ve just seen how Manila looks like today. In February 2013, I wrote “Why Business will Grow in Manila?” In this post, I cited that business will grow in Manila or in the Philippines provided that these three conditions would be met.

Condition #1: Mind your own business.
Condition #2: Forget about varying political and religious point of views.
Condition #3: Save for real. Invest for real.

I wrote this article three months after my arrival in Singapore. As I explored some part of this country, it made me think that these three things (or conditions I cited) are what most people do. I was inspired and also thought that great things happening in a small country like Singapore is nevertheless also possible to happen in a city like Metro Manila. In fact, I earlier wrote “Where in the Philippines is Bonifacio Global City – the Gateway to the First World Country?” That was on September 2012. Bonifacio Global City is in Taguig, Metro Manila and I felt that it has many similarities with Singapore, only that it is only a business district and not a country. These ideas on my two previous posts are what made me recall about the story of Lee Kuan Yew and Ferdinand Marcos (and the reason as well why I wrote this blog). At this point, I would like to borrow a section of this paper entitled “Political Virtue and Economic Leadership: A Southeast Asian Paradox” written by Hilton L. Root and was published by Milken Institute on November 13, 2000. You can read the entire article if you wish to. In this paper, it says:

“Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew (1959-90) and Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines (1965-86) coexisted under similar geo-political pressures and were known to share similar political and social philosophies. Yet Lee Kuan Yew established a political party that derived its credibility from a reputation for corruption-free governance, sobriety and growth while Ferdinand Marcos became famous for larceny on a grand scale, stealing the people’s foreign aid and putting it into private bank accounts and property throughout the world.”

“Reflecting upon his success in Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew often boasted that he would have been able to create immense wealth for his citizens if he had only had a larger, more resource-rich country to manage. Few believed that Singapore, an island of 214 square miles and 1.8 million inhabitants, could be a viable country after separating from Malaya in 1964. Lee himself worked tirelessly from 1959 to 1964 to keep Singapore and Malaya together, writing in his memoirs, “We had said that an independent Singapore was simply not viable.” Lee argued, “It is the hinterland that produces the rubber and tin that keep our shop-window economy going. It is the base that made Singapore the capital city. Without this economic base, Singapore would not survive. Without merger, without a reunification of our two governments and an integration of our two economies, our economic position will slowly and steadily get worse.”

“By contrast, the nearby Philippines, with a population of 26.6 million, was considered to be a much more promising developing country. The world’s second largest producer of gold, the Philippines was endowed with a relatively well-educated population, a large resource base and, by the standards of the time, a well-developed infrastructure. With a potentially large resource base to pay back loans and extremely articulate leader it became one of the largest recipients of World Bank assistance during the tenure of Ferdinand Marcos. Yet the Philippines became the sick man of Asia, while Singaporeans now enjoy the second highest per capita income in the region after Japan.”


Source: http://www.milkeninstitute.org/pdf/polvirtu.pdf

On Part 3 (and final part) of this blog post, I would share some photos of Singapore streets, parks, and other public places. I would also highlight why Metro Manila, and the Philippines as whole, can adapt a system like of Singapore today. For 2014, Philippines has a total budget of P2.265-trillion (Source: http://www.gov.ph/2013/12/20/president-aquino-oks-p2-265t-2014-national-budget/). As resident of the Philippines and a former OFW in Singapore, I would share my ideas and opinions on why such annual budget can make Philippines become Singapore, once again.


Related Post
"Singaporing" Manila – Reversing the Reality Part 1


About the Author

Noriel Panganiban is a Business Consultant and Writer. He maintains a website (www.knowriel.com) which also serves as his portfolio as a freelancer.His passion and interest in blogging are what makes him write articles related to the Philippines. ProjectPilipinas.com is about changing everything that is bad into good.

Comments

Popular Posts

“I Love Baguio City” - My Travel Story in the Summer Capital of the Philippines

The Strawberry Farm, Burnham Park, Mines View Park, the Mansion, Wright Park, Lourdes Grotto, and Session Road; these are among of the popular landmarks in the more commonly known “Summer Capital of the Philippines” – Baguio City. Why so? Well, the temperature here seldom exceeds 26 degree centigrade. During the cold season of December to February, the temperature falls down to even below 10 degree centigrade. The record low temperature was 6.3 degree and that was on January 18, 1961. How to Travel to Baguio City? Going to this cold city in the mountainous province of Benguet, Philippines is a six to seven hours travel by passenger utility bus from Manila. Starting from EDSA, traversing the NLEX, entering SCTEX, exiting the province of Tarlac and going through the neighbouring provinces of Pangasinan and La Union, and then exploring the zigzag road of either the Marcos Highway, the Kennon Road or the Naguilian Road, the coldest place in the Philippines will be reached. Baguio is a

Jesus Christ’s Hands (Kamay ni Hesus) – an Image of Ultimate Devotion

We visited Kamay ni Hesus in 2011. That big statue of Jesus Christ, similar to that one seen in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, is a magnificent wonder. Probably, this hidden place in the province of Quezon is not yet known to the world. Then this post is a good starting point to share it. More than 85% of the Filipinos are Catholics. Many are truly devoted. Some are not. This holy place is a place of worship for many Catholics. At about 50 feet tall, this statue of Jesus Christ is a magnificent structure made even more noticeable when placed on the mountain top. About two thousand to three thousand visitors come into this place everyday to pray, to stroll and to witness the beauty and holiness of this man-made mountain park. On the Photo: A view from the Foot of the Mountain at Lucban, Quezon, Philippines Kamay ni Hesus “Kamay ni Hesus” in Lucban, Quezon is proving it all. A structure, a park , a holy place – many believes that it will last for a lifetime. On a larger scale, Chris

"Business as Usual" as the Filipinos Define It (Vulcanizing Shop, Sari-Sari Store, Bakery) – Part 1

I asked the shop owner about these old unused tires on what are they doing with it. The Vulcanizing shop owners says, “Oh, someone will pick up those tires and pay us 5 or 10 pesos each. Sometimes they just take it for free”. Vulcanizing Shop - A Classic Example of Filipino Business You’ve most probably seen and been into a local, typical vulcanizing shop like this one in the photo. The business concept is very simple. Here’s a customer with his flat or deflated tire and the vulcanizing boy will repair it using a rubber compound patch, a heating tool, and an air pump. If it’s a regular car or van tire, repairing one may only take 10 minutes the cost of which is around 30 to 60 pesos. If it’s a tire from a truck or bus, it could be around 30 minutes and the repair would cost the vehicle owner around 100 to 150 pesos. Here’s the thing. A shop like this one could potentially earn a revenue of 1000 up to 2000 per day just by repairing a flat tire. Why? Well, with thousands of

The Divisoria Malls - Defining Shopping in the Philippines

They call it the 168 Mall. It is one of the busiest places in the Philippines during shopping days like Christmas season when longing for enjoyment and relaxation is on the air once again. From Cavite, my home place, going to Divisoria, it will take you about an hour travel under normal traffic flow. What is in this place? Well, Divisoria is the Bargain Shopping Capital of the Philippines . This is where wholesale and retail prices make shoppers say “WOW!” on delight. Visiting this place will definitely give you a realization about shopping on a different dimension. Find out why on the next paragraphs. On the Photo: The Popular 168 Mall in Divisoria, Manila, Philippines Divisoria is located in Binondo, Manila. It is accessible via Quiapo(where the famous Black Nazarene of Quiapo Church is) thru Recto Avenue and via Lawton near Manila City Hall. Divisoria has been there since the early 90’s. As it is near the North Harbour, Manila’s main seaport, the freshest and cheapest produc

Beautiful Life in the Philippines in These Times of Pandemic

Life is beautiful if you will find ways to make it beautiful... This is what I learned from life experiences here in the planet. As the line from the poem Invictus states: I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul. We are responsible for our happiness, at least in a world where everyone has freedom. Now, as to what happiness would mean to you, it something you must know. But defining happiness should not be complicated. Perhaps, this blog post can explain...  Cows Freely Eating Grasses in a Green Field A Lady Witnessing the Rising of the Sun Morning Sun as it Climbs Up to Start the Day We all experienced the horrible impact of pandemic over the past two years, and yet we still feel the difficulties and challenges up to this very moment coping up with the so-called "new normal". Maybe its already too much to say what this COVID-19 virus bring us...that's enough! An inspiration may cure our broken hearts and souls. This is the best way to calm us down, make us

“Fixer” in Philippine Government Agencies Like the Social Security System (SSS) and Land Transportation Office (LTO) – What We Filipinos Can Do About it?

Maybe in this post, I can clearly explain how “fixing” works in many government offices in the country. The idea is first, to warn you that such illegal fixing happens, and second, to give you tips on how you should avoid them. Plain and simple, we will not in anyway damage or speak against anyone or any particular office of the government in this post. It just happened that this is about my experience with LTO and SSS Tagaytay. I want to emphasize that still many government employees in the Philippines are doing their jobs right - including those who are working in the said branches. If you have experienced transacting with any government offices here in the Philippines, whether you're a Filipino or not, you should already be familiar with these signages. NO TO FIXER Banner in an LTO Office NO NOON BREAK Banner in LTO Tagaytay Here’s a bit of knowledge for you to digest first. What is “fixing” or who is a “fixer” by the way? In the Philippines, these good w

Who are These OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) and Why are They the Modern Heroes of the Philippines

At the turn of the millennium, the Philippine government launches this campaign program calling the overseas Filipino workers or OFWs as “Mga Bagong Bayani ng Bayan” (Modern Heroes of the Nation). From then onwards, different organizations established programs giving awards and recognitions to selected OFWs who did a remarkable contribution or action to their family, friends, work or in general, to the country. OFW ka ba? Bakit? Eh kasi dating mo pa lang, mayaman ka na. Boom!  (Are you an OFW? Why? Because with just the way look, it seems that you’re rich. Boom!) My Cousin Dado as an OFW in South Korea  At present, OFWs around the world are estimated to be around 12 – 14 million. This is approximately 10 – 12 percent of the Philippines total population. These OFWs are distributed on many countries all over the globe majority of whom are in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Singapore, Hongkong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Italy. Immigrant workers in the United States, Aust

Interesting Facts from the Historic Province of the Ilocanos - Ilocos Norte, the Philippines

In 2016, my friends traveled to the northern part of our country – in Ilocos region. The views there are truly amazing, so I decided to create this post about Ilocos Norte. No wonder, some of the places I am going to share here do exists in the Philippines for centuries. Yes, that old! Not only that, I researched more facts about these places that may help you appreciate more the beauty or importance of them. Ready to be fascinated? Here we go. Sand Dunes, Paoay, Ilocos Norte The Sand Dunes in Paoay Ilocos Norte is in some ways comparable to the desert safaris found in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Marrakech. Land cruisers or 4x4 rough terrain vehicles will tour you around the dunes. The place is also known as the Ilocos Norte Sand Dunes (INSD) and is considered a National Geological Monument. The locals call it La Paz Sand Dunes or Bantay Bimmaboy. Notable feature of this tourist destination is that it is an 85 square kilometers dry zone facing the West Philippine Sea. Today, adventu