EM­PO­RIUM

Augustman - - Contents -

Your fash­ion shop­ping list for the sea­son

“Manila is like the fa­mous Filipino dessert Halo-Halo, which lit­er­ally means a mix of ev­ery­thing that makes ev­ery taste uniquely de­li­cious,” said artist and sculp­tor Jing­goy Buen­suceso. That’s more op­ti­mistic than it looks. A mish­mash of dif­fer­ent cul­tures build­ing on top and be­side one an­other, Manila feels like an af­ter­thought. Span­ish architecture is found along­side de­crepit slums, with pre-war Amer­i­can hous­ing be­side it. In spite of eco­nomic ad­vance­ment (the World Bank es­ti­mates the econ­omy will con­tinue to grow at six per cent an­nu­ally), a big part of the coun­try’s pop­u­la­tion still live in poverty. Many come to Manila for bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties but fall be­tween the cracks. Bick­er­ing politi­cians and cor­rup­tion is rife, re­sult­ing in stalled and sub­stan­dard projects. What’s more per­turb­ing than such im­passe? Within the next 50 years, an­a­lysts pre­dict a 7.2-mag­ni­tude earth­quake will hit Manila, which sits on the West Val­ley Fault Line. Re­nato Solidum, vol­ca­nol­o­gist and seis­mol­o­gist, be­lieves at least 31,000 peo­ple will die and more than 126,000 se­ri­ously in­jured, not to men­tion the bil­lions of dol­lars of dam­age done to this melt­ing pot of architecture. FS

VIS­I­BLE CHANGES

Take a walk out­wards from the cen­tre of Manila, and you can tell the dif­fer­ent eras and chang­ing mind­sets the town­ships have gone through. A melt­ing

pot in­deed.

A HELP­ING HAND

Poverty grips Manila. To cre­ate jobs that raise real wages, the government has hatched a plan with the theme “Mak­ing Growth

Work for the Poor”.

I HAVE A DREAM

The cul­tural diver­sity is both hin­drance and tourism

mag­net. Through art, Jing­goy hopes to build easy ac­cess for ev­ery­one to

en­joy Manila.

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