Belated Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and all that jazz.
I was scavenging to find a photo to update a blog post that was a couple of years old. I wanted to tweet it in commemoration of its 18th anniversary.
It’s a little online tribute to the gathering that toppled a presidency which now feels to be just a blip in Philippine history and democracy. The deposed Joseph Estrada is now back in politics serving as mayor of Manila. Gloria Arroyo replaced him and got elected as President, was found guilty of electoral sabotage and placed on house arrest, and is now the Speaker of the House. But I digress.
The photo in question showed up on Google, and after some serious sleuthing (read: clicking), I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the image and the original tweet were used for a news article at the Philippine Star late last year. The image shows a spiral staircase right in the middle of EDSA, like the double helix DNA of our ineptitude. The government body in charge of its construction argued that the stairs was built as an access point for provincial bus passengers. Have fun hauling your luggage up and down the stairs. The good news is the agency will remove the stairs soon.
I tweeted the photo back in 2015, three years before it “became an issue”. I wish the Star notified me as soon as they had decided to use the photo. It’s a source of pride for me not only to publish in a news website, but as a frustrated urban planner, to also be acknowledged for detecting a planning issue a few years early.
But the Philippines has been known for its patch-up planning. We haphazardly build, tear down, and re-build our structures, be they physical or political. We easily forgive, and much worse, more easily forget. Maybe we’re all just a little too twisted.