San Pablo is again in the midst of anticipation and excitement as the Coco Festival and the feast in honor of Saint Paul the First Hermit approach.
I have personally no ill feelings towards the city’s almost lavish celebrations for I have even participated in the festivities before. For one, it attracts tourists, introducing our city’s culture to other people, and of course, revenues to the local government and temporary jobs for some of our fellowe San Pableños.
But then, it would be a merrier celebration if we are to tackle along with them the issues that almost always arise with each year’s Fest. There is the long-standing issue of the cederas that have swallowed almost half of the main streets going to the market. Our vice mayor have issued a question regarding this, and yet his tarpaulin installed beside our famed Mangga in the plaza seemed to get lost now in the sea of flaglets and posted greetings by politicians and aspiring ones. Then there is the emerging groups of vagabonds in the streets of San Pablo which I have mentioned already last year in my Viole(n)t Mugs’ opening entry. If people, or should I say the local government can organize and even finance such colorful and extravagant events for the fiesta, then I think there is no reason for them to ignore the obvious needs of these helpless ones (though this term, of course, is debatable). The point is, we could at least work together to put them into decent situations (i.e., put them in the custody of our social welfare workers, things like that).
I know it’s pretty hard for one to tackle such things in times of distractions of coming famous bands and showbiz personalities. But in the end, it’s the public, indeed social, issues – local as they might seem to some – that would remain after all those beer cases have been emptied and those flaglets torn down.
“I share in your hopes for better things this coming New Year!”(my New Year’s message to friends this year, passed through cell phones on January 1)