Beautiful Cebu

Cebu is not the same colonial province time has forgotten decades ago. It is not a periphery to the center but rather, a destination with its own unique charm. Discover for yourself. See new destinations in the Cebu mainland. Read on...

Friday, November 18, 2016

Cebu in the Time of Marcos

Excerpts from The Economic History of Cebu City written by the author

BY JUN VELEZ | Blogger

In Cebu, Marcos' actions reverberated. Home to his last presidential foe and opposition leader Serging  Osmeña, Marcos went after the  Osmeña family.  He threw into prison Serging's son and namesake, Sergio “Serge”  Osmeña III and filed trumped up charges against him. His father Serging, symbol of opposition and defiance to Marcos who was injured in the bombing of an opposition meting de avance in Manila  had left for the United States to seek medical treatment. Like his father, Sergio  Osmeña in World War 2, Serging as a national figure was witness to violence and human frailty at the twilight of his political career.

Although  Osmeña allies, governor Osmundo Rama and Cebu City mayor Eulogio Borres retained their positions after expressing allegiance to Marcos.  He was replaced by Marcos-appointed mayors: Florentino Solon in 1978 and Ronald Duterte in 1983.

Marcos seized  Osmeña's braichild, the North Reclamation Project and left it undeveloped for years during his reign.

Loans to fund development

With the country under his total control and to justify his totalitarian rule, Marcos promised to improve the country's economy. In order to fund his development projects, Marcos borrowed heavily from foreign banks and lending institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Marcos' policies seemed to have worked at first. The Philippine Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew from P55 Billion ($7.7 billion) in 1972 to P193 Billion ($27 Billion) in 1980. The growth however was financed largely by economic aid from the United States and foreign loans made by the Marcos government. The country's foreign debt increased by $27 Billion during Marcos' stay in office. In 1983, the Philippines would default in the payment of these loans sending the peso into a free fall.
Cebu asserts independence

Just as in the past, Cebu businessmen didn't depend on the national government, on the fate or direction of their enterprises. With an economy tied with the world market for centuries, Cebuanos looked beyond the political turmoil of the country and looked for opportunities abroad. But unlike in colonial times, Cebu City's industries have diversified. Both local and foreign markets have been tapped in the creation of wealth by many Cebu City residents.

By the 1970s, the center of Cebu City's commercial activity had shifted from Magallanes St. to Colon St. After fire burned the iconic Dona Modesta Singson Gaisano's White Gold House, her children opened several Gaisano stores along Cebu's oldest street, Colon in the old Parian district. Other department stores followed Like Fairmart, Plaza Fair and Gaw.

There were also department stores in other parts of the city especially in the area close to the Fuente  Osmeña Circle, considered as the city's uptown district. In 1985, John Gokongwei opened Robinson's Department Store right in front of the Fuente  Osmeña Circle. Along the same street in Gen. Maxilom Ave. were Rustan's Department Store and  Gaw Fashion Square. In the North Reclamation Project was where the Gaisanos rebuilt White Gold Department Store. Named after the original White Gold in Juan Luna Street, it catered to the upscale market .

But it wasn't in retail  that Cebu made its mark  as a post-frontier economy. Cebu-made furnitures found their way to the world market. Pioneered by a scion of the Aboitiz clan, Maria Aboitiz of Mehitabel and an American, John McGuire in the 1950s, the furniture industry boomed in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It served as a silver lining in an era characterized by political turmoil  and bleak financial future for many. As in the 19th century when trade with foreign markets uplifted the lives of Mestizos, furniture export from the port of Cebu in the 1980s made Cebuanos engaged in the business wealthy. At a time when foreign aid and loans sustained Philippine economy, Cebuano furniture-makers were bringing into the country precious dollars that helped boost the country's foreign reserves.

While in the media, both foreign and national, a gloomy picture of the Philippines was often depicted, in Cebu, Cebuano furniture manufacturers raked in thousands of dollars from export of furniture, proving once again the dynamism and resilience of Cebu's economy and the innovativeness and initiative of Cebuaos. While the rest of the country was in dire economic and political strain, Cebu rattan furniture manufacturers helped Cebuanos cope with the crisis.

Serging's transfer of the airport, the expansion of the Cebu port facility with the Cebu International Port (CIP) and the construction of the Mandaue- Mactan Bridge led to the development of  metropolitan Cebu especially the cities of Mandaue and Lapulapu. As a matter of fact, Mandaue City today is home to 68% of funiture manufacturers. Cebu City is second with 28%.

End for Marcos

Questions of legitimacy hounded Marcos. Ruling without a mandate from the people, Marcos was forced to call for a snap election in 1986, almost three years after the  death of Ninoy Aquino. In an unprecedented development, Ninoy's widow, Corazon Aquino challenged Marcos and ran as president. The contrast was stunning but it was lost on Marcos, already isolated and out of touch with the course the nation had taken. Marcos, an aging and sickly dictator with a face bloated from complications of a failed kidney transplant,  was a shadow of his former self. Cory, a woman, grieving widow, loving wife and mother and a well-educated member of old elite class posed serious threat to Marcos' autocratic rule. Cory's presence alone was a refreshing breeze in the dreary, blood-tainted national politics.

The United States, however, supported Marcos until it was no longer tenable to do so. The mistake almost sidelined America in one of the defining events of the 20th century: the 1986 Edsa Revolution. In a scene  reminiscent of the American defeat in Vietnam, America was forced to airlift Marcos as thousands of people stormed Malacanang. Palace.

Marcos' Revolution from the Center

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Ang simbahan sa Aloguinsan

 [This article was first published in Sun.Star Bisdak]
Kabahin kaniadto ang Aloguinsan ug ang katawhan niini sa lungsod sa Pinamungahan. Gikan sa pagkabarangay, nahimo kining lungsod niadtong 1886. Hinuon, nagpabiling sakop ang mga taga Aloguinsan sa parokya sa Pinamungahan hangtod 1912.

Tungod sa kalayo sa Pinamungajan gikan sa Aloguinsan, nihangyo ang mga lumulupyo nga magtukod sila ug ilang kaugalingon parokya. Tuod man, niadtong 1912, natuman kini. Unang nahimong kura paroko mao si Rev. Fr. Mariano Ruiz.
Lahi sa kasagaran simbahan sa Parokya ni San Rafael Arkanghel sa Aloguinsan, nga nahimutang sa kasadpang bahin sa Sugbo. Nahimong parokya atol sa pagsakop sa Amerika sa Pilipinas, dayag sa palibot sa simbahan ang impluwensiya sa Amerika.

Unang mosugat sa manimbahay ang dakong punoan sa acacia nga anaa sa ganghaan sa simbahan. Panahon pa sa mga Amerikano gitanom ang maong kahoy. (Dala sa mga Amerikano ang mga acacia. Dili kini lumad sa Plipinas.)

Lahi sa kasagarang makita gawas sa mga simbahan, walay plaza ang simbahan ni San Rafael nga puno sa mga tanom, suga ug lingkuranan. Hawan nga luna nga gitamnan ug carabao grass ug duha ka managlagyo nga rebulto ang bugtong makita sa atubangan niini. Sa kilid sa simbahan, anaa ang gilinya pagtanom nga mga lumad nga kahoy sama sa tugas ug nangka nga nakahatag ug landong.

Nahimutang sa usa ka habog nga bahin sa lungsod diin makita ang kadagatan sa Sugbo ug ang mga estruktura sa lungsod, ang simbahn haom sa pagpamalandong sa mga butang langitnon. Sa sulod sa simbahan walay makita nga retablo ug daghang mga imahen. Hawan ug yano ang disenyo niini. Tukma kini alang sa usa ka simbahan nga gipahinungod sa usa ka anghel.

Usa sa mga arkanghel si San Rafael apan wala kaayo mahisguti ang iyang pangalan sa Bag-ong Testamento (New Testament) diin ang sagad malakbitan og saysay mao lang si San Gabriel ug si San Michael. Nahisgotan ang ngalan ni San Rafael sa Karaang Testamento (Old Testament) sa libro ni Tobit ug adunay gamay sa ebanghelyo ni Juan. Unang gitugotan nga mahimo siyang patron sa Cordova sa Espanya diin siya ingon nga nagpakita.

Makasaysayanon ang bungtod nga gitarokan sa simbahan ni San Rafael sa Aloguinsan. Nag-umbaw sa kapatagan ug kadagatan sa lungsod, nahimo kining kabahin kaniadto sa depensa nga gimugna ni Padre Julian Bermejo batok sa mga Moros nga mangdagit ug mga Bisaya aron himuong ulipon.

Niadtong ika-19 nga siglo, sa nahimutangan sa simbahan, usa ka bagtinganan ang gibutang kansang tingog maoy nagsilbing pahimangno sa mga lumulupyo. Bagtingon kini aron pagpahibalo sa mga lumulupyo nga tali-abot gikan sa dagat ang mga Moros.

Gikan sa usa ka baluarte sa atbang nga pangpang daplin sa dagat, makita sa tigbagting ang mga senyales kabahin sa nagpadung nga mga kaaway.

Sa karong panahon, ang maong pangpang, nga anaa sa luyo sa munisipyo, usa na ka maanindot nga suroyananan, sama sa simbahan ni San Rafael ug sa mga estruktura nga kalambigit niini, diin dayag ang Espanyol ug Amerikanhong impluwensya sa atong pagtuo.

PROFILE | Cebu City, Queen City of the South

Cebu's port is home to most of the Philippines' shipping companies. It's not surprising as Cebu City has been, historically, the center of commerce, education, entertainment and information of Southern Philippines. It is also the administrative, ecclesiastical and cultural capital of the region.

THE ISLAND | SanFran is Disaster Resilient : UN

In May 2011, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) recognized San Francisco's disaster preparedness and awarded it the Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction for its “indigenous solutions to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation through its Purok system.”

ECONOMY | It's More Prosperous in the Philippines ... soon.

The Philippines and Peru will be among emerging economies that become much more prominent in the next few decades, helped by demographics and rising education standards, with the Philippines set to leapfrog 27 places to become the 16th largest economy by 2050, HSBC predicts.

POLITICS | Tomas as Jullus Caesar

For many people, Tomas and Joy Young's loss didn't add up. For them, last election's results were erratic, wild, inconsistent.

HISTORY | Demystifying Jose Rizal

The question is, could Rizal walk the talk? Even in his writing, he debated with himself between peaceful reform and bloody uprising. If Spain didn't throw him in prison and executed him, would he have become a hero?