Lost in Space: Globalization in Philippine Setting

Though uploaded/published just now. This essay was written two years ago, and a part of my writing submitted to my teacher in my Masters in Unibersidad.. According to Paul Du Gay, in his book Production of Culture/Culture of Production, Globalization affects both the economic and cultural dynamics of a country that is influence by this borderless phenomenon. Spurred by the half-century relative peace across the globe, “man,” it seems have learned to live in peace. Except for that sporadic/isolated local war between tribes in different states in Africa; political opponents in the South America; and the religion-politico-economic-war hungry Middle East, the world is comparatively peace. After the II World War, the creation of United Nations has helped in creating the world we have now.

Another influential phenomenon that helped creates the borderless lifestyle that’s been creeping in every country slowly, is the coming of age of “Post-modernity,” together with “Post-colonialism.” Post-modernity creates rugged changes in the traditions and culture of many nations. It’s ahistorical, acultural, and deconstructionist approach to the former system have created changes that disregard established norms, standards, systems and canon of long established institutions both in public governance, culture and arts.

Postmodern era comes without a warning; suddenly the trend allows many things to happen without even asking for consensus from established norms all over the world. The former taboo, where allowed to co-exist. The mixture of cultural practice was tolerated in many part of the world. Except for the very fundamentalist of culture such as the Arabs of the Middle East (not until the opening of their world through massive trade and development, a good sample of it is the giant of a city in United Arab Emirates, Dubai). Even China, at the last quarter of the last century found itself feasting on hamburgers from McDonald food-chains in their country, and giving way to the predicted phenomena by Marcial McLuhan called Global Village, as early as 1960’s. The ending of the cold war between the two superpower nation in the world, the US and USSR; have triggered the growth in the eastern part of Europe thus creating a unified Germany and giving way to the half century planned oneness of Europe, the European Union.

Postcolonialism, a phenomena similar to Postmodernity have also influenced the Global Village idea of McLuhan. It’s an era, after the colonial powers decided that they are not really heaven bound to dominate small nations after all. With all the abuse, use, and reuse that they did with nations they conquered, they finally leave the nation by themselves.

Post Colonialism is very evident in the Philippines right now. They say it’s a package. From industry to education, transportation to communication, food to clothing, tourism to land use; almost every aspect of the nation’s development is influenced by Post-Colonialism. One indication that Globalization has landed is the building of Postmodern Megastructure in the prime cities of the country. Cebu, Makati, Manila, Quezon City, Mandaluyong, and Taguig city are the best examples. As if congestion has not reached its peak, the development and conversion of chunks of land in heavy crowded have amplified the traffic doubly. One area of vast development is Taguig’s “The Fort.”

The new name of the place, “The Fort”, somehow carries a class of its own, is totally different from where it derived its name, Gat Andres Bonifacio (Fort Bonifacio) is a champion of the masses. “The Fort,” is only a champion of the masses who obtain their living there thru cheap labor. The Fort was said to be designed as a prime city within a city that can equal itself to prime cities around the world. Taguig City, the local government where “The Fort,” is a land adjacent to another mega-city in the crowded National Capital Region, Makati City. Makati City has two business district, the Makati CBD and the Rockwell Center, together with the stone throw away development in the “The Fort,” creates a choking triumvirate of over-crowding and congested megastructures.

Another disadvantage of the sprouting of business district in a crowded capital region is the rise in the price of land and services, circumstance that make it hard for the common people to purchase reasonable size of land where they can settle, work and have their children study. Public transport is also affected, the fare for a basic ride have no way but to go up because of the traffic. Medical services is also affected for a crowded region will put a big burden on the governments at giving service to many people, thus the rise in the cost of obtaining the same medical service from a private hospital. The cost of education is also affected the same way that the medical service is provided by the government, a crowded region equals a great number of potential students that will require a bigger budget.

The development also invites influx of migrants from the nearby and far provinces, for the work is available in the place where there is development, in a form of cheap labor. The purpose of establishing a city for the people is defeated by the disadvantages it creates. Mega cities that are sprouting in the National Capital Region serves only the multinational financers that are behind in all the development. The mega cities doesn’t serve the people, because majority of the people living within the vicinities of these development hardly get the primary services that they need, such as medical, education, transport, etc.

They say it’s a package.

One comment

  1. Hello, tsinelas,

    Post-modernism paved the way for what they say as porous spaces. In the past, travel, education and culture at large was limited by the traditional geo-political mapping. Exchange of culture was limited among the very rich citizens of the world. With the liberalization of aviation and visa requirements, it became possible for the middle class and the yuppies (the techno-savvy, leisure-oriented, upward mobile types) to travel at reduced cost and time and therefore pave the way for easier exposure and absorption of foreign cultures. This was aided to a large extent by online technologies and platforms which made it easier for people to communicate directly, sans the travel agents and the traditional go-betweens.

    The Fort is really for the rich and the upwardly mobile. Just look at the cost of units, haha. Plus, consider the lifestyle necessitated by living in such a fancy hub. Say, one is able to get a unit for 10M, he still has to buy a parking space or rent it at considerable cost also (at least 6thou a month x 12 or P72thou a year). Maybe, he could buy a parking space there at P2M. What about the cost of keeping a yaya and all that jazz? Ahaha. It’s for those with money plus the professional OFWs and expats retiring and looking for a citified ambiance in a not so crowded setting. As for the poor people working in the area, i do not know if the builders have provision for such. If yes, how serious? The trend abroad is to set aside several bulidings (ala-tenement) – in the margins but still within – for the working people serving as technicians, maintenance, clerks, etc., as housing, a support mechanism of a kind, for what is called urban, high-class development. Ayon ang mga naririnig ko about such. Regards… :)

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