Friday, 9 March 2012

Photo Essay: Good roads mean progress by ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ

       This used to be an animal trail, used by the people from this village – Baranggay S  
       Pedro on the outskirts of Mambulao – to bring their produce to the market in 

TRY building a good road between the poblacion and a farm, and what do you get? I tell you: Just the right amount of mix that could deliver progress.

And so, whenever you chanced on a nice ribbon of paved, or say, cemented road snaking across a wilderness of bushes and tall grasses, something would always kick in inside, that sort of excited feeling, declaring that finally, there’s going to be some change for the better in this sleepy part of the world.

Thanks to this road.

And it was this same emotion that oozed through countless snippets of messages when pictures of a single concrete lane, which was still baking under the sun, were posted for the first time on Facebook as it cut across the grassland in Baranggay San Pedro, on the outskirts of Mambulao -- aka Jose Panganiban town.

And seeing such a single-lane of concrete mass in the middle of what could be considered an isolated world, and therefore, far from the hustle and bustle of the poblacion in Mambulao, was more than enough to draw a “wow!”, an “ohhh … so nice to see a road here…” and “at last … they’re doing it right this time …” from the Facebook browser who was at that moment   enraptured by excitement.

Such reaction was natural, and this may either last a few seconds or last a lifetime, depending on how badly one needed to see the much-awaited progress in his or her community.

    Then one day, road began to materialize in the middle of the wilderness.

But one thing sure is that, this time, it lasted a lifetime – the hunger for progress would never be quenched because progress seemed to be taking its own sweet time in coming. But what is important is that it is poised to come, finally.

Having seen how my beloved hometown morphed over the last 60 years -- from a sleepy community at the “end of the world”, it being out of the way towards progress that was then defined for everybody by the burgeoning town of Daet some 46 kilometers away, to what it is nowadays – the coming of the road in Baranggay San Pedro was a rare occasion for everyone to exclaim: “hep hep hurray!”

    And there’s no letting up.
The municipality has had a number of mayors since it became that ancient town in the 1920s, but only during the past 19 months of the current leadership that the rare spectacle of a one-lane road making its way into the inner sanctum of this village has been able to materialize.

And the good news is that, the other lane would also become a reality – sooner or later – depending of the goodness and generosity of people who would chip in to raise more bags of cement to complete the project.

     A road that takes shape is like a poem that attracts emotions from the beholders.

It is a big surprise to know that this road-cementing craze is taking place not only in San Pedro, but across our municipality and the sweet song of economic boom, which, in reality comes only in trickle, could already be heard, however faint it sounds, however distant it appears.

And so I say to Mayor Dong and Vice-Mayor Ariel: Build a good road anywhere, and it will always mean one thing: Road to prosperity.

One thing certain right now is that these concrete roads – once completed -- will launch the community towards that elusive Holy Grail of success.

      There’s much more to do … the path to progress – through this road – is long and 

But patience, as the wise man once said, is the virtue of good governance … the patience to plot what is best for the good number of people… the patience to build a future by starting with a working road – like this.

        Now the symbol of progress – a car – is inching forward.

     Soon enough, the other half of this monument would also pop because that’s  
     what    it’s all about – no road could be called a road when the other half is 
     missing,  lest it becomes a nuisance. - All Facebookpicgrabs

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