Turning 75By Jobers Bersales
Cebu Daily News
Mandaue went agog last night as the Presidencia, its city hall, turned 75. Designed by the great American-trained architect Juan Marcos Arellano, it is remarkable that the Presidencia has retained so much of its integrity despite the tremendous growth of Mandaue over the last three decades. Other cities and towns always put their original town halls to the wrecking ball when they begin to grow in leaps and bounds and supplant a modern glass and steel structure to project an image of modernity.
It is to the credit of the people of Mandaue that theirs still stands proud despite the rapid urbanization that has swept the city.
To mark the occasion, the city government has also launched a 200-page coffee table book titled “Mandaue: My Home, My Pride, My Future,” which not only details the history of the Presidencia but also the story behind the intermingling of the past and the present in the city itself. It has also the added bonus of ending with the future plans and projects that the people of Mandaue should expect to see by 2020. The book, authored by Louella Eslao Alix, is a project of the Mandaue City Book Project Committee headed by the city’s First Lady, Sarah Walker-Cortes, who personally labored through the final contents of the book.
Because I am part of the book project as contributing editor, I shall leave the readers and the general public to judge the book. But there is one thing that I will boldly say about this work: it is the first of its kind ever to come out from among the nine cities in Cebu. And it is not farfetched to imagine that this book will most probably challenge, nay, inspire the adjacent cities of Lapu-Lapu and Cebu to come up with their own.
Cebu City missed out on its own coffee table book when it turned 75 in February, owing perhaps to political infighting between the mayor and his City Council. But in truth, the opportunity is still there since, like Mandaue, Cebu City is still within the period to mark a diamond event like its cityhood. And I certainly hope that some thick volume will soon come out of Cebu.
The Province of Cebu too is poised to come out with its own coffee table book showcasing the island’s different natural and cultural heritage sites. Then there is also the much-awaited 55 provincial, town, and city histories. I understand there are now 26 of these that are about to be sent to the press, with more coming before the end of this month.
The years 2012 will surely be remembered as the year of official histories and coffee table books for Cebu.
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Someone posted on Facebook to vote on the nomination of Cebu City as one of the so-called “New Seven Wonders (sic) Cities of the World.” I see nothing wrong with expressing pride and our belief that this city should be one of the lucky seven. But it would be quite interesting if there would be a listing of what things make the city a wonder (or wonders, as the ad announced) when compared to other cities in Southeast Asia.
I can add one: I wonder when the Department of Public Works and Highways will finally re-pave the long strip of national road along Banilad leading to Archbishop Reyes Flyover II. Its potholes have been there since time immemorial and I can aver that a large part of the city’s major taxpayers pass by this highway every day, given the expensive cars that drive through it and because it leads to five or seven large expensive subdivisions. A few asphalt overlays have not helped. That flyover also needs a new coat of asphalt as it too is full of potholes, posing a real danger as some drivers attempt to avoid these deep gouges (on a flyover, huh). Wonder of wonder, perhaps we can nominate that flyover as the only one in the world with potholes that have remained unpaved over the last two years already!
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ERRATUM: The veterinarian and researcher at the Leonard Wood Memorial Research Laboratory of the Eversley Childs Sanitarium is Dr. Eduardo dela Cruz, not Dr. Jun dela Cruz. Apologies to my good friend, Dr. Ed. I was running late in posting my article and had no time to review it. Also, Eversley Childs Sanitarium is ECS, not EVCS as written in my previous column.
More from this Column:
- Rejoinder from non-pigs in the pigsty
- Cebuanos in a pigsty
- Culture and heritage: The unfinished agenda
- Ka Bino’s diapers
- Digging San Remigio anew