By Dr. Jun Ynares, M.D.
“To follow that star, no matter how hopeless, no matter how far.”
That line is part of the lyrics of the immortal theme song of the movie “Man of La Mancha.” It will be recalled that the movie adapted from a play revolved around Don Quixote, a self-styled knight who battled windmills. Don Quixote became the symbol of idealism – the kind that tends to veer too far from the realities of the world.
The title of the popularized version of that theme song is “The Impossible Dream.” Many of the most famous recording artists of several decades ago recorded their respective versions of the song: Elvis Presley, Matt Monro, Tom Jones, Jack Jones, Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, and Luther Van Dross.
Name it, and that artist may have sung it.
The latest version of that song, I heard from my wife.
One evening, I was sharing with her the latest developments on Antipolo City’s bid to host the permanent home of the Senate of the Philippines.
It will be recalled that Antipolo has formally presented its offer to the Senate. The latter has been scouting for a site where it can build that lasting shrine to our democracy and Antipolo made that Quixotic move of vying for the honor to become its site.
Other more modern, more developed urban centers have made a similar pitch.
Antipolo offered the idea that it would be more advantageous for the Senate to opt for a place that is a little farther from the overcrowded metropolis. If it does so, it would open the door for the faster economic and social development of the eastern and southern growth corridors of Luzon.
In addition, the Senate stands to save billions of pesos. Since the vast tract of strategically located land is being offered by Antipoleños for free, the Senate will be spared from having to spend to the purchase of land. And, since the free land is rather big, the Senate can build a sprawling structure which is cheaper than building a vertical high-rise.
Each time I talk about the dream of an Antipolo as the home of the Philippine Senate, my wife would start to sing that part of Don Quixote’s song. I know she was just kidding and was simply testing my commitment to that aspiration. The strength of the commitment has not changed.
One of the reasons for our faith in that dream is the growing number of people and organizations who are pitching in to help make it come true. Among them are the biggest business conglomerates in the country who have contributed to the transformation of Antipolo into a modern city which has preserved many of the features that has endeared the place to many Filipinos for generations.
For example, Manila Water, a subsidiary of the Ayala Conglomerate, recently reiterated its commitment to the development of the water supply and distribution network of the city. Manila Water’s new president and CEO, Mr. Ferdz dela Cruz, wrote us to express this solidarity with the aspiration of the city.
“Thank you for your kind words about Manila Water, Gerry Ablaza, and myself in your well-written article “A Life-Giving Lake,” published n the Manila Bulletin on April 23, 2017.
We, at Manila Water, will continue the legacy that Gerry has entrusted to the new senior leadership team with the recent addition of Ding Carpio who happens to be a resident of Antipolo, into the team.
As the new president and CEO of Manila Water, I would like to assure you that Antipolo and the entire Rizal Province is on our high-priority list. As you have been briefed by our Rizal Business Area team, our Rizal Province Water Supply Improvement Project is in full swing and we are committed to provide clean, potable water to many more Rizaleños to support its rapid growth.”
The Dream has also received much encouragement from a letter we recently received from a senior official of the Philippine Senate itself. Director Bernardino Cailao heads the Senate’s Legislative Journal Service and is a resident of Antipolo.
Director Cailao wrote:
“We moved in here in Antipolo from Quezon City last October, 2016, after finally having a home we could call our own at Camella Crestwood Subdivision in Bgy. San Luis… I would like to thank Your Honor, and your administration, for the city’s honest and disciplined tricycle drivers which my family take from terminals sa bayan pauwi dito sa subdivision.
One time, while waiting for my daughter near a hospital, i was able to talk to a lady streetsweeper, Ate Jocelyn. She takes pride in you, sir, your hospital projects, as well as your health and education programs for the poor. Same with a garbage truck driver I spoke with.
I really feel good transferring my family here in Antipolo with its relative peace and order, clean surroundings, well-maintained streets, visible traffic enforcers ensuring the smooth flow of traffic.
In a way, Your Honor has assuaged my fears as a father. My congratulations to you and your administration, sir.”
Antipoleños thank Ferdz and Manila Water, and Director Cailao for the kind words.
They, and the many other advocates of the Dream, are helping us make sure that it is a Possible Dream.
*For feedback, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or send it to #4 Horse Shoe Drive, Beverly Hills Subdivision, Bgy. Beverly Hills, Antipolo City, Rizal.
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