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Small is ugly

September 10, 2006

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SUNDAY STORIES
By Marlen V. Ronquillo

There are very few small places on earth in the league of the principality of Monaco. There are real-life princes and princesses living fairy-tale lives. Most of Monaco is postcard-perfect, including its killer cliffs. It is awash with cash, too, paid for by tourism and casinos. In short, its smallness has not condemned it to obscurity and penury.

In the Philippines there is no small LGU in the league of Monaco.

Guimaras, one of the country’s newest and smallest provinces, barely has any asset worth coveting after its mango trees and its rich marine life. Its mangoes are the only mangoes accepted by discriminating Australians, the tastier ones from Zambales are said to contain the plant kingdom’s version of AIDS. Not true, of course, but the misfortune of Zambales’s mango growers have helped Guimaras stave off bankruptcy.

Today, what is left of Guimaras are its mangoes. Its marine life and pristine beaches are now virtual wastelands, after an oil tanker chartered by Petron spilled its bunker fuel load into its waters. To have a clear picture on how lethal was the effect of the oil spill, make Guimaras human and make the oil spill a stingray barb. Then move on to a quick scene wherein the stingray barb directly pierces that human being’s heart. The saddest death one could ever have.

(For the entire piece, click Marlen, Sept. 10, 2006.)

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