Under Mayor Joseph Estrada, Manila is still a dump

Manila’s Luneta Park in the aftermath of Christmas festivities in 2018.
(Photo source: PhilStar)

Let’s get one thing out of the way, Manila is a dump — literally. Pictures and videos of Manila including the iconic Luneta Park littered with mountains of trash have been circulating the Internet support this view for many. It’s been a dump for decades and it will stay a dump as long as Joseph “Erap” Estrada is the Mayor or as long as he doesn’t do anything to fix it. But we all have to face the facts too. Estrada is already 81 years old and he’s been the Mayor of Manila since 2013, but not much has improved. If you think he is going to wake up one morning, have an epiphany and realise he is no good as a mayor, well, you should think again.

What has Estrada done to improve Manila since being elected? Some of his supporters could mention a thing or two like giving freebies, but the bottom line is, they are not significant enough to improve the city. It’s such a disgrace, really.

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There was so much promise when Estrada was elected as Mayor. Some people thought that after Estrada was ousted as President in the second “People Power” uprising in 2001 and defeated during the 2010 Presidential Elections, the former President and convicted plunderer would try to prove that he had what it takes to fix things and make Manila a better place. It was his last chance at redeeming himself. Unfortunately, it looks like Estrada’s legacy is to leave Manila exactly the way he found it – like a dump.

Blumentritt Market (Still from video posted by Johnson Manabat on Twitter)

Some people are saying that it’s not Estrada who is running the show anymore. He’s lost his macho touch. He’s in his twilight years and is very weak, unfortunately. What they are saying is not too far-fetched because it doesn’t look like Estrada is still aware of what is happening in his city. He seems clueless.

What kind of Mayor would allow his city to be turned into a dumping site? Why are street vendors allowed to leave their trash on the streets? Why can’t the garbage be picked up on time by garbage collectors? What are the authorities doing about it? Are there still authorities employed in the Manila City Hall or are they just racketeers profiting from vendors like mafia gangs? Perhaps we should ask the first born son of Estrada, former Senator Jinggoy Estrada who some people say holds the key to the city. He is currently detained for his role in the pork barrel scam, but he might know more about what is happening in Manila where his dad is the Mayor than his own dad.

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada could have used his vast political capital for good.

What about the people of Manila? Why are they okay with all this? Are they so star-struck with the former actor who is now their Mayor to complain? This says a lot about the people of Manila. And to think Manila is supposed to be the epicentre of the Philippines where the crème de la crème live and breathe. It is quite baffling why the supposed educated elite members of Philippine society can tolerate the stink and mess surrounding them. Are they scared to say anything? Are they too chummy-chummy with each other that they are afraid to rock the boat and piss off the powers that be? Perhaps even the elite are scared of being eliminated by assassins that they would rather stay quiet.

What’s even more bizarre is how the Manileños behave as if they are superior to their compatriots living outside Manila or in other cities like Davao City. They mock President Rodrigo Duterte for being “Bisaya” and yet they live in a dump and cannot even do anything about it. They are a joke! They are stewing in their own filth.

Manila is the gateway to all the different cities in the Philippines, but before the visitors see all the beautiful places outside of it, they will have to bear passing through a dump first. The condition of the city is just a sad reflection of the people in it.

13 Replies to “Under Mayor Joseph Estrada, Manila is still a dump”

  1. Spot on commentary. Manila is now the epicentre of kuligligs, pedicabs, tricycles, illegal vendors, horrendous traffic, illegal vendors, and squatters. Basically a general representation of urban decay. Erap is ineffective, to say the least.

    I think his son Jinggoy is not detained but out on bail or something.

  2. Manila, is the , “gate of hell”, as Dan Brown had written in his book. Estrada is too old to be a Mayor. He may be suffering from, dementia or alzhiemers disease. The actor cannot get his acting right as a Mayor. Too old to learn from his mistakes.

    What is the Vice Mayor of Manila doing, to solve the problem of the city ? Forget the sons, of Estrada, they are not elected officials of Manila. If the people of Manila, allow themselves to “stew on their own filth and garbage”; so be it …they got what they wanted , by voting and electing this incompetent old guy…

    Manila, remains the dirtiest city in Asia , because of Estrada !

    1. Well, what can you expect in the Philippines? The buwayas, trapos & pulpoliticos are always rule in our country & the Filipino voters still support & voted for those kinds of politicians & it never change since 1898, in spite that our current president is came from Davao City, a thousand kilometers away south of Manila who have an iron fist & discipline leadership but alas, the dirt in our country is still exist!!! Unless if he could do a genocide or politicide policy that he could do to cleanse our country for good & I don’t care if those SJWs, United Nations, Liberal Party & other Human Rights groups will criticize against him for as long as it is good for our country & he’s doing it the RIGHT way. If they could rule in our country instead of President Duterte & there are so many problems that needs to solve it like crimes, drugs, lack of discipline among the Filipino people, corruption, traffic, terrorism, etc, etc, then how will they gonna solve that kind of problem!?!?!

  3. The squatters or informal sector are the ones that determines which candidate to elect. Manilenyos even allow these people to dictate the zoning and land use plans to the local legislators down to the baranggay level using the election card as a leverage. Manila is everything wrong in urban and regional planning. The governance of Manila after 1986 EDSA is still on auto-pilot and has gone from bad to worse.

    1. This is the disadvantage of democracy when the illiterate are dominant then no progress, only emotions will prosper. Estrada are using these squatters as their tools to win the elections.

  4. ““Being mayor of Manila is more difficult than being president of the Philippines!” exclaims Estrada. In Malacañang, the presidential palace, the chief executive is surrounded by cabinet men and other subalterns to whom he can bark orders and he is sure those orders will be executed. Visitors to the palace are screened by protocol and appointments secretaries.”

    If the statement, being true for all mayors, who did more or has done more as Mayor for the City of Manila?

    Arsenio H. Lacson, Sr. (First elective Mayor)
    – 1 January 1952 – 15 April 1962
    – served 10 years

    Antonio Villegas
    – 16 April 1962 – 31 December 1971
    – served 9 years

    Ramón D. Bagatsing, Sr. (Mayor during the Martial Law era and the creation of Metro Manila)
    – 1 January 1972 – 26 March 1986
    – served 14 years

    Gemiliano C. López, Jr. (First post-EDSA Mayor)
    – 26 March 1986 – 1 December 1987
    – 2 February 1988 – 30 June 1992
    – served 5 years

    Gregorio Ejército
    – 2 December 1987 – 2 February 1988
    – served 2 months

    José L. Atienza, Jr.
    – 27 March 1998 – 30 June 2001
    – 30 June 2001 – 30 June 2004
    – 30 June 2004 – 30 June 2007
    – served 9 years

    Alfredo S. Lim
    – 30 June 1992 – 30 June 1995
    – 30 June 1995 – 27 March 1998
    – 30 June 2007 – 30 June 2010
    – 30 June 2010 – 30 June 2013
    – served 6 years

    Joseph E. Estrada (incumbent)
    – 30 June 2013 – 30 June 2016
    – 30 June 2016 –
    – so far, served 5 years

    1. I have lived in Manila for a time until Mayor Bagatsing. As a little boy, I have personally witnessed how Mayor Lacson kick policemens butts while on formation at the Luneta with his barking voice and thick Ilonggo accent. They say he was the best president we never had. Mayor Villegas or “Yeba!” was the exact opposite but nonetheless was responsible for all the suffix “nilad” in all his projects. It was during Yeba’s time that the Luneta park was developed by Imelda and managed by the late Ka Doroy and became the default park for families, friends and lovers. His connections with Imelda didn’t sit well with some of Manila’s underground and their noisy supporters in government. Bagatsing was seen as the new hope of Manila. Like Lacson he is also very intimidating and has not mince any word when disappointed. He too had that booming voice and thick Ilonggo accent. However, the plaza Miranda bombing softened him.

      1. Former Manila Mayor Arsenio Lacson was the best Manila mayor in the history of that city & he’s known as the “Duterte of Manila”. And just like our current president & former Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte, he had an iron fist rule, a very competent & disciplinarian leader, he hates crimes & corruption & made Manila a cleaner & safer city in our country. His people disciplined themselves especially to the poor people who are living in the slum areas of Tondo, he’d disciplined them! Imagine if he didn’t died due to a heart complication more than fifty five years ago, he’d became the president of the Philippines in the late 1960s he’d beat the incumbent President Macapagal & Senate President Ferdinand Marcos in the 1965 national election & might became a benevolent dictator in our country which is somewhat similar to Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew & of course, he’ll never be overthrown through a People Power revolt due to his larger support to the Filipino people unlike President Marcos because he had no hidden wealth & deposited his stolen taxpayer’s money to the foreign banks & he’ll have a simple living lifestyle rather than living in an elite life unlike to those current corrupt, arrogant & incompetent gov’t officials. And no other Filipino politicians who could imitate him until Duterte came to power.

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