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Possible “New Baseco”

city-of-pearl-12

The very first image in this post, at the very least represents change. There have always been rumours, stories made up by whomever about Baseco, relocation and development, but none of them have come to pass, but I do feel in my heart that this one is different. The rest have actually been “stories”, or just one line statements with no facts behind them that have really just been reasons to complain and criticise the Govt’, but there seems to be a lot of facts around this particular project.

The Manila Bay Pearl Development, might not happen as it is depicted here, but I think it will happen. I won’t list them, but there are things moving already that do clearly state, major change is coming, so we need to “prepare for it as best as we can”.

I have always said that Baseco is prime real estate in a rapidly growing and heavily congested city with no land. There are very few places in the world where the best harbour views are left to squatters! It might be their home now, but it can’t stay like that forever.

Change is an inevitable thing with so many positive and negative aspects to it, nothing lasts forever.

If you hunt around online for early maps of Manila, up until 1970, there was no Baseco in Manila bay. The next 3 pictures show us the development of Baseco from 1970 until 2017.

B4 Baseco

b4 fill

Baseco Now

Baseco started in 1974 as a shipping port being built by the Bataan Engineering Group. Initially the brothers of the family who were building the new port lived here to over sight the project. It was declared to be a small Barangay in the 1980’s, but at that time there were reported to be less than 20 families living here. In the time of Marcos, both Baseco and Parola were cleared of squatters for the building of a new port area. After Marcos fell from power in 1987, squatters quickly moved back into both areas where they have remained until now. It was not until 2002 that the Govt’ declared Baseco a residential area, which was also the same year that a massive fire broke out destroying 90% of the dwellings.

Baseco has changed a lot even in our time of being there, the change won’t stop, but it can be re-directed to become very positive and progressive change.

Baseco is one of thousands of squatter areas inside Metro Manila.

For the city of Manila, the live-ability studies have all been done – by 2030 Manila will be almost an “unviable city” if major change does not start very, very soon. All of the major roads are running well and truly above capacity, with a city wide speed average of less than 20kmph on all major roads. It is possibly the most densely populated city in the world and the 6th largest city in the world. It ranks very poorly in the list of the most live-able cities in the world for both nationals and ex-pats. So CHANGE MUST HAPPEN.

So many people live in shanty like dwellings in the most disaster prone places and each year hundreds of thousands of them are effected by typhoons, floods and fires time and time again. These people are a constant drain on basic govt’ resources as they all both want, and need, assistance after these disasters, many of which are preventable…especially fires, but they all try to rebuild exactly as they were and in the same places. I am not blaming the poor for how they live and build, as poverty on a scale like this is so complicated and every single person in the nation actually plays a part in either maintaining it or, hopefully, fixing it.

The poor don’t want to be poor, they don’t want to live in rubbish and floods with the constant threat of fires and disease, but often the poor (for many reasons) are the most resistive to change.

Everything connected to the bible and new life is about change. Jesus said “Follow me and I will make you…”, other verses, “the old has gone, the new has come”, and a multitude of other verses all mention change.

God has plans and purpose for all His people, for the Christian, who’s life is in Gods hand, change can only be good. The process of change can often be painful, look at the Israelites coming out of Egypt, but the end result is “GOOD”. Sometimes the “dream” looks so unachievable (just ask Joseph or his brothers, or Abraham with Gods statement about the stars), but nothing is impossible with God…but nothing changes until some thing changes. The willingness to change allows change to be positive and gives you a personal influence upon the change. Change, change, change and then keep changing, it’s going to happen anyway, so work with it for your personal benefit.

The third richest man in Asia has had plans made up and contracts signed with the Philippines Govt, he has purchased Baseco for the development pictured first on this blog. Everything was signed off on by both the President and the Mayor of Manila in November of 2016, with the beginnings of the needed land reclamation due to start in August of 2017.

For many this change will be both sad and difficult, but “Progress is only for the Progressive”. If people want to stay the same, they can of course choose to do that, but they won’t be able to do it in the place where the change is happening. If we are aware that change is coming, then we can prepare for change, we can “reposition ourselves” to try to get the absolute most out of the change. If we don’t reposition ourselves, we will loose our position, it’s that simple.

I have shared some of these ideas with many of our leaders and I am very happy to say that most of them are excited about a potential new future, especially the younger ones. Change like this brings new opportunities to them that they have never had before. It provides more and newer jobs, providing a clearer focus for College courses, it puts fresh vision in front of people. I can see a dispersion, a spreading of our church and workers, which while it will be sad, will also be great.

We have never focused on big buildings, preferring instead to “Build Big People”, well now we might just get the chance to see “how big did we build those people?”. The “small” will shrink away from this, the “big” will embrace it and benefit because they did.

Both myself and Christine are quite excited about the future. Of course the transition probably won’t be either pleasant or smooth, and there will be many other contributing factors that will effect the whole thing, so nothing is set in concrete….but none the less, I do think this will be the beginning of some thing big, a change that we won’t be able to go back from.

I remember reading Jackie Pullingers book, The Walled City, which was a large high rise slum where God sent her. That slum was demolished a long time ago and I am sure that she had all sorts of mixed feelings watching the place where God had sent her to sew her life into, finally being demolished and the people being dispersed. But all we can do is serve our generation well. God does not really send us to places, He sends us to people, so even if the place dissappears, the people remain.

I am very glad that we have focused on “Building Big People and not big buildings”, because you can actually knock all of the buildings over and we will still be standing.

The timeline for the development starts with 4 years from this August to do the actual land reclamation before building begins. So realistically we can expect more fires in Baseco in the next few years with demolitions to follow. Then a possible relocation of residents beginning in 3 to 5 years from now. Baseco does provide a ready and cheap labour force for the unskilled construction side of things if the people are still here at that stage…

It’s all very, very interesting and time will tell where it all goes.

God is very much in control, He does actually run the planet.

Please Note – there might be statistics that are in-correct in this post, as finding out “facts” here is not always as simple as it could be. Statistics are very much subject to the organisation that is sharing them. But even if there are errors in the post, it does not change the message of the post in general.

BIG CHANGE is coming to Baseco.

Could we be part of this great new future…?

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Even if we can’t be part of it, I know we can make this work great for the Kingdom.

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2 Comments »

  1. Great post…… the only thing that is changeless in life is change itself, we are carried on the wings of change whether we want to or not….. I feel for the older ones as change impacts everyone, the young will bounce the old (especially unsaved) not so much…. there is a season for everything. I am grateful for this season but realizing slowly it is another season xxxx love you guys.

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