9:10 pm PHT

I’ve noticed that a few of the Metro Manila mayors have been on a binge of Atienzaism for the past year. Among them are Mr. Eusebio of Pasig, Mr. Trinidad of Pasay, and Mr. Bernabe of Parañaque. They, and a few others, have embarked on beautification projects in the same vein as Mr. Atienza’s Buhayin ang MayniLA flagship project. Granted that it’s not unusual to do a bit of beautification here and there, but they have seemed to embrace Atienza’s flair for extravagant projects.

Apparently, they learned from Mr. Atienza’s success in Manila. He managed to resurrect the Baywalk area, put up those nifty lighted street labels, placed multi-lighted traffic lights only seen previously in other countries, added lights to various Pasig River bridges, revamped various plazas and avenues, improved Intramuros, and made Manila quite a beautiful city (well, in certain places at least).

I’m actually a fan of Mr. Atienza’s work and approve of it to a large extend. It seems the Manileños think the same way too since they gave Mr. Atienza a third term last 2004 against his main rival, a certain Mr. Lopez who based his campaign platform on a valid critique of Mr. Atienza’s beautification projects (“Ang malaking fountain sa Malate, ay katumbas ng ilang daang pailaw para sa mga tahanan ng Tondo”, and other such slogans).

Well, Atienza won the last elections, and the other mayors seem to be taking notes. Now, you can hardly ignore Mr. Trinidad’s garishly bright diamond lampposts along Roxas Boulevard in Pasay. You should’ve also noticed Mr. Eusebio’s pretty center islands in and around Ortigas Center streets in Pasig City. And you would wonder where Mr. Eusebio managed to get a lot of maroon paint to color the whole stretch of Sucat Road sidewalks in Parañaque.

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