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'Multum in Parvo' as growth model


The development concept that I discussed in my preceding article might not have been properly and adequately understood by our readers primarily because the term is not only pure Latin but also it sounds ghostly. Then there were spelling issues in the text which I personally take full responsibility for which I offer my unconditional and sincere apologies. I also committed the grave mistake of presumption that since all of us have already been voluntarily or forcibly baptized as Latinos and Latinas by virtue of City Council Resolution No. 760, everybody is now functionally literate and proficient in speaking and understanding this very complex language of the ancient inhabitants of Latium, Italy. Of course, when a city is branded as “Asia’s Latin City” for whatever legal purpose it may serve, the first expectation of any stranger visiting this place is that its inhabitants are all Latins. That’s why even if I am a fake Latino, I have exerted maximum efforts to appear and sound like one even if I have a flat nose and visibly brown skin. Don’t you think that the legislators and the public officials who moved “heaven and earth” for the passage of CCR No.760, should have been rightfully obligated to write and speak Latin as models? Why have we not heard them speak Latin up to this time?  Are they the ones making “Asia’s Latin City” a global hoax?

Most likely you must have noticed that “once in a blue moon” I take the opportunity to use Latin words and phrases just to show off that I know a great deal of this language when in reality I could not even write a correct sentence or understand a phrase correctly. But I have been placed in a compelling predicament that I have to do a lot of pretending in order to give the illusion that I am a Latin. I have been doing this embarrassingly over and over again just to comply with CCR 760. Yet, despite my obedience to this piece of local legislation, instead of being appreciated, I am most of the time branded as an obstructionist and “tampa sabe.

Why obstructionist when modesty aside, I am probably one of the few who shamelessly pretend to be “tampa Latin? Perhaps even the conceiver and author of this moniker have not done as much as the few of us are doing to give Zamboanga a linguistic semblance of “Asia’s Latin City” in our articles although we do admit that we were vehemently opposed to this branding purely on democratic premises. 

Now, let me explain what “multum in parvo” is all about from my own personal perspective. But before I do that, let me give you the English translation of this term: “much in little” or “a great deal in a small space.” With this frame of reference, I believe you are now in a better position to understand why I called the development model adopted by our local political leaders for decades now as “multum in parvo.” It simply means that the major development activities of Zamboanga City have been concentrated within a very small space, leaving the sprawling countryside largely unattended and underdeveloped except for the usual construction of barangay halls, school buildings, and other minor public works which to me are just intended to suppress the transformation or elevation of progressive barangays to the next higher political subdivision. That’s why until now the barangays have been fossilized or mummified for the last 76 years while their contemporaries are already bustling and rapidly progressing municipalities and cities. Zamboanga City itself has remained a mini-city although some are trying defensively to picture it as having already attained the full status of a Metro or Mega City.

But the “multum in parvo” per se is not a bad model of development. This is best adopted and suited to cities with very limited territorial jurisdiction as in the case of the component government units of Metro Manila with the exception of Quezon City which is the only one who has satisfied the area requirement under the l99l Local Government Code. All the rest of the component cities of Metro Manila have areas below the requirement of the local government code. For the information of everyone, the smallest city in the Philippines is located in Metro Manila which is just more 5 square kilometers in area. (more).

By Clem M. Bascar

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