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Makati City - Sui Generis


In my previous articles I asserted that a Mayor does not need a huge territory to prove his greatness, resourcefulness, creativity, ingenuity, competence, and entrepreneurship. On the contrary, it is in the smallness of territorial jurisdiction that his talents and intelligence can be put to a real test. In fact there are existing indisputable and irrefutable examples of states and cities whose territorial areas are so small yet they are consistently rated globally among the most progressive and advanced in all dimensions of development.

World leaders frequently cite these cities and states as factual models of “multum in parvo.” Some are regarded as sui generis in matters of growth and development. Most popular of these small countries which are looked up to by those leaders with gargantuan territorial jurisdictions, are Singapore, Hong Kong, and Brunei with only 778 sq. kms., 1,104 sq. kms., and 5, 765 sq. kms, territorial areas, respectively. The three smallest countries in the world today are Vatican (0.2 square miles), Monaco (0.7 square miles) and Nauru (8.5 square miles). (Ref.-Wikipedia, the on-line Encyclopedia).

The leaders of these three smallest countries are not worried about the sizes of their territories because following the development model of “Multum in Parvo” they adopt the “sky- is- the limit” or the vertical blueprint of growth and progress. No wonder in Singapore and Hong Kong, you find many of the highest commercial and industrial buildings in the world. In the Philippines Metro Manila is obviously by reason of limited horizontal space, the Mayors are all forced to adopt the “Multum in Parvo” blue print of urbanization, commercialization, and industrialization. This was the primary driving force why Metro Manila in record time, has become the only full-fledged Metropolis in the Philippines composed of 17 fast-progressing and skyward expanding cities led by Makati as Primus Inter Pares or sui generis despite its scandalously small territorial jurisdiction.

By comparison, Zamboanga City which has more than 1,475 square kilometers of territory can’t even compete in terms of progress and development with the smallest city (San Juan) in the Philippines which has only more than 5 square kilometers in area. What is embarrassing about the multi-million attractions found in “Asia’s Latin City” personally preferred to be concentrated within the most crowed places of its commercial center, is the fact that they are just “copy cats” of the what other cities have such as dancing fountains, gardens, monuments, and paseos. They have no uniqueness which is the number one criterion for the tourists to make their destination choices.

Why do I call Makati City with only about 27.36 km2 in area as sui generis and primus inter pares among the cities in the Philippines?  It is because it has no equal and the only city of its kind in our country. It is its undisputed financial capital, the home of the Philippine Stock Exchange and the Makati Business Club. It is where the first class malls such as Rockwell and Ayala Center are located. It is where first class hotels such as The Peninsula Manila, Shangri-La Hotel Makati, and The Intercontinental Hotel Manila are found. It is also where the tallest buildings in the Philippines are situated like the PBCom Tower and the G.T. International Tower.

May I just remind our outstanding political leaders that Metro Manila which is the only full-fledged Metropolis in the Philippines has only about 658.55 km2 less than half the size of Zamboanga City which has only one micro city and 98 stunted and fossilized barangays. When will one of you think of even creating a dwarf municipality in the name of real development within the colossal territory of “Asia’s Latin City.?” Maybe only an alien would take this development initiative.         

By Clem M. Bascar

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