Anybody ever been to the Subic Bay Freeport Zone? I'm not saying it's perfect, but WOW! What a difference. I have nicknamed it Little America. I mean that both in a good and also cynical way. (And, yes, I'm from 'Murica so I think I have a valid reference point.)
For the good part, it seems that some retraining of the Pinoy mind has begun to take place. Jeepneys and trikes are mostly banned. I see the occasional jeepney drive through there, but it's always empty so it's not like it was picking up customers.
The traffic is manageable. Sure it gets crowded on the weekends, but everybody still manages to drive like normal people. Cops will actually do their job there if you decide to drive like a typical asshat Pinoy. Dare I say, driving in the SBFZ is actually pleasant, especially Mon-Thurs.
The waterway between SM Olongapo and Harbor Point needs help, but the place is otherwise quite clean.
People there also tend to act differently. You know, like… normal. Sure, you'll still get the random jackhole once in a while, but I'd say the jackhole frequency is no greater than any other suburb back in the USA. The frequency is certainly much less than in the rest of the Philippines.
Long story short, I am quite impressed with the SBFZ. Like I said, it's not perfect, but I really don't want to hammer on the negatives since so much good is going on.
My question is this: How do the Pinoys look upon the SBFZ? Is it just some sort of anomaly to them? Is it just "that place near Olongapo" where you shop for stuff?
I'm just surprised that more Pinoys don't say: "Hey, if Subic's Freeport can look world class, so can the rest of the Philippines."
Instead, most Pinoys just seem to flip a switch and accept going back to the crapper upon exiting the Freeport Zone. Weird.
Oh, and as for the cynical portion of nicknaming the SBFZ as Little America, it seems that they also copied the vapid and banal nature of American commercialism. Oh well. It looks nice, smells nice, and it seems like it's making money. Can't be that bad. Pinoys can work on being artsy fartsy AFTER they get a world class economy and infrastructure.