July 9, 2010

A Diablo and A Flame

Paranaque City, Metro Manila, 2010

While we were running some errands in the commercial area of a nearby village (subdivision) today, I was drawn to this magnificent large flowering Flame Tree (Delonix regia) I spotted a few blocks down the street. I was then a bit amused to find this little Diablo!

In North America it is not that unusual to see a wreck of a car parked along the road, in a driveway, or on an empty lot, sometimes on blocks, but here in the Philippines it's a rare sight. We don't see that many rusty old jalopies driving on the streets either.

I'm no expert on the car industry, so I can only guess why this would be so. I don't think it's only because the anti-pollution laws are getting better applied here, which they are. There are far fewer cars emitting billowy black clouds of carbon dioxide in Metro Manila today than there were twenty years ago.

There may also be a cultural reason. Only the wealthier classes can afford to own a car, and for them the car is still very much the status symbol. An old car just doesn't make the grade.

But I think the main reason cars like the Diablo - sadly forgotten - are rare here is that it is a waste. Waste not, want not could be a mantra for the less well-heeled (although it should be for all). In developing countries, technicians and mechanics are masters at fixing anything and everything that consumers in richer countries easily discard.

Cars are meant to be driven, not parked. I'm amazed some guy is not all over it proudly getting it road-worthy.

4 comments:

tapirgal said...

Gorgeous trees and interesting text. Didn't Marco come from Paranaque? I know you only met him once, but maybe you remember. It sounds familiar.

Francisca said...

Sheryl, I only very vaguely recall Marco mentioning his home of origin, but we really can't remember where. I do hazily think he had come to visit our then home from further away, though, so I'm inclined to say Quezon City in the north, rather than Paranaque here in the south. Does that ring a bell?

Gattina said...

What a beautiful tree, I have never seen that. and what a contrast that real old car !

Dave said...

that old wasted car made the scene more dramatic.