There’s no denying that progress is all around us. A quick scan of the metro and one can see it staring you in the face – the proliferation of gentrification and construction projects in a rat race to build the fanciest, most modern office spaces, condominiums, and what have yous.

Well and good. Proof that we are developing as a country with tastes elevating and sensibilities heightening. These purveyors of the finer things in life have done their jobs of bringing home the best of the best in the world.

But therein lies the rub.

All too often, the ivory tower has been set too high without a view of what’s really happening on the ground. It takes a level of sensitivity and heart to see this.

What do I mean?

To your left and right, the hands and feet who exert muscle, these blue-collar workers, don’t even have a proper place to get dressed and rest. Not to mention the fact that they travel long distances just to get to their place of work and perhaps the hope that before they travel back home, they have the luxury of freshening up before they see their families.

I’ve seen what that looks like and it’s not a pretty sight. The reality is they end up lining the streets to do things we would normally do in the privacy of our homes: get dressed, eat, rest, repeat; exposed to all sorts of human curiosities and environmental conditions. Again, not a pretty sight, especially when you see its stark contrast to the buildings they help build.

If these same developers have the machinery to build sky-high sites, what’s constructing a makeshift room for these very workers who make sure their dreams for a modern and well-curated city are realized?

If we are to truly “architect our life” towards a better home, a more beautiful city, and ultimately a developed country, we cannot leave certain parts in the dark. That would only be a caricature, a cold and calculated place that is void of what true beauty means: the upliftment of the dignity and value of every human person, especially those at the bottom.    

Written by Beng Calma-Alcazaren
Beng Calma-Alcazaren currently manages the Corporate Communications Office and the Public and International Affairs Unit of the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P). She also handles the marketing and promotions of their family business, Kenstar Travel Corporation. Wife to artist Juan Alcazaren, they have three children; Leon (10), Maria (5), and Lupe (3). In her past life, she was singer and songwriter of Drip, a band somewhat known for pioneering electronica music in the country. From time to time, she does commercial jingles to exercise her vocal cords. The prospect of returning to the music scene may be an option… in the next decade or so. Profile