There has always been a lot of cynicism among the folks in Lianga about the capability and, above all, the sincerity of the the national government to deliver on its promise, given so many times in the past, to address at the soonest possible time the urgent infrastructure needs of the local communities. At the top of the list, of course, is a modern road and highway system linking them to the rest of Mindanao and the nation.
Just over a year ago, I took a picture (with a cellphone camera) of a stretch of road just four kilometers southeast of Lianga that is part of the national highway linking Lianga to the municipality of Barobo and then on to the regional capital in Butuan City. It was at the height of the rainy season and the dirt road clearly shows the ravages of constant rain and recurrent flooding.
Two days ago I took another picture of the same stretch of road as it is actually now, at present, widened and bedecked in all of its paved and concreted glory. One can almost swear, unless one is in the know, that this clean, elevated and smooth ribbon of gray concrete is not the same narrow, muddy and gloomy dirt track depicted unflattering in the first picture.
This is the kind of government assistance the local people need the most, the kind that makes the greatest difference in their daily lives. It is also the help and the beneficial change from their government that really means a lot to them because it is something hard and real, something tangible and visible and unlike the great mass of platitudes, political doublespeak and false promises they usually and regularly get from their great leaders from on high.