This got me thinking when I received a press release from the Office of Sen. Richard Gordon recently. The PR read: “Turn around Mindanao’s image as RP’s ‘Wild West’ – Gordon” The senator said that Mindanao has “gained a negative reputation in the international media as the country’s “Wild, Wild West” due to the continued spate of kidnappings, sporadic bombings, and the poor peace and order situation.” Is our beloved island Mindanao really the Philippines’ version of the so-called “Wild West”?
In a meeting with the Regional Development Council of Region 12 and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Gordon challenged Mindanao executives to turn around Mindanao’s negative image from being the “Wild West of the Philippines ” into a premier tourist destination with its unique history and culture.
Gordon also emphasized that “there is no governance in area. Schools are decrepit; roads are bad; farm-to-market roads are non-existent and there is no focus on helping them solving their problem, or empowering them so they can conquer their own selves.”
Gordon, chairman of the Senate tourism committee, also stressed that the people of Mindanao should not wait for the national government to take the initial steps towards lasting peace and development of Mindanao.
“You should define what Mindanao is and assert yourselves as a people. Manila is never going to solve it for us. It is never going to be a solution. Mindanao should be self-sufficient,” he said.
The senator also said that Mindanaoans should encourage more tourists to visit Mindanao instead of other places.
What are your thoughts on this?