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Have you seen that tall building in Fort Bonifacio? "It's one of the few structures that could be seen standing from a short distance, say from C-5 in the east or from McKinley Avenue in the west," said 32-year-old Manny in Tagalog.
"I helped build that," he beamed, while cradling on his lap an amused wife, one of two who stuck by him even after losing his job at the Makati construction site months ago.
Manny is one of a growing number of young Mindanaoans who used to transit to and from Manila in search of better lives, and who later on settled at the capital. The occasional construction worker speaks mostly in the vernacular - a testament not only to how far up the educational ladder he managed to climb, but also to how poor education standards were in Cotabato where he spent his childhood.
Nonetheless, that didn't stop him from putting in several months' worth of labor to building one of the first structures in what developers proclaim the future commercial capital of the country. Then again, that may be the last time he'd ever set foot on that sprawling property east of Manila.
To be sure, construction has been in the doldrums following the Asian financial crisis, and so …