Monday, May 23, 2011

Road Sign, Housing Projects


I fetched my daughter from Baguio last weekend. On our way home, the bus that we were riding on stopped because of a road accident. It was a traffic jam.  There was an ambulance and police officers were investigating while some were writing reports about the incident. My daughter and I didn’t pay much attention to it and so are most of the passengers. Maybe its because we were more concerned with going home and resting after a long stressful travel.

I was looking out the window when I noticed words painted on the service shoulder of the highway (is that what it was called?). 

This was what it said:

Taking
Over
No

I was a little confused at first. My first glance was the words said:

Taking
Over
On

Because the words were written in reverse order, my mind, somehow, automatically read the word “no” as “on”.

Stuck in traffic with my mp3 player dead, I was thinking, “there must some mistake.” Maybe the road painters were not literate, or they got the words in wrong order. So, I stopped thinking about it and wrapped my malong around me to keep me warm because the bus’ powerful air conditioning made the bus intolerably cold.

After a few minutes, we started moving; I forgot about the words. As the bus was gaining speed, I saw the words again. This time I finally figured it out (me not smart!). The first word that came into sight was “NO” followed by “OVER” then by “TAKING.” 

When the bus finally achieved normal travelling speed, the words read:

NO
OVER
TAKING

This is relativity of perception. Meaning changes relative to your position, direction, and velocity. I think.

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Coming down from the mountains of Baguio, I noticed that as the years pass by, the mountainscape of the Cordilleras is continually changing. Mountains are scarred by new settlements being constructed, road crisscrossing the once luscious foliage and huge amounts earth being cut through the mountain. The mountains is starting to lose their face, they are becoming…hmmmm…ugly.

The flatlands are also changing. The mushrooming of villages and housing projects on the agricultural lands are starting to make the rural atmosphere disappear. These Lego-like, identical and architecturally lifeless prefab houses against the backdrop of green and living farmland give me the creeps. They are like alien invaders eating the defenseless nipa huts. Aliens out to destroy and suck the resources of the inhabitants.

I see these housing projects’ drainage system spewing dark sewage into the river. In a few years, all these rivers and all its tributaries and arteries would be dead.

Development.


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