Monday, December 18, 2006

Hidden in the Hills



Past the congestion in Olongapo is the beautiful and prosperous Subic Bay Freeport Zone. Within the gates of the former Subic Naval Base, clean wide streets line the area. The grass and shrubbery are finely trimmed and the sleek business facilities are professionally maintained and "squared away." But traveling deeper and beyond the typical up-front scene of the base lies an expansive housing subdivision tucked away in a secluded area within the former Subic Naval Base. Being at a higher altitude atop a region of tall hills and surrounded by an immense rain forest, cool and breezy weather proliferated. Long and winding roads weaved through the very quiet and pristine neighborhood. A variety of homes lined the area, but they were all clean, attractive, and very well-maintained. Many of the homes fashioned unique and modern styles along with an array of painted colors. Not a single piece of trash could be seen. Widely spaced lots beautifully decorated with a variety of tropical plants and flowers seemed quite fitting and blended with the natural atmosphere well. Most lots looked like green carpets. I found one particular lot unique as it had a carpet of clovers instead of typical grass. I walked on along the long and winding roads to see if the beauty would cease, but it just went on and seemed endless. I wanted to go on enjoying the scenery of the subdivision, but the sun was setting and I had to head back.

The Philippines is plagued by bad reputations. In the eyes of many, the country is poor, impoverished, cramped, crowded, congested, dirty, littered, fume loaded, chismis (gossip) filled, thief ladened, parasite (parasitic, deceiving, and manipulative people) burdened, terrorist infested, natural disaster stricken, politically corrupted, under developed, and uncomfortable. These ugly but true comments make up the dark cloud of smoke that looms over and covers the beauty of the Philippines, and should be motivating leaders, politicians, and citizens in initiating reform and healing the problem areas. It is this accumulation of negative characteristics that fill the memories and expectations of many foreigners and even overseas Filipinos (and hence deters their influx and investment into the nation). As long as these impressions linger in the minds of people, they will outweigh and overpower most of the attractive qualities of the Philippines. The Philippines needs to strictly focus on striving for and providing good quality physiological and safety needs for the masses (begin with the essentials of life). If the nation begins by placing priority on this above all else (even it requires significant initial sacrifice) in order to be able to build a strong foundation, it will be pleased to see a positive domino effect. Only when the living conditions are improved for the masses can the beauty of the land, people, and culture be completely noticed, and only then will the overall reputation of the Philippines be uplifted. In the meantime, I think it's a good idea to display to the worldwide public how far the Philippines has come in recent years by presenting the modernities and luxuries that the Philippines has to offer and also to showcase to the worldwide public the developed, modern, and clean subdivisions throughout the Philippines. Many of the foreigners and also overseas Filipinos are unaware of such clean and comfortable areas, where they are able to receive many of today's modernities (whether it'd be clean surroundings, widely spaced lots, quiet and safe neighborhoods, private abodes, food/product/appliance/service availability, classy restaurants and shopping areas, leisure facilities, satellite or cable tv, broadband internet, other modern technology, etc.) without having to suffer the ailments of mainstream Philippines. And this one neighborhood on Subic base isn't it. There are many more areas in the Philippines that surpass this. Many people who judge the Philippines are only aware of a single province they've lived in the most (and some are only aware of a portion of their province). Whole and fair judgments are difficult to make without researching and experiencing other provinces of the Philippines.

Kalayaan Heights Housing, SBMA, Subic Naval Base, Zambales Pictures / Photos:























17 comments:

Anonymous said...

A real genius...
Hey david, have you already found the perfect coconut??? i hope you did.
You're always in my prayers...
god speed

-spider_gurl03-

Anonymous said...

Going back in the past is something that softens your heart, tears of joy while reminiscing those happy and sad memories, thanking GOD for those wonderful experiences, thanking HIM that you can not be what you are now if those were not happened. Realizing there is no an easy way than going through those life’s testings…and yet you surpassed it. And that is an achievement that you can be proud of. Not considered a career, position or personal achievement but the YOU as a person. And I believe your parents have teary eyes upon reading your article because you went back where the love and your family started.
Way back, I have a not so tough decision that my parents do not expect me to do, at first they do not support me and that make me a little depressed but still I continue and courage on pursuing it. They cut financial support to me but it does not stop me from achieving it. But in the end my parents sent money to my bank account unknowingly to me, they called me up on the phone saying they sent money for me, it was an emotional conversation and I felt that time so well loved and overwhelmed support from them. There is saying in tagalog…”HINDI MATITIIS NG INA ANG KANYANG ANAK” and it is true in every mother exists.
I know you can make it Dave and to all the parents out there support your kids to every step they make, even if against to what you designed for them. The matter is they still possess the values you taught them and have the courage to pursue it. Show them your love and support because life is too short. The support of parents is of essence to us no matter what we do, we can be more effective and inspire on doing it. So parents love your kids to the fullest without reservations or conditions.

Almazanse(:

Nhel Amable said...

Dear David Eric,

Habang binabasa ko ang iyong artikulo, wala akong masabi kung hindi salamat at nakita mo ang munting angking kagandahan ng Pilipinas. Ako ay sang ayon sa iyong komento na marami pang tinatagong kayaman ang Pilipinas na maipakita sa mga tao at sa buong mundo. Sa dami ng isla nito na mahigit kumulang 7,107 (depende kung mataas o mababa ang tubig) pero dahil sa marami sa ating mga kababayan ang mahirap, hindi nila ito nakikita, makikita o mabisita man lang dahil hindi sila makapaglakbay para makita ang kagandahan ng Pilipinas. Salamat sa telebesyon at iba pang babasahin at kahit papano naipaparating nila sa mga tao at sa mga mamayan ang ibang kagandahan ng Pilipinas. Sa dami ng tao sa Pilipinas (85M+/-) at ang iba nito ay pumunta na sa ibang bansa para maghanap ng mas marangyang buhay na hindi maibibigay ng Pilipinas. Ang mga OFW na bayani daw ng makabagong henerasyon na merong mahigit kumulang sa 7-8M sa buong daigdig. Mga OFW na naghahanap ng magandang buhay para maipalasap man din nila ang magandang buhay para sa kanilang pamilya na naiwan sa Pilipinas. Itong mga OFW na sana kailangan ng ating bansa para maging maunlad ang ating bayan bagkos ibang bansa ang nakikinabang dito at hindi ang Pilipinas. Enhenyero, Doctor, Nurses, teachers at iba pang mahalagang propesyon na kailangan ng ating bansa ay nasa ibang bansa para manilbihan sa mga dayuhan. Ang mga mayayaman ay nagiging mas mayaman at ang mahirap ay nagiging mas mahirap bakit? dahil sa kapabayaan ng ating bansa. Kung hindi sila pabaya siguro kulang pa rin ang kanilang ginagawa para tustusan ang pangangailangan ng ating mga mamayan. Ang pagtulong sa kapwa dapat hindi lamang sa salita kung hindi ito ay ginagawa ng kusa na walang halong kaplastikan. Wala sa Pilipinas ang problema, ang problema ay nasa taong nag papalakad nito at habang ang mga taong ito ay nasa kapangyarihan, uunahin muna nila ang pansariling kapakanan bago tumulong sa kapwa. Mahirap harapin at bigyang lunas ang sestema ng ating bansa sa ngayon at ito ay dapat magsimula sa mababang antas ng tao hanggang sa pinakamataas nito subalit mahirap kalabanan ang mga ganid sa kapangyarihan (pasintabi doon sa mga mabubuting tao).

David, sa iyong paglalakbay marami ka pang ma-diskobreng nakatagong ganda at yaman ng Pilipinas. Palawan, Mindoro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Benguet, Pangasinan, Tagaytay, Batangas, ito ay mga lugar na kung saan mas marami ka pang matuklasang maganda hindi lang sa angking ganda nito bagkos kasama na dito ang mga nakaraan o history ng Pilipinas. Halos lahat naman ng tao sa Pilipinas ay alam kung anong kagandahan meron ang Pilipinas subalit hindi nila uunahin ito sa pagtuklas bagkos itinutuon nila ang mga sarili nila sa pamilya at sa iba pang bagay na makatulong sa kani-kanilang pamilya.

May mga tao sa mundo, tulad mo david, na gustong maranasan at tuklasin ang iyong pinagmulan kahit na ikaw ay nasa marangyang buhay na. Meron ka pang gustong patunayan sa sarili na ikaw lang ang mas nakakaalam at ito ay mahirap intindihan kahit sarili mong magulang ay hindi ka maintindahan sa iyong gustong marating at matuklasan. Sang ayon ako sa komento ni “Almazanse” na sa bandang huli walang magulang na matiis ang anak. Sa darating na panahon alam ko at alam naming lahat, maiintindihan ka rin nila kung ano ba ang iyong adhikan sa buhay. Tulad nila at tulad ko rin, hangad ko ang iyong tagumpay kung ano man ang gusto mong marating sa iyong paglalakbay dyan sa Pilipinas. Alam mo at alam naming lahat na ang iyong adhikain ay matarik at hindi basta-basta ngunit kami ay nasa iyong likuran at umaasa na ikaw ay magiging matagumpay sa gusto mong marating at matuklasan. Katulad ng iba at ng iyong mga tagahanga…hangad namin ang iyong tagumpay at asahan mo na nasa likuran mo kami kasama ang aming dasal at panalangin. Mag-ingat ka lagi sa iyong landas na tinatahak. Siyangapala, salamat sa mga magagandang litrato na binabahagi mo sa amin, ako mismo naa appreciate ko. Mula kay Nhel Amable, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. E-mail: nelryamable@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

hey david...nice article. but young man, you cannot close your eyes to the reality that the philippines truly is a sick nation. yes... behind the smokey and filthy air that generally envelopes the country are few soul soothers subdivision and spots which mind you...only few affluent ones could afford. take note who are they? DRUGLORDS? GAMBLING LORDS? JAPAYUKIS? MOVIE PERSONALITIES? POLITICIANS? If you are merely working through honest means and within the bounds of your morals you can never afford to buy a subdivision lot. although i'm not generally speaking because i'm also taking my hats off to the hardworking OFWS who invested tears and blood abroad just to improve their quality of lives. Unless there is an overhaul of socio-political system in the country, i may sound pessimistic...the simple Juan de la Cruz has nowhere to go but in the crowded, congested and filthy squatter areas of the cities of the philippines. GOD SAVE THE PHILIPPINES!....

Anonymous said...

I cannot but react on the comment above. I strongly disagree with his statement, to quote "the simple Juan de la Cruz has nowhere to go but in the crowded, congested and filthy squatter areas of the cities of the philippines." There are lodgings that you can rent, it may not be The Ritz, but there are places descent enough to live in. I strongly disagree that a simple Juan de la Cruz has to resort and be contended being an informal settler in the city. Thinking this way will not help. This crass predisposition is one of the Filipino mentality that should be overhauled, and the commenter above should start with himself. I was not born rich, and am not rich, but we have not, and will not squat. Both my parents came from the province when they were younger to find their luck in Manila. I am proud that they raised us well, with dignity and self-respect. They've imbibed in us the importance of hardwork. The commenter above was not sounding pessimistic, he was downright pessimistic. God does not need to save us, we need to save ourselves!

Gary

Ernesto said...

I wish you have pictures of the houses. I lived in one of these "subdivisions" that you visited (specifically Binictican Heights). Its definitely a world away compared to the housing outside the base but then again, why cant the rest of the country try to clean up and be more responsible.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Gary's comments.

RR

Anonymous said...

I strongly agree with the comment of Gary. We have to stop thinking that the only way we can live at subd. is by either being famous or being dishonest and by stepping on other peoples lives. We have to understand that what we need is a change to ourselves. The way that we look at our lives and other peoples lives. We have to stop ruining other peoples reputation... The reason why I'm trying to defend the people that reside at subd. it's because I live at one and I'm certain that my father never step on anybody. He strive for his goals and he succeeded.

Anonymous said...

Sa essay at editorial competition, hindi mo alam kung anu ang ibibigay na topic that u will explain further. Kaya ang manyayari ay impromptu ang isusulat nyo na construct nyo sa mind mo. Sa mga judges walang tama at mali as long as you follow the rules of the competition. They publish it and let others read it and get their opinion about their writings. Minsan yong dehado o di gusto ng mga tao ang nanalo sa competition kasi he/she has a different writings from other contestants. sa mga judges kasi iba iba ang taste minsan swertehan lang yan. I believe lahat naman magagaling kaso dapat nandun yong luck factors na tinatawag para manalo. Sa case ni latter anonymous, Gary, at former anonymous lahat naman tama e, ang point ko lang dun e the latter anonymous just brought out kung anu nasa utak nya at kung anu ang observation sa mga nanyayari sa paligid nya. At he published it thru this blog. Sa nabasa ko kay latter anonynous my positive write up din sya kaso masyado lang na emphasize un negative point of view nya. Kay Gary at former anonymous naman your right we have to strive harder para magkaruon tayo ng buhay sa masagana. Pero I believe pa rin na dapat katuwang natin si GOD sa pag abot ng mga endeavors natin sa buhay at ang sabi sa bible 'WITHOUT GOD WE ARE NOTHING'. Maganda tong ginagawa natin kasi it is a healthy criticisms natuto tayo at nagbibigay tayo. Salamat at isang mapagpalang taon para sa atin lahat.

skyrun.....

Anonymous said...

wow ang ganda noh?


hope you visit my blog ko.. more power hope you'll find the right coconut. god bless!

Anonymous said...

everybody's had their own point of views and i was really impressed how they make up with some solution to make this country worst living for....but the FACT is there's no way that philippine can survived..it's really worst place to live for though we still have some great place ..and about OFW's yes they really our new generation heroes but being the best people around the world i dont think it's right...i've been to a lot of country knowing pinoy was the worst people u can deal with.... mas madalas sila ang maninira syo at about sa work nila? well magaling lang sila mgsipsip at mgpaimpressed sa ibang bansa but once boss are not around they're worst kesa sa mga iband lahi...each places i've been lahat halos ng pinoy n makilala ko isa lng sasabihin s kin...mag-ingat ka sa mga pinoy dito!!!scary db? well im not really mad about my fellow pinoy but thinking that may hope p ang pilipinas? i doubt magaling lng ang pinoy sa salita pero mas lamang ang makasarili..they will do anything in able to survived

face it or not but i really believe that this nearly my honest opinion bago natin sisihin ung mga namumuno ng ating bansa baguhin muna natin sarili natin at isipin na rin natin na tyo ang ngturo sa mga namumuno kung paano mging currupt...remember we put them into the position what happened to them as a leader it because of US!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comment above that mostly it is our fault that government officials tends to be corrupt. However we have to understand that they finished college and has more knowledge than us? Then why should they listen to those who only finished highschool or even less. There is a saying that goes something like this "kapag pumatol ka sa tanga ay mas tanga ka". Why should government officials listen to little people regarding corruption. We must admit that everyone in this world just want there future to be secured and the only way that officials see there future secure is through corruption. By stealing money and seeking more power through the means of the people. They are smart that's why most of the time they manipulate people around them.


On pinoys abroad...I strongly disagree that pinoy all over the world are the worst people you could possibly meet. ABOUT WORK... naninira? My Tita lives abroad and she has a lot of pinoy friends there, her co-workers. They really get along, I know cuz I've seen them. Sip sip, well you could look at it in two ways one sip sip ang mga pinoy or magaling lang sila makisama sa iba. Pakikisama is also the reaso why pinoy tends to be abusive. Once pinoy from other country finds out you are a pinoy they know na mahihiyaka at makikisama din. That's why they ask a lot of things from you.

SUCH a shame for you to only meet the rotten apples of the philippines abroad. You know there are a lot of good pinoy out there maybe you're just looking at the wrong place.

In regards with philippine as the worst place to live and there is no way that it can survived. Well that is your opinion and I can't change that. However on my opinion Your opinion is the reason why our country is falling apart. Madalin kayong mawalan ng pag asa you can say na kahit na gawin mo lahat kung ikaw lang naman ang gagawa ay hindi pa rin uunlad ang pilipinas. Marahil nga ay totoo ito pero kung lahat ng tao sa pilipinas ay mag iisip ng tulad mo abay talagang hindi uunlad ang bansang ito. Mag iiwan ako ng katanungan para sayo. Kaya mo bang mag pulot ng kahit isang kapirasong papel na nakakalat sa kalsada???

death_of_gabriel@yahoo.com

lentootz said...

basta ko Pinoy. kebs na lang sa ibang tao kung ano iniisip nila tungkol sa mga Pilipino.

Go David! Visit ka dito sa Baguio!!!

Anonymous said...

Ako din lentootz kahit ano pang sabihin nila na masama ang ugali ng mga Pinoy at ang bansang Pilipinas ay one of the worst place to live. Wala akong pakialam basta ako I'm proud to be Pinoy at mahal ko ang bansang Pilipinas, at masaya ang buhay dito. We have our own choices wether we want to live here or not. Ang masasabi ko lang kay anonymous na masyadong minamaliit ang bansang Pilipinas, well, kung sa tingin mo na worst place to live ang bansang ito at kung ayaw mong tumira dito sa Pinas may freedom kang umalis at maninarahan sa ibang bansa. Peace! Happy New Year!-)

Anonymous said...

Its really ironic that you guys argue to the contrary that Filipinos are NOT "maninira"... but if you read through the entire message string, the above posts are a prime example of it.

Why even disparage someone when they simply want to express their opinion... You cannot fault someone for that. Granted it might be different from yours and mine, but I think respect for it is what's needed...

What we lack is a healthy discourse about the issues and find SOLUTIONS. This website is very helpful in expressing opinions but your good thoughts will go nowhere unless you stop making excuses, passing blame instead of debating the issues, finding consensus, planning and EXECUTION.

Trust me on this one... It works!

For backgrounder, I am an Officer in the US Military... day in and day out, I expect no less from my men and women. No excuses...just solutions...

We need to be pragmatic as well.
There is no doubt in my mind that
we ALL mean well for the country.
But we also need a dose of reality...It is what it is.

My biggest fear is the Philippines being overtaken by Vietnam. Its not a question of IF, but WHEN.
That is not too far down the horizon either.

If you live in California, where there is a great concentration of both Vietnamese and Filipinos...its not hard to notice two opposing trends: Filipinos coming to the States and Vietnamese Americans going back to Vietnam. Why? Because not only do they believe in their country's future..they have a plan.

Most,if not all have spent years in Silicon Valley and other centers of excellence. The big buzzword is "knowledge transfer". It worked for India and China and they believe it can work for Vietnam, in bringing the talent and experience back to spearhead the country's march to first-world status.

I don't see any reason why it won't work for us as well. We have the talent, we have the culture, we have the education and certainly the experience of the "global fiipino. We have bright minds in the Valley and in the PI to create the same bridge. The problem is finding that synergy to create critical mass.

We need to stop thinking about "ME" and dig deep and make the hard choices...Like Mr. Coconuter has sought to do. David,
you certainly are touching alot of people in your own way... thanks for your courage and for NOT choosing the path of least resistance..

LCDR M

jojo said...

I have some good thoughts to the pessimist. See, life is how you make it and living in a country like the Philippines, full of corrupt politicians, will not change the fact that you will still be responsible of how you will make your life work despite of the political condition. I happened to talk to this Cuban patient of mine in the clinic and I told him that if I am a Cuban I will go home to Cuba, bring all the money he has earned and enjoy the natural resources that Cuba has to offer and forget about the communist Fidel Castro and he agreed to what I said. At least in our country people talk to each other when they meet in the street, neighbors in the Philippines is at the truest sense of the word. Try living in the US and you will see what I mean.
email july13a@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

LCDR M...

...hmmm impressive viets, i agree. if you think Pinoys abroad should start returning to the Phil to help - "knowledge transfer" as you said, how would you like to start (come back!) and do a campaign. you have acquired so much knowledge...be one of our modern-day heroes.

COCONUTER...

like all the rest, i got hooked with your blog and is now spending my entire day reading all of it. knowing that there is a Pinoy like you (half-blooded pinoy, at that), i firmly believe there's hope for the Philippines.

i am campaigning and praying also that may all the hallelujas for Coconuter here, be translated to CASH, he needs it to keep this website going...

you are bringing Pinoys all over the world together, God bless you, your partner and your son!

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