From the Midwest redneck author of "The Rooster Crows at 4am!," "Lizard Poop!," and "The Philippines Expat Advisor"
This Ain’t Your Typical American Middle-Class Subdivision!
I posted a photo once in my first blog, “The Rooster Crows at 4am!”, of our subdivision road that runs in front of our home in Jordan municipality in the rural province of Guimaras. One of our good friends back in Illinois was amazed when he saw the picture because he thought we lived in a “subdivision.” As you can see by the picture on this post, a “subdivision” in a rural Philippines province is quite different than one you would find in America. When I first learned that our home was officially recognized as a subdivision by our local barangay (village), I, too, was quite surprised.
Our road is filled with cows (and cow poop), goats, chicken, and roosters, and since it is unpaved, it is filled with deep ruts cut into the mud by tricycle and jeepney traffic during the rainy season. Our local barangay captain (the village president) informed us that the residents of our subdivision should press the subdivision owner, who is located in Iloilo City on another island, to have our road paved. Our captain told us that when the barangay administration approved the subdivision owner's request to operate in Jordan, one of the conditions of their approval was to have a paved road. Well, that has been over ten years ago, and I guarantee there will never be any such improvements done to our street.
Things are done much differently in the Philippines than they are back in the States. The landowners of our subdivision do not have the resources to hire a lawyer, and even if we did, it would be a protracted court battle that would drag on for years. So we just adjust. I should say, “I” just adjust. No one else seems overly concerned about the condition of the road, though my wife's relatives down the road did dig a drainage ditch along the street a few weeks ago to help reduce the flooding on the road. Now if you start asking me about storm sewers, I'm going to fall off my seat and tumble to the floor laughing hilariously (and I haven't had any San Miguels this morning…yet.) Come on! This is a Third World Country! You just get used to making some adjustments and live with it. I can live without storm sewers.
We don't have any gated community, either. No sleepy guard with a shotgun and pistol that stands at our entrance. We don't have barbed-wire walls surrounding the few homes in our subdivision, though a couple of houses do have a fire wall constructed of concrete hollow blocks built around them. I have a brother-in-law and sister-in-law in Novaliches, the Metro Manila area, that lives in one of those fancy schmancy gated and guarded subdivisions.
Shoot! I'm just a guy from a small town in central Illinois that is content to live the simpler, less hectic lifestyle in the provinces. We might not have a single McDonald's, KFC , or Pizza Hut on our small island, Guimaras Island, but we get by. I can always walk over to our “Crossing” and buy a roasted chicken that's been sitting out all day in the blazing sun. And if I happen to get sick eating it, well, the provincial hospital is only minutes away! Who says we don't have a great life in our rural subdivision in the Philippines?