SA TABING ILOG, SA TABING PABRIKA
Sa Pulong Sta. Cruz sa may Sta. Rosa, Laguna, may isang komunidad na ang tawag ay “S.T.I.”. Inalam ng aming girls kung bakit ito ang naging pangalan, at aba, napaka-obvious nga naman kasi: dahil malapit sila sa ilog, natural ang lugar ay “Sa Tabing Ilog”.
Ang karamihan ng mga taong nakatira sa STI ay mga dayo, madalas ay Bisaya, kaya’t na-observe na wala silang katiting na ideya kung ano ang kasaysayan ng lugar. Bukod pa doon ay ang mobility ng mga residente ay sa loob ng Sta. Rosa o Laguna. Hindi tulad sa ilang parte ng Rizal at Cavite na ang lokasyon ng trabaho ay sa Maynila lang, ang mga residente ng Pulong Sta. Cruz ay nakatira malapit din sa mga pabrika at ang mga trabaho sa loob ng mga ito, tulad ng Coke, Magnolia, Nissin at Toyota kaya siguro hindi na kailangan mapadpad sa Maynila para kumayod.
Ngunit sa hitsura ng komunidad, di mo akalain na katabi na pala nito ang kabihasnan at ang mga pabrika bilang simbulo ng pag-unlad.
THE GRIM REAPER
As written by Boyet Torres during their fieldwork in Turbina, Calamba:
“We went to a slum area in Barangay Turbina in Calamba. The area was your usual ‘no title’ land, and I got to interview residents who have been living there since birth; boarders; and residents who were renters. All of them had the same sentiment: the place was dangerous especially during night time. Also, since they can only own rights to their house, they said they are always on their toes in case the grim reaper (government) comes knocking on their doors.”
How very grim, indeed.
As an old settlement area, San Antonio in Binan, Laguna houses many schools and small-scale commercial businesses to cater to students from elementary to college. However, according to our girls, it appears that barangay residents who lived and grew up in their community don’t feel that their barangay is progressing and that they don’t know the history of the place. This may be attributed to the influx of students from various places or the influx of migrants settling into the area. Whatever the reason is, Binan appears to be a different landscape compared to surrounding municipalities in Laguna.
OKAY KA BA DIYAN SA ‘OKAY KA BA TI-YAN?’
Yakult’s been selling ‘cultured milk’ in the Philippine market for decades, and boy does it sell like hotcakes! But sometimes, the culture behind and surrounding the production of cultured milk provides a glimpse of how we’re very far removed from the production process of everything we buy and consume (and of the realities of the people behind it).
According to an account of one of our field interviewers, Boyet Torres, Makiling is the place where Yakult is produced, with a very interesting history: “Most residents were factory workers, mainly because the Yakult factory was within the barangay. We learned that in the past, employees working in the factory used to bring home gallons of Yakult for free and they placed them in water bottles. However, the Yakult ladies complained about this because their sales were going down as employees were selling their Yakult at retail and at lower prices. It wasn’t until the company found out about this practice that they prohibited their employees in bringing home Yakult. However, some employees still smuggle out Yakult, but already for personal uses…(When) we finished (surveying) early, we had time to check the Yakult factory. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to go inside and even buy Yakult. :(”
P.S. Unfortunately, the boys were’t able to get a picture of the factory, so here they are, working on their questionnaires after their fieldwork in Makiling.
FEUDALISM AND LAND: HOW BARANGAY DON JOSE GOT ITS NAME FROM THE YULO FAMILY
According to the girls who interviewed respondents in Barangay Don Jose in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, the barangay’s name can be traced to the history of the place being a property of the Yulo family, one of the prominent families that have owned hectares of land in Laguna.
1. According to Agnes Taboclaon, her respondent’s father said that they obtained their land when his father named Don Jose, and other citizens, were given land by Yulo as a token for their work and service to the Yulo family. When the land was divided, the barangay was then named “Don Jose”.
2. According to Dorothy Eugnibal, the barangay was named after the father of the Yulo family named Jose.
3. Marianne Naugnayan also added that aside from “Don Jose” being the inspiration for the barangay’s name, the Yulo family also owned vast tracts of land in Canlubang and Calamba; when the land of the barangay was given to the residents, it became part of Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
4. According to Clarissa Velasco, “Makinang Apoy” was the name of the barangay before it was changed to “Don Jose”. Eugnibal also said that this was formally called by this name because it was beside a rail-road.
THE BARANGAY ON A “BUROL”
Previously, we covered material talking about Lecheria in the municipality of Calamba, as a historical site wherein it was bought by Spanish friars as a land to pasture their cows. In present times, we showed how it is a site where spaces of religion, beliefs and realms collide. As Boyet Torres, one of our field interviewers, confirmed in his ethnography: “The community was a little creepy because it was just right beside the barangay cemetery. It was a slum area, and it was on top of a hill. I didn’t go further up as I conducted my surveys at a lower elevation, there a lot of houses in the foot of the hill and these houses were closest to the cemetetry. First thing I wanted to know from my respondents were if there are supernatural occurrences, all of them said they haven’t seen of felt any strange presence ever. Most of them have been living there since birth.
I also learned they were a lot of Rizalitas in the community…I found out that there was a falling out among the Rizalistas and they were divided into three groups, so most of them moved out from the area because of the event. Those who stayed still remain as Rizalistas but attend masses in Catholic churches because the Rizalista church no longer holds masses or ceremonies, except for special occasions, such as Rizal Day. Though there is a diverse set of religions and beliefs in one community, according to my respondents, there have been no case of conflicts or issues between these people in the community.”
Punny enough, Lecheria is also situated on a hill or in Filipino, “burol”, which stands for two meanings: hill or lying in state (funeral wake).
MATAMIS NA HINDI
Kung bakit “Langgam” ang pangalan ng isang barangay sa San Pedro, Laguna ay inalam ng aming girls team nang mapadpad sila sa nasabing barangay noong 2013. Ayon kay Clarissa Velasco, “Langgam ang name ng barangay kasi dati raw itong manggahan and dahil sa sobrang tamis, nilalanggam na kaya naging langgam.” Dagdag pa ni Dorothy Eugnibal, “Their area was formerly [an] angrigultural area where there are many mango trees. Their mangoes are very sweet and ants usually surround[ed them].” Ngunit ayon naman sa salaysay ni Mielyn Mercan, kaya ganito ang pangalan ng barangay ay dahil “yung mga tao doon nagtutulungan, or kapag may mga pa-meeting dala pati mga anak, [at] kumpulan daw sila parang mga langgam…
RELATIONSHIPS AND SENSE OF PLACE (Part 1)
A lot of people ask why informal settlers or settlers living in flood-prone or disaster-prone areas choose to stay, despite safety and health risks. Here’s what Boyet Torres found out in a community in Sampiruhan, Calamba:
“I found out that the biggest problem the people in the community face is flood. They say that every three years a big flood hits their area, and most of them had to live in evacuation centers for a month. Flooding occurs because their barangay is just beside a big river, which overflows when there is strong rain. However, according to my respondents, even though this unfortunate event happens every three or two years, they still choose to stay and live in their area because they are already used to it and they don’t like to leave their relatives slash neighbors behind. This again shows how one’s sense of place is equated to his or her established relationships.”
Bilang pambansang bulaklak, ang sampaguita ay sinasabing nanggaling sa mga salitang “sumpa kita”, na ang ibig sabihin ay “I promise you” sa Ingles. Kung ngayon ay pamilyar ito bilang mga garland na sinasabit sa mga santo nino at iba pang mga relihiyosong imahen, dati raw ay ang garland na ito ay binibigay sa isang kasintahan bilang pledge ng tunay na pag-ibig.
Aba’y, akalain mo na may lugar pala sa Pilipinas kung saan ay ang pangunahing kabuhayan nila ay ang paggawa ng sampagguita?
Ayon kay Dorothy Eugnibal, “According to my respondent…decades ago, their community has been supplying sampaguitas that were sold in Quiapo. The sampaguitas they are [now] selling grow beside the river [they live next to].” Dagdag pa ni Clarissa Velasco, “Ang bayan ng San Pedro raw ang may pinakamalaking taniman ng sampaguita.”
THE BARANGAY NEAR THE BAY
“Uwisan. The Barangay near the bay. You could almost smell the sea from where I was conducting my interviews. It was awesome. As for the interviews, I got to talk to long time migrants, residents of the area for more than 2 decades. Most of them made a living by working in their own community, either as fishermen, sidecar and tricycle drivers or sarisari store owners.
When I finished all my interviews, I had time to visit the beach. It wasn’t the most pristine beaches I saw, in fact, it was polluted as heck. A lot of trash were scattered on the bay, and the community’s canal was flowing towards the beach. I saw a kid walking and asked what marine animals are living in the area, and he said people in his community make a living by catching oysters and fish. The boy also said they catch turtles in the area. I asked what kind, and he said, “Pawikan”. I was curious so I asked him if he could catch one so I could see it, but he didn’t find any. So he directed me to someone who had one, his friend, which coincidentally was the child of one of my respondents. We went back to the house, and I told them I wanted to see their pet. It was not a pawikan but a soft shelled turtle, which is considered a pest in Pampanga because they eat the fish, which are caught for selling. They were offering it to me but I declined because we already had one back at home, and it might not make it when I bring it back home to Baguio.” – As written by Boyet Torres during their fieldwork in Uwisan, Calamba.
HOME ALONG THE RILES
“Barrio Matamis ang name ng community ng area namin today,” sulat ni Marianne Naungayan, nang mapadpad sila sa isang sitio sa San Vicente sa Binan, Laguna, na malapit sa Philippine National Railways o PNR. “From a respondent, the name was derived from a story way back then when a train carrying a bunch of sugar was unrailed.” Dagdag pa ni Marianne, karamihan ng mga residente ay nakatira sa lupa na pagmamay-ari pa rin ng gobyerno, at marami din ay rinelocate sa Langkiwa sa Binan, Laguna.
UNEVEN DEVELOPMENT AND EXPERIENCE: GATED VS. NON-GATED
“San Isidro was nothing different from the places we visited where subdivisions live peacefully and safely, while the community outside experiences floods during rains; the reason: the development of the subdivisions near them (Boyet Torres, 2014).”
In this simple statement in his ethnography during their fieldwork in Laguna, Torres’ points out a clear observation that spreads throughout not only in Laguna, but in other areas of Manila’s peri-urban fringe that we covered in the project’s survey: that the peri-urbanization and development of these areas around Manila have an impact on the everyday lives of the residents living in and living outside these real estate developments, E.g., gated subdivisions, commercial establishments, etc.
RELOCATION OF RESIDENCE AND MEMORY
“Laram is a relocation project of Former President Ferdinand Marcos in the 1960s,” Dorothy Eugnibal wrote in her journal. “Laram stands for Landless Residence Amelioration.” Mielyn Mercan also added that the residents who were relocated to Barangay Laram of San Pedro, Laguna came from different parts of Metro Manila.
Interestingly enough, Dorothy Eugnibal and Clarissa Velasco also noted in their ethnographies that most of the people they interviewed did not know the barangay’s history and some did not know what Laram stood for. Perhaps with the influx of migrants into the barangay in recent decades as noted by Agnes Taboclaon, merged with old migrant population, there may have been a lack of a sense of history in the place?
RELATIONSHIPS AND SENSE OF PLACE (Part 2)
Previously, we covered how residents another barangay in Calamba, specifically Sampiruhan, felt that they did not need to leave despite their place being flood-prone. In another area of Calamba, Boyet Torres discovered that this was also the case for one community in Barangay San Cristobal, Calamba:
“We went to a community called Milenyo. It was named after the 2005 typhoon. The residents in this area were the people whose houses where swept away by the calamity. Before being relocated to this part of the barangay, they were living in the same barangay but near the river. When the typhoon hit, their houses were swallowed by the river. Though they were offered to live or relocated to another barangay, most of these Milenyo residents opted to rebuild their lives in the same barangay. Most of my respondents told me that they didn’t want to leave the barangay because their livelihood was in the area (side care, trike, store, etc). Also, their kids were already used to their school, which was just a walk away from where they were living. This again proves how one’s sense of space is determined by the relationships we make and the people we get used to everyday. This creates a habitus, which is difficult for people to sway from despite harsh living conditions. Space, for the people of Milenyo, is more than just a simple location or set of coordinates. It is their friends, livelihood, future, past and present all balled up into one, which can never be faltered by any typhoon.”
ANG DATING KALABUSO NG BINAN, LAGUNA
Bago naging “Sto. Tomas” ang pangalan ng barangay na ito na matatagpuan sa Binan, Laguna, ang barangay ay nakilala sa pangalan na “Kalabuso” o “Calabuso”, na nangangahulugan na preso.
Ayon sa mga etnograpiya ng aming girls team, kaya’t ganito ang tawag sa barangay ay dahil nandito ang kulungan ng mga masasamang tao tulad ng mga magnanakaw at mamamatay tao. May isang salaysay na ganoon daw ang pangalan dahil madaming kriminal at patayan sa lugar.
Upang mabago ang imahe at reputasyon ng lugar, pinalitan nila ang pangalan nila base sa kanilang patron saint na si Sto. Tomas. Simula daw noon, ay wala na masyadong gulo sa lugar.
WALANG MALIGAYA SA SITIO MALIGAYA
“We went to a sitio named “Maligaya”. Unfortunately, their sitio’s name does not reflect the community’s situation. Most of the people I interviewed were migrants, and they came to Laguna because of work, yet only a few of the people I interviewed worked. Most were running a business, sari-sari store and one had a car rental service.
My respondents had little knowledge about the history of their place but all agreed on one thing: sitio Maligaya is not that ‘Maligaya’ especially during night time. Apparently, a lot of neighbors fight in the area. In fact, we just learned this was true when one of my co-interviewer’s respondent got in a fist fight with her neighbor right in the middle of the interview. Intense! Overall…people were happy living in their area at the moment, but if given a chance, all of them wanted to move out from the community.”
“Bahain daw talaga ang lugar nila. Yung third respondent ko, kahit gusto niyang mag-stay sa lugar nila, parang nadala na daw siya sa mga baha doon. Abot daw hanggang baywang ang tubig palagi. Sa barangay hall nila, prepared talaga ang mga tao. May mga life vests at bangka na naka-standby in case of flood. Konting ulan pa lang daw, nag-start na mag-panic ang mga tao doon kasi mabilis daw magbaha sa kanila,” sulat ni Agnes Taboclaon tungkol sa komunidad na malapit sa ilog sa may Cuyab, San Pedro, Laguna.
“GOOD FOOD, GOOD LIFE”
“The barangay was along the National Highway. Upon asking around about where in the barangay is the community with the most people, we were directed to Sitio Gulayan. Sitio Hulayan, according to my respondents, was once a farm and garden, hence the name Gulayan. During the old days, the community was filled with crops such as rice, corn and other vegetables. Now, it’s a slum area with people who can’t get along with each other. At first sight, it was your typical slum area: houses were close together, people were loitering around, gambling is present from cards to bingo, and there were a lot of children.
What I found out after four interviews is that people in the area gossip a lot, and I mean a whole awful lot. One respondent was so into gossiping that every time a person passed by, she has a story or gossip about that person, whether it be, the person just recently lost his wife, or the guy is gay; this respondent seemed to know a lot of information about the people in her community. Apart from this, I also heard that there’s a particular place in the community which people call “tsismis street”. This and other interesting names and places such as “gambling corner” and “upakan street”. I didn’t get to personally see and visit these places but I heard that’s what people call them.
I also got to know about the story of the Nestle Water that the community uses. As the Nestle factory is near the barangay, a water system runs out from the factory and out from a pipe which people in the community use for drinking. It’s free but no one seemed to know where exactly in the factory is it from and why it exists; all the people know is that it is safe to drink.
However, one of my respondents said otherwise. She said there was a time in 2007 when people who drank from the Nestle water got sick, among them was my respondent’s husband. My respondent recalled how her husband got terribly sick and was rushed to the hospital, only to find out he may just have days to live because his husband was so dehydrated. Fortunately, by some miracle, as my respondent said, her husband survived despite the doctor’s diagnosis. They weren’t sure if this was really caused by the Nestle water, but she said many people from her community also got sick but not as worse as her husband. Ever since the predicament, my respondent said she and her family never drank the Nestle water again, while many people from the community still do. My respondent guessed they got used to the pathogens and bacteria in the water that it no longer affects them. Safe or not, this shows how factories in Laguna affect people’s lives in many ways, not just livelihood.” – Boyet Torres (2013)
So now we wonder, where does the slogan of “Good Food, Good Life” in Nestle come into play in this community and other spaces like it?
PLATERO: ANG DATING KILALANG PUNTOD
Ayon kay Mielyn Mercan, ang lugar na ito ay may madugong kasaysayan: “Dati silang libingan o mas kilala bilang puntod dahil tapunan daw ng patay noong panahon ng hapon.”
Sabi ni Agnes Taboclaon, naging puntod ang Platero dahil “yugn dating gamit daw kasi ng lupang kinatitirikan ng eskwelahan ngayon ay sementeryo…[na] tapunan daw ng pata dati.”
Kwento naman ni Marianne Naungayan at Clarissa Velasco, pinalitan ang pangalan ng barangay. Platero ang naging pangalan ng barangay dahil maraming mga latero o ang mga gumagawa ng lata sa lugar.
Ngayon naman, ang mga ilang residente ng Platero na nakatira malapit sa riles ng tren o PNR, tulad ng mga nakatira sa Barangay San Vicente sa Binan din, ay rinelocate sa Langkiwa. Para sa mga naiwan sa Platero, sabi ni Mielyn na “ayaw nila doon [sa Langkiwa] dahil mahirap ang buhay at sobrang gulo pa doon”.
ALIENATION AND PRODUCTION
“I found nothing very special about this place,” Torres wrote in his journal. “I just learned people here were relied on the nearby factories for livelihood and that there used to be a Purefoods factory beside the community that closed down because the community complained that it was emitting a harsh smell that affected the people’s lungs. When I asked if my respondents knew anyone who used to work in the factory and whether or not they were affected by the shutting down of their job, one of them said they did and added that the person she knew found another job in another factory immediately after Purefoods shut down.”
In our everyday lives, we often forget that the products we consume come from the labor of people we don’t know and from locations where we can’t pinpoint. This is an interesting case wherein even if factories are considered hubs of development and livelihood, it has a negative impact on communities. So the next time we bite a mouthful of Tender Juicy hotdog, the people and places behind its production may not have such a juicy and pleasant experience as you.
SORO SORO, ANG HALAMANG NG GUMOT ISANG BARANGAY
Sa boundary ng Laguna at Cavite ay ang Barangay Soro-soro ng Binan, Laguna. “Soro-soro” ang pangalan ng lugar dahil dito sa barangay na ito maraming tumutubong halaman na ang tawag ay “soro-soro” o “common milk hedge” (Clarissa Velasco). Ayon kay Mielyn Mercan at Marianne Naungayan, ang soro-soro ay isang halamang gamot sa tenga, lalo na sa mga ear infection na ang kwento ay maraming tao sa barangay ay merong ganitong sakit.
KATAS NG HONG KONG
“First up was Hong Kong Village, a subdivision just along the highway. It was a small subdivision but it was highly exclusive. Unlike other subdivisions, their security guards were not from the subdivision. They were hired from another place to prevent the occurrence of security guards getting talked into letting other people in without permission. This, according to the management, occurs in other subdivisions because the concept of ‘kakilala’ diminishes the level of security in the subdivision.
One thing about Hong Kong village is that residents here used to work in Hongkong. I learned that the subdivision was established by a group of OFWs who used to work in Hong Kong. This illustrates the concept of space transcending the actual geographical place and creating a new community based on previous and identical relationships.”
Boyet Torres’ ethnography points out another unspoken observation about subdivision and real-estate development in Manila’s peri-urban fringe: that with access to disposable income and livelihood abroad, OFWs and OCWs are the primary targets of these developments, as they have the means to afford and to drive real estate developers into constructing subdivisions and other land developments.
“MA. ELENA SON OF ALBERTO” HOMES
MESA Homes in Barangay Don Jose in Sta. Rosa, Laguna is a subdivision developed on a land owned by the Yulo family, the same family that has a barangay named after one of the family patriarchs, Don Jose Yulo. According to Agnes Taboclaon’s respondents, life in the subdivision in the past was great: they felt like they were in America and there were free rations and food for residents. Marianne Naungayan also wrote that it was in the mid-1990s that the land in the subdivision was given to previous employees of Yulo as a reward and because their previous residence was flood-prone.
A CULTURE NESTLED IN ISOLATION?
At Lakeside Nest Subdivision in Barangay Banay-Banay in Cabuyao, Laguna, Boyet Torres noted the following observations: “When we did finally get there we were set aback because it was a huge subdivision, not really exclusive but there were a lot of houses. It was almost a separate barangay because of its enormity.
The place had its own market, own clinic, church and of course nearby elementary schools. As for the respondents, they were accommodating and was relatively happy about their space. Things they like about their community is that it is near the factories where they work, near schools where their children attend, and near other basic necessities such as the market and health services.
It seems like a perfect place to live in. However, personally, if I were asked if I would live there, I would have to decline because I think there is a feeling of isolation in the community with it being far from the center or poblacion: Lakeside Nest creates an enclosed space and with their economic status being below middle class, it would be a huge chunk of change just to ride a fare to malls or to other places in the center.
This, I think, creates a sense of isolation and stagnancy in terms of exploration and maybe even self-development at an individual level. You see the same people every day, do the same things in the same places until you become habitualized and almost live a robotic or mechanized life, which is just sad…sad but it’s reality. Kids will go to the same school, stop schooling after high school, and work in the factories, and after six months, you work for another nearby factory, have a family, and have kids that will go the same school as you did and so on.
This illustrates how the concept of space can confine you and create a habitualized set of norms and activities which becomes incubated and in the end becomes one’s culture or way of life.”
LOLO UWENG SA LANDAYAN, SAN PEDRO
Kung ang Quiapo ay dinadayo ng mga deboto at Katoliko sa Maynila, ang Landayan ay dinadayo naman sa Laguna. Ito ay dahil dito matatagpuan ang Landayan Church na kilala rin bilang shrine ni “Lolo Uweng” at Santo Sepulcro Shrine. Ayon kay Dorothy Eugnibal, si Lolo Uweng ay nakahanap ng isang pirasong kahoy na may imahe ni Jesus Christ; napansin niya na lumalaki ito araw-araw, at simula noon ang kahoy na iyon ay pinaniniwalaan na may kapangyarihan na magpagaling ng sakit at magbigay proteksyon sa lugar mula sa mga kalamidad.
Simula noon, si Lolo Uweng ay naging lokal na patron ng Landayan, at dinadayo ng mga tao tuwing Semana Santa (Agnes Taboclaon and Mielyn Mercan). Kwento ni Mielyn Mercan, sa isang balon malapit ay may nakatabing CR na kung saan “yung mga deboto pumupunta sa barangay nila kapag Holy Week at pinapapabayaan nila maligo ng tubig mula sa balon” na pinaniniwalaan na nakakagaling ng mga sakit.
Bukod pa rito, Landayan ang pangalan ng lugar dahil mula ito sa salitang “lunday”, na tawag nila sa bangka dati. Dahil pangingisda ang trabaho ng mga residente mula noon hanggang ngayon ay nakilala ang lugar bilang lundayan o bangkaan. Ngayon, bukod sa pangingisda ay marami din nagbebenta ng kandila (Taboclaon) o di kaya gumagawa ng kandila at langis na gingamit sa simbahan. Ayon kay Mercan, ang langis ay ginagamit bilang gamot, dahil “may kaputol daw iyon ng damit ni Lolo Uweng” na blessed para mabisa” sa paggaling ng kahit anong karamdaman.
“After Alexandra South subdivision, we got to interview people living outside the subdivisions. These respondents who have lived in the barangay since birth. They pointed out how those subdivisions near them used to be farms which their grandparents tilled and used to make a living. They also said they used to play in those farms when they were young. When I asked how they feel about these places now, they had mixed emotions about it, and they felt sad because they lost their childhood playgrounds, but in a way, happy because subdivisions equate to development of the barangay. (Boyet Torres, 2013).”
It seems like an irony of some sorts. While these residents have been displaced or have experienced a displacement of memory and experience in these spaces, they also feel that there is nothing wrong with the development of such places.
As we’ve covered before in Rizal and Cavite, people note the negative impacts of development, yet they also appreciate changes in their community that are made in the name of “development”: the likelihood of experience of flood due to the development of subdivisions, but these subdivisions are considered markers of progress by some; the displacement of families living on land for commercial/residential developments, but which are offered jobs in construction work or blue-collared jobs in these sites; and the health risks of living near factories but the job opportunities available in these sites of production and capital.
And we hear Alanis Morissette singing in the background, “Isn’t it ironic?”
Madalas, kapag naisip natin ang “subdivision” ay nangangahulugan na isa itong napakagandang lugar na may maayos na pamamalakad at pamumuhay. Ngunit sa isang subdivision sa Platero, Binan, ay iba ang karanasan ng mga residente. Sulat ni Mielyn Mercan tungkol sa kwento ng isang respondent na may hinanakit, “Nakuha silang pabayaaan ng subdivision dahil binili lang daw yung ng mga armeda sa napakababang halaga, tapos nung ipapagawa na, ang laki daw ng tax ng sinisingil kaya di na napaganda ang subdivision…”
Ito ba’y sinasabi nilang napakong pangako ng “living the dream” o “dream house” na madalas minamarket ng mga real estate developers sa Binan at sa ibang parte ng gilid ng Maynila?