CAMDAS SUBDIVISION

The subdivision lies at the foot of Quirino Hill. I would often pass its main road on my way to Middle Quirino Hill to go courting. Through the years, I came to associate the place with people I know. The corner lots at the crossroad of Magsaysay Avenue had been converted into commercial stalls. The left side of the road adjacent to Benguet Lumber along Magsaysay Avenue was a tire shop owned by the old woman Cordoviz who until now still is Barangay Captain at the center of town.

The right side of the road was an apartment unit, which housed offices at the upper level and food stores at the road level. As you go inwards you'll pass the residence of the former Judge Belit (now deceased) and the Afidchaos on the right. There are three roads extending to the left which forms an oval connecting back to the main road. So when you ride the passenger jeepney you will have to advise the driver if you are going to the extensions which they identify as 1st or 2nd road.

The 3rd will be the extension at the upper end, which is the usual route of the jeep. As you ride on the Magsaysay Avenue jeep at the center of town you will see familiar faces. You might ride with the Basquinas family or the Molintas family which for sure will take the 1st route. When you happen to ride with the Demandantes, the Idios or the Andradas the ride will take you on the 2nd road. But if you ride with the Gacutans or dela Cruz or Bangaoets, the jeep will take you straight ahead. With any of these guys, you can save your fare money for the next ride. Of course when the jeep goes straight ahead, it passes the houses of the Fianzas (Popoy, I heard recently became the Traffic Czar in Manila). There was a small sari-sari store right beside the Fianza's residence, which provides a short cut to Lucban Elementary School.

After this store would be the residence of a contractor who made his mark trading on firewood (talaksan) before engaging in the contracting business. I now can't recall his name. The T that is formed at the very end would be the Lardizabals at the center, the Dacumos on his left facing the main road, the Rullas on his right. I never knew who owned the corner lot fronting the Bangaoets until Pons Madarang said it was theirs. Fronting the Rulla's would be the Diriges. The Gonzales of Mountain Highway Express and the Corpuzes who owned flower shops in town also are at this end. These are the families prominent at Camdas Subdivision.

Of course as you go through the 3rd extension it goes down and around towards the river which would take you to the poorer section of the subdivision. Cross the foot bridge and go up the hill and you will be at the boundary of Camdas and Dizon Subdivision. The place was relatively peaceful. At the time when people were becoming frantic because of muggings, I would go down the hill after visiting which will be around the middle of the night and walk through the main road until I reach the junction of Magsaysay Avenue where I take a cab for home. But you can't do this now. As more and more iron houses sprouted like mushrooms at Quirino Hill, the subdivision now becomes threatened. Here you will see the contrast. The subdivision shows a semblance of planning with rows of houses following a carefully planned circulation system.

But as you look upwards, the mountain that was once full of pine stands and which had provided the aesthetic landscape of the subdivisions below had been scalped and left bald. The trees had been replaced by GI sheets, which sprang at literally every inch of space. There are houses where roads were supposed to have been so the road was moved elsewhere. The result is chaotic. I remember a house burned up that hill, the firemen not being able to reach it for lack of a road.

During the monsoon rains, Camdas Subdivision is threatened with rock and or mudslides. The deteriorating peace and order condition has forced residents of the subdivision to fence in their properties. The once friendly neighborhood now has become overly cautious in admitting people to their homes. I guess it is not only in this subdivision but the signs of the times.

P.Q.B. October 7, 1999
matapat@yahoo.com


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