Sitio San Roque's Sanctuary

Sleepless from the fire yesterday, Me, my mom, and my girl went to places I have never gone before.

It was 5:00 in the morning, but the sun was already scorching hot outside, we are waiting for the van we rented to take us to the relocation sites that the NHA offers for the dwellers of Sitio San Roque.

There were 10 of us including the driver, who went to the first relocation site, the place was called Towerville at San Jose Delmonte, Bulacan. It was more or less two-and-a-half hours of road trip before reaching the place, the journey was exciting at first, but afterwards, all I felt was this headache, maybe it was because of those curved roads and those roads that goes up and then suddenly goes down, it was like a roller-coaster ride.

Towewrville doesn't live up to its name, the name was so sophisticated that it can make you think that it was a high-rise condominium for the rich.

An old women, called Nanay Aspe, a former nursing aid on our barangay, served as our tour guide there. She have us walk under the sun just to show us around, too bad I didn't bring any umbrella with me.

The place was opposite of what you can think of it, it was a row of small houses, just the size of a normal bedroom, it actually looks terrible. There were already a water and electricity service on the area, and it was the only thing that I think was good there.

I noticed something when I was there, all of the residents there have the same skin complexion, it was actually funny at first, because they all look like relatives, but after staying there even just for a while, my skin felt the heat of the sun, and too much of it possibly caused those residents to develop their dark skin.

After burning our skin there, we decided to return home. We waited in front of a house with a shady tree for the van to pick us up. Nanay Aspe walked back to where the car is to tell the driver where we are, but maybe because of her age, and the heat, she took forever before getting there. We waited for more than half an hour before we were able to finally ride back to the van and head home.

It was almost 11o'clock when we got home. Our next trip is also later that afternoon, the trip was scheduled 2o'clock.

It was 2o'clock, we waited in front of the Philippine Science High School's Gate 1 for the van that will take us to our next destination.

The next site was on Montalban, Rizal. Dwellers on Sitio San Roque called it Mental-ban as a joke for those who volunteered to demolish their houses and relocate there.

I don't know what the exact area was called, it was just named as Phase 1 up to Phase 4. Compare to Towerville, the relocation was a much better on Montalban. On Montalban, houses are much bigger, It only took us less than an hour to travel, the roads are much better, the environment was a lot better, there were Goats! I love goats!

We went to phase 4, it wasn't 100% done, and there were still no residents, but you can clearly see the beauty of the place. Houses here have space provided for a carport, it was awesome compare to to houses on Towerville. After phase 4, we just walked to Phase 3, 2 , and 1.

On Phase 1, a lot of familiar faces greeted us, they are those people who voluntarily demolished their houses and resides there. I asked a lot of them about comparing their lives from Sitio San Roque and their lives now on the relocation site, and they all answered the same thing.

Former Sitio San Roque dwellers find it much better to live on the relocation site on Montalban, Rizal. But one thing is very noticeable on their answers, their first answer on why they liked it in here is always about Sitio San Roque's fire problems, they don't want to be one of those fire victims of an arsonist paid by you know who.

My mom decided to relocate on phase 4, but it would just be temporarily because of the place is lack of job opportunities, and her job is still on Quezon City and so does my dad.

To end it up, It was an awesome day!


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