BURSTING AT THE SEAMS
My son was asked to draw a house in his preschool. I expected him to bring home a typical child’s illustration of an A-frame house with a picket fence and a tree. Instead, he brought home a drawing of haphazard buildings and crisscrossing roads packed bumper to bumper with cars. The clouds and sun were relegated to the far regions of the paper margin, and don’t ask about the trees. And I can’t say he was wrong, because it is exactly what he sees.
I liken the current state of Metro Manila (and Metro Cebu, plus a few other developed provinces in our country) to a pincushion bursting at the seams. Skyways and pedestrian walkways are built one on top of the other, Blade Runner-style. High-density condos pop up left and right, with almost 20 families per floor. If condominiums were a luxury a couple of decades ago, now, space is the luxury. The reality of condo living is that the homeowner, regardless of social status, has to contend with the fact that his house is a simple box high above the city streets, and it is all up to the developer to provide his extended living space, which are the amenities. It is also up to the homeowner to make the most out of his simple box, and in spite of the tiny footprint, the ideas are endless—just look at the condo homes in this issue.
In the future, small homes will get even smaller, and we won’t have a choice (save for moving into the south of Manila—a good idea, which is also in this issue). We just have to make the most out of it.
(Right) Kamila Garcia gets in on the action in Miguel Habito’s woodworking shop; (Left) Sunshine Funa admires the plaster molding work in Space Encounters’ newly refurbished store.