Density Is Such A Not-So-Lonely Word

 

Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio.

– Thomas Malthus

Most of us always have that love-hate relationship with Metro Manila. Inasmuch as we hate the perennial traffic, flooding, and congestion, if you happen to live in the Metro, chances are, you’ll miss them all. Metro Manila is becoming denser as years progress. As a matter of fact, it is 62 times denser than the national average (PSA, 2012). Yeah as if it’s still a surprise to anyone. In 2015, 12.8 million strong sharing the same air, land, road, water table, and that’s exclusive of the tourists, visitors, and transients visiting the big Metro. Metro Manila is almost the size of Chad, an African country. It is double the size of Denmark. While 12.8 million people is quite a story, congestion of people in the Metro is another interesting plot to see.

So, the question is where do our fellows settle most at? We’re quite sure that they don’t live on the river but along the rivers. You can go to Quiapo or Tondo and feel the dizzy sweat of your instant pals inside your personal bubble. Or sleep through the calm charm of large open spaces in UP Diliman and Katipunan. There is black, white, and a wide spectrum of gray when we speak of density of Metro Manila. I therefore thought of possibly visualizing the 2015 population of Metro Manila based on PSA (Philippine Statistics Authority) but put it with a twist.

Not A Rocket Science

Hey this is not some sort of rocket science, physics, or some study of entropy. This is basically plain visualization of population. The most realistic method is to illustrate the population through dots in the map. But sure, the map will basically be a plain-filled color because 12.8 million dots will fill the map. So I represented each green dot = 100 people in every barangay.

Is that it? Not so fast. Each dot will randomly fill the barangay space, that is, if barangays have no waterways, restricted spaces, etc. But that’s not the case. So, I tapped all known large open spaces and waterways that would be impossible for people to settle at and restricted the random dot to be placed there. I think that’s quite logical enough. I would have wanted to do the opposite on the existing roads; that is, gather the random dots to nearest highways, roads, alleys, and waterways, but I think that would require me more time since we are talking more than 5,000 kilometers of road, barangay and subdivision roads not counted yet. That’s quite a lot. So I think I’m ready. Here’s the result:

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An illustration of population growth in Metro Manila for every decade from 1990 to 2010, and 2015.

So, did you find your community? I found mine, quite true. Check yours.

A GIF Says A Thousand Words

Perhaps a moment of glance on the gif would tell us something:

  1. City of Manila is indeed the densest extending to Caloocan City (South) – with its historical role in the development of the country, it is no surprise that Manila continues to be among the densest in the country. Historical landmarks, universities, diverse services, commerce & trade, hawker shops, tiangges, transportation hub, and squatters are among the push factors in this city.
  2. Barangays along Pasig river have the densest population – does Mesopotamia ring a bell? Ting!! But this is another kind. People in Mesopotamia directly benefit from the Tigris and Euphrates. Here in Pasig River, I am not sure. We do not want to eat or drink something that came directly from Pasig River. Perhaps because the setbacks and communities along the river were among the neglected spaces by the local government thus easily occupied by informal settlers and communities.
  3. Decade 2000s marked the steady growth of south and north Manila – When the city of Manila started to deteriorate in 1970’s to 1980’s, then incoming Generation X’ers (babies of baby boomers who loved the imperial Manila) learned that city of Manila is no longer the pearl of Philippines. They started moving out to suburbs – thus BF Homes, Ayala Alabang, Moonwalk, Merville in the south, Corinthian Gardens, San Juan Greenhills and Loyola Grand Villas in the north were among the pioneer communities wherein considered fringes during 1990s. Moving forward, the fringes extended up to the borders of Metro Manila – North Caloocan extending to Bulacan in the north, and Muntinlupa extending to Cavite in the south. You will also observe the sudden increase in Batasan area in QC; perhaps that was during Erap and GMA’s relocation programs to Montalban (Rodriguez) thus directly covering the Batasan transportation belt.
  4. We seriously lack open spaces – large open spaces which serve as breathing lungs of Metro Manila are Rizal Park in Manila, Quezon Memorial Park (which is gradually becoming built up), UP Diliman campus, Ateneo de Manila campus in Quezon City, Ayala Triangle in Makati, and the Lamesa Dam Reservoir within the boundaries of Quezon City, Caloocan, and Rodriguez Rizal. More than these large breathing spaces, we need pocket open spaces that will serve population in every accessible way.

What’s Next?

I was not able to include Marilao & San Jose del Monte in Bulacan, Rodriguez & Antipolo in Rizal, Imus & Bacoor in Cavite, and San Pedro & Santa Rosa in Laguna on the map but they’re actually the next population giants.

Whether Metro Manila subway is on its way to Philippine infra scene, or Marcoses are on their grand return come next election, or BPO is still alive in the next 10 years, population is bound to grow, though there’s a diminishing marginal rate, we still tend to enjoy the country’s young population until the next 25 years. If current planned infrastructure will continue, I think, Metro Manila will start regressing population growth due to its continuous urbanization while fringes will continue to grow. That is, I’m speaking of decades of population changes, and I think that’s not gonna happen in the nearest future.

References:

Philippine Statistics Authority. (2016, May 31). Population of the National Capital Region. Retrieved April 2017, from Philippine Statistics Authority: https://psa.gov.ph/content/population-national-capital-region-based-2015-census-population-0

Philippine Statistics Authority. (2012, April 4). The 2010 Census of Population and Housing Reveals the Philippine Population at 92.34 Million. Retrieved April 2017, from Philippine Statistics Authority: https://psa.gov.ph/content/2010-census-population-and-housing-reveals-philippine-population-9234-million

 

A Toss Coin Between The Church and The State

Then Jesus said to them;

“Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” And they were amazed at him. – Mark 12:17 (NIV)

When Jesus was gaining the trust of the Jews while also drawing the ire of the Pharisees, this question that would have salvaged the Pharisees’ sinking appeal to their subordinates brought them otherwise. Wise and articulate enough, this passage did not only sidetrap Jesus’ situation but it had also drawn a lot of inspiration to statesmen and officials alike.

One common interpretation is the complete submission of man to God as humans are the product of God’s love since inception – all before material things, material things that is due to the State’s role. Just as Pope Pius XI said in his encyclical letter Divini redemptoris 
“The human person ought to be put in the first rank of earthly realities”,
this, of course, includes Caesar’s government, or any State or government.
However, this also puts into perspective the role of the government and its relationship to its people in paying taxes. These taxes are due to the government to provide what is best for the common good – all who pay taxes. This tax ideally neutralizes man’s norm in the State as a human being coexisting to fellow human being driven in one common goal. As MacLellan once said:
“The individual comes before the State.. the only purpose of Government is to guarantee individual freedoms”.
Thus, this premise may shed light when role of personal choice and role on the State haze the thin line. Give what is due to our God, our faith and our institution Church, while not neglecting the freedom inherent to every single person in the State.

Kasiyahan sa Kalanggaman

We took the plane, rode a car, and weathered the seawaves just to reach this majestic small island right in the middle of Cebu and Leyte.

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A small island 129 kilometers off the coast of Palompon, Leyte. This island will surely take all your stress and problems from the city. The murmuring winds of the easterlies and the soothing sound of waves will relax your mind while enjoying the calm atmosphere of nature. I said ‘calm’ because one thing that got me hooked me here the most is its limited accommodation to people. So you’ll enjoy you’re vacation worry-free from noise of people.

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We took the plane from Manila to Tacloban City which is around 600 kilometers. The travel took us only about an hour and a half. We went aboard at dawn and we enjoyed the sunrise view from the plane.

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Amidst the sea of cloud is the rising sun showering me its ray of lights. It was indeed morning, sunrise and I must not miss it.

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That’s our plane. It’s among the cheapest yet provides good deal of flight in the travel market. I am not their paid advertiser btw (as if I have enough readers to generate traffic mehe).

From the Romualdez Airport, we should be going to Palompon, Leyte to ride a motorboat to get to Kalanggaman. Since it’s a 129-kilometer ride, we have to take a common transportation going to Palompon which is usually bus or van. We prefer the latter. Its terminal is in Tigbao. That’s about 20-minute travel from the airport. We took a cab going to Tigbao, made friends with manong taxi driver and heard stories about Yolanda, his family, his plans in life, his political views, his outstanding loans, and we had that conversation in about 20 minutes.

We alighted at Tigbao, took our hearty breakfast while planning for our trip. Damn I forgot to capture the piece of scratch paper which we used for our itinerary planning! Nonetheless, we almost followed our itinerary. We took the van and braced ourselves for another two- or three- or four-hour ride to Palompon. We laughed inside the van, told each other’s stories, shared other people’s secrets, rumor-mongered whatever topic we thought funny and punny.

Four hours of talk, sleep, and fun and we finally reached Palompon. It’s almost lunchtime but we could imagine eating our lunch at the picturesque lone island so we decided delay it a bit and buy stuff instead for our stay in the island.

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The Palompon site gives a perfect view of sky, sea and the mountains. Rent of the regular boat costs P3,000.00 so we waited for groups to at least compensate for the remaining seats.

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We were able to buy some stuff for our stay and wait for groups to complete the seat. One hour had passed and off we went.

Our mission:
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And our action:

There’s the island, the waves, and the sea. It was around  16 kilometers off the coast and were were running at 10-12km/hr at its peak and 5-10km/hr at the slowest. So you do the math. 3..2..1.. Time’s up. Two hours and twenty minutes. That’s how long we traveled over the sea.

One noteworthy before I share our island experience, I like the locales’ involvement in this tourist spot. They really know what they’re doing. They gave us an orientation on the proper actions within the island – no littering, spots safe to swim, spots where there’s fish sanctuary so it’s a no-no place for us.

Finally, we’re here! The island’s so cool! There is a space in the middle covered with coconut trees. There are ready monobloc tables and chairs, cottage huts, and even lawn area for tents..

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The sands are white and granular, the water is so clear, it’s as if the clouds are talking to you while you’re sunk into the sea..

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It’s as if the waves are inviting you into their world..

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Or the sands are encouraging you to play with it around while being scorched by the tropical sun..

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When you know suddenly you are not alone and the seniors are there watching over you..

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and when one capture of a sandbar is not enough, you abuse your camera with it.

That’s me!

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and when the day is old (corny!) and the night is young, it’s is full of shorrre..

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and you feel your squad shall have the mandatory TV series-ish poses..

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and the moon starts to appear while you’re by the seashore, that freakin’ orgasmic sandbar as the island’s last frontier..

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The day ended with so much food, fun, and waves. I never got the chance to capture it because, as I said, we had so much fun.

The day after, we visited another amazing place in Leyte. I’ll post my story here next time.

Planning to visit? Here’s the breakdown of our cost:

Manila-Tacloban-Manila Flight – P3,000.000
Cab from airport to Tigbao – P100.00
Van from Tigbao to Palompon – P100.00
Palompon boat to Kalanggaman island – P3,000/boat – P300/pax
Envi fee – P150.00 (Actually I forgot, I’m not sure with the price sorry)
Tent rent – P300.00
Food, food, food – approx. P500.00

add and divide them all – that’s around P4,000.00 including flight! That amount is equal to a memorable experience in the lone paradise of Kalanggaman!

So yeah. Visit the island now!

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My favorite shot during our visit