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Sarcasm Aside

random thoughts of a self-diagnosed neurotic with the attention span of a five-year old... a blog by Alternati

The View from the Other Side

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

When I was studying, we were taught that a house built on a mountainside is ideal. Such houses had unobstructed views. It has a healthy amount of exposure to sunlight, efficient air circulation and the drainage of storm water was pretty much inherent. Of course there are downsides... erosion, additional structural requirements, vehicle accessibility, etc.

This is the view from our office balcony.

Thanks to the slight fog, the utter ugliness of the sight isn't as evident. The houses on both sides of the strip of wooded area make it seem like the trees are slowly being eaten away. Baguio wasn't designed to accomodate this many people. Daniel Burnham's original design for our city was for a population of 20,000. Now, the population is more than 10 times that.

Hence, the need to build on our wooded mountains. I guess it was in a way inevitable. I'm not against real estate and construction, I do it for a living. But at the risk of sounding preachy, I wish we built based on quality, not quantity.

What I'd give...

Building on mountains is an international phenomena perfected in Europe. Take the villages in Santorini, Greece.

... or the village of Positano (Italy) along the Amalfi Coast...

... or the villages in Heidelberg, Germany.

The houses blend with the landscape or at least blend with each other. There is a coherence and unity in their design or at least with the color of the walls or the material they use for roofing. What I'm trying to say is that if we are gonna build on our mountains, We must build them beautiful! (Beautiful enough to be worthwhile replacements of the magnificent trees that once occupied that mountainside)

Enough of this unpainted sheet metal business. Or this "my wall color is more stunning" than yours mentality. Unity is especially required from the households with houses on mountainsides... If for anything else, because we can see you.

At night

The blanket of darkness at night makes these house clad mountains beautiful. No matter how many times I see it when I come back here from a trip to the lowlands. The "stars on the mountains" never ceases to take my breath away.

And then the light comes... and the view is ruined.

Photo Credits:
Santorini Village
Positano Village

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posted by Alternati, 6:01 PM

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My Stay at Potter's Bed and Breakfast
Multi-Million Dollar Babies
In a Fishbowl
TAG! I'm it!
Baguio Day
Taxi Driver
Fishy Fingerprints and a Broken Cat
Pinatubo, Pulag and Apo

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