One may probably think that in subdivisions, life is satisfactorily comfortable due to the amenities enjoyed by the homeowners there, more so that the residents are expectedly well off compared to squatters living in illegal settlements.

Since subdivision blueprints require approval prior to actual construction, comfortable living is indeed ensured. Parts of this could be proper arrangements of housing units, spacious roads, excellent drainage systems, good power and water supplies, safety from both man-made and natural calamities, and many more. In fact, in the case of some subdivisions, the entrance alone is already suggestive of elegance, adorned with ornamental plants and impressive landscape, hence truly inviting to newcomers.

All these are the opposites of what can be seen in a certain subdivision here, in Tacloban City. Named St. Anthony Subdivision, this housing village has perhaps the worst road entrance/exit in the entire region or country among subdivision categories. It is located in Brgy. 87, Manlurip-San Jose, an ironically booming place for business and industry.

Two small roads branch out from the highway leading to this subdivision, separated by about 50-meter distance. One is a shortcut to the village; the other one snakes across residential units. They are too small they cannot accommodate two cars that encounter along the way. One car must have its one side out of the road and let the other one pass first so they can successfully push through in their opposite directions.

Aside from being narrow, these roads now are badly damaged. In fact, the short-cut one is not concreted; it’s just a dirt road, hence slippery during rainy days. The big rocks protruding from the surface are causing people a bumpy ride to and from the subdivision. The other one used to be a cemented road, but due to some reasons, it is now pulverized into huge and tiny cracks causing an equally rough ride.

Worse, these tiny roads are deeply submerged in flood water even after just a limited dose of rain. They are both prone to flooding, making it difficult for people to walk along them. Flooded, rough, narrow, and unpredictably risky, these roads are driving pedicab drivers away. They don’t want to get inside the subdivision anymore for fear that their tires might be deformed especially when the passenger’s luggage is heavy. If they must get inside, they charge the passengers so highly, making the transportation there very expensive.

One may wonder: why is the city government not addressing this problem there? Is it because the people there are identified with other politicians? Is it because the village is not vote-rich? Is it to punish someone there due to an old offense? Or is it due to sheer neglect and irresponsibility on the part of the city, knowing that this place is very much part and parcel of the city of Tacloban. What a shame to visitors from other places that in a highly-urbanized city, there are still Jurassic roads such as these.