Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Photo Essay: Cagayan de Oro From Atop

Above the irritating din of both human and vehicular traffic, and the dank air at ground level cooked by a blistering sun, one can view a familiar city differently. Where the relative ages of building structures are clearly brought out by rusted GI sheets, and also their liberal use of timber materials as compared with the more modern use of concrete, steel structures, and more storeys.


  1. No offense buddy, but "ramshackle" comes to mind. No surprise there though, right?

    I just spent a week in Phoenix. After living here these past 6 years, going back home always causes great amazement. Some good, some bad, but certainly "here and there" are like two completely different universes.

  2. Right you are, Phil.

    But I might have preferred the "old" look, less steel and concrete. The converted concrete jungle is generating more heat.

    Descending from my aerie from 4 floors up, one could sense that one is getting closer to the fire, one step at a time.

    But atop, quite airy, no mosquitoes, and more muffled city sounds.

    Have any plans to visit southward?

  3. I wonder if before the era of reinforced cement block if most Phil architecture didn't consist of the charming sort seen up in Vegan. I love that old style carpentry. Wood is no longer used much anymore now, except by squatters building their shacks, and even most of them are using blocks now.

    No plans to go south. Someday though.

  4. Phil,

    Yes, before all this houses were made of timber even those used commercially. Thus, in this city you see traces of the old literally being swallowed up by the concrete annexes and additions done to accommodate the new uses. You go upward and you see where the old structures used to be before the "face-lifting".

    One of the primary reasons wood is not beng used anymore is because it has become a very scarce, and thus expensive, commodity. Over-logging has denuded most timber-stands.

    Philippine mahogany, or lauan, the most common then, is all but gone. And so are most of he hardwood varieties.

    Conservation in the use of timber could also be a global trend. I saw somewhere where China, I believe, has started using bamboos as scaffolding or form lumber in its many highrise construction, which was how it was when I was growing up. Because bamboo is not only strong enough but easily renewable.

  5. All true, except that the Chinese, especially those in Hong Kong who have been building high rises for decades, have used bamboo for scaffolding all along. Its not something they just started doing.


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