Once upon a time, say 1974, RER Drive Subdivision was one integral and indivisible development on the western side of the meandering Cagayan River.
Though once a contiguous piece of land in its over 38 hectares size, it was however splintered on the northern side by the then newly-minted Cagayan-Iligan highway that was bannered by the also spanking-new bridge to the east, the second to span the river after many, many years.
Fast forward to the current century and a myriad of changes has visited not only this area but in the entire city proper and beyond.
RER Drive Subdivision is now composed of two phases. The bigger southern portion being Phase 1, and the smaller one being Phase 2.
And unlike the biblical narrative of prodigality, the ending to this story is quite different. Overall, Phase 2 appears to be doing quite well. A very appealing guardhouse greets visitors and residents alike, very easy on the eyes but looking sufficiently secured. Streets are clean and not too many parked vehicles on the curbs. Street signs are well maintained and visibly located. The park bordered on one side of the main/gateway street does not look too shabby. And finally, houses are well painted and maintained, with attractive fences.
My Sunday jog routine this morning took me out of RER Drive Phase 1 to the gate of Phase 2, and it was so devised for one self-serving reason.
That gateway-main street has obvious personal importance to me, simply because it was named after my late father, the several street signs in intersections confirm that so. And I therefore wanted to learn of the condition of those street signs, since during my last visit several years back, I had witnessed them in a bad state of disrepair.
A little side story about this, a little anecdote that personally involved me. In 1975, the subdivision was then one, and there were still no street signs but only block numbers to identify each location. A few years later, one late afternoon home after a hectic day in my job with the bank, I was tooling around our place which still had a lot of work to be done, when I heard a rather unique engine sound nearing our location and stopping in front of us. Unique, BTW, because we were not used to listening to big engine sounds coming from big American muscle cars since only a very few number of families had them.
It was the subdivision owner. Driving his big and shiny American car. Smartly dressed and walking with stiff dignity and confidence. And he was my uncle. He had stopped in the middle of the street directly in front of our driveway, holding what looked like a roll of the subdivision plan. He had spread the whole piece on top of his hood and beckoned to me whom he had seen moving toward him.
By then his first cousins, my father and his younger brother, Graciano, both still young at 57 and 52, had passed on. In a strange way then, their early passing assured their enduring memory in posterity, granted it is just in street names. But that was how it was. And just as quickly, my uncle had gone to attend to his myriad of concerns
So back to my morning visit. Armed with my GoPro Hero camera, took shots of the gate and main street all the way to the end. And the images are attached herewith.
Street signs, all artfully lettered and well-scrubbed, and standing tall in corners, ever ready to lead motorists and pedestrians to their exact destinations.
All’s well that ends well.