A cheerful ceremony was held last October 23, 2018 to celebrate the turn-over of Sorsogon’s first bamboo village in San Lorenzo Bibincahan, Sorsogon City. A total of 50 urban poor families finally have permanent homes in the Don Jose M. Berenguer Sr. Base Bamboo Village where houses were built using the Cement Bamboo Frame Technology.
The AITECH-approved resilient technology utilizes locally grown and processed bamboo as the primary structural component, harnessing its durable, fast growing, and environment-friendly characteristics. The result is housing that is comfortable, affordable, resilient, eco-friendly, and sustainable.
More than the houses
While the village turn-over is a feat in itself for being the first in the city, the houses themselves are not the only cause for celebration. After the initial welcoming remarks, Sorsogon City’s Mayor, Sally Lee, emphasized that the project’s success isn’t fully anchored on the houses being built and given to their respective residents. “The bamboo village is more than just the houses, it is also the relationship among [all of] you here ..this village is now one family, caring, bearing, and sharing with one another.” She later went on to say that building the community well among each other was also the best way the beneficiaries could repay those who provided the houses.
General manager of Base Bahay Foundation Inc, Maricen Jalandoni also followed by saying that the houses were just the first step to a better life. “What base has given you is the house (structure). What happens to the house and the community you now have is your new responsibility.”
Housing is only one of the many basic needs, but Base hopes that being given a stable community and a permanent home can be the first big step that will allow them to focus on other things that will allow them to progress.
The bigger picture
The project turnover is a timely event since the housing situation in Sorsogon is urgent. Sorsogon city is located within the tropical cyclone highway of the country, and is thus regularly visited by at least 2-3 direct typhoons every two years. Those living in disaster-risk areas are especially vulnerable as reports have shown that recent typhoons have worsened as a result of climate change.
The event was attended by Mayor Sally Lee and staff from the City Government of Sorsogon, City Councilor Jamisola, Ms. Marian Berenguer Lintag-Arrastia, Base Bahay General Manager Maricen Jalandoni and staff, and the new residents of the Don Jose M. Berenguer Sr. Base Bamboo Village.