Project Address: Payatas Road, Payatas, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Global Village Trip: completed 2016
- 249 units of single-family row housing
- New construction
- 1 loft bedroom in each unit
Five volunteers, led by John Q. Martin, a Morris Habitat construction supervisor, spent two weeks working on phase 1 of Bistekville 5 Quezon City, which is currently an informal slum. One section of shanties was demolished and a new road was installed along with sidewalks and sewers. Then durable and sustainable housing is constructed before continuing to the next phase. The current residents have the option of participating in the Habitat program, as long as they meet minimum requirements, or of receiving a one-time payment and being transferred to a relocation project.
Each new unit is a modest 26 square meters (about 280 square feet) and consists of a kitchen/living room, a bathroom, a laundry area, and a loft for sleeping. Because of constant threats from typhoons, earthquakes, flooding, and landslides, construction consists of fully-grouted and reinforced concrete blocks and corrugated metal roofing supported by steel perlins. Utilities consist of city water and electric and a combination of city sewer and a septic tank.
Working alongside the Habitat partner families, our group of five volunteers dug trenches, poured footings, built walls with concrete blocks and rebar, plastered, installed door jambs, chiseled, mixed concrete and moved lots of dirt and gravel. We also shared our culture and learned local customs and traditions.
We had the opportunity to visit a completed project called Bistekville 1, which contains just over 330 nearly identical units. It was encouraging to see what finished units look like and to hear a heartfelt story from one of the homeowners of how they were inspired to contribute far more hours than the required 450.
View the entire “Global Village Trip – Philippines” photo album on Facebook.
Families: Meet 3 of the 24 families with whom we worked.
At only 26, Emma Z. has become the primary provider for her family. Both of Emma’s siblings and her parents will be living with her once the project is complete. Her brother helped her get through college by working as a garbage collector, and now she is helping her younger sister through college. Emma was working as a school teacher until she found a higher-paying job in the financial management department of the Philippines National Police. Once her sister earns her business degree, Emma hopes to return to teaching.
Rowena H. has a large family of 8 children, 2 grandsons and 2 granddaughters, and yet is only 47 years old. Her four youngest, ranging in age from 9 to 15, are still living at home. The older children have all married and moved out. Those who are able will help pay for the mortgage that all partner families receive as part of the program. Rowena has stayed at home to raise her children while her husband works as a taxi driver. They both are from Manila and have lived on the street the project is located on for the past 22 years.
Louis works a very early first shift and comes to put in his sweat equity at the Habitat work site in the afternoon. By next year, he plans to retire at the age of 60 and collect social security, which is somewhat similar to the system here in the U.S. His son Justin attends college and is studying business administration. He currently has classes Tuesday through Friday, so on Saturdays and Mondays he helps at the site. Justin’s mother takes care of the homestead. His older sister, who is a recent graduate, now works as a teacher.