Good Fences Make Good Neighbors


We are surrounded. IN front of our house is another house with which we share a wall. To our right is a resto with which we share a wall. To our left is another house with which we share a wall. Behind us is the barangay hall with which we share a wall. Yes, we are a poor relation.

After the winds and rain of Glenda halted, the resto was very quick to act, clearing its grounds and effectively removing the branches that leaned to our side. They had not detached from the tree.

The driver of our neighbor in front was cleaning their roof, saw the leaves on ours and offered to clear up some of them.

Meanwhile, the source of all the leaves, twigs, branches is the house to our left. The majordoma there said to just sweep all debris to their front and they’d take care of it.

Thus “inspired”, I called the barangay which hadn’t moved an inch, nay, a centimeter to address the problem it created on our property: debris galore, bent and broken barbed wire which we had had installed years back after a drunken man they were incarcerating, in his effort to flee, jumped to our roof, then to our neighbors’ before he was caught, or was he?

At the barangay, a lady took my call. She said they were attending to several matters and hadn’t seen the narra tree etc. She then said in the vernacular that if she saw the ECO head, she’d tell him about the problem. That bugged me: “If I see him”. SO I challenged, “If you don’t see him for two weeks, you won’t tell him?” She said the eco man came every day. I said, “Be proactive, look for him.” Oh, before that, she offered to get the one in charge to speak to me as my voice was angry – tearful angry, angry angry. But then she came back to the phone and said he wasn’t around, so if she would see him then she’d tell him.

I was indignant and asked if I had to write the barangay captain. She said at first, no need. Then I said we had pictures. She said to send them over. So we’ll have to spend on printing the pictures?

At the very least, I think it is the barangay’s responsibility to clear the debris they inflicted on us, although I think it is their responsibility as well to fix the damaged barbed wire et al.

Wait – I sent a handwritten note to the Barangay Captain. Luckily for me, HHB is not shy and she immediately agreed to bring it. She gave it to the Barangay Captain who promptly instructed two women to do an ocular from their side. Our Barangay Captain, if anything, has never ignored my letters to him and hopefully, something materializes from this latest one.

*******

On a related note, a FB friend’s old acacia tree was uprooted, destroying their front wall, a portion of their roof, etc. And what his son wrote impressed me: “Actually better that it fell on our territory than into the street (nowhere as wide as AAV streets, and all would have suffered the loss of power, cable tv, phone and internet lines), or on any of the other houses.” Obviously, the son knows what a good neighbor is, should do, etc. .

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