19 October 2010

Sta. Mesa Trainstop Greenery

Lemongrass, coconut, banana, eggplant, sili, and the train station behind.

Sta. Mesa is an interesting place. Dense, much alive, and easily accessible by the spanking-new (well, relatively) PNR train. And when you get off the train station, you see an abundance of greens planted on land that used to be informal housing.

Eggplants fruiting.

The more systematic garden located directly by the station is maintained by the local barangay officials from Barangay 629 (Zone 63) during their spare time. As I missed my train, we walked up to a small bamboo room, which doubled as their local government office. There were people playing cards, and some sitting around in their sandos, one without a shirt. There's no hurrying, and you can sit down without introducing yourself, and fit instantly in their rhythm. They are good people.

The edge of the pond, shaded by an aratiles tree and bordered by tsitsirika (periwinkle).

The garden was started by barangay kagawads and tanods when the informal settlers were removed to make way for the new train system. Usually the willing come by to water the plants and do other tasks. Nothing gets stolen, but residents do come by to ask for vegetables, or many of the medicinal herbs growing. Recently, a tilapia pond had been installed. They occassionally catch some and eat them, but they had admittedly put too many fry in, resulting in small fish. No complaints, though, just learning.

Tilapia pond with religious figures.

View from the station: lots of kamote (sweet potato), kamoteng kahoy (manioc), and lemongrass.

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