When we bought this house in 2008, there were more vacant lots than houses in the gated village. Sam and I would walk around taking photos and some of the best I ever shot were of dragonflies.
That was thirteen years ago. Today, there are very few vacant lots left. In fact, over the past two years, there hasn't been a break in house construction in our neighborhood. And because I haven't gone around much since the first quarantine was imposed, on one of those few occasions that I stepped out (the last time a few nights ago to see Alex learning to ride a bike), I was surprised at the number of new houses.
I still hear birds chirping in the early morning. How many kinds and what they look like, I have no idea. They are too far high up the mango tree in the garden. I still hear the cicadas at night and fruit bats still fly low after the sun has gone down.
But I don't see dragonflies anymore.
And I don't know for how much longer the birds and cicadas (and, yes, even the bats) will stick around. According to a report from a real estate website, the pandemic has spurred online search for residential real properties, and our area seems to be a favorite among Baby Boomers.
Out of all age groups, pageviews from the 65 and up age group demonstrated the highest growth figures. After dealing with a 107.89% decrease in the first quarter of 2020, pageviews from this segment increased in 1Q2020 by 80.32% year-on-year...
Outside Metro Manila, Antipolo was the biggest market for houses – attracting 39.11% of all house seekers.Source: Retirement Housing Market Grows in 1Q2021
More houses. More trees will be cut down. More open green spaces will disappear. If the vegetation grows any thinner, the birds, cicadas and bats will likely move to areas where there are less people and more fruit trees to feed on. And that's too bad, really. I much prefer the sounds they make to the too-loud terrible karaoke singing that Filipinos are so fond of.