This is Villa San Jose, a housing project of the Archdiocese of Lipa, initiated during the incumbency of the late Archbishop Mariano G. Gaviola during the late 80s. It was named after the patron saint of the local church, St. Joseph. Blessed by the late Jaime Cardinal Sin during his feastday, March 19, 1989, the original Villa San Jose Housing, has 143 houses. It was opened in four batches from 1989 to 1994.
Each parish, local communities and individuals were asked to donate an equivalent amount of the cost of a house. There were also foreign sponsors, mainly from Germany, United States, Canada, Australia and other countries. In most of the houses, the name of the sponsors (parish/communities/individuals) is still displayed by the beneficiaries.
When Archbishop Ramon Arguelles came in -- after Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales -- he got the CFC-Gawad Kalinga to put up housing projects adjacent to the original VSJ. There are presently five GK-housing clusters -- Modesto 1 , Modesto 2, Texas, Kabihasnan at San Lorenzo. They helped build their houses unlike in the original VSJ, and regularly attend the CFC sponsored formation during evenings.
This is one of the assignments I am involved now. I am tasked to build this is ONE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY. I officiate at the Sunday Mass and I hold regular meetings with the different homeowners association. This is not an easy task, given the propensity of Filipino poor families to be very parochial as many of them are uneducated. They cannot grasp the idea of "unity in diversity" too readily and easily. Some original settlers, especially those who find it rather heavy to pay their monthly dues (so they could own the house), are envious of the GK-beneficiaries, who do not pay. They cannot grasp the difference: VSJ residents can own their homes once payment is full (there is a 25-years-to-pay scheme) while the GK residents have to move out if they are already financially-capable of owning their own house!
These little communities are in the Archdiocesan-owned land, also known as "Ranch Property". The Archbishop has named me as the Ranch Property Administrator. Please pray for me to be more patient, more understanding, more caring and more self-giving to these "blessed" of the Father.