ONE OF THE PROBLEMS that the Ilocos will face in the future is its penchant for citification.

Citification, of course, is the shedding off of a town's skin, like a venomous snake molting its old one, and leaving the soft tissues as either a reference for good luck to the one who will see it and put it in his wallet (or a least a part of it) and keeping it there for years.

Or that other meaning: the snake is more venomous when it is molting and so never tempt it.

Even today, folks tell of venomous snakes, their being part of everyday life, of snakes having two heads like the 'palapal,' of snakes having the ability to fly, and of snakes crowing like roosters.

Now, here are the signs, like some kind of a Da Vinci Code.

Attendant to this citification is the change in the town's dwelling habits, the assault of prefabricated homes, and the last, the invasion of malls.

Pop culture experts have a term for this invasion of malls: 'mallification.'

And the habit that goes with it: 'malling.'

Robinsons Mall has invades the southern portion of the Padsan shore, closer to the farming villages of that former barrio of Laoag, the San Nicolas de Pedro.

And now the news--from the spin doctors of the capitalists of our malling lives--of another expansion.

So we will see these box-like and ugly buildings, and the Ilocos will soon be turned into ugly Metro Manila with its claims to these malls everywhere you now go.

These malls have multiplied like sari-sari stores.

So here is the inauguration of our welcome to 'development' that means the building up of cement on places that could have been used to provide--and to ensure--food security to the Ilocos Makinamianan.

PHL/14 Feb 2014

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