27 Jan '11, 7am

'Little Italy' rises on Philippine hillside

'Little Italy' rises on Philippine hillside

MABINI, Philippines: On an isolated hillside in the Philippines, a tiny slice of Italy has risen from among the vegetable patches and coconut trees, the product of thousands of overseas workers. Large stone houses - often with brand-new vehicles in their driveways - cover the district, even though the narrow streets can barely accommodate more than one car at a time. This is a sharp contrast to the lifestyle in the 1980s, recalled district chairman Raymundo Magsino, 63. "Back then, we depended on farming: vegetables, fruit and corn. We were the poorest district in the province. These were all just thatch huts," Magsino said, pointing to the pastel-coloured houses that dot the hilly area. This new wealth comes from the remittances of residents - including entire families - who have gone to Italy to work, turning a district of subsistence farmers into a relatively prosperous...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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