MALABON – In a place dubbed “The Venice of the Philippines,” water is a fact of life. Heavy rains and bad irrigation and drainage have caused the Artex Compound in Malabon to be practically submerged in floodwater. Whereas Venice is known for the romance of the gondolas and the gondoliers carrying travelers in them, Artex is a place where residents have a hard time moving around, especially older folks.
In Artex, Cora Bascon or “Nanay Cora” relates that she and her fellow residents have gotten used to being surrounded by water in over twenty years. She tries to look for the positives in her plight as she says that at least they don’t have any traffic. However, Nanay Cora and her neighbors also hardly ever get any food delivered their way.
Losing her mother at a young age, Nanay Cora has spent the better part of six decades not celebrating her birthday as she has tried to earn a living. She has lived in Artex for 47 years, and has been there since before the compound was submerged. When KFC and Ogilvy used an amphibious vehicle to deliver a bucket of KFC chicken to Nanay Cora for her birthday, it marked the first time she had a birthday surprise.
KFC even extended the birthday celebration to other senior residents in Artex who had mobility issues as they were suffering from disabilities such as strokes or blindness. The entire Artex community was thus able to have a grand feast in a place that would otherwise not have the means to bring them all together.
Venice may be a world away in Italy, and that kind of romance may not be present in Artex, through the efforts of KFC however, a little of the good vibes and sunshine usually associated with the city was brought to this humble compound in Malabon.