Memoirs of a Navy Brat






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Living in Quonset Hut Homes  




It was only as I was writing my memoirs that I had come to realize that the living quarters we occupied at the Cavite Naval Base and at Plaza Militar were all modified quonset huts, handed over by the US Navy as they vacated the premises.

Ordinarily, quonset huts would be erected with it's flooring resting on the ground, but the quarters we lived in were all elevated about 3 feet from the ground since the structures were supported by metal beams and concrete piles or columns underneath its floors. Also, the semi-circular roof did not curve down to form its wall. Instead, we had wooden walls, the upper part of which were wide open windows covered only with screens. These open windows would surround the whole house and are equipped with a roll-down canvas for protection against rain. I don't remember too much the layout of our first quarters at the base and the only thing I could recall with that one at Plaza Militar was that it had entry/exit stairs at the front and rear of the house. However, I can still vividly remember the layout of the last quonset hut home we occupied. It was L-shaped because of an extension for a master's bedroom at rear left side of the house. It has 3 other rooms, a big playroom, a servant's room beside the kitchen, and three toilet/bathrooms. A corridor from the sala and dining room leads to the bedrooms and the entry/exit stair at the left end of the house where the garage was situated. There were two other stairs, the main one leading to the sala at the right end, and another one at the back where the kitchen was. A roofed space right behind the kitchen served as the laundry area.

To cover the empty space beneath the house from view and to beautify the front lawn, my Dad made 2-tiered plant stands for the entire length of the house on which my Mom placed her pots of different flowering plants like the roses and bougainvillea of assorted colors. I miss that bamboo hut with nipa roofing underneath a tree that we had at the left side of the lawn, where I used to study my lessons and took my siestas because of the cool breeze passing through it.

Our quarters, from now on, would refer to this last quonset hut we occupied inside the Cavite Naval Base. It was the first of several quonset hut homes for officers and their families lining the seawall off Bacoor bay. It was about 5 meters from the seawall just like the rest, and situated just beside the base's Public Works Office, and directly behind the Shore Patrol building at the base's main entrance.

[The Legacy Of The Pontoon Barges]



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