Monday, 21 February 2011

Disaster... isn't impersonal.

This is old news now, but is not over for me. 

Number of flood victims breaches 2-M mark - GMANews - 01/31/2011 | 09:53 AM

this is the street we live on
It is surprise to me since i have online b/f now who is from some other place. I am surprised how little people know or care about what happens here in our province Misamis Oriental. Or even our country. That is true I think when we read about distant places and disasters and trouble there. The world is so big. So, I sent him pictures of our house and neighborhood after last flood last week.

Llara on front steps
Our village wasn't spared and many houses were flooded.

We do not have so many things and this is not our first flood. Roof of kitchen fell in, but I do not have picture of that.

...begining clean up..
some things spared

So, now b/f knows that distant natural disaster is not an impersonal thing. It can be very personal. Even from great distance.

Some people are very cynic and think maybe this is everyday event here in Cagayan de Oro, but it is not.  We have usually pretty happy life. But sometimes disaster strikes.

Friday, 18 February 2011

The disaster experience as it happens...

One night my friend Karen invited me to a party for her daughter's birthday. When I left home we were already having heavy rain.  My other friends and I, we always have fun there with Karen when we visit and this was a good night. After the birthday celebration I went home.

When I arrive there I was scared when I saw how much flooding there was!  I was instantly worried about my children in the house, so I ran through the high water to get to them. Thank God my kids were safe.  They were waiting for me. The heavy wind made me more nervous, so I held my 2 kids tight.  I saw the leaves of the trees, coconut bows and the roof of my kitchen damaged. Not only mine but there is damaged to my neighbor's too.

My friend said that she will take me a pictures of floods so that I can ask help to my b/f  to repair the damage of my roof... and (thank you) he did.

This flooding does not only happen once but  many times here at our place. Last time the water was very high and we couldn't sleep because the water was right there inside our sleeping room. We were hanging up our things to keep them out of the water.

This floods are not like before, but are more dangerous. Very dangerous.  Much more than the floods years ago. Sometimes I am frightened and tremble.  At the height of the storm I thought it was the end of the world...

Here are some pictures of flooding in our district

There are articles about the flooding on the internet - one here about schools. But, I am surprise how little. They think is common problem and not news maybe.

More about people who needed to be rescued.  Somehow none of these stories capture the fear in the flood, with the water rising and children with you.

Thursday, 17 February 2011


Today I am a little tired from work. Work was same as usual.  When we chat b/f asked me about food in Philippines, so I tell him our breakfast in this morning is "pinakbit",  a vegetable dish with a small amount of meat and lunch was a vegetables again with soup, chopsuey with rice and juice.  Dinner today is dried fish and vinegar, with rice.
pinakbet.. from restaurant

Pinkabit is eggplant, sayote, squash, okra, string beans,and pork meat. This is an internet recipe - although very fancy - I am not sure this recipe would make pinkabit that Llanna and Panni would recognize.
Boyfriend asks what is in soup. I tell him pechay, sayote, carrots, pork meat, tomato. Broth is from the pork ribs.

I have to budget the money for the next day salary is paid. When b/f sent me gift we celebrated. I stocked up on foods and bought the girls some ice cream, cake, good things or fun things that we normally don't have, after I did the priorities he wanted. School, dentist, flood repair, then extra for treat food.  Llana and Pammi and I sometimes have ice cream sandwich for treat. 

For special occasion we will roast a chicken.  I think one of my favorite food is lechon manoc, but on my salary we normally can not afford it.

More typical, we would eat eggs, fried eggs for breakfast and rice. Something like sardines or dried fish and rice for dinner.  Eggs are cheap only 6php ($0.15) each.  Because we are in the town we can buy them and our diet has a lot of fish because we are near the sea and we can buy for little amounts.  If I don't have enough money I will owe here at my neighbor's store and pay it on my salary day. Dried fish and sardines are the cheap food here but they make shiny healthy skin.

When I met b/f , I am sad to say, I was embarrassed and asked him for help because of the poverty here. My salary just is not enough for our needs. Especially school fees.  I had to pay for Pammi's exam fee and felt I had no choice but to ask.

Oh yes, I went to the dentist in this morning for the result of my fitting if my dentures, and have to back tomorrow again because I feel they hurt face. Dentist needs to adjust.

My b/f told me there are about 350 bloggers from Cagayan de Oro, the city near here, but only one priest has serious blog. All the others are happy times and love stories. Many blank. Students start blog then have nothing to say.  None are about what life is really like on day to day.  Some people are better off, but many are not. Blogs do not say this.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Life in islands...

People don't know what life is like in islands in the south of the Philippines. So, I write this blog to see if any one is interested in me, in my life and what lives of people here are really like.

Yesterday morning Monday I woke up around 5:30am to get ready to cook breakfast for my two lovely daughters.  Pammi is 14, she will start high school next year. Llara is 9. They are pretty girls. We live together here in a place I rent for around us$25 (php1,000) each month. Kitchen is outside, so I do not wake them while making breakfast. 

After my early morning routine, and girls off to school I opened my Yahoo messenger and I got an offline message from the man who really helped me. In his message he said that I need to check the balance of my bank account at an ATM machine. So after reading it I hurried to Suzzete's home and I asked her to come with me in the town.  I needed her to teach me how to inquire if my love's funds have arrived. It's my first experience with an ATM. Then while both Suze and I are in the ATM booth I checked my balance. WOWW!!  I was so happy I was really shouting for joy! Suze told me I was really lucky to find and meet someone who would  help like that. Thank you!

I work at a pineapple canning factory. The hours are usually 1:00pm-9:00pm - if there is enough fruit ready for us to work. Lucky - I get to choose my hours so I can look after my two children.  Pay is around us$100 (php4,000) each month. That is usually enough. My landlady has moved to the city and again I am lucky. She lets me live in her house and use her computer for a little extra.

Last night, I get online after my work.  I told my b/f  that I really believed him that he would help, and I told him "THANK YOU!!".   As we talked he always ask me if I ever get bored with an old man but I insist for me he is the best man for me. When I saw him on cam it makes my heart skip a beat. We had a long talk and we ended up talking around 5:00am my time.

Tuesday morning I went to town to withdraw some money.  I really did what I promised him - to prioritize with his gift. First, I paid my daughters school fees, and then went to the dentist to fix my teeth. I have had no dentures since I had couldn't afford dentist in October last year. Then, we had a flood last week. Many died and a lot of damage, but the water only came to my knees in the apartment, so I used some of the gift to fix the flood damage. If he were close, he would be pleased with what I did with his gift. 

Mid afternoon I'm so excited - it is my love's birthday, I excuse from work - I worked only 4 hours and went home with a cake for my love and celebrate his birthday with my kids and relatives. He tells me to be my age 41, not act 14 and be silly... but I fell in love with him and I'm sure of it...

Tonight as I am writing this my mind and heart to my very special man.

For today...I love you...