Sunday, December 25, 2011

Tropical Storm "Sendong" and Me

I had my first experience of flood way back in March 1982 at my parents' house in Bayug.  I was then 7 years old.  I don't remember much of the incident.  All I can remember on the day we evacuated was my mother pulling me with her right hand as she was carrying my sister with her left hand trying to go up the dry land. My mother said that inside our house the water was waist high but on the road level it was already above 6 feet.  The flooding happened at dawn.   When the water has subsided in our area, what I can remember is me and the other kids in the neighborhood playing in the water pool created by the flood.  I remember mostly the fun and not the sad feeling of what happened to our house and our things.

For many years after that, typhoons hit the Philippines, but I have just been a viewer of photos and videos shown on TV because our area have not anymore experienced flooding.   Not until past midnight of December 17, 2011.

Twenty nine (29) years later.   Tropical Storm "Sendong" hit Mindanao, Philippines affecting very much Iligan City.  The very first time in my entire life that our city was directly hit by a typhoon.

My sister called me at past 12:00 midnight and told me she is already on the rooftop, shivering.  And I, who just woke up, have the mind to ask her if she has an umbrella since it was raining.  And she said yes, but her whole body is already wet.  (Stupid of me!!)  

Knowing of their situation, I just lie in bed.  Asking Pat what we could do.  But then, there is nothing we can do.  We are at the other side of the city in Celdran Village, Barangay Tubod.  Pat checked our neighborhood if the area was also flooded.  Thank God it was not.  I don't know what I felt at that time.  I felt so useless.  If something happens to my family, I have not done anything to save them.  My mind was full of mixed thoughts, my heart filled with mixed emotions, I didn't even anymore know if I would cry or what.   Suddenly, something told me to relax and pray.  And it was what I immediately did.  Lying down in my bed, Pat with the computer monitoring the situation, I prayed.  For my families safety.   Then I feel asleep.

Woke up at past 6 in the morning with a text from my sister asking for dry clothes, food and hot water.  Her friend is already waiting outside our house to get the clothes they need.  I hurriedly put clothes of Pat and mine inside the bag and gave it to him.  Without any breakfast, Pat and I hurriedly changed clothes and left the house to buy food and bring whatever we can.  It was so frustrating to find no stores yet open selling food.  We drove around the city looking for cooked food. Finally found some.  I then realized that it was practically the entire city that was hit by floods as everywhere you turn, people were trying to clean-up or salvaged whatever they can from the deluge.

We arrived at my parents' house around 9 in the morning.  And the water in the area is still almost knee deep. 
And my parents' house was flooded up to the roof.   But before the water reached the roof they were already on the rooftop thinking they'd be safe.  But the water kept rising.  Good thing their neighbor's house is a two-storey structure.  They leaped from their roof to their neighbor's.  And waited there until daylight.

 At past 9 in the morning.  With Pat's height, the water is almost to the knee.  With my height, it is to up to my knee already.  :-)

 My parents' front lawn.

 I was standing in front of my parents' gate, this is the area below them.  

The six dogs in the house are all dead.

 Living room

 Parents' bedroom

 Sister's (Joan) bedroom.  They were already able to straighten up the double deck bed when we arrived.

Sister's (Gagang) bedroom.


 Kitchen and the refrigerator

 Kitchen.  The only furniture left standing and unmoved is my mother's dream glass dining table, unscratched, which my sister and I gave to her last December 2010

 The wall of my sister's bedroom.

 My mother.  Trying to get things that can still be used. She was happy to have found their kettle near the gate.  She saw it floating the night before, going out of the house...she even commented that there goes our kettle.  They're now using it again since it really didn't want to go. :)

 At the side of the house.  Piled up are our dogs' and the chickens' cages.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rule 4 : Expect Little

What does it mean to Expect Little?

For me, it means lowering your standards of people, of things, of events, etc.  When one expect little,  there is less frustration, less disappointment.   When we expect little, we sometimes get surprises beyond our imagination.

You go to a gathering, and you imagined the activities in your mind before it happens.  You get excited.  But when you get there and the activities started, you find out what you imagined didn't happen.  What you imagined wasn't there.  You get frustrated.  You'd think it was a dull event.  You'd think you wasted your time going there.  And you go home unhappy, unsatisfied.  But when you don't expect or you expect little of what would happen, and yet you witnessed something good you didn't expect.  You'd say you experienced something extraordinary.  You'd be happy.    This happened to me during the Blogfest Soccsksargen 2.0 in General Santos.  As it was my first time to attend the blogfest, I didn't expect extraordinary but the usual presentations of the speakers.  So I was WOWed with what I witnessed during the day.   The fun and the laughter was just really great.  

And expecting little is most specially important in dealing with people.  I know.   I have this guilt with me for so long now.   I tend to judge people.  I tend to expect much from them.  And when I don't get what I expect from them, I get frustrated.  I get angry at them.  I know it's not good.  It's not healthy.  So, for some time now, I have been doing my best to Expect Little from people.  When I expect little, it saves me from the stress of disappointment and frustration.  I become more at peace, more happy.   :-)

However, to Expect Little doesn't mean to be negative or to be pessimistic.   Pessimist or negative people are not happy.  They are always stressed out thinking of the negative things in life.

And to Expect Little doesn't mean also to dream little.   To dream is to hope.  We can expect little but we must dream big and hope for the best.   :-)

- - - - - -
For this blogpost series, I am supposed to tag 5 people so they may also write something about the topic. And learn from them also.   God bless everyone.

Anna Oposa |  ANNAlysis
Eileen Campos |  Possibly Pinay
Aileen Apolo-de Jesus | An Apple A Day
Berniemack Arellano  | Habagat Central 
Arlene Collado |  Joys in Life 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Blogfest Soccsksargen 2.0 - The Funnest

I posted last November 17, 2011 that I am going to GenSan for 4 reasons.   The main reason was, of course, the Blogfest Soccsksargen 2.0.

I have read about Blogfest Soccsksargen in the internet which has the slogan of being the Funnest Eyeball in Southern Mindanao.  I've always wondered what it means. 

So, on November 26, 2011, I've finally found out what it means.  I was so really surprised with how the event was organized.  I expected it to be the usual talks of speakers, raffles, picture taking.  And that's it.  To my surprise, the Blogfest was more than that.  Really hats off to Mr. Avel Manansala and his brother Orman for a really well organized event.

I have so much to tell about the blogfest that I might make this a series post.  First on this post will be one of the reasons the blogfest is the funnest.  :-)

It is already very common these days that organizers would put up a photo wall for the participants to take pictures with.  However,  in Gensan's Blogfest, they had a twist with the photo wall.  The photo wall was still there.  But they added a photo booth.   With the photo booth we get to have 3 shots (equal to 3 photos) to make our poses in front of the camera.  After the 3 shots are taken, the pictures are immediately printed in a collage with the title of the event and the date.  Below are the photos we had with EZCapture Photo booth.  

Our first poses before the program proper started.  Pat is missing.  ;-)

Couldn't get enough of the photo booth, we posed again, twice, during lunch break.  :-) 
This time the group is complete. 

Group pic with Berniemack of

And to complete the day with the photo booth, Pat and I have to pose for souvenir, just the two of us... hehehe.

I want something like this in Iligan.  Hmmm... 

Photos taken from Facebook fanpage of EZCapture Photobooth.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Kayak and Me at Lake Apo, Valencia City

After many years of wanting to ride a kayak, I have finally done it! 

Yes!  It was on November 29, 2011.  When me and some members of the Iligan Bloggers Society, Inc. decided to stop by Lake Apo in Valencia City, Bukidnon for an overnight stay after our trip to General Santos.

I always have imagined the kayak ride to be difficult.  I don't know if I could balance.  I don't know if I could row.  I was imagining the kayak might capsize.

In spite of the fear I have, I gathered all my guts.  The kayak is already in front of me.  Waiting for me to ride it.  I told myself, it's now or never.   Hmm... not really Never, but I'd definitely ride it Now!

Alex and Lai was there to instruct me how to get into the kayak (without capsizing it, hehehe).   At first I was having difficulty maneuvering the kayak.  How to move it to the left or to the right.  How to turn it around.   And stuff like that.  But eventually, after a few tries, I got the hang of it.

Below are some photos of me on the kayak.   :-) 

Photo courtesy of

Photo by my ever supportive husband, Pat :-)

I really had fun riding the kayak.  If only my arms didn't get tired from the rowing, I would have really wanted to do it longer.   But after Pat has already recorded a video of me riding the kayak, I docked the kayak.  And would you believe it?  I was able to dock it effortlessly.  And I was able to get off the kayak easily.  And I was glad, the kayak didn't capsize.   :-)  Below is a video recorded by Pat.   I was already kayaking for about 10 minutes, on the other side of the lake, before Pat was able to record this.  He was busy tinkering with his DSLR camera.   I told him to already take a video of me before I dock as my arms were already starting to ache.  :-)

It definitely, for me, was one of the highlights of the trip.   :-) 

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