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Archive for January, 2020


Today, the four of us Josef, Jovy, Mom and I attended the christening of my nephew’s baby. It was a simple but a lovely celebration. Ton’s wife will be leaving for UK this coming Thursday and Ton and Emman will follow in a few months. It’s nice seeing family members again.

This afternoon, Josef tried to sweep the ashes on our rooftop but he isn’t done yet. It’s too big a task for one.  If we won’t remove it, it will harden when it rains and becomes lahar. It might destroy our gutter and downspouts.

I am trying to finish a book called Godpretty In The Tobacco Field by Kim Michele Richardson, a new author on my list. It’s a coming of age story that takes place in a fictional rural Appalachian town called Nameless, Kentucky. It’s a home of tobacco farms, crimes and poverty. I love historical stories like this.  I get so much joy in knowing a place even if it is fictional but the characters seem real. I’m about done, my 10th read this year. It may be a bit predictable but still a good read.

Do you participate in reading challenges? What books could you recommend for me to read? I love memoirs, fiction, sometimes YA books, a bit of fantasy and a little of classics. Any author I should discover too?

 

 

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“They say that one day your life will flash before your eyes

so you’d better make sure it’s worth watching”.

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One thing that you can’t fault about the Filipinos is their ability to still smile and laugh amidst calamities  and natural disasters. And the Bayanihan spirit is still very much alive with the private sector fetching in even with meager resources. There is our Vice-President Leni Robredo who was the first one in this “out of this world” government to personally see the plight of the Taal survivors. But where is  Digong, they asked. Ah. busy lambasting the Catholic church in one of his speeches again yesterday with an audience of another religion. Let’s not go further, I don’t really want to talk about his slowness in addressing these gargantuan problems. He does not  want to allow other nations to help our shores so be it, let him be buried deep in mud.

I was watching some videos posted at Facebook and I literally laughed seeing those who were wearing nightgowns, police uniform, school uniforms and some men in the evacuation center wearing skirts and dresses. No doubt about it, they really appreciate all the help from our kababayans.  Maybe some donors would want to get rid of those items that they no longer need. Take note though, there are mountains of goods, food items, potable water, toiletries, linens, canned goods etc. being brought to those places where there are so many evacuees. Here are some photos I culled from the net.

That’s VP Leni at the relief operations in Sta. Teresita, Batangas

They’re game wearing those dresses

The BAYANIHAN spirit is still very much alive. These are volunteers repacking goods for distribution

That’s a school uniform

Latest reports say that Taal Volcano is still under alert level 4. There is still the possibility of future eruption.

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My brother  Noel from Tulsa sent me these photos  earlier. He has more collections of their photos than I have.

It’s dad’s birthday but my mom could no longer remember this date. The younger years. Mom is turning 91 in a few months and she is slowly forgetting those important events in our family.

Mom and Dad in front of our house in the province.


 

I don’t know how old they were here.


 

With my youngest brother Noel in one of his rare vacations.


 

A few years before he left us.

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My dad would have turned 98 years old today. It’s going thirteen years now since we lost him but he still stand tall in the recess of my mind. Yes, a beautiful memory that would last a lifetime. And it’s been more than a decade now that I’ve been blogging about him, a tribute to a man whom I called DAD.

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A friend sent this to me early this morning, a Biblical passage that we all need.

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That’s Nissa and me taken on the hills of Caleruega in Nasugbu, Batangas ten years ago. It’s one of those road trips that we really loved. Nissa took hundreds of pictures of the place. Beyond are the Nasugbu mountains which hikers open go to to explore.

Seeing this today on my newsfeed reminds me of those happy days when we used to go on roadtrips and enjoyed those lovely times with the family. You’ll pass by Tagaytay and can even take a look at the scenic Taal on your way to this place.

Compared to what I see now where some towns of Batangas are buried deep in ash, where homes were sadly destroyed, where animals and pets were abandoned by their owners in their haste to flee, where there are large cracks in the highways going to those places, I just feel so sad and so inadequate to help. I keep them in my prayers though that this catastrophe would finally end.

Sometimes in life, we experience those life-threatening circumstances and events that we never thought would happen and we are mostly not prepared for it. We are quite happy staying in our own comfort zones, eating three meals a day, having a good night sleep, free to move around and do what we want. Life is short, we all know that. When things like the volcano eruption happens, one feels helpless. How could you go on when the things you took pains to have like your own place under the sun is suddenly destroyed and not habitable anymore? How would you feel if you see a deserted place all around you  and even those animals and plants you have nurtured for years are suddenly dead?

I read a report that the pineapple plantation in Tagaytay is destroyed. Initially P74.5M livestock  and crop damages were reported in Cavite and Batangas. They were covered in blankets of thick mud.  Coffee farms are included. A friend (they are a couple actually and both are chefs) tells her experience with the ashfall in their area the afternoon of January 12. They have a newly-opened restaurant in Tagaytay. They were both resting after a hectic morning of preparing menus in their restaurant when suddenly they heard a roar and they thought it was just thunderstorm, the sky blackened and ashes  began to fall.  Everything became gray. They are worried that the ashes that fell on their roof might actually destroy it. There is no water and no electricity. The painstaking days of putting up a restaurant a few months ago has come to naught. I remember that when we had typhoon Ondoy back in 2009, the couple and some of Nissa’s friends (they were all classmates  in college except Rhea’s husband) came to visit us and brought groceries  and things to cook right here.

I believe that  God is good though, He won’t give us something that we can’t carry. Our load might be heavy at this time but He is always there for us.

We need your prayers. Please include the Philippines  and all those affected by this disaster. THANK YOU so much.

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This photo was taken by a photographer who lives in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro. Calapan is about  118.8 kilometers away from the volcanic  eruption.

credit goes to Arden Pimentel Photography. Arden works at Calapan City Tourism.

The photo was captioned TAKBO (run in English). How do you find this picture? That’s Taal Volcano in the distance spewing ash while the children were busy running towards this phenomenon or running away from it.  I find the capture spectacular  but it also spells danger  to all. It gives me the goosebumps.

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My brother said he went out yesterday to buy surgical face masks but they are not available anymore. Nagka-ubusan na. People have become afraid of inhaling that toxic ash brought by the eruption of Taal volcano. I read an article saying that those are not really ashes but small microscopic particles of glass spewn by the mouth of the raging volcano. And when they get wet, they turn into lahar. A lahar is a violent type of mudflow or debris flow composed of a slurry of pyroclastic material, rocky debris and water. The material flows down from a volcano, typically along a river valley.

I was able to obtain a Respirateur N95 surgical masks thru my son who works at JP Morgan Chase bank. They give them for free to all their employees. It has instructions on how to wear it.

I actually have several thick cloth and washable face masks which I bought from Miniso, a Japanese store at SM East Ortigas. Since I got sick ten years ago and since I underwent chemotherapy, my immunity has gone low. It is why I am so careful in catching colds since it usually takes a month or more before I get healed. Every time I go out alone and take a commute, I wear a face mask. Even in the marketplace, I also wear one. The pollution here in Metro Manila is bad.

We were lucky last night, the winds didn’t blow our way so the ash was so minimal.

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Now I am beginning to understand based on the various reports and readings that I’ve done since last night.

The lightning that those near the volcano have seen and experienced was really not a lightning from the sky but it comes from the mouth of the volcano. It is an electrical charge not caused by thunderstorms but discharged by the volcanic eruption. When fragmenting particles of volcanic ash collides, it generates static electricity.

These lightning occurrences tell us that a major eruption is most likely to happen, with lava and magma flow from the mouth of the volcano. So that means, we haven’t experienced the major eruption yet.  When it reaches alert level number 5, that’s the most destructive part of it all. And Taal volcano is showing continued signs of activity.

Please God, keep us from the worst thing that will happen. We pray for deliverance from the wrath of nature.

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