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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

coming home soon!

The good news is that we are all finally coming home this weekend. My wife reported to me that the water have subsided in our area and is now passable. I can bring my car to and from school, yey!!!

As I am wont to do, I do not complain but try to find something good in everything that happens to me. What is it that I can find good in having to stay in another place for weekdays and get to see my family only during weekends?

How about staying in a mansion by your lonesome? I have a room which is almost as big as the entire second floor of my house. And since my school is just walking distance away, I do not have to contend with the terrible raffic at SLEX, plus the savings on gasoline and toll fees which when added up could be about almost three thousand a week. That's huge savings, isn't it?

With regard to my children, we have never bonded as much as the weekends we stayed in Antipolo. Why? Simple. There is no internet connection available. While we can use a wireless connection, we still have to go to the office and do computer work (play, in the case of my kids) which is kind of a trouble as we will have to ask the master of the house to open the offices and turn on the wireless network. While we can ask to work there during office hours, we don't as we will only get in the way, of course. There is no cable tv available in the area as well. While we do have dvd's, for some reason or another, we didn't watch anything at all. So with that set up, what else is there to do but play with the children. I play texas hold'em poker with my boys, my brother-in-law who is our host and his two boys. The girls are doing something else with their mom or their tita, but they are just nearby. Surprisingly, we end up at the wee hours of the morning just playing poker! Lately, my brother-in-law, as generous a host as he can be, had his darts, which he had for a long time but never set it up, put up on the patio and there, we play darts even with the girls. What fun was there to be had.

Lastly, I have learned that I have a lot of friends who are all willing to help me when I need it. What joy is there to know that there are people who are willing to sacrifice just so you do not suffer. While we were really not what we can consider as hapless victims considering the plight of others who really lost a lot, help came pouring in just the same even as far as Canada. Trudy, daughter of my good friend, Arlene who passed away on December 22, 2006 was frantic when she learned from the news about what was happening in Manila. Without hesitation, she wired money to us knowing that we were going to have to do some repairs to the house and whatever we would need to surpass this recent tragedy that befell the country. Consider it as a gift from mom, she said. That brought tears to our eyes as Arlene was a very generous friend and for her daughter to continue such act of kindness is overwhelming. Her brother, Stephe, too, asked what kind of assistance we would need. I assured him that we are okay.

Of course, the Brother President of my school has offered cash incentives to those who were affected by Ondoy. Allowing me access to the house of the Brothers is more than enough help I can get.

There are also those who would sacrifice some discomfort just to make my life easier. There is this teacher who volunteered to have her maid do my laundry. She adamantly asked for my clothes and so I ended up giving her my uniform. This is a lot of help as I will have to carry a lot of things in my bag to join my family on weekends. There's another teacher with whom I ride till Ugong where I can get a cab on my way to Antipolo. Big things and little things mean a lot when you are in distress. And these I got from this experience. We are truly blessed!

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Monday, October 12, 2009


If you have been following the news, you would know that Pasig is still with water up to now. This does not come as a surprise as I have known that serious flooding like this happens to our place every 8 or 9 years as claimed by those who are native to the place. Well, I recall having gone home on a banca one late night in 1988. We were living in the place for just a couple of months and I had to stay late in what was once Rizal Theater as we were staging South Pacific at the time. I came home drenched from the rain and to my surprise could not find the usual tricycles plying the streets. Then I was told that the water level at the municipal hall where I should pass through going home was waist high. I did not know what to do as I was tired and all I had in mind was go home. I walked several blocks and found a banca with a load of about six or seven people in it. I asked the boatman if he can deliver me to my place and he said, yes.

The flooding happened again after several years. I failed to count how many as one does not record these experiences in full detail. Suffice to say that we managed to block the experience hoping we have seen the last of it. Anyway, during the second time, all my children were of school age and ride with me to and from school. As it would be very hard for us to ride the "boat" everyday, my wife and I decided to find a place where the children can go in the meantime. My eldest was forced to live in her best friend's house, my two boys in another nearby subdivision while I and my third child had to live with a family friend. This lasted for about a month, as usual.

So, on that Saturday while Ondoy was giving a lashing out its fury of torrential rain and my maid who had to buy something at the store reported that the water was already knee high just a few blocks away, I knew it would be flooding season again. What I was not expecting was for the water to reach the house. When I saw that the relentless rain won't be stopping anytime soon, I already had the good sense to move the car to higher grounds. When the water was about three inches at the gate, I decided it was time to move the furniture to a higher level. My efforts had not been in vain for the water did come to my house. The house was soaked to about eight inches of water. Any higher and it would have ruined our sofa. My siblings who are now occupying the house my parents built in Marikina did not fair as well. The water inside the house was about two feet deep and a lot higher at the road.

On Wednesday, after cooking food while our feet were soaked in murky water and delivering the food upstairs, we decided to move out. The water was beginning to smell and I had occasion to see a dead rat, bloated and floating on the water. We moved to a shoe factory in Antipolo owned by my sister in law's husband. The water level there was much higher but at least we are at the fourth floor where the house is. We stayed there until Sunday while thinking of where to stay in the next weeks while classes shall have been opened.

My daughters now live with a family friend's daughter's condo unit in Makati, the youngest lives in his friend's house while Mickey stays with another family friend. I had been given permission to live in a house recently acquired by the school. I live here by my lonesome. We reunited last weekend in Antipolo and returned to our temporary stations. This will have to be our arrangement until the water in our place have subsided.

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Twenty years of teaching must sure amount to something. A new friend in cyberspace suggested I ought to have a journal by now. I agree.

Taken by my friend Arlene Lawson in her room at Century Park Sheraton in May, 2000.
Posted by Hello
Location: Bambang, Pasig City, Philippines

Jack of all trade, master of none. First a disclaimer. My students have discovered this blog and they might think that what I write is gospel truth. Worse is they might find an argument that they think they can use, for some reason or another, against their teachers. So, to set the record straight, it is NOT. As a matter of fact, I write and open it to feedback to get another view in the hope that somebody would tell me if I am wrong and reenforce my thinking if it is right. Not that I will accept anything thrown my way, though. Just so I can think about it some more and decide whether my original stance is right or definitely off tangent. So there. I hope that clarifies everything. Now, on to blogging.

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