Friday, July 26, 2013

Rain and Floods

It's been raining in Cotabato for several days now. It used to be long time ago, Cotabato rained only at night which was good for the farmers. If it rained during the day, it was probably due to the sweeping end of a typhoon tail somewhere in Luzon and/or the Visayas. These past few years however, low pressure areas are more oftenly spotted somewhere near Mindanao. Last year and the year before, two storms hit Mindanao: Cagayan de Oro and Davao region devastatingly. Although Cotabato has not experienced a direct hit yet, but we have been living through successive rains which rarely happened before and flooding occurs all around low lying area due to poor drainage system and poor city planning and calamity preparation foresight. The city local government is now clamoring for help from the national level for the dredging of the river delta which has been a white elephant project ever since the start of its supposedly operation.

On a lighter side - Personally though, I love down cast weather. I stay at home. It makes me lazy and sleepy. The cool air makes me hungry too. When it rains, I like to read, or tinker around with little memorabilia things like old photographs, my stamp collections or do jigsaw puzzle. These days, I write my blogs just like what I am doing right now.

But irregardless of my own personal weather preference, I do hope some help materializes for Cotabato City. That the dredging at the mouth of the river will soon occur to help ease out the flooding that is causing a lot of misery to a lot of people. Some of our store employees are greatly affected too. They live in low lying places that get flooded even at the slightest rain. Or maybe it is the wrath of nature that throws back at us, because we do not know how to take care of our surroundings. Our forests are denuded because of illegal logging, our mountains are swept away from greedy miners, people dispassionately throw rubbish around the streets and water ways, our leaders enrich themselves with public funds, etc. If for anything at all, we are mostly the root cause of our own problem by our own devil may care attitude until a calamity over takes us. And then we pray..... for God to help us............

Monday, July 15, 2013

Lucas Birthday Pictures

 Rice, lengua with white sauce, sotanghon, sweet and sour fish and chicken curry

 Dinuguan, mango and bagoong, fruit salad, red gulaman, table banana tundan

 And lechon and ripe mangoes that complete the buffet table

 Karaoke singing for the guests composed mostly of LCT store employees

 They came in red.

 Let's drink.............

 and eat ..............

 and  be merry.........

 Group singing 

 With James, Luna and Vicente

 Family and friends

 Immediate family - Tom, Angel, Dylan and Yuri
 Dylan leading the singing of the birthday song 

 After party karaoke group...let the singing continue

And grandpa and Yuri dancing to the music

After party bonding time

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Lucas 73rd Birthday Surprise

Lucas celebrated his 73rd birthday in Cotabato. That same day July 12, 2013, my children Emil, Martha and Marion were leaving for United Kingdom for Marion's graduation at University of Warwick. Unlike last year, where Lucas and I went to Manila to celebrate his natal day with our children, this year we opted to stay home and have an after-work party with our employees. They have been like our second/extended family here in Cotabato City.

Unexpectedly few days before the celebration, Tomas texted me from Manila that he planned to come home for his dad's birthday. I told him that he need not come at all, for it would be such a hassle travelling with two young boys: Dylan and Yuri age 7 and 2 respectively. It was the Friday and Tom and Angel had to take a leave from work and Dylan had to absent himself from school also. But Tom had his mind set to come home and told me specifically not to inform his father. He wanted to surprise him.

That - wasn't going to be an easy task for me. For aside from busy preparing for a party for 70 people, I had to quietly prepare for their home coming too. I requested my two helpers to keep things hush hushed. Without much noise, they helped me get ready the big unused bedroom for occupancy. We also brought out plates and utensils, glasses and cups to set the table for more than two persons. But there was this problem of fetching Tomas and family from the airport, I could not personally fetch them home without Lucas wondering where I was. That very morning when they were supposed to arrive before noon, I asked Nestor our driver/employee to go to the airport and please to keep it all a secret to himself. But, their flight however was so much delayed, for more than four hours. I was really getting worried. Even after lunch, I could not take my siesta without constantly looking at my cell phone for further news from Tom and Angel who were still at the pre-departure area in Manila. I said a couple of prayers for their safe travel and when they informed me that they were starting to board the plane already, I thus continued with the remaining preparations and went down to the store later to anticipate their arrival. At the store, after a while of absent, people were starting to look for Nestor. They knew he went to the airport but nobody knew whom he was meeting. The 'surprise', instead of coming home before noon, arrived at four o'clock in the afternoon. What a travelling inconvenience for them, but thank God, He brought Tom and Angel and Dylan and Yuri safely home to Cotabato.

When they arrived, I was inside the store office reading newspaper while Lucas was in his own cell working :) I saw Tomas and Dylan came in first. I cried out happily and told them to get inside Lucas' office and kiss him 'happy birthday'. Lucas heard the commotion outside, then he saw Tom and Dylan entered his work cubicle. He was really surprised, he jumped out from his seat. He confessed that he was so happy, he felt like crying. Everybody was so happy for him too. After all, those people whom I told to keep it a secret, did their job pretty well too (many thanks to them). It was the happiest birthday gift for Lucas.

In behalf of Lucas, myself and my family, I sincerely thank God for the gift of life and the gifts of friends and families (personal as well as adoptive/extended). Thank you very much dear Lord.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Still Around

Hello, I am still here! Still very much around, although I got sick few days after my trip to Lake Sebu. At this age, I am not used to hectic outing schedule anymore. I have to take it easy. So at present, I am nursing myself back to good health. I am sleeping a lot and eating healthy food for my weak stomach. There's not much activity here in Cotabato anyway. I read the papers, do crossword puzzles, play the piano, do my taichi and help the cook prepare the family meals. I still have not opened my Mona Lisa jigsaw puzzle yet which I bought in Louve and another interesting box of smaller jigsaw pieces which I bought in Manila during my last vacation. Last week, I attended a couple of parties but I ate sparingly. Losing a few pounds might be good for me.