Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Blessed Be

After 2 nights in Iloilo I'm back home. I dreaded seeing my room since I didn't know what to expect. I delayed going down to the basement since I didn't know how I would react. Finally after two hours I went downstairs. Greeted by knick-knacks as I was descending the stairs. The light in my room was on.

I walked in my now-empty room. Save for the bed frame and dresser, all the other shelves and things have been removed. The floors scrubbed clean, gleaming under the florescent light. I sought out my TV, but the space where it used to be was empty. My footsteps echoed as I walked across the room to inspect my closet. It was still bright red, whore red against the white walls my friends termed it. I peeked inside my closet and saw that my very wet clothes were still inside. I immediately closed the closet door since the stench was so bad.

I just felt relief that I am safe. That my family is safe. I thought that I was in the worst situation in the world when I was in chest-deep water holding on to my floating bed, but after seeing the devastation in the eastern side of Metro Manila I could only say that I am still very lucky.

My parents finally found my Tito. He is in his mid-80s. He lost his house in Provident Village, the worst hit place with over 100 dead. My Dad told me earlier that my Tito was eating with his family when the flood just suddenly came in their house. They immediately scrambled to the roof since their house was a bungalow at around 1 in the afternoon last Saturday. He was only rescued on Sunday and was brought by a truck to Caloocan. My parents finally located him through the help of cousins only yesterday.

I have been holding back tears because my Dad told me not to cry about what happened. It's really hard and I am trying my best to be strong and to use my strength to reach out to my friends in other countries to help my country. It will take some time to get over the trauma and the shock of losing everything I've worked hard for. I just have to keep reminding myself that I am still blessed and that I should help in whatever way I can.

If by any chance you are from another country or in another city in the Philippines and get to read this post. I hope you can help the people in Luzon by sending any help you can. You can refer to this page for ways on how to send relief.

God bless everyone.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How to Send Donations for Typhoon Ondoy from the US

For those in the United States you may send your donations through Ayala Foundation US. Here's how:

AF-USA accepts cash donations (as this is most urgently needed) for the victims of Typhoon Ondoy thru the following means:

1. Check:

Make check payable to Ayala Foundation USA, indicate in the note part that the donation is for the Victims of Typhoon Ondoy and mail it to AF-USA office at 255 Shoreline Drive, Suite 428, Redwood City, CA 94065.

2. Online Donations via credit card:

Please click on this link (http://www.af-usa.org/donate_now_form.asp) and choose AF-USA Typhoon Relief fund in the drop down menu.

3. For wire transfer, below is the account details:

Account Name: Ayala Foundation USA
Account Number: 203179049
Account Type: CA
Routing Number: 321171184
Citibank, N.A.

Thank you so much.

For updates on Ondoy and other AF-USA related matters, we encourage you to please view our Facebook page. Click on this link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ayala-Foundation-USA/136319814988?ref=nf . If you have a Facebook account, please log in and sign up to be our fan so you may share our updates to your own friends.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Help for Typhoon Ondoy

A group of tireless volunteers and Google have put together a page where you can easily find and report information about Typhoon Ondoy. You may visit the page at -


Some photos from my basement.


There are countless other people who need help badly. Donation centers are asking for bottled water, canned goods, blankets, clothing, medicines, sacks of rice etc. Please check the link above how you can send donations.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Rebuild

It's been 36 hours since I saw my 12-year old TV plunge into the murky flood water. It's a very old TV, but I saved up for that from my first job. Everything in my basement I worked hard for and as much as possible I only replace things when they cannot be repaired anymore.

I couldn't sleep last night. I would doze off but I kept waking up. I guess I was scared that the flood might come rushing back. Morning came and I was awakened by birds chirping outside my window. It was a new day. I headed to the basement with my flashlight to survey the damage. Everything was wet. There was mud all over the place and all the cabinets were overturned.

The flood I experienced last July 16 was nothing compared to what happened yesterday. This was the worst we've experienced. The firewall between us and our neighbor gave way. Things were just really unbelievable. And I'm sure we are still very lucky. And I'm still very lucky I have a roof over my head.

At the basement I just got scoured the floor for what little jewelry I have, retrieved some important documents, looked for a pair of sandals I can wear for my lecture on Tuesday, found my new eyeglasses (buo pa siya!), got some pens (hope they are still working), and was happy to find my headband collection intact. Washed everything in the bathroom and put them in a small basket. And that's what I salvaged. Maybe tomorrow I'll take a picture of all the books that got wet and have them on my Christmas wish-list. (89 days before Christmas!) :)

I also just wanted to thank everyone who checked on me today. Survivor po ito, so don't worry much. The show must go on!

And, yes Dr. Match, I will drink vitamin C :)

God bless everyone!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Calm After the Storm

Earlier today I felt despair. It was the first time I felt that way. When I saw the shelf that held my TV and DVD player tumble down into the water I cried out, “Tulong! Tulong!” but no help came. I tried one last time to find my phones on my bed, but couldn't find it. I wanted to get my other laptop and document bag in the cabinet, but cabinets started to float around. When I saw my glass sink in the water I knew it was time to just let go.

I couldn't grasp the situation. I couldn't figure out how to deal with the calamity. I've experienced several floods already, but it was never this bad. I think the only thing that's dry in my basement are the ceiling lights. I had to borrow clothes from my niece because all my stuff were wet.

When I started to cry in the kitchen my Dad told me, “Why are you crying? Yan lang iiyak-iyak ka na. Umakyat ka na sa itaas at humiga ka na lang muna.” I had to stop crying because it's bad for my heart. I lay on my parents bed and worried myself sick over all the stuff that I lost and realized that I shouldn't feel that way because there are others who are in a worse situation. The rain was still pouring hard so I just prayed that the rain would stop.

Eventually the water subsided and I went back down. I wanted to see if my bag of documents and pink laptop survived. They were both wet. I also scrambled around to look for my engagement ring. I left it on my dresser when I took it off yesterday. I found the dresser still upright near half-way across the room. Most of the things on it were gone save for the rosary bracelet, watch and engagement ring. The ring was protected by the rosary bracelet.

Everything is gone. My TV, DVD player, CD collection, all my books, photo albums, all my wedding materials, shoes, clothes, bags etc., but the most heartbreaking is losing all the love letters and mementos I kept all these years.

They're gone and I guess I just have to let go. Save whatever I can save when morning comes and move forward and think about how I can help others who have gone through the same calamity.

Remember, God is good.

I Lost Everything

I Lost Everything

This is the most traumatic day in my entire life. I lost everything to nature's anger. Flood swallowed up my whole basement. The only thing I managed to save with help from Miguel is Theodore (my PC), Daisy (my netbook), my newly repaired Canon G9 and my black shoulder bag which just has my wallet. My phones are gone. Documents, pictures, books, clothing etc. everything's gone. The shirt I'm wearing now is my Kuya's and my niece lent a pair of shorts. I don't even have my eyeglasses to see properly (and it was just 3 days old!).

We managed to put everything a “level higher” (as Miguel termed it), but the typhoon was just really strong. The flood started at the bathroom and slowly engulfed the basement. I was looking for my phones on my bed while submerged in more than waist high water when water suddenly came in from the window and knocked down the shelf which housed my TV and DVD player. I knew then I had to go and just let go of everything. The two manongs who were helping us out helped me out of the water. I did not know that the water was already grounded and I probably just got out at the right time.

Because I was all wet I just sat at the kitchen. Defeated. I cried. I cried but there were no tears. Miguel just hugged me and my Dad told me not to cry over it. All those things I lost, are just things. Replaceable. Something I can work hard for again. I guess I'm just sad.

I know that God doesn't give us trials that we can't handle. I just don't know how I'm going to face the disaster at my basement when the water goes down.

Please pray for me.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Achoo!

I've been having terrible allergies the past year. I'm allergic to chicken, crabs, chocolate, Coca-cola and cockroaches! It's horrendous since I think I can live with having rashes, but I get asthma attacks whenever I eat any of those “C” food or smell roaches. I was not sickly when I was a kid so it's been hard.

A few weeks ago I was surprised when my eyes suddenly became swollen. I just thought it would go away after a few days, but it just got worse after I got back from my Cebu trip. I was in pain so I went to see a doctor.

Allergies. Again. Doc said, “Since this has occurred before, you have to start accepting the fact that you are allergic to something in the environment.” I had no choice, but just to stay indoors (with windows closed) or maybe live in a bubble until the season ends. I just hope that I won't have allergies on my wedding day. Harumph.

I jumped at the chance to attend an event about a hypoallergenic product. I had no idea what it was, but I went anyway since I thought it might help me. The product was Del's new hypoallergenic fabric softener. It's basically an anti-itch product and had Francis Magalona's very cute son as it's endorser (see his Itchy dance here).

And the reason for this very late post is because I had no idea how to blog about it. I'm still under my Mom's care and that means laundry is not one of my chores. I gave her the sample and completely forgot about it since I've been flying from one place to another in the past few weeks.

Anyway, when I got home the other day from a trip, I snuggled in bed and was surprised that my blanket and sheets smelled really good. I kept smelling it and realized that I didn't sneeze at all even though the scent was pretty strong (which is a very good sign). And so far things have been great since my eyes haven't been swollen as it was before. Not sure if it's partly because of the Del fabric softener, but it sure helped. So I guess when I have my own household soon, I will be using it too.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wordpress and Firefox Guys Eat Balut!

I've been horrendously busy the past few weeks and haven't had much time to blog. I've been to Bacolod and Singapore, did important wedding stuff and started working on my parents golden wedding anniversary, just in the past week. And my friends have been scolding me about my weight. Guys, don't worry, I actually gained a few pounds while I was in Singapore (thanks to my special fatten-me-up coach, Hanson).

Anyway, I'm thankful I managed to meet-up with my Davao-based friends who organized Wordcamp Manila. We had a cardiac delight feast at Whistlestop because they had foreign guests from Wordpress and Firefox.

I wasn't seated near Beau (Wordpress) and Seth (Firefox) so it was Jeff, Markku, Blogie and Jayvee, who entertained them. I was chuckling when I heard Markku tell them that they all had to go through an initiation. They had to prove their manhood by eating balut! The guys then went on to describe in the most gory manner that balut is a day-old chick.

Anyway, find out in this video if Beau and Seth passed -


*Sorry for the misspelling of names in the video. I was given the wrong info :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Day in the Life of a Donut

If Forrest Gump says that life is like a box of chocolates, I'd like to say that life is like a donut. Why? Because you always come full circle in the end!

Now, don't make me explain why. I just thought that up!

I'm writing this post to make my friends in Singapore envious about my Krispy Kreme adventures. They don't have a branch in Singapore and they've been telling me to bring or send some. In the past few months I've written about KK twice (here and here)! Just goes to show how much time -

(1) I spend hanging out at Krispy Kreme


KK is a great place to go to when meeting friends,
the Sweetie and work and blog (because of the free wifi!).

(2) I spend consuming hoards of donuts


I'm trying to gain weight so I have every right to eat as much donuts as I'd want to.

(3) I spend eating donuts with my son, Mom and Sweetie


It's great merienda food! I got my sweet tooth from my Mom :)

Signs of Old Age

1. You can't stay up as late as you used to. No more pa-morningans!

2. You begin to have back pains, leg pains, allergies, joint pains and ailments you did not use to have.

3. You have to control what you eat. No more cardiac delights!

4. You start disliking hang-overs and so you control your alcohol intake or forego it.

5. You prefer coffee dates/gimmicks rather than disco/bar dates/gimmicks.

6. You become forgetful. You don't recall the name of the person you met just a minute after meeting him.

7. You get shocked with what kids do nowadays.

8. You become a selective buyer. Since you are a little older, now you have more moolah!

9. You have finally learned how to save!

10. Because you have become forgetful, now you put everything in a calendar.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Thank You!

There is much to be thankful for. Every single day we get a lot of blessings and counting them is my secret weapon whenever I am in a rut, miserable or having a blah day. And I read somewhere in Twitter last week that one of things you should do to be happy is not complain. I definitely agree with that.

Instead of grumbling about having work on a holiday, be thankful that you have work.

Instead of complaining about heavy traffic, be thankful that you are safe and sound in your mode of transportation and not mangled in a hospital.

Instead of being mad at your Mom for not allowing you to go out on a trip, be thankful that you have a Mom who cares about you.

Instead of wanting money to buy expensive things, be thankful that you can live simply.

Be content and be thankful about everything you have. So how do you spread the sweetness of gratitude? Say thank you to your loved ones creatively by posting a photo in your blog/social networking site. Let me know about it by leaving a comment below with the URL to your post. I will then choose 5 readers who'll get Toblerone TY kits. You have until October 16 to submit your entries. Complete mechanics can be found here. (For GMA residents only.)

Here's what I did two years ago for the Toblerone Thank You Day.


Must have chocolates! Sali na! Nomnomnomnom.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Because Breaking Up is Hard to Do

(Note: I started this post last May 18, 2009.)

Yesterday the Gospel was all about LOVE! Yes, love, wonderful love! And the guest priest focused on 2 things: selfish love vs. sacrificial love. And it got me thinking about my past relationships and the plight of some of my girl friends now.

I know only one person in this whole wide world who never experienced a break-up (well not that I know of) and that's my Mom coz she's been with my Dad since she was 16! And they're celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary a few months from now (that's why I'm going bonkers over preparing for 2 weddings). And most of my friends (except the ones who are NBSB*) have experienced heartbreak one way or another.

And that's why I take back what I said that I will be forever 25. I'd rather be 30.

Why?

Because at 25 I didn't know what a good man is. At that age I thought that being miserable in a relationship was better than not being with the one you love. I thought that sacrificing your happiness was being a martyr for the one you love. I thought that not doing the things you want because your partner says so will keep your relationship intact. I thought that when your boyfriend tells you he doesn't love you it's okay as long as he is still around. I thought that it was sweet if your boyfriend checks with the guard what time you left the office and who you rode the elevator with. I thought that agreeing to something you don't really want to do would spell forever.

I thought. I thought. I thought.

Well, I was really stupid and being stupid ate a huge chunk of my life. Eventually I realized I wasn't happy anymore. I was miserable because I was in a miserable relationship. It was then that I realized that I wasn't the person I used to be. It took a long time, but I eventually found the courage to break things off.

I'm thankful though that I never gave up on love. The most important thing I realized though is something my Mom kept telling me since I was a kid, "Find someone with the same values you have." It took me a long time (and more toads) before I understood what she said and I can meaningfully say that I am so glad that I waited for the right one.

Don't settle!

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*NBSB - no boyfriend since birth