Ordinary things that make life extraordinary.

Ordinary things that make life extraordinary.

Category: My Hometown

Wordless Wednesday #53: Summertime

WW summertime
Virgin Beach
Basiao, Ivisan
Capiz, Philippines

For more Wordless entries, just go to Wordless Wednesday site.

WorldlessWednesday #48: Christmas with Lolo Ek!

Lolo Ek looks like local Santa (His beard is original);)

This is my entry for Tuesday and Wednesday Edition of Worldless Wednesday.

Wordless Wednesday #46: Giant fish

giant fish

Hey, hey.
That’s one of the giant fish (representing the seafood delights our city produces) that joined the parade in the recently concluded Sinadya sa Halaran festival in Roxas City just last week. Our city is dubbed as the Seafood Capital of the Philippines – and because of the bounty from our seas – we don’t/didn’t disappoint!

Wordless Wednesday #45: Swimming pool

swimming pool

I attended a seminar in a retreat house inside San Antonio Subdivision many weeks ago when this swimming pool collected oohs and aahhhs from me and my officemates. San Antonio Subdivision is an upscale subdivision just a stone’s throw away from Baybay with prices of lots ranging from P2,500-P3,500 per square meters. Only the haves can afford these prices, my officemates and I agreed. The swimming pool is one of the many features being offered in the subdivision and I am sure my son would have loved coming here. Sigh, now if only I win the mega-lotto, I’ll buy a house and lot here. Except that I don’t buy any lotto ticket at all *lol*.

This post is for the Tuesday-Wednesday edition of Wordless Wednesday.

Wordless Wednesday #42: Capiz Cabs

In a place where tricycles are the kings of the road, the first taxi cabs in Roxas City was introduced. Called the Capiz Cabs, the five cabs started plying the streets of Roxas last month. What’s more, the cabs are fitted with receipt-issuing meters! This is the first time ever that taxi-cabs operate in the city. More units will be added soon.

Now I ask, what will happen to the tricycle operators and drivers who will, in not so distant future, be affected by this sudden resurgence of competition? Right now I hear varying feedbacks from tricycle drivers when I asked them about this, but I have to say that there are more unhappy drivers.

For more of the Capiz Cabs, please click here.

Wordless Wednesday #40: Apartments…

… is where our departed ones lie.
… where we visit them during piyesta minatay (All Soul’s Day)
… where we light candles, bring flowers, and offer our prayers for their eternal rest.

More Wordless photos here.

Piyesta minatay na naman…

We worked only half day today. The bosses were kind enough to let us get off work earlier than usual so that our officemates who live in far-away towns could go home in preparation for tomorrow’s piyesta minatay. We Filipinos commemorate All Soul’s day, or the day of the dead, on the 2nd of November, but traditionally, people go to cemeteries on the 1st of November. This is, in some sort of way, our answer to the Halloween celebration in western countries. Why? Because both events have spooky elements to it.

As most Filipino events, piyesta minatay has a fiesta atmosphere to it. Thousands of people brush elbows against each other in the crowded cemeteries, light candles and say prayers for their dead loved ones. People not only bring food as an offering to the dead, but also for themselves. Playing cards, radios/cassette players, or simply chitchatting in front of your dead one’s tombs provide entertainment.

Anyways, later today I’m going to visit my grandparents’ tombs to avoid the hustle-bustle tomorrow. I will take photos of what went on during the piyesta minatay so that my readers from other countries see this tradition unique only to us Filipinos. My mother with her amiga rented a small store space where they sell drinks and other chichiryas for the people visiting the cemeteries. They want to cash in on the event, and hopefully, they can acquire good profit.

So… have a spooky weekend… awoooooooooo!

Happy Halloweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen ….

Photo from Bitter Tonic.

Wordless Wednesday #30: Typhoon Frank Aftermath

Here are some photos I took of the houses flattened by Typhoon Frank:

typhoon frank aftermath

typhoon frank aftermath2

We just finished our relief operations recently but donations, in cash or in kind, are still pouring in thanks to the kind people out there. We will collect them and schedule another relief operations as soon as we have sufficient supplies for our project beneficiaries on the other side of the province. So many people out there, project beneficiaries or not, needing food supplies and they could not go to markets as water level is reportedly still high.

More Wordless photos are found here.

Relief Assistance to Typhoon Frank victims in Capiz

As mentioned in my post just below, a very strong typhoon Frank hit the province of Capiz and its capital, Roxas City. The whole province and the rest of the Panay Island were caught unprepared because the typhoon unexpectedly changed its path and went straight to Panay Island and wreck havoc from where we are.

Damage to properties and infrastructures were estimated to amount to millions of pesos.

Our organization, the Katibyugan Inc., immediately prepared for a relief operation. We targeted seven municipalities in Capiz with about 4800 families and started giving out relief goods since June 24. The packs consist of 5-10kgs of rice (depending on family size), 2 large cans of sardines, and packs of instant noodles. By any standard, the goods were not much but it’s enough to tide the family over for one or two meals. So far in the seven municipalities, we have covered 29 barangays, plus a total of adopted barangays in the municipalities of Pontevedra, Panay and Sigma.

Here are some photos of our relief operations in Brgy. Amiligan, Pontevedra, Capiz. This barangay is a coastal area where most of the population rely on fishing and looking after fishponds. This barangay has a special place in my heart because we used to spend our summer holidays here with my elder sister, fishing and playing in the fishponds. It is sad to return there to see hundreds of houses flattened to the ground, the fishponds gone, and the sadness in the people’s faces are clearly reflected in their eyes.

Pontevedra, Capiz is about 40-50kms from Roxas City and usually takes an hour or so by jeepney to get there. The goods were taken there by trucks that we rented:


From the trucks, the goods were transferred to the barotos(boats). It takes about 15-20mins to go to Barangay Amiligan…

And once the barotos docked, the people helped in carrying the goods to the barangay hall for distribution…


All the villagers helped in the distribution… this is one event where people showed cooperation and solidarity…

A mother and her daughter look at the goods they’ve received…

If you are interested to donate or give assistance, there are still thousands more families needing your help. Kindly email me for more information.

Typhoon Frank hits Capiz!


Some of the views after Typhoon frank hits the province of Capiz on June 21, 2008. Most of the damage caused were houses, posts, rice fields, trees and areas flooded almost 5 municipalities. I took this photo during one f our ocular inspections of our project areas.

It is with a heavy heart that I took this photos. We live in a country where typhoons come and go many times a year. Some left with major damages, like Typhoon Frank, while a few with minimal damages. It will take years again before the families can recover, but they will recover. And I can only pray that while they recover no strong typhoon will come and knock everything down again. Or else, it’s back to square one.



Assistance to Capiz farmers affected by floods

Earlier this year, in the first weeks of March, I wrote about the flash floods that affected the five municipalities of Capiz. Hundreds of farmers expressed disbelief and hopelessness at what had happened. Fortunately, my organization, through the Food Security Program that I am managing, immediately launched a relief operation in response to the calamity.

Just a month ago, a total of 640 sacks of rice seeds (ready for planting) were also distributed to the affected farmers, much to their delight. Katibyugan, Inc. gave individual farmers a sack of rice for every hectare of land they have that was flooded. There were two rice varieties given to them.

Houses, farming equipment, livestock and hundreds of hectares of ricelands were destroyed due to heavy rains in February and March. Through our rice seeds assistance, the farmers will be able to plant again to replace lost rice plants. It is their fervent hope, and ours, too, that there will be no more destructive rain to wipe out their newly-planted rice. Other relief goods were also distributed, especially and Katibyugan is still open for your donations. Kindly email me if you have something to give.

Nature’s Fury

These scenes greeted me when I returned to Roxas City after a three-day Strategic Planning seminar in Iloilo City. We were all speechless when we saw how mother nature created havoc in this sleepy farming town.

flooded ricefield1
Crops submerged in water. Poor farmers’ whole year of income now gone.
flooded rice field
Fully submerged. The lone tree is a stark reminder of what used to be a green field.
flooded village
A man watches the raging water. They’re on alert for any increase in flood water level.
flooded village2
Flood waters cover what was once the barangay (village) road.

On the national highway, buses, cars and other vehicles were unable to pass through because of the high water level. The crops were all ready for harvesting if not for the heavy rainfall. My heart went out to the poor farmers whose crops were totally wiped out by the water. The farmers did not lose only crops, but also lost their properties (cattle and farming equipments) and destroyed their houses. In fact, many have been feared missing or, worse, dead. Also, many farmers fear how they would survive this year now that the crops that they had hope to bring them income is gone?

Local authorities are collecting information as to how many families were affected in the municipalities of Sigma, Dao, Cuartero and Mambusao – all of which the provincial government have declared as areas in state of calamity. Up to this point, the government has not determined how much was the damage in these municipalities in terms of crops and properties.

Most of the population were evacuated in evacuation centers and are receiving relief support from the government. Our organization is also readying for a rehab project. To those who want to donate some clothes, canned food and others, please direct them to the Office of the Provincial Governor of Capiz, or through Katibyugan, Inc., the non-profit organization where I am working. Leave me a message here or send me email. Any form of help is very much welcome and appreciated.

I am not surprised anymore (and I am angry) that news like this about Capiz did not or do not merit any attentional from the national media. To media companies, Gretchen’s bitchiness is far more important than thousands of farmers devastated by floods and therefore gains a place in the headlines. The only time that Capiz is given attention to by the media is when the subject points at Capiz being the haven of aswangs (flesh-eaters and other supernatural beings). That, we Capizenos are not too happy about, and I am only being polite when I say that. How this affects every Capizeno is worth another post.