29 December 2012

New Year Thoughts

The year 2012 has changed me. I became less talkative, less friendly, became more patient, pretty cautious of my actions, less attached to people like I used to (but not to those who dared get my attention), been disliked and back-stabbed by some which I fortunately knew, and learned to experience patience and humility in their truest sense. Must really be the general feeling, the negative forces that lies within, and I think the mixture of varied personalities which I should say I should need to adjust on with. And how can I forget this year when a life-changing event did hit my hometown resulting to a totally-devastated Baganga affecting the lives of many people.

Despite all that, I'm still thankful to 2012 for the continued blessings, for the not-so-good experiences that made me stronger like the occurrence of Typhoon Pablo and the trial that rocked my family when my brother and my mother got hospitalized this year which all strengthened my faith in GOD, and last but not the least, I am thanking 2012 for allowing me to be the person I least expect myself to be.

In the year 2013, I'd gonna get my old self back. I wanna reclaim that same old Viness that earned the trust of people in my circle of influence. I wanna cleanse myself and detach from all the negative forces that impedes my self-growth and in the way I deal with people. I want to rekindle friendship with people I called as friends. I want to re-instill again the power of optimism as I deal on with life. I wanna be more physically healthy too. As to my faith, I want it to be more strengthened, thus also strengthening the faith I have in what I am capable of doing.

For now, I am keeping my fingers crossed for 2013. I am bracing myself to the positive changes in 2013, and is looking forward to the realization of my heart's desires in 2013.

Happy New Year Everyone!

27 December 2012

A Different Christmas

This year, our family celebrated a very different Christmas setup. I am glad that we're complete, the family is intact and we're not harmed but surely in our hearts, we're sad because of the fate of our beloved hometown which was totally wrecked by Super Typhoon Pablo 4 weeks ago. We just can't hide how our hearts have been broken because of the situation. We could have celebrated it merrier this time, if not for that trial that ruined our Christmas plans.

I myself didn't feel like celebrating Christmas. I never bothered wrapping gifts which I used to. I did include that in my Facebook post that my family, friends, and "inaanaks" would understand why gifts aren't in my thoughts this Christmas. I don't want to give financial burdens that's why as much as possible with the little salary I got, I wanted it to spend for the family. My parents are not requiring me, but I just wanted to help, even in my own little way.

For the record, I did not also attend Christmas parties. I don't want to spoil parties by answering endless questions as to how are we doing right now. Christmas parties are meant to be fun that's why I don't wanna be a spoiler.

We celebrated Christmas this simple: we had 4 recipes on the table minus the lechon and the gifts. We do have a Christmas tree but a gift-less one and we're settled on that already.

At least right now, we're settled and okay and we're on our road to accepting the reality that Pablo is a life-changing event in our lives. We're trying to move on and let go. And I know soon, we'll totally be okay with God's guidance and with our fervent prayers to HIM.

Despite everything, we're still thankful to GOD coz we're safe and unharmed, plus blessings also that came our way recently.

17 December 2012

On Sacrificing Time

Christmas is supposed to be a merry making season but right now, with what has happened, I just can't feel its merriness. I heard friends busy about buying gifts, of attending parties while I myself is even undecided as to attend these parties or not. I am sure it would be a penniless Christmas for me because I need to sacrifice to be able to at least financially help or save for the family. I found myself restless too these days. Well I guess I need to. My hometown is totally damaged with 100% damaged infrastructures leaving a lot of people hungry and worst is, homeless. It is for that reason that I am volunteering for a relief effort group known as Sagip Baganga to be able to at least take my part in slowly helping the people with their basic needs, make them feel better, and at least challenge themselves to get up and start rehabilitating Baganga. With my volunteering, I've already sacrificed a lot of time even if I'm also having a present-day job which I also loved. 

All I am asking right now is for GOD to help me bless my physical health. I need more physical strength so I could fulfill both my tasks at work and in this relief organization I am working with. I know that with the best health, I could still serve and help a lot of people in the best way I know how.

15 December 2012

Sagip Baganga On The GO

Sagip Baganga is a relief effort done by devoted Bagangeños to extend help to the victims of Super Typhoon Pablo in Baganga. Currently, we are still accepting donations/cash donations at the President's office of the University of the Immaculate Concepcion, Bonifacio Campus for the victims of Super Typhoon Pablo in Baganga Davao Oriental.  Relief Items needed: Rice, Canned Goods, Milk, Cup Noddles and other ready to eat food, water, assorted medicines, Clothings, Blankets, Flashlights w/ batteries, Tents, Mosquito Nets.  For cash donations, please deposit to BPI Savings Acct #: 2889-0529-56 Domitilla Apostol. PLEASE HELP SAVE LIVES. PLEASE HELP BAGANGA. Baganga needs you. To those who have already contributed, our heartfelt gratitude goes to all of you. Maraming, maraming salamat po.

Meanwhile, here's a glimpse of "Sagip Baganga" in pictures along with the people behind it:

14 December 2012

Baganga NOW after Super Typhoon Pablo

The total devastation of Super Typhoon Pablo in the Municipality of Baganga with 18 barangays in it left us with nothing. Everyone is hardly hit. Pablo didn't choose the rich to be saved, nor the poor to succumb from the disaster. Everyone is equally fair with Pablo's wrath. With the attack of Pablo, municipal buildings are damaged, the market place is damaged, school buildings are damaged, and our homes are even severely damaged. Only a few houses stood still. Majority of the roofs of concrete houses flew off and joined Pablo in the air.  

Right now, the whole municipality has no electricity yet. Even telecommunication lines are paralyzed. The network towers of Smart and Globe aren't fixed as well. I heard that it takes years to rebuild bridges. Government documents are even wet with the rain because no roofs are there to keep them safe and secured. I just can't imagine how else would everyone go about with this change.

Right now, all I can do is to Pray, to pray for each and every one of us to be tough and strong to fight all the challenges. Unity and togetherness is what I am for. I know Baganga will rise again but it would take time for it to do so. 

Here's an aerial view of Baganga NOW taken by Jacque D. Rivera (thank you Jacq). I chose this because I personally think this is a perfect shot of Baganga NOW for the world to see. 

at the town of Baganga; the destroyed blue building at the lower right is the Baganga Central Elementary School, the 3-storey building at the upper left is St. Mary's Academy of Baganga.

12 December 2012

Please Heal Us, Please Heal Baganga...

This is a video I made through Photo Peach. I made the song O Hesus, Hilumin Mo from a Jesuit album as a background music. I knew we've been wounded, I knew our hearts have been broken. Thus, we are seeking comfort from the Lord Jesus Christ, Our Savior.

 Jesus, Please Heal US, Please Heal Baganga on PhotoPeach

11 December 2012

SAGIP Baganga

Our SAGIP Baganga tarpaulin posted at the premises of the University of the Immaculate Concepcion
With what's happening to our hometown as evident by the pics I've seen on Facebook, I decided to personally volunteer in a relief effort organization to extend my help to our fellowmen in Baganga. I just can't take it knowing that majority are now homeless and what they need right now are the relief goods for them to survive. It even pains me knowing that my Mom has lined up to get relief goods for the household. =( That is a sad reality each of us Bagangeños by heart to accept. 

To be able to serve the people, I am serving for SAGIP Baganga which is being organized by devoted Bagangeños. SAGIP Baganga is accepting donations/cash donations at the President's office of the University of the Immaculate Concepcion, Bonifacio Street in Davao City for the victims of Super Typhoon Pablo in Baganga Davao Oriental.

Relief Items needed: Rice, Canned Goods, Milk, Cup Noddles and other ready to eat food, water, assorted medicines, Clothings, Blankets, Flashlights w/ batteries, Tents, Mosquito Nets.

For cash donations, please deposit to BPI Savings Acct #: 2889-0529-56 Domitilla Apostol.

Please help save lives.
Please HELP Baganga and its people.


Baganga After Typhoon Pablo (Bopha) 2012

This year 2012 marks a sad year for us, Bagangeños. It is during this year specifically December 4, 2012 when  Pablo made its landfall in our hometown in Baganga, Davao Oriental which claimed the lives of many, injured a lot of people, and left our homes and buildings almost 100% destroyed. 

My sister and my brother went home 2 days after Pablo destroyed the place and these are the pics she took:

My siblings had to ride in one of these bancas to be able to reach our hometown. This is in Baugo, where the bridge has collapsed due to typhoon Pablo.
The now leafless trees near the vicinity of our house. =(
My lola's house

The Broken, Collapsed Bridge

This is a long bridge in Baugo, connecting the towns Baganga and Caraga in Davao Oriental.

More Pics of Devastated Baganga

The town of Baganga, Davao Oriental is now totally devastated. All the structures are destroyed. If it's a concrete building, it's roofless. If a house is not concrete, it's for sure destroyed and is not capable for people to live in it.

Take a look at these pics:

Aerial view of Baganga town. Photo credits: Jacque Rivera

Saint Mary's Academy

A street in Baganga

A street in Baganga

Baganga, Davao Oriental Isolated?

Personally, I got so disappointed not being able to get any updates from my beloved hometown in Baganga, Davao Oriental, including updates about my relatives specifically my parents a few hours after learning that Super Typhoon Pablo made its landfall there. My sister and I stayed home during that day online and even turned the television on the whole day, hoping that at anytime, a breaking news or anything of that sort could be sought. It just worsened when I learned from ABS CBN News Channel ANC that there's a power and electricity outage in some areas in Davao Oriental, including our hometown. That explained why all my family's phone lines were out of reached.

On the later days, I got hold of the news that Baganga is among the isolated places to be stricken by that powerful typhoon and that it isn't still accessible. Why isolated? Is it because a certain bridge has collapsed in Baugo making it inaccessible? How come help didn't get through right away unlike those in New Bataan and the rest of the Compostela Valley Province? Can't choppers be hired for that instance to get hold of the news at least? Aren't there any collaborative efforts made from those people in authority to get the freshest news from there?

I really am disappointed for that matter.
It's not only me who's disappointed. A lot of Bagangeños all over the world are so much disappointed.

It was only through Facebook pictures then that we're able to finally take a glimpse of our once-lovely hometown which turned out to be totally destructed by Pablo's wrath.

And that makes me sad.
Depressing pictures did make me sad.
Will Baganga be able to rise again?
I just bowed down my head and whispered a silent prayer to my family, relatives, kababayans, and my beloved place.

09 December 2012

A Few Baganga Pics Devastated with Typhoon Pablo

Baganga Hi-way

the street in between the municipal plaza at the left and the parish church and St Mary's Academy at the right side

Still at Baganga hi-way; shell station at the topmost left damaged by the typhoon

Photo Credits: Vilma Batao Ikeda

I will post more pics soon.

Baganga Experiences Power and Communication Outage after Pablo's Landfall

I had little less sleep and woke up too drowsy on December 5. Prepared myself early for work while TV was turned on for the news updates about Typhoon Pablo thinking by then that the media can already deliver news updates from our hometown. Still it's a failure in my part to get the freshest news from my beloved hometown as Governor Malanyaon, who was interviewed by ANC over the phone, said that there's a communication and power outage in Davao Oriental.

Feeling sad, I went to work with my mind solely thinking about the plight of my parents, relatives, and my kababayans back home. I was actually late at work because within me, I just wanna stay home til I could get to hear news from our place and to hear my parents talk.

It was past 2PM when I saw my mom's pic in my caller ID making the call. I jumped with joy, ran outside of our unit ward, and stayed where there's a strong signal. My mom related to me the details of how Pablo did attack the place. She told me how strong the wind was at that time. She related that Baganga is really pitiful right now because of the wrath of Pablo. Our house now stands without a roof and most of Baganga's houses are now roofless too! I told my Mom I was happy to talk to her. I asked her if they still got food for themselves. She reassured me they're okay but the whole town and the people in general aren't okay.

I really thanked GOD, Mama Mary for saving the lives of my parents.
Thank you really GOD for keeping them safe.
I love them so much that's why I can't afford not to think about them.

Next post: Pics about the devastated Baganga

Typhoon Pablo Makes Landfall in Baganga

Who would have thought that Typhoon Pablo will make its landfall in Baganga, Davao Oriental, my hometown, when all the news were focused on its anticipated landfall in Hinatuan, a province in Surigao del Sur?

Yes, it was early morning of December 4, 2012 at 4:45AM when all the news networks on TV aired Pablo's landfall in Baganga Davap Oriental. My thoughts were with my family specifically my parents during that time. I kept my fingers crossed thinking about them and how they might have been. I knew how strong this Super Typhoon 5 Pablo hitting Baganga. I prayed so hard for my families and for Baganga. While in Davao at Storm Signal Number 2, strong winds have occurred and rains did persist for the whole day. There was a brownout but in less than an hour, electricity was back. I and my sister spent the whole time that day just watching TV and stayed on the internet to get updates from our hometown.

We failed. 
We never got updates the whole day of December 4,2012, not even news and radio updates.
That night, my sister slept with me because she can't helped thinking bout our parents and relatives back there in Baganga. We slept late clueless and frustrated.

Preparation for Storm Pablo

I came from a graveyard shift that day. I knew Super Typhoon Pablo was coming. I just slept to regain physical strength. When I woke up, I felt the cool breeze and got to listen to the sound of the wind. It's not as strong like how it was on the day Pablo had arrived but I knew the storm was coming. The clouds became dark and that signaled me to fix myself and go to the supermarket to buy our basic needs. My parents called up that day too, and likewise, they were also warned about the typhoon. I told them to take good care of themselves as it was aired that Pablo will make its landfall in Hinatuan in Surigao, which is a few hours from Davao Oriental. It was 5pm when I got to the mall. I bought candles, loaves of bread, canned goods, ready-to-cook foods, etc.  I even rushed home because I don't wanna get caught with the traffic. My mom also FB-messaged me, telling to go home too. 

That's how I prepared for Pablo.

Typhoon Pablo Hits Mindanao

Ever since I was young, I never experienced any typhoons here in Mindanao unlike in Luzon and other parts of the Philippines where typhoons frequent some places. That's one thing I'd forever be thankful of to GOD because Mindanao has been tagged as a typhoon-free area (that was then).

Not until the alert that Typhoon Pablo's gonna hit us first week of December.
At first, it was hard to believe it. How could I believe it when a few days before it occurred, the sun was way up high in the sky delivering its intense heat when all I wanna do then was to situate myself in a fully-airconditioned room. Dad even called up from Baganga and told me there's a storm signal alert that's why he ceased to leave for work to Cateel that day.

Yes, I did experience Typhoon Pablo's strength even if I am here in Davao that sad day of December 4. We're placed under Storm signal Number 2. In here, I heard the rumbling of the winds. I've witnessed the movement of the roofs nearby and also the slamming of the doors. I kept thinking how the typhoon might be like in my hometown where Pablo made its landfall.

I can't anymore understand the settings of this blog site. I can see there are big gaps between my posts. Can someone help me out with this? I don't find it pleasing. I want posts to be closer to each other.