Resilience. Counterpoise.
These are what we have!

Filipinos tend to do such acts which can be admirable amidst life circumstances. This can be seen evidently on the ear-splitting smile and surreal attitude of our kabaleyan even in the midst of difficult situations. Bravura with a positive aura, Pilipinas!

Due to the incessant downpour of rain caused by undeniably queueing of tropical depressions just like a scenario of clogged road vehicles outragingly speeding up just to get in (from #IndayPH to #JosiePh to #KardingPh) to hit and stir habagat in our beloved land-Philippines, a week-long experience of hearing the tic-tac pour of water in the not so saddle roof of our abodes brought high alert alarm in our senses- be it physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and most of all spiritually. This somehow rekindles our inner self as human beings.

When I was a kid, really, a kid!                                                                                                    

Tracing the past, when it rains, we stay at home and do some stuff which may be in the form of relaxation and bonding moment with our family. We enjoy watching movie or TV programs, listening to our favorite music over the radio or CDs, singing melodiously while being accompanied by a guitar, recounting realistic-scenic stories and cracking jokes which sometimes are no jokes at all. We still manage to laugh out loud, and even enjoy the lavish and perfect comfort foods during rainy season like balatong with talbos ng ampalaya coupled with dried fish (tuyo) and oozing but tongue-scalding soup of sopas, arrozcaldo, champorado, with side dish boiled saba (banana), camoteng kahoy (cassava) poured with coconut meat as merienda. Or have you even tried mixing a powdered black coffee beans with a little sweetness of creamer and brown sugar then pouring it on freshly cooked rice (in short, kape na inlebeg ed niluto)? Yeah right, typical Filipino living.  Is it not amazing? Is it not worth-remembering? Whew! These are just proofs of nostalgia; thus, reminiscing the old stuffs.

What about now, know-how?

A little is so much. Ironic right? Reality check, a 24-hour dumb pouring of rain can bring about an overflowing water leading to inundates of land. Before, when it rains, you tell yourself: “Oh what an inviting bad weather to bed weather –oh lala…siesta! ” Today’s milieu, excessive rain waters caused anxiety to many of us that it might invade our simple abode without short notice and may put dismay among us saying in humor: “…walk out the door, just turn around now coz you’re not welcome anymore…” This even alarms us to secure all our home furniture and other important things not to be reached by flood water. Sayang ang pinundar; that is a cost of my own sticky sweat at work.  Kidding aside, for that is what we are as Filipinos – seeing difficult situations on a lighter mode. At some point, we are anxious that due to the non-stop pouring of rain and the strong wind might blow away our roofs. It is really alarming. 

            In a recent post of Hello San Carlos, an official FB page of our beloved city, 59  out of 86 barangays are submerged. Some barangays situated in low-lying areas namely,  Aponit, Salinap, and Tamayo are not new to this experience; however, the water level gives them another flavor of thoughts to worry about. I happened to witness how the community folks deal with the situation. Our dear kabaleyans need to board the so-called “balsa” (a small raft) crafted out of banana or bamboo stalks and woods, just to cross the flooded areas. Seeing them aboard, carrying loads of goods like kilos of rice, some packs of grocery items like coffee, sugar, bread, and viand for their families would tickle your innermost being, especially seeing them smile or simply laugh at the situation.


Grab-a-hand tractor

Via land, via field, via water –Can I grab a trike (short for tricycle), oh I mean, a hand tractor?

Alright! This has been the admirable yet humorous scenario which astounds you as you badly need to pass through the flooded areas and be on queue to be transported to where you are from. The starting point is from the San Juan Bridge where various hand-tractor models lining up like bumble bees alongside the main roads of the city will make you observe in awe! “Sakay na, bente pesos hanggang bayan”, cry the hand-tractor (kuliglig) drivers; some of whom are the so-called “konduktor”. Imagine, not only the jeepneys have their allies on ride, even hand tractor trip. Only in the Philippines! 

On trip, we passed through the flooded areas and realized how deep the water level is. There is a portion along Martin Posadas St. and Palaris-Padilla Road where the water reached above the knee and even on waist level making it not passable for light vehicles. And so, thank you to our sly tricycle drivers (on dry season) turned hand-tractor drivers (on rainy season). Pinoy tayo eh, astig!

Hand tractors are not just  useful equipment for the farmers in the field alone, as shown by our kabaleyans’ brilliant minds (madiskarte, so to speak), we are able to bring about positivity amidst crises. Typically, passengers, regardless of social status, enjoyed the ride as it was evidently reflected on their happy faces. In an interview, some of them admitted that it was just their first time to have that “kuliglig ride experience” and it was fun! See how Filipinos address the tough situations? The situations seem ironic because we manage to smile despite the crises we are into; yet, that is what we truly are. We keep the faith, embrace the fact, and lead the track!

Reality Check

The massive flooding in areas in the city resulted to cancellation of classes both in the private and public sectors, closing  of some business establishments or offices but the marketplace still stands to cater to the basic needs of our kabaleyans. The fact that even our nearby cities, Calasiao and Dagupan, are also under the state of calamity due to the rigorous typhoons calls for us to reflect and act!

Thinking of its effect, why not try to ponder on some causes which led us to this kind of situation? Aren’t we the ones responsible for what we caused? Let us be reminded of our social and nature obligations. We should love and protect the earth we live in. We can have a good start by simply doing household chores with discipline like waste segregation, planting more trees which could help absorb the flood and keeping posted on the do’s and don’ts during calamities so as not to be in danger. It is better to live in a place that has much love, care and protection to give; thus, giving us wonderful memories to offer!

On a lighter note, thanks to NIDO commercial! Inspired by its theme as may be related to the present situation, we, Filipinos, have something to be proud of –Family ties! In the commercial, the couple gets back to love while playing under the rain with their unico hijo (only son). Relating it to what is happening now, maybe the persistent pouring of rain would like to remind us to pause for a while and see the beauty in every disaster. The drops of the rain remind us of life challenges coming our way. Hence, for us to look above and seek for guidance. The hand tractor reminds us as well in having a low key lifestyle no matter how successful we are. Lastly, the smiles of our kabaleyans remind us to strengthen our faith to our Almighty Creator, ignite the love within us by means of helping one another with a genuine heart,  and of course, hope for a better tomorrow after every downside.

After all, we are one as we say…kudos, Filipinos!


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