Showing posts with label dice arcenal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dice arcenal. Show all posts

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Back to basic

It’s another day, and for hundreds of thousands, no power.

36-year-old Eva Aquino of Tagbilaran City remembers the days when everyone would struggle to prepare food and clean the house with a sporadic power supply.  

“Electricity was a luxury then,” says Eva, a pensioner.

There were times when her family had to use “lamparilya,” a small night lamp, because of frequent brownouts.

More than 15 years later, she faces the same tribulations. “It’s the same thing. Naanad nami. It’s going back to basic.”
 Residents fetch water in artesian well...

Preparing meals for her high school daughter is a tough job without electricity. Cleaning the house is another ordeal.

“Foods should be consumed because there’s no refrigerator,” says Aquino.

As result of the massive brownouts, water supplies were affected because water is distributed through electric pumps.

Residents in Booy district, Tagbilaran City have to go to deep and artesian wells to fetch water.  32-year-old Domar Quibol would wake up at 4 a.m. to go to the communal artesian well for their family’s share of water. Cues were long and access to clean and safe water was low. Others go to Caingget Beach’s “tubod” to wash their clothes, bath and fetch water for home use.
...and some go to Caingget Beach to bath and fetch water.

Resorts in Panglao have diesel-powered generators for use during scheduled outages or brownouts, but it’s becoming expensive to run now that we are experiencing power and water shortages in the province after Yolanda hit the country.

Because other residents could not afford to buy generators, they make use of used oil and salt to make a lamp.  

We have been in the dark since Yolanda hit our place. When will power begin to flicker?

More than18,000 customers have had no power in Tagbilaran City, according to the Bohol Light Company, Inc (BLCI).

“Hopefully, we are doing our efforts to restore the power maybe earlier for that matter. We are hoping for the best before December 24 or earlier,” says May Hope “Dice” Arcenal, public relations officer of BLCI.

May Hope Arcenal is living up to her name --- she is giving accurate and up-to-date information about our electricity (most of the time glad tidings of great joy not only to the thousands, yes, count’em!, BLCI valued consumers but also to the whole community listening to her on radio.)

BLCI (like Boheco 1 and 2) is only a power distributor so the company is at the mercy of the supplier.

Hospitals and water suppliers are given priority in the power rationing.

“All we can do is to bear with these crises we are facing now. We have plenty to be thankful for what we have because only the power is out. We are still fortunate enough we don’t experience what the Leyte people have experienced,” says the unassuming, low-key and down-to-earth Arcenal. “Just be patient as of this moment. We need all your understanding.”
May Hope "Dice" Arcenal

Bb. Pilipinas World-2006 and Bangon Visayas crusader Anna Maris Igpit posted on Facebook: “Boholanos, I know we have been experiencing power and water shortage in our province. It's becoming a big hassle for us because we are not used to it. But I think we have to be reminded that our problem is nothing compared to the sufferings of those in Leyte, Samar, Capiz, Iloilo, Cebu, Palawan and other places. They have nothing to eat, no roof, no houses, no water, no livelihood, basically NOTHING. So let us stop complaining and ranting because we are still blessed. I would also like to appeal that our government declare Bohol a SPUG (Small Power Utilities Group) area so that NPC can provide electricity or gen sets at affordable rates. We can't afford to allow this power shortage to affect our economy.”

While we are at it, UB’s Registrar Leah Tirol-Magno shares these very smart and practical tips:

We have been in an "American living" mode for so long now, and with the recent development that Tagbilaran City and the whole province of Bohol will be on blackout mode for an undetermined period, let me share some practical tips, as we go along with our daily lives:

1. In "ironing" clothes, use a damp face towel, rub it on crumpled or creased clothes. Hang the clothes to dry. Now it's ready to wear like it's freshly ironed.

2. We use paper plates, plastic spoons, forks and cups so we don't need to wash dishes. Save on water and same on time. Sorry for the additional garbage amount.

3. Guys, you may pee in the garden, so you need not use water to flush the toilet.

Note: In the old Booy neighborhood, we walked kilometers to fetch water bringing our containers and galloons. Life was very simple then; there was no electricity. Electricity and water came in 1980s...but we survived.

 Lobocanon Ana Liza Abao, a Masscom student at Southwestern University, shares her story on Christmas, Pinoy style, in her “Let’s Bring It On”:

On one rainy morning when Zoraida tried to have her name be remembered, I was riding in one of Cebu City’s passenger jeepney when out of nowhere, three youngsters hopped in with alarming looks. In a minute or two, they started their showdown that had awakened my senses to comprehend what they really want. Placing his right hand above his chest that seems like a ‘Panatang Makabayan’ gesture, one of them made an introduction in Cebuano dialect and said, “Ma’am, Sir ayaw kamo kabalaka. Dili kami daotang taw niining buntaga. Buot lamang kami mopaambit sa among musika tungod kay lagi Pasko na. Wagtanga ang problema kay mipalayo na si Yolanda. Break it down, oh yeah!”

Mighty goodness, it wasn’t a hold-up and that was a relief. To continue, the three of them entertained us with their originally composed Christmas carols in humorous lyrics. The elderly woman seated next to me responded with a grin and might have been delighted by the beat box and sound effects like Showtime’s Jam Bunganga contestants as she handed to them a fifty-peso bill instead of the reminder ‘Barya lang po sa umaga.’

Oh yeah, it’s almost Christmas. In the aftermath of catastrophic disasters which reminded us that we have not been good stewards of nature and now we reap the harvest of our indifference and wrongdoing, I wonder how many of us are still eager towards Christmas countdown.

With the way things are, how are we going to celebrate our Christmases like the way we used to- our Boholano homes adorned with colorful decorations along with Christmas delights. And to complete, those house-to-house caroling ended with the words ‘Ang babait ninjo, tingkyu!’

Christmas may never be the same from the previous years but the Lord- the Emmanuelle is still the same God-who-is-with-us and His presence in our lives light the way for all whose lives we’ve touched.

 Yes it is. For all whose lives we’ve touched. Needless to say, our ‘bayanihan’ spirit in the midst of the threat of calamities has inspired others to share what they have. Those nameless millions who have donated cash and goods from the different parts of the globe and the untiring time, effort and willingness of others to repack those relief goods have kept our resilience even in turbulent times.

Just as it is more fun in the Philippines, truly we can easily find ways to laugh or smile after the unimaginable quake that hit our beloved Bohol and Yolanda’s hellish wrath in the region.

I remembered how my calm and refine 87 year old aunt laughed upon reading the quake-licious menu with a twist offered by one of Loboc’s floating resto (that is  Loboc Riverwatch owned by Tessie and Libby Sumampong- LPU) such as linog-gaw and manganitude with 7.2 bagoong. In addition, they also have seafood kurog-kurog with suman dagan-dagan and bingkang naliki. What an earth shocking offering.

When Yolanda struck unmercifully after Napoles exposed her favorite piece of “I invoke my right” matched with “I don’t know”, I knew of someone who devoted her time, effort and confidence to take ‘selfie’ pics having the caimito tree with its leaves swinging in the strong wind and rain as her background. People of this age.

Oh yes, Napoles. Remembering the pork barrel queen makes me create a wild  imagination that it would be better for her to be thrown into the sea as a sacrificial offering to prevent Yolanda from coming. Like the reluctant prophet Jonah in the days of old, Napoles can be swallowed by a big whale and be vomited into an island where she can think things right.

Since electricity had been cut off for two days in the vicinity where my Bol-anon co-boarders and I are staying, I made use of my time by reading Bob Ong’s book entitled ‘Stainless Longganisa’ which was bought by my sister right after we visited our barrio cemetery in Loboc. There is no connection with the book and the cemetery but at least I had an early Christmas present during All Souls’ Day. And Bob Ong must be a lover of gags when he wrote “Iniaalay sa mga punong ginawang papel para maging libro” instead of dedicating his book to his family and loved ones.

As to when will be electricity be ever restored to normalcy is still uncertain. A text message from a friend expressed her dismay as she missed to watch the fairytale wedding of the year. She was referring to Ser Chief and Maya’s matrimonial vows. And that wedding was trending on twitter #BCWMHthefairytaleweddingoftheyear. Someone added, “kilig much.”

Heck, that wedding day was on the same date when that 7.2 trembling quake hit Bohol.

On the other hand, as there is always the negative side, it is disgusting how Satan and all his minions tried to disunite us even in social media portals wherein some individuals belonging to a sect have raged war against Catholics claiming that they are the only ones who will be saved and that Catholics must be doomed and perished from the earth.  

Instead of claiming for salvation exclusively or condemning others because of religion, it would be better for us to be reminded the story of the woman caught in adultery where Jesus said to them, “Whichever of you has committed no sin may throw the first stone at her.”

Each of us is a mixture of good and evil but there is always God’s spark in us. Let us then use this spark even in our own little way and become bearers of charity and goodness to others.

To all of us who are experiencing these dark moments much more than Anderson Cooper had seen in reality, now is the time for us to assert each other that we are one as a grateful nation- a Christian country who knows how to smile even if the world doesn’t smiles back.

In unison, let’s bring it on!

Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohan at Twitter /Facebook.