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yes it is true that i lost my way! :{ for several months i have been trying to get back but i just lost everything… the password to this site, the passwords to my emails and even my email addresses! fortunately, just tonight, while staring at my screen debating with myself whether to create another account or not, i tried to access my email linked to this account! this is my lucky day, i guess because suddenly, i was in! and so i was able to successfully reset my password! i’m so happy! thank you! now, i can blog again! 🙂

from the moment i met you
i instantly knew
that you would be a part of me
in so many ways…

we chat and we talk
at first quite hesitantly
but you were persistent
to put me at ease…

after some time
our walls disappeared
our friendship bloomed
into something deeper…

one day you told me
that you miss me so
and you love me too
my heart skipped…

because it’s amazing
that i feel the same
i miss you so
and i love you too…

best friends in love
that’s what we are
the feelings that we have
will bind us for always…

i miss you so
and i love you too! ❤

smiles of gratitude…

A smile can mean many things. But the smiles of people in this post convey happiness and gratitude for those who have showed them care and gave them hope to go on living despite of the great devastation that they have had brought about by typhoon yolanda.

A week after yolanda’s visit, when the communication lines had been restored, I received overwhelming messages from family and friends both near and far. Everybody was asking how I was. Some were worried because they were not able to contact me for days. I am sorry if I was not able to answer you all, but I guess that my previous post https://jecunada.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/super-typhoon-an-unwanted-visitor/ can give you some ideas on how it was for me.

I did not expect to get any help from anybody at that time because I knew that there were others who need them more. But I was so filled with joy and gratitude when some friends came over 2 days after to give me water and a loaf of bread. By that time, our drinking water already needed refill, but there was no supply at all. They were my angels! Thank you so much! =)

Help did not stop there. More friends sent me messages on how they could help since they knew that my home town was also badly hit. I coordinated with them, gathered all their donations and brought everything home. I requested my family to help me repack. We were able to make 30 family bags and 15 smaller ones.

our relief bags...

our relief bags…

Now I understand why “RELIEF GOODS” are called as such, for they truly give relief for those who badly need them. When we distributed the goods, I did not only see the smiles in the faces of the recipients, but I also felt their hearts smiled with gratitude… and that is what I want to convey to all the donors.

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I was not able to take the pictures of everyone for I had to leave home for work. But I left the bags at home for Nanay to distribute. We already had identified and list down the families that we wanted to share our goods. It was something that my donor friends trusted me with. By now, every bag had been given out.

By sharing what you have, you have not only given food for temporary relief of all those who received them, but you also gave them hope and inspiration to go on. You sharpened their weapons to fight for their survival! They know and feel that you care for them.

They can give us nothing in return, except for the heartfelt smiles of gratitude that we can see in their faces and feel in their hearts…

To you and to everyone who still continue to inspire people by sharing not only with what they have, but also their time and care…Thank you so much! You are our Angels! =)

super typhoon…an unwanted visitor

Filipinos are known for their hospitality. Almost everybody is welcome in their homes. I know, because I am one of them. But a couple of weeks ago, we had a visitor that nobody wanted. She came in the morning of November 8, 2013 and left before the night ended. But the fear, the trauma and helplessness that she brought can still be felt even up to now.

Days before she came, warnings and preparation tips for her coming were all over the media. We were somehow prepared for her arrival. On the day before, my officemates and I were able to buy canned goods, water and candles in case of brown out. In the office, all our documents were safekept and the equipment were elevated in case of flood.

On the day of her arrival, the day started gloomy, but by 11 am, the wind started to grow stronger and stronger. I was stranded at the office. I could not go out for lunch because by then, tree branches were starting to fly with the whistling wind. When I attempted to stand by our office entrance, I had to hold on with all my might so as not to be blown away too.

By 1pm, the GI sheets from the roofs of the houses around, as well as of the office also started flying. We were all wet from the pouring rain. After a while, we thought that the worst was over. We were wrong because what we experienced earlier was just a prelude to what was coming. By 145pm, we could see the trunks of 50-year old trees swaying with the wind. Their branches and the smaller trees were all down by then. We were shivering from the cold, but most especially from fright. By this time, all our communication lines were down. We could not call nor text. We were cut off from the world. =(

Super strong winds continuously bombarded us for almost 3 hours. It did not even rest for a while. Would we survive? We were asking ourselves silently. By 230pm, the roving guard who braved the storm to perform his duty reported that the roof of my staff house had also gone with the wind =( I wondered where I would sleep that night, If I would ever survive.

By 330pm, the wind finally abated. I had the chance to go home and check the status of my staffhouse. I already knew that the roof was gone, but nothing prepared me to this…

the gate with the beautiful vine (before... that is! )

the gate with the beautiful vine (before… that is! )

this was how i saw it from outside... i was almost afraid to get in...

this was how i saw it from outside… i was almost afraid to get in…

my backyard... where yolly chose to dump the GI sheets from the roofs...

my backyard… where yolly chose to dump the GI sheets from the roofs…

upon entering the house...

upon entering the house…

one of the rooms.. the roof was all gone...

one of the rooms.. the roof was all gone…

another room...

another room…

I rushed to my room and was so thankful that aside from the ankle deep water, my things were still dry. The roofs of the two remaining rooms were still there. I immediately changed into dry clothes and secured some of my important documents and gadgets. I decided to go back to the office because by then people from the community were already starting to take shelter there despite of the fact that part of the admin office roof was already gone.

I decided to take pictures of my neighbors too… nobody was spared I guess…

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houses that were made of light materials were all down...

houses that were made of light materials were all down…

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not only people were homeless... =(

not only people were homeless… =(

By 530pm, although the wind had calmed a little, still it was strong enough to lift the loosened GI sheets as if they were just paper planes. I decided to go back to my house to prepare for the night. By730, I was already in bed listening to the scary sound of the wind that was still trying to lift what remained of my roof. I had no news from home. I wondered how they were. I just prayed that they are all safe.

On the following morning, I woke up to the chaos of my home. The floor was wet and dirty and almost all our things were pushed to one side where there was less water. When I went out, I was greeted by such a beautiful day! The sky was so blue and the rays of the early morning sun was shining though. But when i looked around, devastation was everywhere. The trees were mutilated if not uprooted; the houses were either roofless or ground zero; the roads were unpassable and so many crops were damaged.

fallen electric posts...

fallen electric posts…

this is actually a road that connects two towns.

this is actually a road that connects two towns.

the road towards passi city...

the road towards passi city…

even the coconut tree was snapped like a toothpick...

even the coconut tree was snapped like a toothpick…

a lot of coconut trees fell.

a lot of coconut trees fell.

premature jackfruit...

premature jackfruit…

all banana trees were also down. there will be scarcity of banana in the next few months...

all banana trees were also down. there will be scarcity of banana in the next few months…

the front side is a river... but beyond is supposed to be a sugarcane plantation... can you tell the difference? I cannot! =(

the front side is a river… but beyond is supposed to be a sugarcane plantation… can you tell the difference? I cannot! =(

I was worried, I could not contact home. All highways leading to my hometown were all not passable due to fallen trees and electric posts. It was reported that my hometown was one of those areas where typhoon yolanda had hit badly… I became more worried…

Finally, after 4 days, on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 I had the chance to go home.On my way home, I noticed that indeed they experienced more severe typhoon intensity than what we had experienced in Passi. I thought that ours was so strong already. I was wrong. Every structure that we passed by were damaged, especially those that were made of light materials. I could not help my tears from falling as we continued our journey home.

I was thankful that everybody was safe. Our house was also roofless but my mother was prepared for the disaster. She had rice, canned goods, coal, candles etc. Several families took shelter there despite of the missing roof. Since only the 2nd floor roof was blown away, they made use of a canvass to cover the floor upstairs to minimize the fall of rain-water below. Food and drinking water had become a problem in my hometown. Good because my mother was prepared. But some were surely not. Since they were isolated, there were no inflow of goods. therefore, the prices of commodities rose. Nanay (Mother) said that had the roads not been cleared in another 2 days, they would not have enough food to eat anymore.

photo credit: jzyn  this is our house

photo credit: jzyn
this is our house

photo credit: jzyn a view from the inside

photo credit: jzyn
a view from the inside

photo credit: jzyn even some of the concrete houses were also badly hit

photo credit: jzyn
even some of the concrete houses were also badly hit

photo credit: jzyn houses in our community =(

photo credit: jzyn
houses in our community =(

it will be hard for them to start anew...

it will be hard for them to start anew…

Our house, we can build again… but what will happen to those whose livelihood had also gone with Yolanda? My hometown is a coastal town and almost 95% of the homes along the coastal areas were damaged. The fishermen who get their day to day living from fishing are now without homes and without boats too…

Until now, I cannot believe how strong that typhoon was. We were forewarned… yes… but we could never be ready of its intensity…

Philippines is getting so much attention because of it and we are so grateful to everyone who extends not only their hands but also their hearts. It will take some time before some of us can regain our composure again. But we are not giving up! We know that we can! It is amazing how the world can get smaller when everybody looks after everybody else…

Thank you so much to all and please continue to pray for us.

old and majestic – jaro cathedral

jaro cathedral located at jaro, iloilo city, philippines

jaro cathedral located at jaro, iloilo city, philippines

another old, yet majestic structure that iloilo has is the jaro cathedral. it is the national shrine of the lady of candles that celebrates its feast day every february 2. this feast day is one of the most famous and well celebrated fiestas in iloilo

jaro cathedral was built in 1864. its architectural style is basically baroque but with addition of gothic elements through many renovations

molo church located at molo, iloilo city, philippines...

molo church located at molo, iloilo city, philippines…

since today is the birthday of Mother Mary, i am sharing with you the Molo Church, which is known to be as the feminist church… it is so because inside are 16 images of women saints!… not so common among the Roman Catholic churches…

it was built in 1831 out of coral rocks affixed together with mortar made from egg whites mixed with sand… how amazing is that?…this undeniably beautiful church is a classic example of gothic-renaissance architecture.

it was declared a national landmark in 1992 by the national historical institute…

san joaquin church, located at san joaquin, iloilo, philippines...

san joaquin church, located at san joaquin, iloilo, philippines…

it was during the spanish rule that san joaquin church was built with limestones and corals. its construction started in 1859 and was completed in 1869. it has a unique feature in which its facade depicts a military scene, the victory of the spanish army over the morocan army in the battle of tetuan in 1861, instead of the traditional religious scenes. it is listed as a national cultural treasure by the national historical institute.

the town of san joaquin is situated at the southern tip of iloilo and panay island. it is the last town of iloilo before stepping on the next province, antique.

i have secretly written down my bucket list and one of them is to visit and photograph all the old churches in the island of panay. panay island is composed of 4 provinces… iloilo, capiz, aklan and antique. panay is one of the islands that compose the philippine archipelago.

i have recently started my tour and in my succeeding posts, i will be sharing with you the shots that i have taken so far…

to start off, here is miagao church…

miagao church, located in the province of iloilo, philippines

miagao church, located in the province of iloilo, philippines

miagao church is included in unesco world heritage list. it was built in 1797 and constructed in baroque-romanesque style with strong medieval spanish influence…

old yet majestic, that’s what you are
you make me feel safe, away from any harm
since then till now, you are a haven
for many of us who seek and believe…

“i posted this in my other blog because the pictures here were taken at las hijas farm… but i decided to reblog it here… =)

las hijas farm

“NATURE has its way of showing off its beauty. If left untouched, it will surely grow wild. But if we just look beyond its wilderness, its beauty shines!” =)

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even if…

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even if…
i have thousands of emails to read,
bundles of documents to sign,
and lots of deadlines to meet,
i am not stressed

because…
i just pause for a while
look at your picture
and smile! =)

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