Friday, May 04, 2007

Living in Mindanao

The apartment where we currently live is called Townhouse. It has 10 apartments – 5 on each row and the front door is facing the other apartment’s front door. In between is the walkway or car park. And the water tank is just above the “guard house” which comprises the walkway’s width. Since our apartment is beside the tank, the owner’s nephew came yesterday to do some cleaning of the main pipe which was situated at our side garden.

We live here for 3 1/2 years already. The place is called Triniville Subdivision, Block 2, and our road would just be cemented only now. When we arrived here, I was disgusted. I felt like I was thrown into a local jail. Our previous apartment was absolutely different from this. People commented that our place there was paradise. Here, it’s not only small, but the bathroom even looked like a communal cr. Indeed, I couldn’t imagine living here. I mean sleeping, bathing, eating, praying, and doing just every simple things. I wanted to turn back but common sense told me I couldn’t. I cried when I knew I’ll be staying here already. To make things worse, our 6 dogs which we carried all the way, died due to canine distemper around the vicinity. It’s horrible and I felt like my whole world stopped.

On October 2003, Fr. Cacho blessed our apartment along with the adjacent side garden. Fast forward 2005, I’d say I’m doing well here. Our bathroom was kind of renovated and it’s beautiful already. Of course, I did adjust. With only 2 bedrooms, that means I have to be with my other sisters and Mom, where my brothers would be on the other room. With the different dialect called “Illongo”, I finally learned to understand simple words and cooperate with tricycle drivers or bystanders to survive. With so many Moslems (and even Muslim politicians) here and so few Catholic Churches, I stood firm on my Catholic faith. That this place belongs to the Philippines Islands and not to the Moslems.

It was backward here – but this year, the national athletes’ game was held here. It is good to say that finally this city is improving. Though I understand some “Illongo”, I don’t speak it, nor will I ever do. I want to retain my “Tagalog” and they in turn were forced to speak our national language. There’s only one good news here: prices. Prices are very low here. You’ll be surprised how a cabbage costs for only 10 pesos while in Luzon it’s 25 pesos! Fruits are very affordable too! I think it’s abundant here. Deo Gratias! My Mom grew big (though trimmed down) here, and I’m happy the way she looks despite her age! People thought she’s only 36!

In conclusion, I would say it’s a blessing in disguise my Mom decided to move here. It made me closer to God that I could never have found in Manila. Though, I was praying the 15 decades of the Rosary, I was so busy with the world. But now, I’ve changed and if ever I’ll return to my hometown in Manila, I guess I would never compromise my intimacy with God to my relatives and friends there. He gave me the strength to overcome difficulties here; He comforted me when I was sad here, and many other things but most especially, He showed me the right disposition in life.

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