Showing posts from September, 2018

Special Report: Communicating Water

CEBU, Philippines - A family of five living on a highland in Lahug, Cebu City in Cebu, Philippines waits for the late evening to come to store water. They understand that because of the elevated land, water flow is challenging and water only arrives when neighboring businesses (a laundry shop, a water refilling station, a fast food restaurant, and several eateries) below, by the busy main road, close after dinnertime. This family store water in three barrels, which could last them two days of drinking, cooking, bathing, and washing the dishes. The difficulty happens when there is no water available at all. In the past week, there was nothing to store for three nights in a row. At the time, in the absence of notice of water interruptions from public utility firm Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD), the mother, Nene, had decided to wait. If, on the fourth night, there would still be no water, she would bring out her containers and ask for some from neighbors who have de

The Extraordinary Tales of Some Trees

Aren’t you afraid of trees? Especially tall, dark ones? The trees that are older than our grandfathers? The ones that survived the war, saw how you were born and is watching you grow up? The trees that still stand steadfast and quiet where they are before man encroached on their territory and built swimming pools around them? The trees that are not just home to bugs, ants and dog’s urine but also to extraordinary creatures? Some people say the trees in cities are dead, or devoid of any spirit or purpose. But there is one tree in a large barangay in Cebu City that had cursed a family in the 1970s. As the story goes, the head of that family was a successful businessman. He may have been talented at what he did but tact was what he terribly lacked. This dearth in courteousness was what allegedly put his family at risk with spirits. His family was well-to-do, still is, a comfortable member of the working class. Their house in itself is a reflection of their rising status. It is not

Think of the garbage collectors, then segregate

CEBU CITY, Philippines — When you hear that persistent clanging of a small bell outside your house, you would know that the garbage truck has just arrived. When you put out your trash, you often see the driver resting in his seat and a couple of loaders who have to segregate your trash for you but are ill-equipped to do so. And yet some families turn a blind eye to the effects of their poor solid waste management at home. This is a common scene in some parts of Cebu, including Barangay Mabolo in Cebu City . For an unpublished undergraduate thesis as a requirement for their graduation at St. Theresa’s College-Cebu , three students explore a sad, if not ugly, side of solid waste management in Barangay Mabolo. Before their thesis submission in November 2015, Mary Mae Rias, Romayne Danielle Rivera and Kristina Jewel Sotto observed and interviewed nine garbage collectors, all members of the barangay’s Clean and Green Sanitation Committee, whose work is mainly garbage and waste colle

Adam & Faye - The Wedding

Adam studied the church’s altar. It was drowned with white roses. But there was enough glint of gold to provoke him into introspection. The gold looked real, shaped into houses that sheltered human representations of the Holy Trinity. Adam was awestruck. It looked like how men would think of heaven, while loud organ music harped in the background, the white roses like clouds at the feet of the divine figures whose hands reached out quite kindly but whose cold eyes looked like they are passing strict judgment. Adam himself suddenly felt judged, his heart wanting to question his predicament, his mind working doubly hard to move his body according to rationality. All he could do at the moment was sigh deeply. Adam felt someone nudged him and when he turned to him, Ovid, his best friend and best man, signaled a head to the far end of the aisle. Adam followed his line of sight and saw his bride slowly coming toward him. The crowd stood up and clapped. He had heard of stories about g