Nature, Humans, and Dogs (?)

Nature has its way of manifesting itself so that people would realize how powerful it is. What I mean is that people – we – take nature for granted: the big tree in the yard that we used to play hide-and-seek on while we were kids, the rivers that we used to bathe in as kids (well, some of us did!), the trees that lined the boulevard and streets, the trees that lined the many roads and avenues of Dumaguete, and so on…

Yes, I, like so many of you out there, take nature for granted. Then, things happen. Things that we’d rather not happen but happen they did, anyway. Things that make one think that nature should not be taken for granted because, when we do, it catches us offhand, unaware.

Of the many instances that make me appreciate nature – and Dumaguete! – the craziest but best memories I could dig up were the following:

My Cebu Life

Back in 2005 to sometime around 2007, I was working in Cebu. Well, I actually started living in Cebu City in April of 2005 because of the review for the board examination. When I got my license (as Chemist) in September, it was but natural that I continue living in Cebu. Of course, jobs for the profession are a dime a dozen in Cebu, whereas, finding one if Dumaguete would be very difficult. It was my luck that by October, I already got a job at a well-known Cement Factory. Cebu, being a highly industrialized business city, is bustling with life but has only about 10-20% greens (plants or trees). The air was so polluted that one could hardly breathe without feeling the grit and smoke of the passing cars.

Living in San Fernando, Cebu was almost like home – trees, grasses, the beach, and more bushes. Still, because of the cement factory, the air was still grimy plus the place was still almost as hot and humid as the city even when it is 30 km away! I managed to group my days at work so that I work for 10 days straight then have 4 days of rest – enough for me to go home to Dumaguete. Those 4 days were among the most treasured days every two weeks. My  siblings and Bobby (then, my boyfriend) would look at me like I was crazy (well, they actually tell me that I am crazy) because I would spread my arms in the air as we ride our motorcycle home and breathe the air of Negros, of Dumaguete. They would then laugh at me because they say that the air in Dumaguete is polluted but I didn’t care – the air here smelled of trees, of grassses, yes, still of cars and motorcycle exhaust but the smell of the acacia trees overpowers the pollution.

You don’t really believe me? Well, try living in Cebu City for months, then, come back – you’d probably hug a tree when you arrive 😀

Nature Strikes

I had recently blogged about Jolina, the storm. Still, even when she was such a pest and made our lives miserable, she didn’t do much damage – unlike Kiko, the one that came right after her. Kiko was the storm that Maree and I feared when we saw the PAGASA bulletin because the clouds were super large. Still, it didn’t bring much rains to Dumaguete. Still, it brought strong gusts of wind that could possibly be pointed as the reason for the two large acacia trees falling to the ground – one in Bacong (which is 200+ years) and another near the north side of the city.

This is probably nature’s revenge – revenge for what, I do not know. Still, it brought 1 death and hours of traffic at the north highway. The Bacong tree fell away from the street – towards the bakery that stood to its west side. I am not good at gathering news stories but because Bobby and I passed there on the same day that it fell, we saw that it damage a portion of the building and some electrical wires that was on its immediate vicinity. I assume that the incident did not harm anyone.

The tree near NSO fell with a dramatic swoop – slamming on a passing motorcab-for-hire, killing the driver. It was a gloomy Saturday for Dumaguete. The electricity was out until afternoon for some of the northern barangays while the whole city with abuzz with news of the driver’s predicament. People, as usual, went to see the proceedings – of getting the driver out from under the tree. Even when the driver was taken out and brought to the hospital (but DOA), people continued to flock there as related by my cousin who also went to see the event. It was indeed a sad day. Then, just this morning, it was mentioned on the radio that the driver’s family was so poor that the wake was held on candle-light because they do not have electricity. Tsk tsk… shouldn’t somebody from the government assist the man, his wife, and three young kids? Yes, it was a tree that killed the man – nobody’s tree, perhaps, but it is within the city’s jurisdiction, along the city’s roads! It is but proper that assistance be given to the man’s family and for his burial even when he is a citizen of the adjacent municipality of Sibulan!

On Dogs

On the lighter side, our dogs are having fun (or are tortured) walking/jogging with us down the tree-lined avenue near our home 😀 Alvin said that exercise wouldn’t make me thin but it could make me lose some of the arthritic pain on my knees and joints 😀 Twingkay is getting bigger – she’s almost 6 kilograms already!

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