I’m applying for a business license here in Davao City. One of the requirements is to attend a seminar for “The City Environment and Natural Resources Office” (they called it CENRO). It’s the garbage disposal/collections here in the city. The City has implemented a mandatory waste segregation scheme since 2009 under the Ecological Solid Waste Management Ordinance, urging every households and business establishments to segregate garbage according to types of solid waste which are either, biodegradable, recyclable and residual. The CENRO partnered with all the Barangay officials in order to maintain the cleanliness of the city.
The Cenro, are encouraging all residents to practice segregating. Cenro said every household should have 3 garbage bins at least in the house. Try to label them too. One for “Biodegradable”, “Recyclable”, and “Residual”. They’re also encouraging everyone to make a composting bin (do-it-yourself kinda thing) in the backyard. They even showed a nice wood box or they said many households uses big flower pots for it. The residual waste has a special time and required to be thrown in the designated collection place. Throwing time would be between 6 to 9 PM. You ask your Barangay captain where to bring or where the collections of the garbage in your area. The Barangay officials also will collect if you have used oil from your cooking. Some company abroad were training the barangay official what to do with it, trying to make that into something (still experimental).
For the recyclable. You can sell all your recyclable at the junk shops. If your area the garbage collections is not consistent. Try to ask your Barangay captains where to dump your garbage. Don’t allow younger kids that goes around your area to collect your garbage. The CENRO speaker said most of the time those kids will just get the money that you paid them then dump the garbage on the side of the road. Then if they get caught and the CENRO inspector would asked the kids, if the kid give out your name then you will get in trouble because those kids are minors. They said you the homeowners know already not to be dumping garbage.
Non-segregation of solid waste is a violation of the law. First offenders are fined Php 300 and required to attend the seminar. Second or more offense, offenders might pay Php 500 -1k – 3k – Php 5k might do community service. Higher offenders paying the fine and staying in jail. Some of it you might violate 2 offense so you might pay Php 600 to 10k or more. Better go to CENRO and learn and get some brochure from them. I will go back there and get some too. I want my household to learn more too. I forgot to get on my way out during our seminar. Also in the house, you know those falling leave or the dry leaves from your flowers. It’s required to put those on the compose bin that you’re making in your yard, burning is a big No, No.
If you are a small business owners especially small karenderia (restaurant) and catering company. Try to go and learn about the segregation and let your employees know too. They are really getting stricter now. Our speaker said that someone was already in jail just over a garbage. So he said if the CENRO inspector comes to your establishment even if the owner is not there let the inspector check what they have to do, because if they are not allowed to go inside and inspect it is automatic they will give ticket.
The CENRO office also encourages everyone to report those homeowners that brings those government owned garbage can inside their house. It’s the property of everyone the speaker said. It should be put outside where everybody can put their garbage into it. The speaker said that if you see anybody that had the garbage can inside their house, to take picture and report to the barangay officials. If the barangay officials didn’t do anything about it, then call the Cenro office and report those violators.
To really learn more about garbage segregation go to CENRO Office inside People’s Park or at CENRO Office in Agdao Public Market second floor. The Cenro people will be happy to assist you there.
For Filipinos who are Catholic, they will celebrate Simbang Gabi mean, meaning “night mass” or “evening mass” or “Misa de Gallo” (rooster’s mass). It is a nine day novena in honor of Mary the Mother of Jesus Christ the Savior. It is celebrated by going to mass everyday from the 16th of December to Christmas eve December 24th. Most churches celebrate the mass at dawn. When I was growing up we usually go to church at 4 am. Still sleepy at first, sleepiness would be gone after the mass starts. We had to go with my family. We enjoyed seeing our other families there too.
In the Philippines, most streets that lead to the church are lit up with Christmas lights or lanterns (parol), the lights I guess are signifying the star that led the wise men to the birth of Jesus Christ. In our province when I was growing up after the mass the church had a bit food at the back. After the mass, any church goers can partake the snacks. It’s for everyone. Not sure now though if some small church still do that kind of thing.
For you people that live near the catholic church. Have you noticed the church bell keeps ringing from the early hours during this time of Evening Mass? The church will keep ringing that bell for people to rise up from sleep in preparation for the Simbang Gabi. Some churches start the bell ringing at 2:00 am, and don’t be surprised if a band might roam around your street / neighborhood for a celebration and to wake you up.
Our helper goes to church now and she really goes everyday. She told me that at the churches she goes to it’s overflowing with people. That’s why she goes earlier for her to get a place to sit down. She told me that it’s mostly the whole family that attends the mass. Some families after church will have breakfast together and eat the Filipino delicacies.
I think in Manila they have mass during night time. Honestly Simbang gabi should be celebrated at night. Just by the name alone Simbang Gabi means “Evening Mass”, it should be during night time. Some churches here in Mindanao might celebrates during night time and I’m just not aware of it. When I studied in Cebu back in the 1980’s, they celebrates Simbang Gabi there during dawn too. This celebration could be regional, but I’m not totally sure of it though. If you or your church celebrates during night time here in the Mindanao and the Visayas to drop us a note here.
I think Filipinos in the USA also attend Simbang Gabi. I think Filipino priest there have Simbang Gabi mass. I think in California area they do have Simbang Gabi. They welcome everyone that wants to attend the mass. Check at your local parish church if they have. I would not be surprised if some areas in Europe have Simbang Gabi too, especially if they have many Filipino people in the area and with a Filipino priest that lives there that might be easily approved by the head of the church in your area.
Enjoy attending the Simbang Gabi with your family. Lets pray for peace and love for this holiday season. Hope everyone will have a good Christmas celebration and have a great New Year ahead too. Praying for our troops that fought for our freedom. Have a safe celebration everyone.
MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!
I was just walking at the downtown area just here in the city with my son, Jared too. We saw a kid (might be around 11-13 years old) coming towards us, as soon as he was a few feet from us. He opened his hands, inside his hand was a small box. I think he was really offering it for me thinking I’m the one that would pay if ever. When he opened the box it shows a gold chain with pendant in it. It looks real. He was offering for me to buy the jewelry. I turned around and told him I’m not interested. I think he was shocked that I didn’t even try to see the jewelry and also I refused to buy the item. Immediately played in my head where did this kid get this nice piece of jewelry and offering around. Of course it went through my mind that, that piece of jewelry could be stolen, snatched or taken from the jewelry store. I don’t really know. Everything was just playing my head.
Just then a lady was looking at the kid and she seems interested. As soon as she got out from the bank the kid offered it to her. She was checking it and brought the kid to her car. She also had 3 other ladies inside the car and they were really checking the item. I think the first lady were negotiating with the kid. I just didn’t bother to checked them out. To be honest that really shocked me that she’s thinking of buying the item.
While those people negotiating with the kid. I asked my son, Jared if he will buy any kind of items offered to him like that. He said immediately “No Way, I’m not buying anything like that, I’m not sure where those items comes from. It could be stolen or being snatched from somebody else. I don’t want to be involved with that kind of stuff”. Wow, that answers from my kid really made me happy.
That incident reminds me of what I witnessed in Manila almost a decade ago. I went there for a business. My friends brother (Jun) was my tour guide. He was taking me to the place for my meeting and other areas there that I needed to shop. Somewhere in Greenhills we were waiting for the stop light. Jun reminded me to be very careful with my purse and my cell phone. He told me to hugged tight my purse and put my cell phone away inside the secret pocket in my purse. Which I obliged. He knows Manila than I do. While waiting a teenager approached us and offered a cell phone. I didn’t even pay attention that much to the kid, plus I don’t intend to buy cell phone on the street. I guess Jun was asked by these kind of people a thousand times while his traveling the city. Just for me to see, and to proved to me why he said to be careful and pay attention. He asked the kid: Where’s the cell phone that that person was talking about? The teen’s lips pointed to the person just a few feet away from us. He said that cell phone. It was the newest phone model at that time. I guess what the kid would do, if we said yes he will snatched the cell phone and sell that to us. My mouthed just went wide open and my eyeballs just about to pop out hearing the kid. I said “What?”. I was gonna say some bad words. Jun knows that I’m like his sister will say what’s in our mind. He pinched my arm and his making a gesture for me to shut up. Which I did. Jun was scared those people might hurt us if ever I said too much.
Jun then turned towards me and said see what the snatcher will do here. That’s why you have to be very careful here. Just then I was thinking, why would people buy such items if offered to them that you know that those people took it from somebody else for you to have them? Are you not feeling guilty about it?
Anyway, just some thoughts. I know too that those kid will do anything out of desperation. Especially if living with irresponsible parents or other family members. Felt sorry for the kids, they were manipulated and used. Some are being force to do for them to have a better life and to have lots of stuff. Really as the saying goes in America “Just to keep up with the JONES or in the Philippines to keep up with the AYALA’S “.
When you’re reading this post my son Aaron is on his way traveling to the USA. He started his journey last night (Wednesday). He left Davao at 10:15 pm, and arrived in Manila at a little after midnight. He will be in Manila for a few hours, then he will be starting his journey to the USA today Thursday (today) here in the Philippines. He will be arriving in Portland, Oregon (Thursday there in that part of the world) almost 24 hours after he left Manila .
This trip, it all started almost 2 years ago. My mother-in-law got seriously ill. Aaron at that time was just a few months shy of his high school graduation. Part of his high school graduation gift, Bob and I decided on sending him to the USA to see his grandma and bond with her. When we talked to Aaron about our plan, we got a big “NO” from him. So Bob and I didn’t push him, we just dropped the subject, sort of mentioning once in awile. 6 months after, Aaron decided that he was ready. He told us that he wanted to visit his granny by June. He was just few months shy of his 17th birthday. So we gathered lots of his papers for the travel plan. We found out that there was so much stuff to do for him since he will be traveling alone and underage. When we went to some Philippine government agency for some paper work, Aaron got frustrated. As usual everything was so slow. Just to get something you will be standing in line for literary hours at a time.
He told us then that he wants to wait to travel after his 18th birthday. Less hassles. So after his 18th birthday, we then started gathering his papers. We went to Manila for his passport renewal from the US embassy. Apply some local paper work. Finally it was finished a few weeks ago. So we started looking for cheap tickets. We also thought that he will be traveling around the month of April or May. The tickets for April and May were much more expensive. When we tried to get good tickets, this week is really the best price ticket to travel already. Bob saw a cheap ticket a week or so ago. We thought that it will still be okay to wait. When we tried to book, it’s already full. Luckily we got another cheaper ticket. We got him a round trip ticket. He will be there for a little over 7 months. If he wants to extend he will try to re-book the ticket again for later return, which will incur a fee of course. I’m sure we will pay some for that.
He is really excited to go and see his Granny. It’s been a few years since he last saw her. They already made plans on what to do there. They will be seeing Bob’s extended family there from different States. This will be a good memory maker for both of them to last Aaron a lifetime. We know he will be okay there. This is Aaron’s first time ever being away from us for a long time. It will be hard for all of us here at the house and him too. But it will be good for him to experience and start a new life away from us. I’m not worried about it because he is in good hands with his Granny being there for him. Thank you Mother for taking Aaron and loving him. Bob and I really appreciate that very much.
To you my dear Aaron: Enjoy your stay with your Granny. Have fun exploring the land that you were born and grow up with until the time we left. Enjoy bonding with your cousins and family there. Don’t forget to see the people that we used to hangout with there before. We love you so much son. It’s going to be hard on all of us but we are so happy for you at the same time. Tears are flowing already from me hon while writing this post. I love you forever and beyond.
Message from Dad: Aaron, have a wonderful trip! This will be a big learning experience for you. The learning will start right away as you embark on your first time traveling alone, and it will continue as you get reintroduced to the land of your birth. I am sad to see you leaving, but I am also happy that you will go back to the USA and experience life there. I am happy that you can have some time to re-connect with my culture and with my side of the family. You are a good kid, and I love you dearly, son! Bon voyage!