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My El Nino Phenomenon Experience

>> Sunday, March 7, 2010

It is almost three a.m. but I cannot go back to sleep anymore no matter how hard I tried to court sleep. As usual I am sweating profusely because of the heat. I am getting tired of t already. For now, what I want is rain. I woke up very thirsty that I had consumed three glasses of water in succession. I am trying to deny it, but sometimes I can’t help being grumpy. I think my mood is affected by the present weather condition. I wish I can do anything to cool myself. For now, I want to dip in a tub of ice to relieve myself.

I remember the time when El Nino struck the Philippines in 1998. That was the worst summer I had. We had water shortage. We had to wake up as early as 2 a.m. to look for water as there is nothing coming from the faucets at home. We were forced to find a way to solve this predicament. We had to fetch water using kariton for as far as two kilometers away from home. And this water is only for drinking and cooking purposes only. We would do our laundry in the place where there is water that is coming out of the faucet. Sometimes if we are lucky, we could only get as far as half kilometer to do our laundry. We cannot even take a bath at home. In order to do this, my siblings and I would walk another kilometer to the nearest spring from our home. Good thing that the spring did not dried up considering that it did not rain for months.
It didn’t end there. There was food shortage too that made the situation even worse. Normally, I never ate NFA rice. And we never bought rice from store. My grandparents business is rice milling so we had our own storage of rice. It changed when land started to dry up because of no rain. People cannot plant so there is nothing to them to harvest. As a result, my grandparents’ business suffered a loss. We cannot even have rice for consumption. We resorted to buying it from stores. When the government started to distribute rice, my parents avail of this program so that we can have something to eat. Unfortunately, the NFA rice they distributed was an inferior one. The first time I ate it made me think like it was the end of my world and that I have to say goodbye to the kind of rice I used to eat. Later, I was able to appreciate it since we do not have anything to eat but only this inferior variety of rice. It may not a feast to the senses but at least, it relieved me and my family of hunger. There was even time that I would cry as I do not like its taste but I got nothing else to do but to eat it. It made me appreciate the importance of rice to our life as it is our staple food. I never thought that I would experience this kind of suffering.

When the first drop of rain came, I cannot describe what I felt during that time. I was like a crazy person who had experienced rain for the first time. I was shouting and running in glee feeling the raindrops on my face. I cannot forget that part of my life.


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