Building a home & looking ahead

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By Jun Ledesma

Sunbursts

Friday, January 3, 2014


ON A personal note, the last quarter of 2013 was the most exhausting period of that calamitous year. It was in February that we decided we build a modest house since the proceeds from our investments in many strategic placements managed for us by Philam Asset Management were quite good. We had to forgo with the usual trips abroad, except for a brief sojourn in HK to accompany my wife on a business conference, all major expenses were put on hold. We had purchased a lot before and it was time to build a home. The one they call “single-detached.” You see, we had been living in a townhouse (a euphemism for multi-door apartment houses) in Guadalupe Village for almost two decades and within that period our next door neighbors changed a couple of times. Good thing we always had extremely likable families as our immediate neighbors the latest being a couple from Australia.

With the kids growing so quickly and in college, we thought it’s time we build what we would consider our (ancestral?) home. The last three months of construction was the most exciting and yet the most arduous period. It virtually drains everything and I mean financially and physically the most stressful. If I cannot keep up with writing, it’s because physical exhaustion can lead to cerebral fatigue. I got sick from too much stress but seeing the house taking shape from a dream and plan kept me going. Last December 7, we finally did the final touches and on the 8th, we brought in first the traditional supply of rice, sugar, water, salt along with the religious images. It took several trips of a borrowed Elf, from who else but Bong Go, to transfer most our belongings with the invaluable help from friends who lent me their arms and brawn gratis et amore.

When everything else had settled, the house was finally blessed and capped with a thanksgiving dinner for family friends and too with the laborers, carpenters, masons and welders who made our dream into a reality.

Between me and poverty is P62,000. The savings and earnings we made for more than 15 years quickly metamorphosed into concrete and steel in 10 months. But the feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment was all that matters. Last Christmas, my family and those of my in-laws had celebrated with us. They came all the way from Manila and Dubai on time to help us put the Christmas decors up. It was a grand re-union.

And so, it’s time to buckle down back to work to earn, to survive and in surviving live. We had been blessed. Blessed with a new home we built from scratch? Ah, what a feeling. Blessed with friends who helped me run the office, process legal documents and run important errands. And I am extending my gratitude to all my construction workers, my nephew Rey Ledesma who did the architectural plans, Accent Customs Furniture for the dream kitchen, Irene of Zandro Glass who personally supervised the installations of glass works, Casa Soriano who did the elegant dining chairs, Southern Mindanao Steel Corp., Roy Bacalso for the landscaping. He insisted to landscape the narrow walkway and turned it into something to behold in less than five hours. Thank you also to Ross Luga of Davao Light and the building officials of the Davao City Government for the prompt processing of our documents. Then friends from the media? King Quimpan and Manny Cabrera -for being there when things were rough and heavy.

Looking back, despite the natural and man-made calamities, 2013 was not really that bad. It is the way the National Government ran the state of affairs that made the otherwise difficult conditions worse. The Zamboanga manslaughter and destruction was the making of a lousy, inefficient handling of crisis arising from sheer ignorance of the unique dynamics in negotiation with local rebels and rebellion. Nothing could avert the horrendous destruction wrought by Yolanda but the aggravation of suffering and the agony could have been eased if the national government responded promptly without considering political affiliations in the light of the tragedy. We are not saying that, DILG Sec. Mar Roxas, the President’s man on the scene, the foreign observers, media and donors who came ahead of our own rescue and retrieval teams in the scene of disaster said so.

But God is good. He gave us a tender rap over the knuckles to remind us we have gone overboard in dealing with our environment. Notice how the birds sing after the storm. As Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy would say amidst her personal tragedy, why shouldn’t we?? So keep faith with God for if our government will not provide, He will.

Happy New Year!

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 04, 2014.

Opinion

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