No house, No car… at least for now :)

A bit hesitant to share this story, but I realize that sharing has helped me accept challenges and move forward.

My tiny house made of bamboo was burned to the ground Monday last week. It could have been an accident or the victim of a delinquent dare. It costed me my Christmas savings; but more than that, I found this unsettling as it made me rethink the safety in the area I have chosen.

This made me realize that perhaps I have been too lax in securing my place. Perhaps I should have spent my resources on a more proper fence to secure the area. I thought that, while I spend time gathering resources to build a safer fence and a safer tiny house, I needed to share my message of forgiveness to whoever or whatever caused the burning of my bamboo house.

I’m not a diligent catholic, but I am reminded of a place I visited at the start of the year. My friend Kiko, who is an architect, tagged me along for a project he had at a Hermitage in Bondoc Peninsula, Quezon Province. He was working on building a Jesus statue of the “Divine Mercy.” The monks who lived in the place and the family who owns the land welcomed us during their ground breaking ceremony with their stories. The family shared that their land has been disputed for over thirty years; at that time a family member was killed on their land. I gather that it took them thirty years to forgive and progress with whatever they intend to do for their land. This story inspired me to bring a Jesus statue, an image of the Divine Mercy, a great gesture of forgiveness for my weekend farm. I wanted to share a symbol of forgiveness to move forward and progress harmoniously.

It was a Sunday, almost a week since my tiny house burned down. I have only seen pictures of my plot, and I was preparing to go to my weekend farm to see my burned bamboo house. I brought a 3-foot statue of the Divine Mercy with me. I stopped by a church to have my statue blessed by a priest. Then I drove towards my weekend farm.

It was around 1:30 in the afternoon and I was driving along the same highway in the same vain as I would for any visit. There was a slow moving car in-front of me so I decided to over-take. Checking that the road was clear, I overtook and returned to my lane as I ran past the slower car. While I was still on fast speed, a big truck suddenly backed-up from my front-right-view. (apparently there was a back-road made of dirt, hidden from the viewpoint of the highway) I was not able to react fast enough to avoid it fully since it all seemed to happen so fast. The most I could do at that time was to steer to the left to avoid a head-on collision. I remembered seeing the dash board cave in and the whole right portion of my car crumple. My car stopped and I was covered in powdery white dust from the glass. I was unharmed, no shrapnel, no debris penetrated me. I had no bruises; not even a single wound. I was just covered in glass dust.

Shocking that this happened. I am tempted to leave whatever I have started and just move on.

It may take time but I still have faith in pursuing my dreams.

I don’t have a car and a house for now. I may not be able to share stories any time soon. But I am very grateful of what I have today and I am very optimistic that I am about to realize greater things ahead of me.

It is tough to continue with your dreams especially when odds seem to not favor you. But at this point, I am compelled to be more creative and to think more strategically on how I want to progress. There is a lot to consider but one thing is certain; there is still  the dream that I want to pursue.

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What remains of the tiny house made of bamboo which I got late last year. Everything is now just ash.

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Locals, checking the site. On this site was where I wanted to place the statue of the Divine Mercy, I brought with me some flowers, candles to make a simple shrine on the ashes.

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Christ the King church in E. Rodriguez avenue in Quezon City, where my grandmother used to buy her candles. This is where I had the statue blessed.

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Photo of the Divine Mercy statue while I wait for the priest to bless it inside the parish office.

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Took a photo of my car as soon as I stepped out from the wreckage.

site where the accident happened. Photo still shows the truck which was part of the accident.

 

Fair Sunday morning

I was really worried about Typhon Ruby /”Hagupit” making landfall that weekend… but I continued to believe and hope that the weather won’t bring harm.

It was fair weather when I visited that morning and it was so great to see the area looking cleaner!

The first thing I did was to walk to the hill, towards the back portion and inside the hut to admire how the place has changed.

I also found a few surprises along the way!

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Although cleaning was not yet finished, the area was looking better already

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The people we contracted uprooted the vines, weed and tall grass. I wanted to do the cleaning myself but I it was not possible to accomplish within a few hours visit during weekends

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Grass, weed, vines and stumps were pilled to be burnt

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The back portion was not as clean as the front area. I can’t wait to see this area looking nice on my next visit

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One coffee tree shared a few surprises. The native orchids which I attached were blooming. I’ll share the plants in another post.

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This is looking more comfortable! I used to set-up a ground sheet with an overhanging tarp for shade. Now I have a more proper rest area.

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a rest area…where I can nap and stay overnight!

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more importantly it has such as nice view!

I’ve made this journey early this year, and with the year coming to a close, it feels like so much have happened and changed.

It feels great to be able to share something that continues to grow and improve and very grateful for people who have witnessed and taken part in my weekend farm.

I bought a tiny house made of bamboo!

I finally got a bahay kubo!

A bahay kubo is a Filipino house made of bamboo. It has a thatched roof made of palm leaves.

When I started this endeavor, I initially thought of building something from scratch. However, after some brainstorm on design and after scoping the materials and labor; I realized that I did not have much time to devote for a do-it-yourself project. Also, a DIY project will still require a shelter of some sort; hence, I was convinced to buy a ready-made house for my temporary shelter.

The house I got was 6×12 feet. It has a small indoor dining area and a small bedroom.

I saw it along the side of the road while driving home from a weekend at the beach yesterday.

I have seen ready-made bamboo houses sell for 50,000 pesos (1,100 USD) on the Internet. This one sold for 36,000 pesos (800 USD) including installation. I thought that this is a fair price so I got it!

The seller told me that it takes them a week to complete a bamboo house. They still need to install windows and varnish the whole structure before it is ready to be installed.

I’m very excited to return to plot next weekend for the installation!

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The Kubo which I bought yesterday! ..as seen from the side of the road

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a closer look of the bahay kubo from a corner

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the seating area with a small table was the first room as you enter the house

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To the right is the window with the longest bench in the seating area. The room is designed to have open windows, it’s generally a semi-outdoor seating area.

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to the left is the bedroom! My friends Gray and Elaine joined me in checking the bamboo hut.

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The jalousie window frames are not yet installed. The bunk beds in this room can fit 2 to 3 people comfortably.