Balikbayan Life in the Philippines - Adjusting to Traffic and Flood
Early to Bed, Early to Rise
One of the adjustments we are starting to get used to is waking up very early in the morning. In Saudi, school begins at 8:00 am, while here in the Philippines, school begins at 6:45 am. That's more than an 1 hour earlier. That meant not just waking up earlier but also sleeping earlier the night before.
Why is it necessary that the kids wake up very early? School is just 20 minutes away from our house, that is, if there is no traffic. The problem is if you leave the house late, you will be stuck in traffic. Traffic has always been a problem in the Philippines. I remember in our school days, we also had to leave about 1 hour before the time so as not to be late for school. Unlike in Saudi, if you say, you'll be there in 15 minutes, you'll be there in 15 minutes (almost always). Here, it's not the case because of traffic so you have to give some allowance in terms of time management.
This is where deciding to homeschool or to work from home is a big advantage. No traffic to deal with and you can be more flexible with time. Sometimes, I still wish that I had continued homeschooling my older kids but am also glad that they're now enrolled in a good Christian school. Also, I am continuing to work at home online as a part-time virtual assistant to have some extra income. I am still undecided if I would apply for work outside the home.
Rain, Rain, Go Away
Last May 1, my kids enjoyed taking a bath in the first rainfall since summer began. But when the typhoons started coming, they asked "why is it always raining?" I told them "that's how it is in the Philippines since it's already the rainy season."
|Flood during Typhoon Ondoy|
Oh, I just hope that it won't rain hard continuously. I noticed that some places inside our house have leaks from the roof. Also, we live in one of the places that was flooded for about a month when typhoon Ondoy hit 3 years ago. The problem is, our house is not elevated nor does it have a second floor. These are still some of the things we have to fix. If it's just the usual rain, then there's no need to worry. I am praying that there won't be another typhoon in the likes of Ondoy.
It's a good thing also that we did not decide to enroll our kids near my parent's house. Because if we did and lived with my parents, my kids will have more flood to deal with. Just last Sunday, my parents said that they had flood in the front of their house up to the neck because of the heavy rains. That's usually what happens when water is released from the dam (Angat or maybe La Mesa dam). At least, the flood subsided quickly and my parents are okay.
How about you? How are you dealing with the traffic and the flood?