Breaking the Shell

Every one has a story to tell. 3 years after leaving the corporate life, I have learned to embrace the simplicity of rural life. A few days after my final day in my Makati I began to ask questions. Will I be able to survive here? Will I be able to make a living while I’m in the place I termed as middle earth? The fund on my bank account began to deplete as my tummy began to grow bigger and I heavier with a baby. More questions came. But 2 and a half years after, with my 2-year-old daughter sitting beside my as I write; things are starting to make sense. Yes, like a thousand-piece puzzle that’s beginning to reveal a beautiful picture.

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Love has blinded me. Little did I know it wasn’t love that has blinded me to make foolish decisions. It was lust pretending as love. I don’t have anything against love. In fact, love is the same reason why I have not given up. Love has made me resilient. Given the chance, will I do the same mistake again? I think I will because my story won’t be accurate if I changed anything from the past. Though I wish I was wiser – wiser to determine what love is from what is not. And yes be wiser with my finances.

Where I am now?

Answering that question with a name of place is not enough. Answering that with my current occupation is also not enough. People wants to read, hear stories. So here I am, with all my strength and courage, I opening my life to the public once again. You see, it’s like breaking out of the shell.

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Many people may have asked, where is Anne now? I’m very sure that some may have shaking their head upon knowing that I am stuck in this barrio after some adjustments. Perhaps some brows have raised when they found out that I am a single mom. There were days I have to hold back my tears during pity parties. I pity myself for getting on the mess I’m in. It’s harder to cope up with failure when you’re an achiever.

One night, while having another pity party a voice spoke to my heart saying  “You only need to please me.” I felt like some shackles fell off me. Now I am freer to be me. I’m freer to share my story without the fear of being judged. That’s also the starting point where I started to forgive myself.

What’s happening?

Motherhood defines my current status. I am a mother to a daughter and a guardian to a male adolescent. Motherhood also defines me as I work part-time as a computer teacher. Motherhood is also a role I play as I teach young kids about God and being Christ-like in kid’s church. I’m still in a journey of learning a lot of things. Part of it is relearning to unlearn. This is the season where I am now sitting on the rubles and shaking off the remnants of my old self. This is the season where I learned to laugh at my past mistakes and make see the future in a different light. Going through the valley of pain is just a season. Those too shall past. If I have given up on the early stage of the race I won’t be able to see my daughter grow to someone smart, beautiful, talent, healthy child. I consider her as the reward of my resilience.

What’s going to happen?

Future is uncertain. Though I am maintaining a list of things I wanted to achieve and do in the future. Pursue public teaching, be a part-time farmer, continue being the best mom for my daughter, grow my financial portfolio to name a few. Get married when I feel it’s time. I am just going to leave the rest in the hands of God right now and enjoy the moment. I may still fall at some point of the race but I will continue to fight with a good fight.

What are You Thankful For?

It’s Thanksgiving!

Nope. We’re not roasting a turkey nor baking cornucopia. It’s not part of Filipino culture. We have roasted pig but will only be ready on Christmas. As the other part of the world is busy preparing for a traditional dinner, I am reflecting on the things I am thankful for this year. Negative life issues can take away the attitude of thankfulness in our hearts. Sometimes, the blessings that we receive becomes a reason why we forget to offer our thanksgiving to God. I am talking about work.

As the year 2014 is nearing its end, it would be great to look back and count the blessing our family and I have received. This my friend is an early year-end praise report.

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  1. Safe pregnancy and safe birth. I had spots, my water broke prematurely but Sophie and I made it through. Healthy and kicking. My birth plan wasn’t followed. Will I still complain knowing that my Sophie is healthy and beautiful? I dropped the complains and let gratitude fill my heart. I was grateful for the gift of life. For a new soul to love me. I was amazed how financial help came. I was amazed on how God sustains me through the sleepless night. Strength. Endurance. Sanity. There are times I shed tears but these are not of postpartum depression. I never went through that. Thank you, Lord!
  2. -sophie3_799585968_nProvision. The time I sent my resignation letter to my boss, I began to worry about my finances. I have bills to pay, a credit card balance to be cleared. I have been jobless for 5 month. Purely dependent to my parents financially. During those days of father-please-buy-me-this, I remembered the pesos I spent on unimportant things. But by God’s grace, I was able to find an online job. Earning is enough to cover Sophie’s needs. And yes, I felt proud that I am now capable to bless my parents with weekly grocery.Abundant milk supply. I had plenty of liquid gold. More than enough to feed and nourish my little darling.
  3. Nehemiah’s schooling and job search visa (and soon a PR visa, amen!). My super beloved brother is official holding a diploma for his study in NZ.
  4. Supportive family and friends. My pregnancy is semi-secret. I hid for months before my family and closest friends found out. Perhaps, it was pride. I fear being judged of having a baby outside marriage. One thing I realized, if family or friends left you because of these kinds of issue. They are not real as they claim to be. They may ‘beat’ you for your mistake but it won’t forever be the case. They will only do that to get you back to the path where you should be walking. After the lectures, they will help you go back to your feet, help heal your wounds and start all over again. Sniff. Sniff.

i thank God for his steadfast love.

I thank god for his grace.

How about you? What are the things you are thankful for?

Sophie’s Birth: God is in Control

The day began with a grateful heart. God has spared our town from a threatening storm. The sun peeping through the clouds is a relief to the farmers who will be harvesting rice in a few days. The sunshine also gave me relief that I am not giving birth during a storm. One item from the fear list overcame.

Lunch came. Fluid trickled down my legs. Could this be a sign that Sophie is coming? I did not panic ’cause I thought it was just a normal uncontrolled pee. Nanay insisted that we go see my OB. Since the hospital is an hour drive from home we decided to load my hospital bag, Sophie’s clothes and other stuff we might be needing in case it’s time to give birth.  It was already pass 5PM when my OB saw me. She thought that it was only urine but upon further checking she noticed that it was a leak. After an IE, she said that it’s not yet time. She advised me to have a sonogram to measure my amniotic fluid. Readings are all normal. I have been leaking for 3 days but I am not really aware. I’m glad I keep myself hydrated. Otherwise, Sophie may have “dried up.”

I was advised to have complete bed rest. At the hospital for a night. This is with a hope that the leak may stop. I was given antibiotics to prevent injection. A protection for me and baby.

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A day have passed and I am still leaking. My OB came and I have hints that I might not have a normal delivery. Fear started to build up inside me. I don’t want to have a C-section. Another reason why I don’t want to undergo this operation is my financial condition. I don’t want to burden my parents for it.

I had an X-ray on my pelvic area to see if there is any progress. I don’t feel any pain except for Sophie’s weight pressing on my bladder. The reading came after lunch the next day. My anatomical build up can not support normal delivery. My pelvis is too narrow for Sophie to pass through. My OB have explained consequences and possible options. We may be running out of time.

Decisions. Decisions. Nanay said that if normal delivery possible then we should push for C-section. Sophie is our priority. She should come out for our safety. I just said OK then excused myself.

I secretly cried.

I cried because I felt like I’m a lesser woman.

This is not the kind of birth I have in mind. I don’t want it but I have no choice. Pipi is still at work and because of another storm it’s impossible for him to come home.

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5PM came. Nurses came to prep me up for the operation. I texted my Victory Group and friends to pray for me. In a matter of minutes, I found myself inside the operation room. The room was a bit crowded but I felt alone. No one is there to hold my hand. I comforted myself by humming worships songs inside my head. These lines were on the loop.
“You are great God, you are an awesome wonderful God. Mighty in battle. Better than life.”

30 minutes after I first heard Sophie’s cry. I kissed her before her pedia and a nurse took her to the NICU. She was observed for 24 hours, hooked with IV and given antibiotics.

My birth is not purely drama. In fact there was more things to be grateful about.

September 17 2014. I officially became a mommy. I thank God for sustaining me through my 37 weeks and 5 days of pregnancy. Baby Sophie came out healthy.

20140918_072041_20140918144155651I am alive! I have survived the C-section though my platelet count is low. My blood pressure normalized after having a slight eclampsia. No excessive bleeding. No blood transfusion needed. I did not experience labor pain.

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Nanay was able to keep calm during my operation.

Sophie’s birth is a reminder that God is the one who is in control of our lives. Yes, we can make plans but God will still have the final words. All glory belongs to God.

Buntistament 35: A Fruitful Week

September is here. Christmas season in the Philippines officially started.

How am I?

I’m all good. Nesting syndrome is coming back. Braxton-Hicks is felt more often than the past weeks. Yesterday was one of the toughest day I had or should I say toughest night. Getting out of bed is so painful. Groin area and tailbone is hurting like I am being split apart. I told Nanay about the pain and it alarmed her a bit. She worries about Sophie coming out anytime. She reminds me to assess every pain I felt and that I should be careful.

I shared the “pain” experience to my mommy-friends and they commented that my body is preparing for baby to get engaged on my pelvic bones. She’s really coming! That will be soon. I tried some hip opener routines I read on spinningbaby.com somehow the cat cow position alleviates the pain. I can’t do routine that requires to lie down on my back. Reason: I can not breathe. Baby weight is the culprit, I suppose.

As for my Little Toffee Pie, she seems to enjoy her final month in my womb. She’s expected to be a little less active due to cramped space. But, but her jabs and kicks are more solid. My little baby has harder bones by now.

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Carrying Little Isabelle – my niece with Sophie in my tummy. How do I look?

What made me busy this week?

Shopping.A few trips to the mall was made to buy few more stuff for Sophie. Additional jammies and shirts and even underwear. Another trip was made to the market to buy textile for baby blankets. Nanay didn’t like the blankets available in the malls so we opted to go for custom-made.

We purchased 4 pieces of textile with 1 and 1/2 yard length. The textile was available in 96 width so a single length is already good for 2 pieces of blanket.

Total price for 8 pieces of blankets: PhP720.00 (total price includes 4x 1.5 yards textile at PhP142.5 plus sewing labor for PhP150.00). That ain’t bad at all. Baby blankets can cause around PhP200.00 a piece.

Church activities. Our church is undergoing a rebuilding stage. After 5 years, we went back to the building where the church begin 20 years ago.

I’ve always been a part of a church volunteer team before. I involved myself in some church planting activities, been a part of the ushering ministry then tech and prod team. The last ministry I served is kid’s ministry. Serving in those ministries have developed character and cultivated that servant leadership in me (I am still a work i progress though).

It’s really feels good to be serving in church once again. The best part: Nanay and Tatay serves with me. We joined the church clean-up last Monday. It’s a good way to reconnected and reunited with the church again – coming together to rebuild God’s church.

I can not really do much physical activities due to pregnancy but I can do social media and other brainy stuff. I decided to assume a position of managing the church’s Facebook account and start a blog for the church. The blog is to contain news, devotionals and sermon notes (while sunday preaching can not be recorded yet to be posted as podcasts). I am enjoying these kind of stuff.

House Construction: Construction of our home resumes again. We have some carpenters in the house! Part of the carpenters’ compensation is lunch and 2 snacks – for morning and afternoon. I lend extra hands in the kitchen and is in-charge of the dishwashing department. That includes cleaning up charred pots and pans since we are using the wood-fueled outdoor stove.

Odesk. God really honors our faith. A week ago, I opened another bank account with an intention to link it to my Paypal Account. As I received my new ATM card, I uttered a prayer asking for God’s blessing. I have opened an account as a declaration of faith that God can provide even in a dessert.

I needed and wanted to earn extra income even at home. I thought Odesk would be a good starting ground. I was a bit dismayed ’cause my first job wasn’t paid. Some were interested to hire me but contracts did not push through. I still continued to apply for VA jobs. As I wait and sought God during these times, he rewarded me with another project.

anne

Today’s TY: I Passed my 50 G OGTT

Alarmed of my 2-kg gain last month, my OB asked me to go through 50 G Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). It was to eliminate the speculation that I might have a gestational diabetes. OGTT is a test to measure our body’s ability to use up glucose (Source: WebMD).

Prior to the test, my diet was more on the veggie and fruits – cucumber is a current favorite. Honestly, I am a little scared. I had consumed a good amount of sugar-rich food and I did not do any exercises. The scary feeling amplified knowing that Nanay has a history of diabetes.

My OB gave me an option to have my test in Isabela Doctors General Hospital (IDGH) or at Amazing Grace Laboratory. I first visited IDGH but the friendly  told me that they don’t offer it. I had no choice but to proceed to Amazing Grace. It’s a small laboratory in front the Isabela Provincial Hospital.

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The first procedure is to drink up a bottle of Glucose Tolerance Test Beverage  must be within 5 minutes. It’s the kind of sweetness I don’t like. Tastes like medicine. The lab’s med tech advised me that I have to wait for an hour before the extraction. On the next 60 minutes, I can not take anything in.

The whole test costed me PhP350.00 (PhP250.00 for the test beverage and PhP100.00 for the actual test). Should I have known earlier that Bro HealthCare is honored here, I could have requested for an LOA to get the test for free.

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There was a blackout while I was waiting. I worry that my blood can not be run in time for my 11 AM appointment with my OB. I’m glad that the temperature inside the lab is cool and bright despite the absence of electricity. The premise is clean, no weird hospital-like smell.

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The waiting area.

What other Amazing Grace and Diagnostic Services offer? Most of services offered are blood test – test for Hepa, Dengue, Typhoid and the like. It is also an accredited drug testing center.

20140827_084147An hour have passed, it’s time to let some blood. I am asked to sit in the Phlebotomy Area for the extraction. Electricity is back, yehey!

I liked the staff here. They’re friendly, all smiles. My belly even got some praises for its size and roundness. My  Little Toffee Pie’s fans club is growing. 🙂

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Extraction does not hurt. Done in 5 minutes!

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 Result’s out in 30 minutes. I PASSED at 8.08. It’s on the rim though so I still have to watch my sugar intake. No rice cakes, still!  Perhaps, it’s really time to let go of my sweet tooth permanently.

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For a pleasant service experience, I am giving Amazing Grace 5-stars.

Amazing Grace and Medical Service is located Maharlika Highway, Calamagui 2nd, Ilagan, Isabela.

 

Buntistament Week 34: The Tale of the Wicked Pregnant Half-Sister?

(Subtitle: How to Prepare the Youngest Sibling  for a New Niece)

In a matter of 4 weeks, Sophie will be out of my womb. Preparations are now full-blown. I thought I will not have a problem with our Little Tsang ’cause weeks before, she had been expressing her excitement for Sophie’s birth.

Lately, we have noticed some slight change on her behavior. She throws tantrums more often and we have been hearing her say some words the kind she should not say. Curse words, hate words, and treats to hurt Baby Sophie.

This made me realize that Thalia needs to be prepared for Sophie’s arrival, too.We have been strict with her on spending time on TV and computer because it’s her exam week. Computer has been locked with password to limit her access. It was her source of entertainment most of the time. Since it is locked for a purpose, we let her play with the kids in our neighborhoob.

We’re suspecting that the changes in her behavior is an effect of bullying. She may have heard lines like: “Such a pity, no one will like you once your sister’s baby is out!” “You’re no longer their princess!”.

There’s an instance when Nanay reprimanded our neighbors who told Thalia these similar lines. She explained to them that it is not right to bully kids with that kind of thought. It’s not right to bully, period! Bullying may cause discord among siblings and family members. I agree with Nanay. I can’t find the logic behind people wanting to hurt a little kid’s feeling. Aren’t they aware that their action may cause scars on a tender heart?

We have never told Thalia phrases that can cause her to feel insecure or jealous, because I know what these words can cause. Instead, we have explained to her the new responsibilities that she will assume once Sophie is out. We wanted Thalia to welcome Sophie with love and care. Everybody wants a harmonious home, right?

I admit I was a little harsh in dealing with her tantrums sometimes. I can be a little impatient and easily irritated.  Harsh in a sense that I raise my voice (disclaimer: no cursing and corporal punishments). It’s tempting to spank her sometimes but I am letting Tatay do that. By now, she could picture me as a wicked step-sister she saw in Cinderella. I could tell because I heard her say, “I am Cinderella.”

Thalia may have been feeling the same emotion when I first learned about her. She might feel “dethroned from her princess seat”. She may feel like she’s being deprived of love and attention. She may feel that the things that matter to her are slowly taken away from her. It was a bit more bitter on my part because she is a child of my father outside marriage. It’s easy to justify the hate. I have cried a couple of times over that issue thus affecting my work. My former boss gave me counselling sessions over that matter. She said that Thalia’s situation is enough pain for her (Thalia) already specially when she’s old enough to understand it. The society could stereotype her, treat her as a deviant, an outcast. She doesn’t need another person to judge her. What she needs now is another person, another soul to accept her and love her. She also adds that Thalia is another person who could love me. It was like an arrow that hits the bull’s eye. My boss is right. Now, Thalia is living with us and we are giving her the love and care she needs.

In the final stretch of preparation for Sophie’s arrival, we are making an effort to make Thalia understand that Sophie is another person to love, another person to care for. We also have to continue assuring her that even on Sophie’s arrival, she is still loved. We should also protect her from bullies. Tantrums and ill-manners will still be untolerated. Extra effort and patience is required to do this. I am now working on it. First activity: cook her spaghetti and sit with her as she watch her favorite fairy tale movie.

anne

On Yeng Constantino’s “Ikaw”

The official music video is out yesterday. Saw it this morning and I was like: Aw, pinagpawisan ang mata ko. (My eyes sweated out! Read: I cried!). Knowing Yeng and her passion, you will not doubt that she meant every word she wrote and sang. One word: Sincerity!

It’s everyone’s wish to find love. Sometimes, we even wonder if love will come. If it will come, when will it be?  When it comes, there will still be questions. Is he the one? Am I the one for him? There will be doubts that why love requires faith. Finding love-real love is like  finding a rare treasure.

 Proverbs 18:22: The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the LORD. (NLT)

Ikaw” is a story of Yeng’s quest for love. She longed for love, she doubted love to come and now she have found it. She have found the one whom she decides to love for the rest of her life. She have found the proper noun for the word “Ikaw”. The “Ikaw” whom she considers a gift from God, the “Ikaw” that defines love.

Ikaw ang pag-ibig na hinintay
Puso ay nalumbay nang kay tagal
Ngunit ngayo’y nandito na

Ikaw, ikaw ang pag-ibig na binigay
Sa akin ng Maykapal
Biyaya ka sa buhay ko
Ligaya’t pag-ibig ko’y ikaw

The Joy of Waiting: Week 33

Two of my friends gave birth the past two weeks. Baby Sophie is now 33 weeks. I could feel her weight gain each week. There is now more stress on my back and middle joints. Getting up from bed is becoming a struggle. There is pain. There are discomforts. But excitement still outweighs them all.

Week 33 is also characterized by stronger kicks and jabs. I wonder what our little baby girl is doing inside. One thing I have observed, she seemed not to like pillows on my tummy. She wants to kick them away. It’s becoming a habit to rub the tiny lumps she creates on my tummy whenever she moves. I do this little guessing game of what part of her are those lumps. I think I felt her foot once,another time her knee. It’s really amusing to see my belly in different shapes. Sometimes it’s pointy but most of the time it resembles the shape of a supermoon. 🙂

My “basketball belly” gives a hint of Sophie’s position inside my belly. She’s head down, facing my back – the ideal position for delivery. Sophie can still do some back flips and other stunts ’til the delivery day. I hope she will be on that position when it’s time for her to come out.

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Panic Happens

Panic wrapped me last night. There is an trace of unknown discharge on my shorts and I was like ‘what is this?’. I went through my notes of preterm labor signs. One pointer says: If there’s a discharge, do the sniff test. It smells like ammonia. False alarm, it’s just urine.  I do my pelvic floor exercises but leaks still do happen. Pipi laughed at the situation but I know panic crawled into him too.

After that moment of panic, I went back to bed to talk to Sophie. Rubbing my tummy, I ask her to hang on until week 37. She answered with a ticklish kick on my side as if saying ‘Yes, mommy. I will!”. I am now so much in love with our little Toffee Pie.

Birth plans: Delivery Day Wishes

I finished putting checks on my birth plan and gave a copy to Pipi. He thought birth plan was a medical insurance plan. I was like, ‘No, Lalabs! This is a list of procedures I wanted to be done to me and Sophie on D-day. It’s like my delivery day wishlist’.

I did not enroll for any birth class but I am gearing up for vaginal birth. I have communicated that to my OB and she is supportive of it. I wish there are birth classes in our community. Unfortunately, our rural health has not organized one yet. So to educate myself, I read and watch videos about labor and delivery. I also talk to some of my friends who are already mommies and ask about their delivery experiences.

Proper breathing and delivery positions are few of the important things I have learned. One birth expert says that labor and delivery is a natural process that we, women undergo. Our body knows how to breath when we go through it. All we need is a nice, slow, deep breathing to get the oxygen our body needs. Not the hee, hee, hoo, hoo breathing that we see in movies.

I initially picked semi-reclined position during delivery. That is prior to watching the best positions to do so. Now, I have reconsidered squat and hands and feet. These two positions makes gravity work for you and prevents tailbone injury. It looks awkward, yes! I will have to forget about the awkwardness. What’s important is for Baby Sophie to come out safely, with ease.

I want Pipi to be on my side when I push Sophie out. I am excited to see Sophie and her father have their first moment together. I am also hoping that there will be no conflicts on Pipi’s schedule so that wish could be fulfilled. Who will cut the cord? I want Pipi to do it. I am now imagining how he would feel on the cord-cutting ceremony. A ribbon-cutting ceremony to the outside world.  I want to capture that moment and immortalize it so keep the cameras and smartphones fully charged!

Other wishes: bring home the placenta for an old tradition. I will be blogging about that soon.

As I read more about labor, delivery and birth plan. It made me understand I can actually have a control of what’s gonna happen on D-day. But of course, these ideals can still change as need arises. I am really claiming that vaginal birth. Please, Lord please. Let’s do this!

anne

D-day Preparations: Baby Cloths

One financial advise for first-time mom: DON’T BUY SO MANY STUFF FOR YOUR BABY UNTIL SHE IS BORN. I heed that advise. Last Friday, we went to SM City Cauayan to purchase Sophie’s first set of cloths. It feels like shopping for your supplies for school opening just that we are shopping for baby cloths. Another yes-I-am-now-a-mom moment.

Nanay was in-charge in choosing Sophie’s cloths. Her principle: it must be cotton, soft and absorbent. She’s really particular that the material should be pure cotton.

Here are few of the stuff we bought:

  • Pyjamas – set of 3 for newborn and another set of 3 for 3-6 months
  • One-sides tie shirt – 3 pieces for each: long sleeve, short sleeve and sleeveless
  • 3 pcs of sleeveless shirts the kind with buttons on the shoulder
  • 3 bonettes
  • 3 pairs of mittens and socks
  • A few dozen of lampin
  • Bibs

The kind sales lady who assisted us suggest that we also buy onesies. I don’t think Sophie will need that. Di ba mainit at hassle gamitin ang onesie?  My siblings and I wore cloth diapers. I will also do that with Sophie. It’s economical, a bit of a hassle yes but I am sure Sophie will be more comfy. I don’t want nasty chemicals sticking on her butt. 🙂 Curity All in One washable diaper is a choice plus some Chino Pino for absorption pads.

I had the items sitting inside my room for almost a week. I did not really go far from my bed these days because of the pain I feel on my abdomen – must be Braxton-Hicks. Mother bugged me to start preparing Sophie’s cloths ’cause we won’t know when exactly she’s coming out. So OK, I started taking out the small cloths out of there packages. I am tempted to cut the cloth labels, Sophie may find them irritating.

The sun is shining bright, a perfect laundry day. I instructed Ate Berlin to use Perla ’cause it’s mild and no fabric conditioner. We have also invested in small hangers and sipit for the very small pieces of cloths.

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Plantsa, plantsa din after ng labada. Am I ironing Sophie’s cloths to get rid of bacteria? No. Sunshine have already made the cloths sterile. Ironing is done to get rid of the creases.

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Cloths are now ready for packing. I am storing them in a plastic container I bought from Ace. This will be the same box I am taking to the hospital on D-day.

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anne

Farm Life: Trying Out the Upland Rice Variety

In our farm, we currently produce rice, corn and tobacco. The rising cost of producing corn convinced my father to shift to upland rice and maybe concentrate on it in the future.  His new found discovery has been a topic for in conversations he had with other farmers.

This breed of rice can thrive even on the lack of water supply. There are irrigation canals in our farm but we have never benefited from it. Irrigation water never reached our farms. The farmers’ solution to the absence of irrigation is deep well that requires gasoline or electricity to pump up water from an underground source. In times of drought, expenses goes higher and in the end there will be lower profit.

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Upland rice growing alongside the corn.

A farmer does not have to go through the process of sowing and replanting. Load the seeds to a mechanical seeder and it’s good to go. Planting rice can be done in a short period of time even by a single person.

Lesser expenditure is expected because of it’s low-maintenance characteristic. Expect no expenditure for molluscicide – pesticide against mollusks or kuhol. Dry soil is not a conducive breeding ground for these pests. Also, there’s no need to maintain dikes. Wetland variety requires dikes to lock in the water in the puddles.

The seeds is not widely available. My father and I have already checked the IRRI in San Mateo, Isabela. The IRRI storekeeper advised us that this kind of variety is still on the process of evaluation. Luckily, we are able to get some in Cagayan through the help of a relative from Apayao Province.

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This breed of rice can be harvested in four months time (120 days) a month longer than the wetland variety. It was our first cropping season and we are hoping that the outcome is what we have expected.