Plenty of things going on here, or so it seems. Guess it may be time for a little update on how things are progressing as we continue our stay “at home” in The Philippines.
Signs of illness have left the household–hopefully for good. We’ve increased our awareness of what we eat and drink, how and when we wash our hands, and all the little hygiene tricks that we can think of. All it took was one bout of the “day afters” to convince us that we should be on watch at all times. Of course, this means that the house got a good cleaning, too. So, we start fresh and clean; hopefully no further bouts with the “day afters” are in our future.
Nothing! turned out to be just that–nothing. Too many things went on during my “week off from life.” A couple of christenings, a wedding, and other social events somehow found their way into my “nothing week” schedule. Believe me, I didn’t place them there. Non-participation was not an option, as many know. All was enjoyable, I must say. Still, I wonder what it would be like to do absolutely nothing for a week.
The papaya trees are growing. I’ve identified one, possibly two female plants. That means there’s a chance for fruit! The others are not big enough yet to identify. Hopefully one is a male so that the others can be pollinated. I look forward to seeing how things go. So much so that I purchased a couple of ripe papayas from Davao and, after devouring them, am preparing the seeds for planting. One cannot have enough of a good thing.
The dragon fruit saga continues to be in the planning stage. We’ve talked with the local agriculturalist and believe she might be the one to contract out the job of putting the dragon fruit plants in. Right now, we’re talking in the neighborhood of ten to sixteen plantings in our back yard, and perhaps five to seven in the side yard. The plantings will be quite a task, and will be more like permanent fixtures, so we want to get everything right the first time.
I’d mentioned in some of my comments to previous articles that I was busy “making dirt.” In my effort to improve the green tint to my thumb, I decided to put in a little garden–about five square meters–and see what I could grow. I turned the soil and tilled it the best I could with a garden shovel, then set about to decide what to plant. I’d brought a number of seeds with me when we came back from our USA vacation. Deciding what to try first was my first problem. I finally settled on sweetcorn. I planted about twenty-four seeds (six by four rows) and now wait to see sprouting. Corn grows in this region at this time of year, so I shouldn’t have nature working against me. I give myself all the problems I need. Hopefully within a couple of weeks, the corn will be tall enough for its first application of organic fertilizer.
Speaking of organic fertilizer, one of my smaller tasks last week was to apply some to our calamansi plants and to our weak dragon fruit plants (the original, uncared for ones). I can see the difference the fertilizer plus a little water makes. Things are starting to grow, again. We’ve had a few days with showers, so that helps.
Well, what’s next on the schedule? I’m not sure, but I heard some murmurings about obtaining a bahay kubo for the back yard. Talk is that it would fit in the corner of the lot, and would have its approach through the dragon fruit–possibly on a system of trellises. It would all look pretty nice in a year or two, I would imagine.
There is still the question of where to plant a couple of mango trees, too. It’s getting near time to get that task accomplished as one of the three grafted trees I have waiting for transplanting has already perished.
So there you have it. Things continue to perk here. Projects continue to be seen to, albeit slowly at times. Planning continues in other areas. Hopefully, when all is said and done, there will be nice pictures to share with you. Were I to take pictures right now, the place would look like a pre-construction zone–not much to look at. It’s best to leave the photography until there’s something worth looking at!
Paul is a CPA and a retired tax accountant, having served companies and corporations of all sizes, as well as individuals, in public accounting practices. Prior to what he refers to as his "real job," he served a 24-year career in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a Master Chief Petty Officer. It was during this career that he met and married his OFW spouse of 35+ years, Emy, while stationed in London, UK. (Though he pleaded for the assignment, Paul never received orders to the Philippines.) A "Phil-phile" from an early age, Paul remembers his first introduction to the Philippines in the primary grades of a parochial elementary school where, one week each year, children donated their pennies to purchase school supplies, food and other necessities for Filipino children in need. That love for Filipinos continues to this day. Calling Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte--in the far northwestern part of Luzon--home (just about as far away from Davao as one can be while still being on one of the major islands) Paul prefers a more relaxed provincial life style, and willingly shares a different view of the Philippines from "up north"!