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I have now spent 24 years permanently in the Philippines with only a 2 month (too long) break to England in 2003, yes, I like it here! In my years here, I have seen a very good cross section of the weather from cool to warm to hot and to this year, very hot! I have 2 thermometers in the entrance to my dive shop in the shade of the door way and the lunch time temperature nearly every day as been about 100 degrees F or 38 degrees C or hotter!
I feel very sorry for my wife Ellie who converted the almost 2 hectares of rice fields which we purchased in 1998 and with persistent hard work converted into the lush green oasis that it became! I will not claim any accolades for the garden as I do not have green fingers but Ellie is a different Kettle of fish as one of my friends once said that Ellie could take a dead stick and plant it on the moon and it would grow! Unfortunately, the garden did grow but now its in decline and I cannot see anyway for it to come back to its former glory!
We used to get a good harvest of Copra from our Coconut Trees but we noticed that the leaves were falling off as were the coconuts themselves. The last harvest of Copra was not good as the Coconuts had no water inside and the copra was already dry! I do not think that we will have any more harvest as just about all our Coconut Trees are dead now or on their last legs!
We had a lot of Norfolk Pine Trees, around 100 but now these are all brown and not green like the Christmas Tree that they are famous for! Many people wanted to buy them and cut them down for Christmas Trees but Ellie always said no! We could have made money from them I suppose!
Now our Oil Palms and several other species of palms which are suffering and have really no chance of survival, even with big rains I think its too late for them!
We still have plenty of different species of trees which are still very healthy, I think that these types of trees have deep tap roots which can get down to the water at whatever depth it is! one thing that gives me joy is that my huge Balite Tree, ( Strangler Fig) The Harry Potter Tree is still flourishing and at present is a total pain in the butt as it is dropping its very sticky fruits all over so we tread in them and spread the mush all over the place!
Even with this devastating loss, My Dear Wife Ellie will not give up, I am sure that she will be planting once the rain comes again!