Visit to a Relocation Site in Pagatpat

As one of the last benificaries the sister of my wife got one of the houses of a relocation site in Upper Pagatpat, Cagayan de Oro City, almost 4 years after the SENDONG castastrophe.

It was a good excuse for me to come along to have a look how a relocation site looks here in the Philippines.

On the other side of the hill is under construction a large meeting hall and maybe an evacuation center in the future.

20-cagayandeoro--relocation-camp-upper-pagatpat-01 20-cagayandeoro--relocation-camp-upper-pagatpat-02 20-cagayandeoro--relocation-camp-upper-pagatpat-03We bought some snacks at a store still on the main road. Looks like the store is having good sales. The store is well stocked with everything needed, from food to building materials.

We have reached the house, a new home to be of the sister of my wife. Some of the glasses from the windows have been stolen, others have been damaged. The broken glass is the evidence in front of the house. Later when I talk to some people, they say,  plenty thiefs around, things get stolen everyday.

One-room-houses, built with a metal frame and very thin concrete wakls. A much smaller toilette has also be to used as shower room.

20-cagayandeoro--relocation-camp-upper-pagatpat-04 20-cagayandeoro--relocation-camp-upper-pagatpat-05 20-cagayandeoro--relocation-camp-upper-pagatpat-06

This is the view one gets when he comes out of the backdoor and having a look to the left and then to the right. A neighbor is already extending his house

Now it’s time for me to have a look around the whole place. Not one street is asphalted or made of concrete. The houses don’t have a foundation and are built just on concrete panel. The walls of many houses show cracks. The cracks have been repaired. The houses have been painted on three sides but not on their backsides. OK, these houses are given for free to the flood victims, but I’m not sure it’s enough of the help.

The whole place has up to now no electricity and no running water connections. People say, the city administration has applied for it.

20-cagayandeoro--relocation-camp-upper-pagatpat-07 20-cagayandeoro--relocation-camp-upper-pagatpat-08 20-cagayandeoro--relocation-camp-upper-pagatpat-09There is no collective drainage or sewage plant for wastewaters from the houses and also for rainwaters.

I arrive at the perimeter of this relocation site. I meet a man working on his own extention for a little sari-sari-store. The store is temporarily located just in front of the house. Also other new homeowners trying to earn a little on the side with a little store.

I want to take a picture of him without the mashed wires between us, and he inivites me to come around.20-cagayandeoro--relocation-camp-upper-pagatpat-10 20-cagayandeoro--relocation-camp-upper-pagatpat-11Here he has another extention in progress, a kitchen. He invites me inside his house and I get shocked.

The only furnishing is a hospital bed with a man attached to tubes in it.  He sees the big questionmarks in my face. A little table and chair.  Some sleeping mats are rolled up for the daytime.

It’s his cousin. They brought him here with them, when they moved into their new home here.

Now it’s the time to indruduce each other. I have met Luis Sultan and his wife Marlyn. The couple is taking care of their cousin on a 24/7 basis. He needs attention all the time. 20-cagayandeoro--relocation-camp-upper-pagatpat-12At the table sits the male nurse Julito L. Pol from the Northern Mindanao Provincial Hospital. He comes here to bring some medication and helping with the attachments of the tubes for the patient.

He explains to me, that there is no insurance coverage for this or any other financial help from any Philippine institution. Since the patient is not admitted to a hospital, there is no coverage, is as I understood it.

It’s quite an expensive task. The oxygen alone will sum up to PHP 1,200 a day.  Two bottles are needed everyday and the delivery is on a daily basis. The bottles can be borrowed and the couple is using already the cheapest oxygen they can find in town.

Luis told me, he has been working as an OFW before in Qatar, but that’s 2 years ago. He wants to stay home, and don’t want to leave his wife alone with this heavy task.

Before SENDONG struck they used to live in the city at Burgos St. It took almost 4 years before the city administration could relocate them.

20-cagayandeoro--relocation-camp-upper-pagatpat-13From Luis place one can overlook the older relocation site. Here the old adminstration built 1000 duplex houses, here called “back-to-back”. I want to have another look at that place as well.

This one is not a creek, it’s just when it rains, rainwater is flowing down here uncontrolled. It will cross the road to the relocation side we just left. The road is there in a very bad condition.

A mother with a young child on a motorbike slipped and fell down. We helped her up. She has been lucky,  she and her child didn’t got hurt.

People living here tell me, this place is the supposed market site. Well, it’s the flooded area where the rainwater by thunderstorms coming down.  The rainwater brings with it mud, plenty mud. The mud flows directly into the old relocation site. That relocation site was built by the old adminstistration (before election 2013).

20-cagayandeoro--relocation-camp-upper-pagatpat-14 20-cagayandeoro--relocation-camp-upper-pagatpat-15 20-cagayandeoro--relocation-camp-upper-pagatpat-16I enter the relocation site beside the police out post. Here I can see posts for electricity. So far so good. The deeper I move into the relocation site, the muddier the streets are. Not one road has concrete.20-cagayandeoro--relocation-camp-upper-pagatpat-17 20-cagayandeoro--relocation-camp-upper-pagatpat-18 20-cagayandeoro--relocation-camp-upper-pagatpat-19Before the place become a relocation site it has been a low lying swamped area and still is. Some drainage canals seem not maintained. When it rains heavy, the rainwater is bringing the mud down from the hill and flooding the entire relocation site knee-deep.

It’s really a great accomplishment of the city engeneer’s office to make a swamp a relocation site.

Where you look – mud and more mud.

20-cagayandeoro--relocation-camp-upper-pagatpat-20 20-cagayandeoro--relocation-camp-upper-pagatpat-21When people see me approaching, I can hear them whisper: “cano”. A greeting in their own dialect, and a joke with the kids breaks the ice easily. The icecream vendor is around. They have many questions to me and give me some answers without asking.

I see water containers. So curiously I ask why. The say, the city administration has given up on them here. Why? Because it was built by the old administration they say. It seems local politics makes this already hard up people suffering more. Since the beginning the houses have no water connections. The woman shows me her cart to transport the water. Funny thing is, they are all still smiling.

I want to find the place where they have to go to fetch water. Sure enough, a little while later, I see this man coming with his water trolley. He brings me directly to the water fetching area. He told me there are three or so more of them. Each with 4 outlets.

20-cagayandeoro--relocation-camp-upper-pagatpat-22 20-cagayandeoro--relocation-camp-upper-pagatpat-23 20-cagayandeoro--relocation-camp-upper-pagatpat-24Synopsis:
Looks like relocation sites are not choosen pro people and after setting up not maintained. Families with sick people are left alone in many ways.

Not to forget: the next SENDONG like storm will come one day. The last mentioned relocation site will not only be knee-deep in mud but maybe to the necks.

Everybody may enjoy a nice sunday.


Visiting grandparents in the country

We go from Cagayan de Oro City to Kinawe, a barangay of our neighbor town Libona in Bukidnon. We pass the barangay of Indahag, pass the boundery between CDO and the province of Bukidnon with that stretch of about 50 meters nobody claims and want to be responsible to cement or asphalt it. On the Bukidnon side a newly concreted zick-zack road up the hills to Gango and to Pualas. We proceed after Gango to Kinawe. Most of the road ist cemented now.

We arrive at the house of the grandparents of Juan. Juan is the boyfriend of our granddaughter Chaty. We come to pick-up some piglets and at the same time Juan is introducing his girlfriend to the family.


The grandparents live in a nice house. We will sit outside at the veranda. Juan is helping to serve coffee.

In my own opinion and observance, I recognize a more modern living style not only in the house of the grandparents of Juan, but also the other houses surounding the place. Everything is neat and tidy. Most of the fields are cared for.


Grandma is 73, and Grandpa is already 84. He is still working his 3 hektar farm alone.
Uncle of Juan wants to gift us with some fruits and went to the fields to pick some Marang.

Juan and me follow him.

09-bei-den-bauern-in-kinawe-bukidnon-philippinen-05 09-bei-den-bauern-in-kinawe-bukidnon-philippinen-06 09-bei-den-bauern-in-kinawe-bukidnon-philippinen-07Juan calls out to his uncle. We can’t see him but we can hear him. There are some citrus trees, Pomelo trees full with not ripe fruits yet, hanging like plenty green balloons in that trees. Beside these trees are the Marang trees and here we find the uncle high up in the tree.

He has disturbed the wild bees in the neighbor tree and got some stings in his face.

09-bei-den-bauern-in-kinawe-bukidnon-philippinen-09 09-bei-den-bauern-in-kinawe-bukidnon-philippinen-10 09-bei-den-bauern-in-kinawe-bukidnon-philippinen-11That’s what I mean by well tended fields. The airs was heavy laden with humidity, not easy to breath, and full of smells. The smell of the wet soil from the rain last night mixing with the smells of trees and plants. Mother nature is breathing. Birds are singing jubilant how happy they are in the sunshine.

What a beautiful sunday morning. It’s hard to leave.




The new Piglets coming Home

“May I introduce myself, I’m the mama of the 8 little piglets in the other pen. And when you are going to select 2 of them to bring to your place, I ask you, to take good care of my little kids. “


It’s sunday, we are going to the country side in Kinawe, Libona. Thats in the province of Bukidnon. It’s a secondary route passing Barangay Indahag on the Cagayan de Oro City side and crossing in Barangay Gango of Libonao the provincial boundery into Bukidnon.

After the goldmining town of Gango, the next Barangay is already Kinawe. Just 25 kilometeres from our home.

Some of our matured kids had the feeling to gift us with some more animals in our household. So they sponsored 2 piglets for us. Here we go and pick them up at the place of the boyfriend of our grandchild.

We met the uncle. Very quick 2 piglets are selected and put into sacks for easy transport.

06-ferkel-aus-kinawe-02 06-ferkel-aus-kinawe-03 06-ferkel-aus-kinawe-04Good that we have our little multicab, by some people it’s called a “walking aid” hahaha, there is enough space in the pick-up-style back

06-ferkel-aus-kinawe-05 06-ferkel-aus-kinawe-06 06-ferkel-aus-kinawe-07Now we have some time to meet the grandparents, but that will be another little story I tell you tomorrow.

After we arrived home with our little newcomers, we found out, they had managed to come out of their sacks. (See the header image.)

Clever little buggers.

Now they are exploring their temporay pig-pen for the next few days.