Philippines Blog #49 – Bonifacio,, Backfill & Bananas

November 28, 2009 – Saturday

Bonifacio Day, a public holiday on November 30th, celebrates the life of another Filipino hero, Andres Bonifacio, who led, and is regarded as the father of, the 1896 revolution for independence from the Spanish. Here in the Philippines it is normally the date of their death (usually execution) that is celebrated but in this case it is the date of his birth. Like others before him Bonifacio attempted to find a peaceful solution, however, when this failed he resorted to armed revolution bringing to an end over three hundred years of Spanish rule.
Today the Philippines has the largest Catholic community in Asia and Spanish words appear in the different languages and dialects, counting numbers, the food, the facial features of many of its people as well as the family names. For instance my wife’s maiden name was Bueno.
The backfill progresses. For the first time yesterday I could see that it was a good 6 inches above the level of the surrounding ground. They have also begun to construct a septic tank, so for the first time we could see the box construction technique in use as they bolted together the steel formers before pouring concrete. They obtained permission from the City Engineer to do this as it lies outside the boundary of the units themselves and will actually be below ground level when the backfilling has been completed and the site raised. We walked through the site with the project engineer and the forman noting that the red mark on the steel rod markers is still a long way above the current backfill level. But we said it was good to see progress being made and that we hoped the weather would hold.
We have some banana trees at the front of our lot but at present the bananas are very small. Apparently they have to go dark green and be considerably larger before they are ready to be harvested. As the trees are right beside the baranghay road I wonder if they will still be there by that time!