Friday, March 31, 2017

Estela Jumawid Iliadis blog-my life my travels

The voyage started primarily for survival, as is the case of millions of Filipinos around the world, bought me with the entire family of 8 siblings from Batuan Bohol Philippines to the “promised land” of Mindanao Philippines. In the 80s every place in the Philippines was a promised land compare to Bohol considered then one of the poorest areas in the country, hence the reason we thought a better life await us there. Estela Jumawid Iliadis blog

There I am a kid in the middle of the jungle, observing and learning from my father the art of surviving depending on the mercy of Nature, this Nature who delivers its secrets to anyone who will treat her with respect, likewise, will severely punish those contributing to her destruction. Estela Jumawid Iliadis blog
And one day, Tatay Forunato (My father) decided we have to go. The Philippines will always be the Philippines, there isn’t a promised land, it was a lie, an illusion, a myth. Nevertheless, the jungle of Mindanao taught me to communicate with Nature, we became friends, Mother Nature can read your feelings on her, unmistakably, once she trusts you she’ll invest you with the magic power consisting of everything you plant will grow. Estela Jumawid Iliadis blog
I wish I could stay longer, bypassing the material need being the reason in the first place Tatay brought us there, for the benefit of spiritual knowledge and discovering more. But you guessed it, Tatay wasn’t the kind of granting such requests to an ado I was!…So back to Batuan Bohol, on the real world where everything is down to earth, no rivers, and centennial trees, no monkeys crossing your path like in the jungle of Mindanao, no birds singing. The dream was over.

I was telling the story to my husband seating on the patio having dinner and he replied with a poem from a Greek poet, his name is Constantine P. Cavafy

"As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her, you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean. 

Estela Jumawid Iliadis blog

Next when I have time: America! America! The journey just began. Yes, Ithaka gave me “le gout du voyage” I care in me ever since. Yes, Ithaca has much more for me, is not over yet… 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Estela Jumawid Iliadis - my farm my paradise

Estela Jumawid Iliadis - my farm my paradise

Estela Jumawid Iliadis - my farm my paradise
Estela Jumawid Iliadis - my farm my paradise Philippines Year 2002. Came back from the US and spent a few years with friends and family. It was also for my husband and children to discover the Philippines.

Estela Jumawid Iliadis - my farm my paradise was first published on my husband's blog Evan Iliadis blog  with this introduction:
"First farming experience was a success, Tatay has once again reaffirmed his knowledge and passion for mother nature, Stela’s turn was next. She was known of “having a good hand”, for the locals this means that certain people have this inner and inexplicable power of anything they plant is growing. Some say they are talking to the plants in magic words!"

Indeed, I think I do; this is why I decided to allocate one hectare of the thirty my father owned to plant peanuts. The place is in the most remote areas of the interior of Bohol, where my 4×4 could go as close as 2 kilometers to the land, then by foot if there was no materials to bring, in which case a  rented carabao was the only way. Estela Jumawid Iliadis - my farm my paradise
Cleaning the area, removing stones for facilitating the plowing,  building a “resting house” as they call the nipa hat resting area for the workers has been a challenge on this remote area.
On an  early morning, 3 carabaos start plowing the soil for the first time in years - if not centuries -  locals couldn’t afford the cost of this operation, so here we go again another “worthless land
Indigenous living in the area were looking at us with a bit of suspicion questioning the undertaking of the operation in such remote area, some were saying the “Americano” is digging for gold, not to plant peanuts and other tsismis about our real motivation.

 Estela Jumawid Iliadis - my farm my paradise
Estela Jumawid Iliadis - my farm my paradise
Christian at work. He's just 7
My husband, observing on the sideline perplexed, wondering “how much money we can make from one hectare of peanuts? “… Probably… Just peanuts!….

But if he couldn’t figure out the math, he discovered out something he didn't know about me: My true love for nature and challenges related to my passion.

I lived more years of her life in the US than in the Philippines my heart was still in Mindanao where I lived my childhood, walking miles away every day for bringing food to my father working on the farm and how much I enjoyed it.

I had never complained about the harsh condition of life, instead, I was telling him about the beauty of the area, the abundance of fruits and vegetables and their exceptional taste and plenty of fish.

 Estela Jumawid Iliadis - my farm my paradise
Estela Jumawid Iliadis - my farm my paradise
Brothers Chriatian and Adrian Iliadis with cousin Jesserel
So it was clear to him, it wasn’t for financial gain I was doing it but for reviving my childhood, showing  in real time what working in a farm is all about, I wanted me and our children to get a first-hand experience, sending my usual message like ” You guys in your countries are taking everything for granted!”

Did we make any money? Not really! Friends, you don’t go to the Philippines to make money. You bring it there to spend it! Did we lose any? No! We got our expenses back by selling the peanuts as cheap as..Peanuts! China has flooded the country for half the price! 

Below is a few pictures from the plantation. Enjoy...