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Coins for the future vanishing?

By CHITO DELA TORRE
January 24, 2010

The title for today’s entry here is taken from my own blog at Yahoo.  I posted it last January 17 as my second attempt at blogging on Yahoo.  My first attempt runs under the title “Pasuway Tikang Anay” by which I wanted to convey my first trial at blogging.  My attempts between March and June last year failed, because I wasn’t anymore able to locate them on different blog hosting sites.  Actually, even with my current successful blog attempts, I still find it difficult to access my own entries in the Yahoo blog service.  Thus, I copied them to another bank on my desktop as at once as I got an access to them via My Profile.

Let me share with you what I entered in that blog 7 days ago: Fifteen minutes ago, I got the last information I wanted. "P1,283.00!", said Jasmin.  Jasmin, a recently promoted teacher in Kapangian central school in Tacloban highly urbanized city, just finished counting the coins that she shelled out from the pink plastic piggy bank of her 2-year-4-month old only child, Joschine. Joschine at first helped "count" the one-, five- and ten-peso coins that were rolling out of the "pig's" mouth. She soon turned her back upon noticing a first communion medallion that came out with the coins, picked it up and began playing with it. At 4 p.m. yesterday (Jan. 16, 2010), Niño, Jasmin's big brother-in-law, came to tell me that her older daughter Gladys (5 years 2 months 15 days old) amassed P1,864.00 from her yellow plastic piggy bank while her younger daughter Faith (2 yrs 8 months old) had P1,482.00 in her own white plastic piggy bank.

There was a fourth blue plastic piggy bank, belonging to Lee-an (older than Joschine), only child of Charisse, younger first cousin of Niño. I just surmised it contained much fewer coins than those of Joschine's. Joschine started first dropping coins in February, 2009. Gladys and Faith began simultaneously in April. Lee-an started late, in June.   Everyone thought that Joschine's bank would have more coins saved when it would have been opened by January 16, 2010, not only because the chinese-faced little girl was the earliest starter of the four cute little kids, but also because her three single titas were taking turns in inserting coins each time they would notice her piggy bank. The parents and relatives of her cousins very seldom turned up to drop coins.

All the four piggy banks were kept in the house of their Grammy Cione. Monthly, they were weighed. Weighing spurred excitement among all those witnessing. Weights were recorded and compared against the previous month's to estimate the difference. The kids just didn't bother about the weighing. They just loved inserting their saved coins. Often, each would drop her own coin into her cousins' banks, and everyone would roar into laughter. Gladys and Faith have their own tube banks in their own homes, almost full, like their previous year's. Their mommy Gay kept them aside for their future. The original rule which elders set was to drop only the ten and five peso coins that looked brand new. Soon they realized that other elders in other families in Leyte and Samar were also saving the same pieces and dropping them into their children's or grandchildren's banks which came in various forms and makes - tubes, coconut shells, bamboo shells, cans, dolls, etcetera. This meant, these coins were now vanishing in Tacloban.

Then, like them, others had already been noticing that even small, medium and big stores in the HUC were not anymore as keen as in 2008 to give change in coins. Some cashiers were even taking out from their drawers or cash registers the 5- and 10-peso coins and making long rolls out of them then bringing them to another container elsewhere. This more than confirmed suspicions that these Philippine currencies were destined to disappear slowly, at least in the HUC.

Were the businesses also keeping their own piggy banks? Between mid-2004 and mid-2006, only 10-peso coins - whether old or new - were losing out from circulation in Eastern Visayas. Ladies used to save them. One explanation for that practice: there was "gold" in the coin and there were buyers who would pay between P25.00 and P100.00 for each coin. I was skeptic about it. By July, 2006, some of the ladies told me they never were able to sell their coins, as there were no buyers. So, it was hoax? They believed it was.

Since my assignment back to Catbalogan, Samar more than five years before it got its citihood status, I made it a habit to save my brand new P5 and P10 coins. By 6 p.m. of each December 24 since then, until 2008, I would turn them over to my one and only wife as my wedding anniversary present. Over the years, found out that each year, I could keep between P1,800 and P2,500. No, I didn't maintain a piggy bank or a coco shell bank. I just kept my coins in places where no one would suspect some valuables were there. I stopped saving for my lovely better half when I became one of the depositors of my granddaughters' piggy banks. This year, the four lovely girls want a new piggy bank and more coins. The problem now begins. How could we plow in the coins that are vanishing?

* * * * * * * * * *

Just to give you an inkling as to how I went about with my first attempt at blogging, here are some excerpts of my post for that:

Anyway, Engr. Ray P. Gaspay told me sometime in 2005 that he had prepared a blog site for me, for inclusion in his website, the world-accessed www.samarnews.com. I told him I didn't know anything about it. He said I just needed to encode my day-to-day observations, experiences, thoughts, and others, on the Microsoft Word and he would take care of the rest. I had not been able to produce any for that blog site, yes, despite his proddings. Not only had I weird imaginations about blogging, I also lacked material time. I was engrossed in other activities most of which entailed either thinking and writing, or traveling. That lack had in fact slowly and gradually pulled me out of my commitment to the Waray-Waray La cable television mini-magazine format program which the Service Cooperative of Media Practitioners originally put out as one of its special projects – thanks to SCMP chairman Justenry Mendoza Lagrimas for his active and full support that lasted for quite a time besides getting it realized, together with his having baptized the program as such. Waray-Waray La was being shown on the local community channel of Decobeam Cable TV in Catbalogan, Samar, an outfit of which Engr. Gaspay himself was chief of operations.

Until I learned how to use the internet sometime only last year (2008), I was actually still having a nebulous background about maintaining a blog site. Not long ago, I did try at one, through Yahoo!Mail's assistance, but I was only wondering what I could get out of that try. In fact, I didn't know how to access that myself. Thus, I have no idea whatever was sent to that, if any, from anybody who could have possibly read it. I didn't care. I wasn't ready for it. Perhaps, it would be all right if I can just request any one who can make himself or herself into this site to suggest what else should this contain and display.

Yes, I do have several ideas in my mind. But I don't know how to pick them up from the viewpoint of blog searchers and readers. In fact, too, I've also been thinking of posting here some of the photographs that I have taken – mostly in my hometown of Basey in the province of Samar, here in the Philippines. Yes, I did just open the website of my admired spelunker, Joni Abesamis Bonifacio of Catbalogan, and mused whether I was viewing his website. It contained photographs of the Langun-Gobingob cave system in Calbiga, Samar, personal travelogue of Howie Severino who made his first trek into that mountain-nestling cave solitarily distant from the town proper, and Joni's reproduction of my own article on Howie's adventure to the depths of the cave, plus comments or reactions. I wondered how I could do the way Joni did for an international public audience.