A tree fell on my car and gave me an awesome workout

Photo credit: NASA
Typhoon Glenda 2014. NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz

The eerie howling of the wind woke me up at around 5 AM. Power was out and although all our windows were shut, it was chilly. “It’s going to be a memorable day,” hubby said (it was his birthday).

The Philippines has around twenty typhoons (tropical cyclones) a year and this year’s seventh, Typhoon Glenda (International name, Rammasun) was one of the worst to ever strike Metro Manila (sustained winds 94 miles/hour with gusts up to 116 miles/hour).

Around 6 AM, the winds intensified and banged our kitchen windows. I kept praying that the glass wouldn’t break. Hubby decided to open the shutters a bit to lessen the pressure but that meant rain entering our kitchen. I was so nervous that I decided to hole up inside our bedroom! There was nothing we could do but wait.

It took another four hours before the howling stopped. Whew!

The aftermath:

Me and my family in various areas of Metro Manila were safe. That’s the most important. I just hoped that when the national reports come in, they wouldn’t be devastating.

Anyway, we looked out to our yard and saw this:

One of the main branches of our decades-old mango tree fell…


and hit my car!

Typhoon Glenda 2014

Hubby’s car which was parked a few feet away was spared, yay!

At first, hubby’s plan was to borrow or buy a power saw to cut all the branches, but then I remembered one training session Master Cris and the rest of  our group had.  They cut tall grass with their itak. So I thought, “With all these trees to be cut,  why not use my Eskrima training? It could turn out to be a terrific workout!”

“Go, ahead,” hubby shrugged when I told him my idea. Did I sense some amused doubt there? 🙂

Anyway, I got some old socks, cut off the ends and used them to cover my arms, just like how master Cris described what they did when he worked in the farms in Davao.

And then I hacked and hacked with all my might!


Our neighbors came to help.




Janet, who grew up in a farm in Tacloban knew how to wield an itak and her strikes were strong and precise. No wonder a lot of farmers are good in Eskrima!


Good thing only my rear bumper was damaged. Hey, how did that branch get UNDER the car?  P1060579

That’s hubby, the birthday boy.P1060571

We were careful not to get bitten by these!


We only had these tools but we accomplished a lot.


It turned out to be a happy, awesome workout for everyone.


The next day, hubby hired five men to finish the clearing up.

All’s well that ends well.

That was an awesome workout, I must say. 🙂

Thank you for taking time to read The Deadly Dance.  Pugay!


To read my post about another terrible typhoon, the worst in modern history, click here. 



10 thoughts on “A tree fell on my car and gave me an awesome workout

  1. Halford Jones August 5, 2014 / 1:48 AM

    Glad you realize why practical work at chopping wood, meat, trees, and other objects is most important and while many simply allow the sharp blades to do the work as the swing and slice the air, they need to feel the impact of things and also develop a good grip which is not always gained by the usual gym exercises or weights or other routines. Bakers kneading bread also develop good forearms. Women shun such work and exercise especially if they are ‘beauties’ in search of fame and love and want soft hands….Have a great week and hope all is well with you. Keep up the good work. Thanks for posting this.

    • thedeadlydance August 5, 2014 / 12:11 PM

      Thank you. You’re right, practical work would really help martial artists. It was great feeling the impact of the blades on that tree.
      I’ve been thinking about how I could get the feel of real knife moves. Maybe I could go to an animal slaughterhouse and stab and slice the hanging animal carcasses, just like how Rocky practiced his punches in a slaughterhouse (was it in Rocky 4?). That would really be a memorable workout!

      • Mio August 6, 2014 / 3:08 PM

        If I were you, I wouldn’t dispose those big branches (and a trunk?). I’d prefer to put some of them in one area so I could practice my bolo strikes. I am more comfortable using those branches than old tires.

  2. Mio August 5, 2014 / 11:55 AM

    Good that you remembered the videos of Maestro Cris Pasindo explaining the farmers’ farm-clearing tasks using the machete as akin to the movements of the escrimadors. As I have always mentioned during our chats, the famed Gurkhas have become adept with the Khukri because of their constant use of the knife for peasant livelihood. Personally, I learn more by hacking through those felled trees than by listening to some arnis instructors giving seminars on bladed weapons. It is actually easy to spot if these instructors are really used to holding a machete by just looking at their hands, and comparing them, for instance, with those of a coconut or sugar farmer’s.

    • thedeadlydance August 5, 2014 / 12:20 PM

      Yup, Janet, in one of the photos above, worked in a farm in Tacloban and she’s a mean hacker! Powerful, precise, and effective moves that she learned over many years. I’m sure she can very well defeat a lot of city-trained escrimadors.
      And that’s also why I’m happy that Master Cris has this strong background of farm work. Come to think of it, he has a STRONG practical background — construction worker, mine worker, security guard plus his numerous street fights plus his time in jail for frustrated homicide. Hmmmmm, I should write a post on that.

    • Halford Jones August 5, 2014 / 11:28 PM

      Yes, you can learn a lot from farmers and in the Philippines, as you know, nearly all the rural carpenters, especially those who specialize in building the BAHAY KUBO, all have a bolo or two as tools in their kits and also the tuba gatherers carry one as well. Women, children and men, old and young used use the bolo and other blades for chores, work, and other tasks, even in the kitchen…and you can probably list more uses than what appear here usually. Keep up the good work. Thanks for posting

      • Mio August 6, 2014 / 2:45 PM

        I recall GM Henry Espera explaining in a video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdEif2otFMs) how he lived as an abaca farmer and fisherman in the typhoon-prone province of Sorsogon, and how such a way of life influenced his escrima movements, particularly bolo strikes. GM Henry also recounted in the same video how the execution of his strikes did not go unnoticed by the sharp eye of his mentor GM Tatang Ilustrisimo, who experienced similar hardships in both rural and urban communities.

        • Halford Jones August 6, 2014 / 10:39 PM

          The Banana plant and the Abaca are related plants and often used for kicking and toughening the shins, palms and fingers in various hand arts, such as, karate, Thai boxing, etc. as some of you know. Yes, fishermen, sailors of the old boats and crafts, loggers, lumberjacks, blacksmiths, etc all had ‘mighty forearms’ and ‘iron grips’ but also you might find that certain fiddle and violin players have excellent grips and sometimes are hard to beat in ordinary wrist or hand wrestling.

          • thedeadlydance August 7, 2014 / 7:07 AM

            This discussion is making me look at our yard differently. We have mango and banana trees and now I realize we have such great training “equipment.”

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