Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I cancelled my trip to Hanoi for Nov 1 to 6. I will miss the autumn season they say it is beautiful there now in Hanoi. I even planned to buy all the beaded bags i can hold on and all the TNF products made in Vietnam--well for now those have to wait for a couple of years. Hay.

But I am happy that I will be spending more time at home.


It is mid-week of the IMPAC congress her in Geelong. I was sick yesterday and had to be in bed for the whole day. I have never been homesick in all my recent travels--now i really want to go home. By Saturday I will be back home. I can't eat sanwiches for lunch and like Honey I cannot survive with out rice. I had rice from a Chinese "takeaway" but my tummy not cooperating. Hay it is so hard to be sick and away from home. I canceled on the field trip to swim with the dolphins and seals tour. It is a bit hard when your body decides that it cannot cooperate with what you have in mind.

On the better side, I was able to listen to Tundi Agardy--one of the auhtors i read in grad school. I really thought that she was a "he" but it turned our that she is very smart lady. it was great to listen to my "references" as i call them.

I thank God for this experience and i look forward to coming home soon in a few days time.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


We went to Paradise Island yesterday at the GBR. We went there on board Passions a nice boat about 80 people on board which is still small compared to others with 400 guest, really organized crew, complete gear. There was a bit of a current yesterday but the weather was great bright and sunny. I didn't get out of the water until the very last minute. I swam with my new Mexican friends Annie Hudson and Senora Gaby, also with Alma of Palau and Annie from NOAA. We saw a blue dotted sting ray, lots of regal butterfly fish, the we also saw a school of cuttle fish I kept beside them for a long time. I didn't have prescription mask and did not notice what they were until I was close and got really excited. We also went into a glass bottom boat with a marinse scientist crew Robin she was really great describing everything about the reef. We saw a maori wrasse a huge one and a hawksbill turtle. It was a really good day. I was hoping that I can go back to GBR next time with Amats.

We are back here at Tradewinds Hotel. This my last day at Cairns. There were 4 Filipinos in this technical trip actually 5 including Dindo. I will be flying out with Ms Jovy to Melbourne this afternoon.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Back in Sydney

I arrived at 8am in the morning at the International airport after a short one hour transit in HongKong last night. Yesterday it was raining in Manila when I left the house at past 2PM. One the way to the airport nearing Boni Avenue on the Red Dollar taxi, while i was reviewing in my mind my IT, I suddenly remembered my poster and asked Amats. We had to make a U turn at gualdalupe and get the poster--my main reason for this trip. In less than an hour we were able to get the poster at home then arrive at T1 at NAIA. Stress level high--departure pa lang. Hehehe. Anyway all went well during the trip here and I will be having lunch with Olive and James in their nice home. I already checked in at the T2 domestic airport earlier today. It was great my flight later today is at 4PM for Brisbane then Townsville. I was amazed how easy it is to have e-tickets an self check in at a unit very similar to an ATM machine.

I will not have regular access to email once we are in Townsville.

Monday, October 10, 2005

In awe of Your generosity

Unexpected blessings!

For the past few months one of the things our organization has been preparing for is the IMPAC congress in Geelong, Melbourne for October 24 to 28.  Early this year, I got confirmation that my abstract submission for the congress was accepted as a poster presentation. I was really excited that at least my paper passed the first screening. But I know, that usually those that got travel funding usually are those for the oral presentations.

As early as July, I knew that my application for a grant to participate in the first International Marine Protected Areas Congress was not approved by the organizers. I think I was expecting this and did not get my hopes up. My boss eventually registered me even though there is still no assurance that my own organization will fund my travel. Well, I really understood because we are now saving up as much as possible because finances are tight for next year.

Three weeks to travel time and still no word if I will indeed go.

Today, about two weeks before IMPAC, I received an email from my boss. I got a miss call on my phone and Ms Bek texted that Dindo wants to talk to me on Skype. Since I am still using a dial-up connection, I can’t be heard overseas. I can’t believe what I read on my inbox:

That the travel to Melbourne will be funded and the biggest BONUS and totally unexpected is that I am invited to a technical tour to visit the Great Barrier Reef on October 17 to 22.


For the longest time, I’ve dreamed of visiting the GBR, since I became a diver — on top of the must see dive sites in the world—is the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Oh my God! Thank you for your generosity! Definitely there were also angels that helped me get the grant - John Parks of NOAA and Pam Seeto of Packard Foundation—they were the silent angels who were instrumental in helping the LMMA team participate in this event.

My God, indeed You cannot be outdone in generosity.

Colds again and related stories

Since last Thursday the weather and the circulating virus caught me again. Last week was a bit of a panic because of the unavailability of the transcribers/translators for the documentary that we did at Surigao del sur for the Hinatuan Bay story. I thank God for good friends and the angels that quickly responded to the need. Thank God indeed because we were able to submit all the required transcriptions of footage log and translation for the English sub-titles for this was for international release here in the Asia Pacific Region for marine practitioners.

I guess it was stress, before we went to Hinatuan last week of Sept I got well from a terrible fever. It was fortunate that I was able to do the week long field work and was able to dive.

As of Thursday, the virus caught me again but still had the energy to celebrate last Friday for Lex’s birthday—we saw their new house which Lex designed himself—it was good to reconnect with friends Lex, Jeryc, Honey, Johanna and was able to meet a new friend one mean guitarist Arnel imported from Kabayan (he wants to live at He Cares).

Saturday was our time for He Cares I thought I would not have the energy to serve, the weather not so good, I was a bit apprehensive to go but we did anyway.  I cannot believe where the energy comes from, I was amazed how God enabled me to serve despite the colds and tiredness I felt the past days. We had our lunch at 2pm as usual but I was not hungry. This incident made me think talaga that it is an affirmation from God that when He calls He enables. After He Cares, I was able to send via Fedex the miniDVs of the documentary. I didn’t feel tired until I got home.

I stopped drinking medicine for a reason I cannot disclose now and all Sunday I was bed ridden so to speak although I was still able to cook because both Amats and I are down with the cold with Amats having high fever.  

God is so good –He sent us food last night.  Ria and Jas cooked giant tiger prawns for dinner. But we already had mungo for dinner. They invited us for a movie but we can’t. Today we had the prawns for lunch.

Today I am not feeling much better. Congestion is really bad because I have chronic rhinitis, my allergy together with the “cold” is not good. Still I was able to go to NCC Open U at Diliman to request for change of test center. It will be my final exam for my repeat subject on environmental economics.

I hope there are accessible herbal medicines that can cure colds and allergies.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Carry on

Do you need help with your pack? Let the "kabayo" help you.
This shot was taken by Jeryc Garcia during the Mt. Daguldol climb one of the last rest stops before the summit ridge. It was a despedida climb for Bay before she left. Look for Nine and Bay in the picture. The nearest translation of carry on is "padayon".

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Mt Ugu

skills climb na naman this month and I am wondering kung makasama kami sa Mt Ugu. One of the most beautiful mountain range that I was able to visit.

Using word

Tried using word for blogger. I think I still need to polish this new tool. I tried using it in my last few entries and posting but need to learn how to format it better. I like to use smaller fonts.

Seven things

Been tagged by Joni and Honey this is my long overdue Seven.

Seven Things That Scare Me1) bunjee jumping
2) wreck dive (parang mag cave-in mga old boats underwater)
3) nuclear meltdown
4) fire
5) death of loved ones6) war
7) hell

Seven Things I Like The Most1) Traveling
2) Photography
3) Mint Chocolates/Green ice blended tea with Soya milk
4) Swimming in the Ocean
5) Dolphins (I swam with them once in Cagayancillo, Palawan)
6) Babies and puppies
7) Waterfalls

Seven Random Factos About Me
1) I put sugar in my tea
2) climbed Mt Kanlaon, Halcon, Isarog and Pulag
3) lived in the islands of Palawan (more than a year) and Tawi Tawi (for almost a year)
4) dived in Tubbataha saw 8 eagle rays in a single dive and Turtle Islands first saw shark while diving
5) been to Nepal, saw the Himalayas and Mt. Everest on a small plane from Kathmandu
6) I walked more than a kilometer beside the highway to get school when I was 7 years old alone and did not even have enough money to buy lunch and have no “baon” ( one of the things thought made me a strong person)
7) Married to a wonderful person--Amats
Seven Important Things In My Bedroom
1) Cotton smooth sheets (must have) on the bed of course
2) baby powder
3) fleece blankie
4) bedside lamp for reading
5) books and travel mags
6) bed that is not too soft
7) my “banig”
Seven Things I Plan To Do Before I Die
1) Visit the 8 wonders of the world and interesting countries
2) Put up a flower shop and plant lots of trees
3) Buy land on beach front, build a house then also build a backpackers place
4) Pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Santiago de Compostela in Spain
5) Raise wonderful well adjusted kids
6) be an ambassador for goodwill (haha!) and be a teacher
7) live for a short while in an interesting country
Seven Things I Can Do
1) drive (stick shift)
2) ride a bike
3) cook a full course meal (at high altitudes)
4) climb a mountain
5) SCUBA dive
6) Identify corals
7) dance
Seven Things I Can't Do
1) bunjee jump ( even for a million bucks no!)
2) Drive a motorcycle (but I can backride)
3) drive in right-hand-drive countries
4) eat beef and pork
5) drink thick black coffee
6) ride a wave as in surf (I hope to be able to someday)
7) skydive (I don’t think I would ever)

Seven Things That Attract Me To The Opposite Sex
1) God fearing a good sense of spirituality
2) simple but uniquely interesting
3) can carry a good conversation
4) good sense of humor
5) kind and generous of his time (;P)
6) good voice
7) x factor

Seven Things I Say The Most
1) Pusa! and variations thereof
2) talaga lang ha!
3) Ingat
4) Salamat/Thanks
5) God Bless
6) kamusta?
7) Ah ok!
Seven Celeb Crushes (whether foreign or local)
1) Will Smith (as in #1)
2) Orlando Bloom (noong elf pa sya sa LOTR)
3) Josh Hartnett (katunayan na hindi lahat maitim ang crush ko)
4) Denzel Washington (very interesting man)
5) Cesar Montano (met him premier of MuroAmi)
6) Stephen Chow (ang saya nya “what kind of style is that?”)
7) Hugh Jackman (sobra!)

Amats's entry

1) Where was your most unforgettable travel? It is our travels alone together. I treasure them all and you help me see things differently and fresh and light and fün!  ..especially the banawe-sagada trips... at yung sa boracay (siyempre 0;).. at sa el nido..! 0;) 2) What single thing makes your heart leap? hmmm... a "thing" which would always make my heart leap I will use a general noun for. It would be God's momentous creation.. poignant and true.. it is His love made seen and felt.. like the light of the morning sun filtered through trees, puppies playing, a baby's smile.. and a fluttering of the wonder of butterflies.    a thing which would make my heart leap is..  my bb seal pouncing on me with impunity!
3) What is your heart's greatest desire?
to be a true instrument of God's call for me.. a gift of continuous unraveling.. 0;) to spend intimate moments with my bb seal by the Gift of His moments of beaüty for us.. under trees.. over warm sand.. on a cozy coüch...basta mahal kita!
-- iyong lingkod rin,Amats 0;)There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. - St. John the Apostle (1 John 4:18 NIV)

Honey's entry

Happy birthday to your blog dear Day...may you have many, many more
blogging years to come!

1) Where was your most unforgettable travel?
First time in Europe (Geneva, Paris, Rome, the Vatican, Florence, Naples,Capri etc.)  year 2000, first time on my own!  Strange continent, Strange languages, strange situations...I learned a lot about myself and what I'm capable of.  My world suddenly got a lot bigger (or smaller?  Depends On how you look at it!).  One of the most important things I learned on
this particular journey, which remains true despite the many trips I've taken since then: I cannot survive three days without RICE.  Amen.

2) What single thing makes your heart leap?
Recognizing God's handiwork.  Sometimes it's as if He's spraypainted "I was here" on the wall.  And I'm not just talking about the Grand Canyon or a spectauclar sunset , but simple things like answered prayers, the smile of a thankful child - the little miracles of every day.

3) What is your heart's greatest desire?
To fulfill His greatest desires for me. :-)  I hope those include more travel (the way things are shaping up, it sure looks like it!), a broader mission field, and getting to share all of this with the one He's prepared for me.  Yeeha...

Pie's entry

hi sis!
gusto ko lang sagutan ang questions mo .. ganda eh ... :)
1. all my travels have been very special since each trip is filled with snippets of wisdom, not to mention, truckload of opportunities to meet new friends and build lasting bonds.  however, the most special travel so far that I have had is my trip to Baguio with Pabs, my husband, for a gazillion and one reasons. 
To begin with, that trip was spontaneous.  We were not supposed to go to Baguio but to Bora instead for our honeymoon.  In fact, we even thought of spending it in Palawan but due to bad weather (for the former) and the unfriendly rates (of the latter) as we searched for packages, Baguio was not even an option but off we went.  and Boy! Did we enjoy it immensely! 
It was not my first time in Baguio but i felt that i was going around the place for the 1st time.  I was looking and appreciating the greens around me and enjoying the warmth of the people with a refreshed perspective.  There is hope in this world!  LIfe is beautiful. 
Such positive attitude could have been attributed to my being "high in love" since I just got married then.  could be.  however, i cannot discount the fact that I enjoyed the trip since I got reaffirmed that people could become better, could do good if they want to.  Take for example the cab drivers in Baguio, they do know that Pabs and I were tourists (we acted it!) but they never took advantage of us.  They gave us our change and never demanded extra if we went outside the City.   Then there are the hotel people and the tiangge vendors who are more than willing to share tips on where to get the cheapest find, etc.
one good deed could actually trickle down and be passed on among people.  it is a reaffirming fact too that such courtesy and honesty wouldnt have bene made possible if not for an exemplary leadership.  my hope that such also happens here in manila lives.  :)
2.  the single thing that makes my heart leap is to wake up every single day with Pabs beside me, and my family just outside our room, and enjoying the day with my loved ones.  i cannot thank God enough for the gift of life.  Every day is a renewed hope to do good and live life to the fullest.and sharing life with loved ones is an ultimate manifestation of God's generosity and love.
3. my heart's greatest desire is to be able to grow a family that is God-centered -- whose love and faith is overflowing, and whose compassion for others is infectious.  :)

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Back from Surigao

I just got back from Surigao Del Sur from Hinatuan Bay for the video documentary of the Philippine segment of the LMMA network Lessons Learned video.

It was a good 6 very full work days on the field. It is always good to be back on the field. But I do not miss the 5 hours dusty road trip because the nearest airport to Surigao del Sur is Butuan airport. As always when we arrive I felt like an antique and my butt screaming from the long hours of the bumpy bus ride--not airconditioned. But all these vanish in my memory once we are on the waters of the Bay on a pump boat.

A great highlight of the trip is that one fisherman turned over a male hawksbill turtle, a juvenile one--actually it was a handicapped turtle it has only one fore leg. It was brought to the CERD office and we were able to film the tagging we brought the turtle to Mahaba Island and participated in its release. I was transported back to my old days in the Turtle Islands. Back then i was able to tag mature turtles when they lay their eggs on the shore at night. I remember the mornings when we participated in releasing turtle hatchlings.

Interacting with the fisherfolks and living with them just for a while is a humbling experience. Ka Gems, she lives on Mahaba Island. She always cooks for us when we are there--crabs, shrimps and gastropods for lunch fresh from the back yard mangrove area.

This trip is also the first time that I was able to dive in Hinatuan Bay before it was always snorkeling. We saw tomato clown fish, good sized sweet lips and groupers. The dive at San Juan we found huge braching acroporas.

While I was on the boat, I felt at peace and kept thinking how relaxing it is to work out on the sea. The salt water spraying, the waves relaxing. Even if sometimes the skies were overcast it felt really good to be out there in the open water.

The Winners

congratulations to:

Honey Oliveros

Pie Maraya
Amats Salgado

Thank you to all those who joined the contest. Since there are only three entries ALL are winners!!! hehehe. I will send you your prizes by next week.

Please let me know if I can post some portions of your entries. Thanks for joining. It was a great year sharing with you all.