Sunday, November 27, 2005

On to our Second Season of Love

Today is our first wedding anniversary! Yey!
And yes! what a great first season of love it was. We are on our way to our second year and growing strong.

We feel really blessed to be able to celebrate this day with the blessing of each other. We thank God indeed for the many journey's we've traveled together. During the past year there were some valleys we traversed but it was well worth it for the mountain top experience of being hand in hand travelling with each other was more rewarding because we have each other.

Remembering the past year, it reminded me of the small trees we gave out as souvenirs to our dear family and friends who celebrated with us ( we gave out 3 kinds of seedlings juniper tree, tea plant and peperonia seedling--all about 2 to 3 inches tall each in a small pot). I was wondering want happened to those plants.

The other day, while visiting my father's house in San Francisco Del Monte in Santiago, I was happily surprised that the peperonia tree that they planted a year ago is now a small tree and there are two of them there. It was about more than a foot tall thriving in the small garden. To say that I was excited to see that small tree again is an understatement. I was really happy to hear my father and my sister showing us the small tree-plant ( I will try to post a picture of the plant before and after in my future postings to celebrate a year of blessings).

Friends, if your trees are healthy and growing do send us a picture if you can to celebrate with us.

Just a side story, a few days ago while Amats was in Tagaytay for work, I found an old book but actually it was new. And guess what? It was a wedding gift, a book we haven't read yet after all these months. I was glad to find this treasure of "Chicken Soup for the Couple's Soul" a gift from Ian. The book is a compilation of stories on love and intimacy, finding true love, commitment, understanding each other, overcoming obstacles, about family and (of course) eternal love.

Ang galeng talaga ni God! Such great timing! Showing that He is a Father to us, celebrating these small moments of miracles with us, bringing overflowing blessings this season of love.

Saturday, November 19, 2005


I remember when I was in high school in Laguna College. I had a good Filipino teacher and she taught us how to write the old Philippine script--"Alibata". We were taught how to write and use it properly. Our final exam was to write an essay all in alibata.

I am sad that I already forgot how to use it. But it's like riding a bike once you learned you never forget and it is easy really. The local abakada has an equivalent symbol to change the vowel form that follows the consonant a dot is placed above or below the symbol. If only the consonant will be used as in the word "minsan" a small plus sign or kudlit is placed beneath it.

Some of my artist friends in Palawan still use it today. Susan Tupas signs her artwork in alibata. Others say it is still in use by the locals of Mindoro and Palawan. According to Gener my friend in Palawan they use leaves for paper and "tingting" as pen to carve out the symbols.

Recently, I was happily surprised that a friend used it for her invitation. I was inspired to look it up and decipher their invitation. Their theme is modern Filipiniana. I thought I should go back and review my alibata.

come join me visit this site.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Happy Birthday Ria Aps

We celebrated Ria Apostol's birthday last Sunday together with brothers and sisters from Lingkod QC whom we missed whom we haven't seen for sometime now. At the party I also met old friends from WWF turtle islands project. For the past seven years Ria was able to work in the project and more years I guess for Cowa because she was there since 1996. As for me I only spent a year with the project. I admire them for the strength and perserverance. It was good to see old friends again.

Ria has always been a very good friend. She will soon tie the knot with John on Dec 4th. Congratulations Ria and yes happy happy birthday. promising times lie ahead Ria.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Tubbataha and Greenpeace

What is common between the two is that I was involved with these two. I used to work for the conservation of Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park working for WWF Philippines. The Philipines one and only marine park. While I volunteer for Greenpeace specifically when the Artic Sunrise ship visited Manila in 2002. I volunteered as a tour guide on the boat and solicited signatures for the campaign.

Irony of ironies just recently in the news, Rainbow Warrior II sliced through Tubbataha and was fined for about 640,000 pesos or 11,600 US$ someone blogged about it too (read here)Save our Reefs from Greenpeace. Rainbow Warrior II there to find evidence of bleaching due to global warming but found out that our reef is healthy. If they have a researcher on board, at least one should note that Tubbataha is located in deeper waters thus much cooler and less prone to bleaching which is associated to global warming.

I think they should see the GBR if they are looking for bleached corals. Having snorkelled in GBR recently and worked in Tubbataha, I think our reefs are far more beautiful indeed. I can't remember who said it, "GBR is like Disneyland but Tubbataha is like Safari". I remember the time when we dived off season at Tubbataha and we saw 8 magnificent eagle rays.

For the past few days my email has been swamped with invitations to visit the boat on Nov 14 and 15. Lakay volunteers will be there. Well, I am still thinking. This boat destroyed more corals that it can ever regrow in 20 years. Environmentalist kill environment...How is that?

After thinking about it and talking with old WWF friends, I decided not to volunteer anymore.

Good Health

I think the best thing you could be in life is to be healthy. Being human I guess we are bound to be prone to illness and other factors the affect our well being. Now more than ever I realize how priceless it is to be healthy. Many changes comes with age, less immune to this and that, aching backs due to stress and there are things that one cannot control that some say it is in the family, that some things are genetic.

When I realize how short indeed our life is, I think of the many things that I still hope to accomplish. Looking back the 3 1/2 decades past, full as it may have been, now I still see that much is to be done.

Well, I guess changes in health, being sick for a while makes me ponder more on these thoughts.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Happy Birthday Lolo

Yesterday, November 3 is my Dad's 66th birthday. ( it was also my late sister's birthday Vicky). We celebrated it at our old small house in Santiago st. at Frisco with my sister Jinky's family Vico, Julius and loveable, huggable Jane! Amats and I went to buy the usual foodies palabok, cake and of course ice cream with the newest flavor in town, Sans Rival a creation of Selecta and Red Ribbon.

Some things do get better with age and i was inspired by Aloy's blog entry about her mom. I didn't realize how many years my father has logged. And I am thankful that he is in good health. Although yesterday Jinky said he bought the crispy pata ("kontraban" as we call it). We were singing Happy Birthday Lolo and had a great time yesterday.


Home sweet home, it is always great to be home again. Despite the long and tedious journey, I feel really blessed to have a home to come back too. Every travel and every journey is an opportunity to see beautiful places and experience new cultures and meet great new friends. But above all these, I come home with more appreciation of what we have here. Despite the many things that might discourage others to go back the perennial political turmoil and poverty, there is still no place else to be, but home—in the Philippines.

Never in any of my trips before that I yearned to eat rice and galunggong and when I got back I ate lots of adobo and rice. Yes, it is proven that I cannot survive without plain steamed rice. I love rice. I felt so weak not eating rice for so long. Even the Chinese “takeaways” they have different kind of rice. My Mexican friends Hudson said poor Daisy she only gets “snacks”. Because I told her that without rice for me it is not a meal and every lunch we were served with sandwiches. But in fairness, we were served with gourmet sandwiches—my favorite was avocado with alfalfa and cheese and we had veggie sandwich choices. But still, there is no rice.