Monday, October 29, 2007

Binibining Pilipinas



Paglaki sa probinsya ay sadyang nakakatuwa. Mabagal ang buhay, hindi mo kailangang magmadali at hindi harassed ang pakiramdam tulad ng sa Maynila. Iba talaga ang buhay ng mga bata sa probinsya. Iba rin ang mga larong alam namin noon sa Laguna.

Naaalala ko noon ng ako ay nagaaral pa lamang sa mababang paaralang central ng Alaminos. Malawak ang playground doon na berdeng berde ang kulay ng “grounds”. Naisip ko habang nasa klase at tumatanaw sa labas “ang sarap maghabulan mamayang hapon” umaga pa lang naisip ko na yayayain ko na mag-sikyo sina Myles, Romeo at Victor. Bigla na lang akong tinawag ni Ma’am dahil naka tunganga ako sa labas. Tapos hindi ko rin nasagot yung tanong dahil hindi ako nakikinig. Kitang kita rin kasi sa labas ng bintana ang bundok na may lumalabas na usok mula sa geothermal sa may Makban.

Dumating din ang hapon at naglaro na nga kami ng sikyo. Sobra sigawan ng mga kalaro ko habang nagpipilian kung sino ang kakampi. Nagpilian din kung kanino base itong puno ng banaba at kung kanino naman yung sa may gumamela. Magagaling sa sikyo ang mga kalaro ko. Ang bibilis tumakbo na halos malagot na ang mga tsinelas. Yung iba nga na ayaw mapudpod ang bago nilang tsinelas hawak sa kamay at braso sinuot ang mga ito habang tumatakbo. Tagaktak ang pawis namin.

Hindi na namin namalayan na halos kami na lang pala naglalaro. Pag-tanong namin ng oras (dahil wala pa akong relo noong ako ay grade 4 pa lang) nalaman namin “Ay naku alas 5 na! Patay tayo kay Lola pag uwi. Tyak palo ang aabutin ko” Kaya ayun dali dali akong nag ayos at pumunta sa abangan ng jeep para maka uwi na. Dahil barrio pa ang uuwian ko medyo madalang pa ang daan ng jeep lalo’t hapon na. Buti na lang at hindi ko naubos sa recess ang piso na binigay sa akin ni Lola noong umaga. Kaya nakasakay pa ako ng jeep. Pag nagkataon aabutin ako ng dilim sa daan paglalakad.

Abangan ang susunod na kabanata.

Sinulat ni:

6:55 AM; October 23, 2007


Last week we had a storyteller's workshop and I wrote this piece for one of the exercises. Our trainer said that the best sharing and writings come from personal experience.

new airport

This is the new Iloilo airport. The last time that I was in Iloilo was in 2003 back then we still use the old bungalow like airport. When we landed and went out of the plane, it was a bit like "oh my we are back in Manila", the glass panels look almost exactly that of Terminal 2. It was good to see that our domestic terminals are now world class. I remember my boss commenting "terminal 2 looks a lot better than the airport in Washington DC".

Lugar lang

Just got back from Iloilo City. I just love the way people speak in this province. They speak in a sing song tone of voice and the words completely different from Tagalog. Whenever I am there I try to speak Ilonggo. In the jeep, instead of saying "para" to ask the driver to stop the jeep, people would say "lugar lang" or simply "lugar".

Some of my favorite words are "palihog" which means "please" or "can I request". These are some of the words that I practice speaking when I am out there. I also realized that people tend to listen to you more when you use the words in a tone very similar to local tongue.
Sometimes it feels that you are in another country. Just traveling outside of Manila brings a whole new experience in relating to the local people. We have hundreds of different local dialects in the country. It's amazing how rich our Philippine culture really is.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

At the wildlife

I had a meeting here in this particular building yesterday. It was a great opportunity for me to take photos of this oasis in the heart of Quezon City. It was around 2pm but the air was cool. There were children playing and sleeping. Sigh. I just hope that people who work here realize how blessed they are to be able to work everyday with trees and the lake around them.

lights, camera, action!

Just amazed at the number of cameras. They are always the ones who take the shots. Little did they know that someone is interested in taking shots of them and their gear! Some of the photos were a bit out of focus because they were constantly moving around. And I was listening to the presentation as well. The whole episode i think only lasted for about 30 minutes then they are gone. All the major channels were there GMA, ABS CBN, IBC, RPN. Last night, i was watching the news if anyone picked up the news bit. Well, I didnt watch the government channel. I didnt see any of this broadcasted. Anyway, who can compete with the footage of Josh Groban just off the plane in NAIA?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

prayer wheel

This is a gift I received a month or two ago given by a friend who really travels alot. I think this is a Tibetan prayer wheel but not sure. When you open the screw on top, the cover can be removed and inside is a thick scroll with writings I cannot understand.

She said that people go about their chores while spinning this prayer wheel. I love the carvings of this little wheel. It will definitely not fall into my mathoms category.

Celine's Birthday

It was Celine's 1st birthday last week (the baby at the center in the first photo). We had a great time. It has been a while since we got together with the De Pedro Family. The venue of the party was at Arcadia Club house in Ortigas. It has a pool and a playground. Isay had a blast in the slide. It was her first time to slide (assisted by the tatay), first time to swing (with nanay), and endless climbing up and down the blue stairs. We didn't swim because it was a bit cold.

There were no games but all the kids and parents had their hands full with all the children running around playing, swimming, eating. Our friends rented this place at a very reasonable price at a special rate you wouldn't believe if I told you. Then they served these wonderful lasagna and was told it was ordered for only 500 pesos per tray. Such a steal! Now that reminds me to ask C about the contact number of the cook!

By the way "ate" na si Celine as mom C is 5 months na. God bless you sis!


" It is hard to be politically correct and not preachy, but she (Bayang Barrios) was able to do that..."--Mike Villegas

I am a fan of Bayang Barrios, and thus, when she was featured in a TV show, I eagerly watched. There was a time in one costume Christmas party that I dressed up as her ahahahahah. I think it was in 2003 when she won the Metro Pop Music Festival.

What I learned was that she also went through a time of denial but then she eventually realized the richness of her heritage and embraced her ethnicity.

halata ba na fan? ahahahaha


I've been wanting to write everyday, and yet all the thoughts brewing in my head seem to stay there and ferment. Evolving into different thoughts. I just sometimes do not have the energy to write my thoughts and ideas. Creating things does have its time. But when the inspiration does come. It seems like flash flood of thoughts and ideas you want to share.

I noticed that indeed when you need to be comforted, affirmed or contested in my inner self discussions, the ideas present themselves.

I want to share a something I read last night that helped me cope with what I am going through at the moment.

From the book of Richard Carlson: "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff and its all small stuff"

This is the title of the chapter: Become Aware of Your Moods and Don't Allow Yourself to be Fooled by the Low Ones. (I edited it and shortened it and wrote here only the lines that really hit me.)

Your moods can be extremely deceptive. They can, and probably do, trick you into believing your life is far worse than it really is...When we are low, rather than blaming our mood as would be appropriate, we instead tend to feel that our whole life is wrong. It's almost as if we actually believe that our lives have fallen apart in the past hour or two. The truth is, life is never as bad as it seems when you're in a low mood. When you are in an ill mood, learn to pass it off as simply that: an unavoidable human condition that will pass with time, if you leave it alone. A low mood is not the time to analyze your life. To do so is emotional suicide. If you have a legitimate problem, it will still be there when your state of mind improves. The trick is to be grateful for our good moods and graceful in our low moods--not taking them seriously. The next time you feel low, for whatever reason, remind yourself, "This too shall pass." It will.

When I read this last night, I laughed a bit inside of me. I was reminded again at the most opportune time. Words that I needed to hear at that moment. I felt it was a small miracle of sort to be at the receiving end of something I really needed to hear at that time. it is amazing that after reading the book, now I am able to share again my thoughts. It just comes and flows. I will be sharing more in the coming post. Sigh!

Saturday, October 06, 2007


I used to work for WWF Philippines. In 1997, even before I joined the organization, I was able to visit a very beautiful bucolic island--Sibuyan Island. We were supposed to climb Mr Guiting Guiting at that time, but due to limited time, we just explored the coastal area and foothills of the island. It was a long holiday at that time. Holy week was a time when all of the people in the Philippines seems to be on the move. Traveling to the provinces, the buses and the boats were full. At that time, we missed our boat ride at Pier 8. Then, we had to take an alternate route from Lucena and take that small wooden boat for the 12 hours boat ride.

Early morning, as the "lantsa" our wooden passenger boat approach the island, you would be greeted by the huge Mt. Guiting guiting. The scissor like summit looks like multiple peaks along the high ridge of the north face of the mountain. Scissors in the vernacular is gunting and the summit looks like a blade of a huge pinking scissor dominating the skyline of the island. It seems from a distance that the whole island is the mountain. But we discovered more of the hidden beauty of Sibuyan.

We camped at "lambingan" falls and stayed there for a few days. Buying our fish in a nearby village when some children go around selling a fish or two caught by their father. Ancient magrove trees grow along the coast. The unpaved road adds to the bucolic scene. We met some friends ( a topic for a future post) along the way. We also visited a huge waterfall on the other side of the island. I will be posting some of these soon.

After a few years, I was able to visit the island again as WWF staff. Also invited friends to come visit and we explored Cantingas river. Where I jumped from a rock that seemed 3 storeys high unto the river with its clean and crystal waters. I didn't close my eyes when I jumped and in an instant during the "fall" the whole scenery seemed to be scratched by a giant until I felt the splash of cold river water! it was a treasured memory.

Years passed and I wasn't able to visit the island again. I have close friends who were the leaders of conservation program in Sibuyan.

Yesterday, I was shocked to read an article on the recent events in Sibuyan, which I posted in my other blog the green journal.

Serenity prayer

"Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."

Recently, this prayer presented itself. I found myself pondering on these lines. Sometimes it seems that things are overwhelming. Indeed it is hard to be human. Sometimes it helps me to set my perspectives, rethink. It is a blessing to be able to re-orient myself and set my bearings again. My True North remains.


One of my favorite movies is Bruce almighty which I blogged before. The a few days ago, we watched Evan almighty. It is not exactly a sequel but the common factor there is God.

Change the World. This is the campaign slogan of Evan. But he has no idea really how to do it. Simple said God, start with one Act of Random Kindness at a time.

go travel

This is the plane I took from Nausori Airport from Suva to fly to Nadi (pronounced as nan-di)
in Fiji Islands, June 2007

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page." Saint Augustine

The Book says ask and you shall receive. While others say you need to tell the Universe what you want and then things will conspire to make it happen. Ok! here goes. I want to travel!
Still there are many many places that I want to visit. For the longest time I want to visit Europe. There is Italy, France and Spain are on top of my list. Then I want to visit Andes, roam the town where Pablo Neruda lived. See Patagonia, Argentina and Brazil.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

now reading: Travel Doctor


"Travel expands the mind...but loosens the bowels"
The opening lines of this new book we got as a gift was hilarious indeed! we keeled over the lines when we read it. But it is true.

Monday, October 01, 2007

chinese doll

This chinese doll was a gift to my daughter from a friend who just visited the Great Wall. A well traveled friend whom I climbed mountains with before. We both dreamed of traveling to many distant places. And we did albeit along different paths now.

She recently left for Kampala, Uganda to be a VSO volunteer for 2 years.