Showing posts with label Philippines. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Philippines. Show all posts

08 December 2014

Villa de Oro

V is for Villa de Oro, a beachfront accommodation in Boracay. Come on in!

and how's this for a view while dining on seafood?

The shirt is right - life's a beach. I mean I cherish the nice moments in life.

Water World
Mrs Nesbitt & the ABC Team
Our World
Sally's Blues
Mellow Yellows

01 April 2014

Lake Sebu

Lake Sebu is a municipality.  It is also a natural lake which helps other bodies of water provide irrigation to Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato, two provinces in the southern Philippines. The place is recognized by the Philippine government as a prime eco-tourism destination and an important watershed.

This is Punta Isla, one of several resorts around the lake.  I hear it is popular. Most tourists flock here to have brunch and relax after visiting other sightseeing spots like the seven waterfalls or riding a zip line.

You descend on stone steps to reach the cottages below

I saw this huge bloom along the way

My kiddos watch some lake activity while lunch is prepared

We then took a boat trip around the lake.

28 January 2014

Life in the slow lane

As if the delay of my passport release was not enough, the office of Academic Affairs emailed to remind me that my work license was expiring. So much for being happily stuck at home, sweet home. I should probably start pleading for a miracle. There had to be something to make up for this black cloud over my holidaying head. I tried looking around and it's wonderful to find joys and faves despite all this trouble.

Ever tried going around looking for something you fancy eating in a downpour? Life in the slow lane. You can afford time to do what you want the way you want it. It was like stepping back into a world where deadlines don't exist. No alarm clocks. No meetings. Just friendly vendors selling fruits under trees in front of their houses.

Tuesday I sorted out a couple of beneficiary issues on my health insurance. If you are familiar with how paperwork is done in the Philippines, you would consider yourself lucky if you got things done in one go. This time I did and to celebrate I took Ma and Cj to Barrio Otso (Village 8) to spend a lovely afternoon eating a yummy dessert.

A friend said that my passport issue could be a sign that I should not go back to Bangkok, at least not just yet. Political unrest is happening there right now anyway. I thought it could be. I'm falling fast for the mountains around. They give the country girl in me a rather better view of the world out there.

Then Wednesday I rang DFA and was told my passport was on its way to Gensan from Manila. Things are looking up. My heart leapt to my throat. I am thankful and excited.

So this is what I fancied eating. Through the rain. Wish granted.

27 January 2014

Camp Mariano

Camp Mariano is a summer camp along the Pan-Philippine Highway to Koronadal in South Cotabato.

Next to the camp entrance is where locals or visitors to the province spend lovely afternoons -

enjoying a dessert called buko salad

Buko is a Filipino word for young coconut. There are variations among ingredients. This one includes ube ice cream and jam, sweet banana and leche flan.

Around Camp Mariano are little huts selling coconut vinegar and salted fish; root crops like camote (sweet potato) and turnip.

The sign on the tree house says "Live Christ, Share Christ." Having lived in a Buddhist country for 16 years now, I felt a bit strange but cheerful reading that. And then I knew something: I was reconnecting with Christian culture. I was home.

21 January 2014

More laughter than tears

It has been raining a lot in my part of the world. There have been storm signals again. We are crossing our fingers. I take a walk around the neighborhood.

i. Everything smells fresh
ii. Sunshine bathes the plants

iii. In the afternoon, grey skies appear again. But as a pluviophile I have fun thinking, "ta-ta it looks like rain..."

The next day I sort out a little problem with my passport. Having it replaced takes time. I re-book my return flight to Bangkok twice. This 'glitch' is causing issues at my job though I choose to be optimistic. Whatever happens I hope I am ready.

iv. So here comes Mr. Helpful of the Department of Foreign Affairs. He appeals my case in the Manila office and apologizes profusely for the delay although it's not his fault. That is enough for me. I am grateful for the positive attitude, and I celebrate that with a choco harmony treat.

(Aunt Ludi, Robinson Gensan)

v. I'd like to share these words, and a picture that my inner world relates with.

"As I stumble through this life,
help me to create more laughter than tears.

Never let me become so indifferent,
that I will fail to see the wonder in the eyes of a child.

Never let me forget that my total effort is to cheer people,
make them forget, at least momentarily, the unpleasantness in their lives, 

and in my final moment, may I hear You whisper:

"'When you made My people smile, you made Me smile.'" ~ Unknown

20 January 2014


Boracay is a resort island in the Philippines, administered by the Philippine Tourism Authority and the province where it belongs - Aklan. The island is approximately 196 miles south of Manila. I visited it on a whim in 2013, a year after it was awarded, among several other awards, the best island  in the world by Travel + Leisure, an international travel magazine.
"Apart from its white sand beaches, Boracay is also famous for being one of the world's top destinations for relaxation. It is also emerging among the top destinations for tranquility and nightlife." (Wikipedia)

Linking with ABC WEDNESDAY

12 November 2013


In the context of the devastation brought by Haiyan, different sources call the Filipinos resilient. The Daily Mail, UK quotes US President Obama:
"I know the incredible resiliency of the Filipino people, and I am confident that the spirit of Bayanihan will see you through this tragedy."
Bayanihan, a word I never heard, used nor thought of in quite awhile, more or less two decades. It's nice to be reminded of a reference to 'communal unity and cooperation.' Honestly I don't remember being ever seriously sure what resilience really means until I gaped in horror at the TV this weekend. Let me reflect a bit:

"Resilience, the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties"

I have great memories of adventure in Tacloban, an island city hit the worst by Haiyan. Happy to be out of boarding school for the summer, Tacloban was the perfect place for an 18 year-old to explore. But now aside from not having any photos of my own, I don't think anyone needs more scenes resembling the end of the world. Instead I'm posting something reflective of the hope that my poor country is put to right again soon.

Samal is one of those areas under Signal 1 after tropical depression Zoraida moves closer to Mindanao.  Oh no... not Mindanao! Haven't we enough bombings and kidnappings there already? :(

Trucks and buses roll into ferries that transport them to Samal Island -

People usually pass here after alighting from the ferries -

A dirt road drive to the resorts

Late afternoon in the island -

21 May 2013

Ship-seeing to Sichang

There is tension between Taiwan and the Philippines over the recent shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by a Philippine coastguard. Taiwan retaliates; rejects apology from the Philippines, impose sanctions, threatens Manila with naval drills in the South China Sea, goes arrogant, eg. compares themselves to a golden retriever, the Philippines a chihuahua in the event of an attack. Wait. I love dogs. My ears are on alert mode, though I didn't have time to find how the shooting took place, there's an identical twin of my wondering through an FB comment by Mike San Agustin Mccrea

"if a vessel is required to stop for a coastguard inspection in its national (usually 12mile) limit, and refuses to do so the coastguard is entitled to take such action as is necessary to stop the vessel. If it does not stop after a warning [shop], it seems fully justified to fire on the vessel.... If someone gets shot it is the fault of the skipper of the offending vessel.... So if this is the case it would seem to me that the person the Taiwanese government should be venting its anger has a Taiwanese travel document"

A former schoolmate's fantasy of the Philippines' first line of defense got me googling and then supposing that there's nothing noticeable enough. Chihuahua :(  But then the matter of war could be a long shot for the golden retriever. My hands grip the leash as I walk away and turn my attention to something sea-ish, like ships, the cargo, tanker, normal ones.

Join me in my little boat trip to Sichang, a tourist island in the gulf of Thailand, and see some ships.

~ shore of Sriracha ~

 ~ small mountain of sand in the middle of the sea ~


Here's hoping Taiwan didn't attack while we were ship-seeing. 'PEACE be still.'

07 May 2013

Quiapo Church

More formally known as the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene or Saint John the Baptist Parish, Quiapo Church was founded in 1586 by Governor General Santiago de Vera in Quiapo, Manila.

As a third grader I would look at a picture of Quaipo church in a Social Studies textbook and would often wonder how true were those 'extra' stories of crowds walking to and fro on a break of pews or right at the doorstep while mass was going on.

Finally after thirty-one years two weeks ago I saw the place for myself; people conducted business in front, and not inside as I worried. It was also my first time to set foot on a Roman Catholic church since Grandpa's funeral mass in the mid 1990s.

25 January 2013

Pineapples through a moving window

Dole Food Company, the largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world, is headquartered in Westlake Village, California. The company has operations in 90 countries, my home country, the Philippines included. A drive from General Santos City to Tupi, a town known as the fruit basket of Mindanao, (international word association: Osama bin Ladin's al Qaeda) would give you pineapples as your major sight during the travel.
Dole Philippines, with offices in Polomolok, is the 3rd largest producer of pineapples globally.

These are private fruit growers putting up shop along the highway. They are also selling some Dole pineapples. Right behind these shops is Dole's vast pineapple plantation. This was one of those yearly trips home when we made a stop (from the GSC airport) at these shops to buy supersweet MG3 pineapples, bananas, jackfruit, guyabano, lanzones, mangoes, avocados, and other tropical fruits.

Find more stories on Sepia Saturday This post is also linked with Time Travel

21 January 2013

Little blue church

"No spot is so dear to my childhood as the little brown church in the vale."

My first grade class used to sing that song and it kept playing in my head as I approached this church. It's blue though and not in the vale, but along a highway in the South Cotabato countryside. The family who owns the plot of land where it stands built it. It is surrounded by coconuts and fruit trees.

Inside a few of us gathered for dear Miss Arcon's funeral. She was the head of a group of schools run by the SDA church. A good Christian, well-loved by her students, friendly yet professional to us teachers under her leadership, I was grateful for the coincidence of being in the country when she passed away, and for the opportunity to pay my last respects. 

05 December 2012


Umbel is "a mass of flowers springing from a single center." (The Phrontistery) The Science Dictionary defines it as "a flat or rounded indeterminate inflorescence in which the individual flower stalks (called pedicels) arise from about the same point on the stem at the tip of the peduncle." Umbel is a new-to-me word. I'm marking a few things I learned about it:

  • the flowers at the center of inflorescence are the youngest
  • the lower of outer flowers bloom first
  • geranium, milkweed and onion have umbels
  • umbels come from latin umbella, meaning a sunshade (does 'umbrella' come to mind?)

I thought I would skip this week's U word, until I looked around to find examples of umbels and found a photo to show. As lantanas mature they change color "resulting in inflorescences (group or cluster of flowers on a stem) that are two- or three-colored." I found these lantanas along a pavement in a memorial park; I was visiting my father's grave in the Philippines

And these are lantanas along a pavement too, in Bangkok. I noticed them on my way to work one morning.

10 October 2010

Furry and juicy

Our Weekend Memoirs: Roadside Fruit Stand
Scroll down for Sunday Stealing

Tupi is called the fruit basket of South Cotabato. It was only four months ago though that I really paid attention to the many fruits that I take for granted when I'm home. MG3, a pineapple label, is something new to me.

The is the fruit stand in Kablon, a barangay near Dole, the pineapple giant. I bought loads of avocados. They're quite pricey in Bangkok. Whereas in SC 5 USD go a long way.

We made several stops on our way home from the airport. This watermelon stand is in Gensan.

Luckily, people at home are fruit eaters. It's no fun to eat alone.

Click here for more OWM.

Sunday Stealing: Another 50 Questions Meme, Part One (perhaps)

Today we ripped this meme of a blogger known as Nigel Vanstone at Away for a Bit. Nigel explains that he was tagged to do the meme, but does not credit the blogger. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. He promises to post the next 25 questions, soon. If he writes them by next Saturday, we will complete his meme. Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!

Cheers to all of us thieves!

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought? tell me who's the fairest of all

2. How much cash do you have on you? tang mot leaw (cash gone)

3. What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR? FLOOR "and if I have to crawl upon the floor or come crashing thru your door..." Reo's forgotten what he'd started fighting for

4. Favorite planet? If I spent a month in Uranus, a month in Neptune, the next month in Jupiter... only then would I know which was my fave

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone? Bob Hope

6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone? Trill.aac

7. What shirt are you wear[ing]? I'm not wearing a shirt right now

8. Do you label yourself? no

9. Name the brand of the shoes you’re currently wearing? They're all in the office; can't remember the different brands

10. Bright or Dark Room? it depends

11. Did you do anything to celebrate John Lennon's 70th yesterday? Imagine, "you may say I'm a dreamer but I'm not the only one" So that's what I saw Yoko Ono, Sir Paul, etc on Larry King yesterday for...

12. What does your watch look like? it's got a tiny inscription that says "don't worry, be happy"

13. What were you doing at midnight last night? feeding on my Twilight fix

14. What did your last text message you received on your cell say? You have 4 missed calls

15. Where is your nearest 7-11? down the bend

16. What’s a word that you say a lot? methinks I am in heaven above

17. Who told you he/she loved you last? lol! how corny

18. Last furry thing you touched?

19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days? none

20. How many rolls of film do you need developed? I don't get this

21. Favorite age you have been so far? 19

22. Your worst enemy? boredom

23. What is your current desktop picture (extra points if you post it.)?

my part-time religion

24. What was the last thing you said to someone? sweet dreams

25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be? I nothing.

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