El Nido, Palawan Sojourn

El Nido is a municipality of Palawan, Philippines. Known for its white sand beaches, coral reefs and  the gateway to the Bacuit archipelago, a group of islands with steep karst cliffs. Miniloc Island is famed for the clear waters of its Small and Big lagoons. Shimizu Island has brightly colored fishes in its corral reefs.

July is vacation month for Valerie which means I and sister Patricia Angela need to file our vacation leaves to journey together in a place we have never been before. We took the flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa and Camarih Transport van going to El Nido. The view was breathtaking but I cannot take pictures, zigzagged roads and steep cliffs in some areas with alternating green landscapes of rice fields and  mountains.

Bacuit Bay noontime.

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Bacuit Bay ferry terminal view while taking breakfast.

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kayaking at big lagoon el nido

Kayaking at Big Lagoon

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Clear waters and colorful fishes

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Big Lagoon

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Pocket of beach in Payongpayong island

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The Rock

 

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Siete Commandos Beach

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Carabao driven cart on the way home.

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Next trip Cambodia.

First page on a blank slate

Valerie's Painting Family and self, looking inside and grateful to God for the good things and the challenges that made me a better person. I may not have those I wished for but I got better options in the long run. I am learning more and expanding my choices in leading a life of purpose. Touching base with myself and other people’s lives-my first page for 2016 with Valerie’s painting.

Lake Sebu, an encounter with nature

A time to seek and find. I always heard about Lake Sebu and wondered why the pictures posted are not lake but waterfalls.

There are 3 lakes in Lake Sebu, a municipality which was formerly a part of Surallah. Lake Lahit and Lake Seloton and the biggest  of the lakes is Lake Sebu which is an inverted pyramid in shape (going down) and at 345 hectares, one can imagine why the place is named after it.   It just gives me goosebumps that if you drowned in the lake, your body will surface in 3-5 days. Our T’boli entertainers told us to throw coins in the water as sort of payment for safe passage.

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our boat for cruisin the lake from Punta Isla Lake Resort

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the adjacent boat where kids are waiting to dive for coins to be thrown

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the floating restaurant with tour around the lake

Lake Sebu

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View of the lake from the church

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Falls number 1

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Falls number 2 (I only saw 2) and this is where the place near zipline end and where we proceed to other places in the South.

My next travel, Tablas, Romblon.

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Memory of a FAther

Memory of a Father

Twenty two years and seven months ago, our firstborn came into this world. We have not really prepared for her coming. I have two ob-gyne for my consultations, one in the  province and one in the camp, thinking I can have my delivery wherever I may be with the obstetrician knowing my history and the child condition.

When they are still in love with swimming, now time flies.

When they are still in love with swimming, how fast time flies.

My work demands that I travelled long distances to attend court duties even if I am already on my eight months of pregnancy. I travelled to Pangasinan by bus to testify in one of the cases I handled and I have pillow to give me some comfort but the road was so bumpy with so many potholes and unfinished construction. I was able to go home although there was already pain in my stomach.

That night, at around 12 midnight my bag of water broke. we tried to go to the nearest hospital. It is not yet my delivery date so I was also not prepared although we have stock up on things that may be needed for the new baby. The nearest to our place is Fabella Hospital but there are no vacant rooms and patients are already occupying the hallways. We were referred to St. Mary’s General Hospital, an old hospital with new doctors.

When you are not in the picture , you got literally pasted

When you are not in the picture , you got literally pasted

The duty that night. Doctor Oray is newly graduate and with little experience in assisting childbirth. I had long waiting time for the baby to come, it was already day time and the pain is almost killing me. By 10 in the morning after much coaching, the baby decided to come out by normal delivery and see the world, it was already dry delivery and medicines did not ease the pain, I can almost feel it this day.

I did not see the baby because I fell asleep but I know I have the right baby since she is the only female baby in the hospital. Not too long after giving birth, I had profuse bleeding and Dra. Oray had already left the hospital. The next duty doctor was a male and more compassionate than his female counterpart. I was brought back to the delivery room and the stitches were removed. My uterus was cleaned and it turned out that some parts of the placenta were not flushed out which caused the bleeding. It was like having another child birth but I was awake at that time praying I live for my baby.

You were alone looking outside and I know you also prayed hard since you are no longer responding to questions. You were looking outside the window and pacing in the lobby and in the room. I cannot describe how you felt and I fully appreciate that even if you did not share the pain, I know you felt it too. You told me later that we need to name the baby, her second name is to be Angela after your grandmother and that I have to choose the first name. I remembered my grandmother so her name is Patricia Angela.

You were a good father, you washed nappies, bottle-fed her and rocked her in your arms until she is sleeping soundly. The second daughter came after five years and she did not experience lack of care. She was always in your arms even if she was big enough to be carried. I love the look of love you gave your daughters. It makes me feel sad that you did not and cannot dance with them on their debut, for that reason, they also decided not to have a debutante party.

You may be in heaven but your love will always remain with us. Happy Father’s Day in heaven.

Baluarte and the Hunter

A museum can be found inside the Baluarte in Vigan City.

The place is really impressive from the entrance area where pony driven calesa style vehicles can be hired to the cages of animals and the museum where the collection of animals killed by the owner can be found.
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What really interest me after leaving the Baluarte is that it’s the owner is a former Chief of Police which I found out only upon arriving atthe Vigan City Police Station. What a pleasant surprise.
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On the Mayweather Victory and Why It Doesn’t Matter

He is not a champion, he is only after the money and that has not placed him in a higher ground.

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Mayweather-Pacquiao

It really wasn’t about the fight’s result in the end. I’m not sour graping. Neither am I disregarding the decisions of the judges. Floyd Mayweather did win. He outboxed Manny and save for a few headlocks and an overuse of clinches, he did this fair and square. He will go down in history as an undefeated boxer who locked horns with the best of them. But that’s not really the story we care about. If the two men hung up their gloves this very day Mayweather’s victory would just be a footnote in the inspiring life of a fighter like Manny Pacquiao.

The great thing about boxing is that like any other sport it caters to our basest emotions in a relatively healthy way. It frees our primal side and leads us to be completely honest. I’ve encountered reserved, tactful adults screaming “yeah go kick his ass!” in the middle…

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Brown New York City and a Blush of Spring

If a picture paints a thousand words. it was cold, windy and with splash of rains in April 2015.

view from the 40th Floor

view from the 40th Floor

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Tulips in bloom

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Amidst the brown structures, gloomy trees without leaves and flowers, blush of spring can be seen from tulips that bloom on the sidewalk, in big pots and the colorful yellow taxi and vans. Soon the leaves will turn to green and these brown will be green. But I am no longer there to watch spring turns into summer and fall. MAYBE i shall visit in the winter when all turns into glorious white.

I did not visit the  Empire State building but this is the view from my hotel room, the white among the browns.

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Smallest Car and Small Car

I live in a city where traffic makes the longest highway a parking lot during rush hours and speed of 10 to 20 kph is normal.

I’ve seen this cars and wish I had one.

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In New York City in front of my Hotel along Lexington Avenue

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Two-seater car can squeeze in tight spot and a dream to drive inside cities.

And then I saw this car in Washington DC

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Wish I could drive this. I love small cars

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But I still love my car.

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