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Fire!

Sometimes, it pays to have your camera ready even on ordinary days…

Take a look at this construction site. The workers were busy doing their job finishing the structure.
fire1

Suddenly, a car in a nearby junkyard exploded.
fire2a

And then another parked truck exploded. Two cars were now on fire.
fire2

Then I heard a commotion. The structure was also already on fire!
fire2b

People were trapped inside. The smoke was getting thicker.
fire3

Then I saw a fire truck arrived.
fire3a

The firemen tried to put out the fire…
fire7

..and were able to successfully do it…
fire6

..to the relief of the onlookers.
fire8

A few minutes later, two helicopters came hovering above the structure.
fire4

Then some uniformed firemen came marching in. I wondered what was going to happen next.
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Wait! They started dancing! The crowd cheered and they were like, “Are we seeing this right?”
dance1

They were indeed dancing! And the crowd was pretty delighted 😉 After all, it is a rare opportunity to see firemen dance..with gusto hahaha
dance2
dance3
dance4

Well, sorry for putting “Sometimes, it pays to have your camera with you even on ordinary days…” as my opening line. That was just a teaser hahaha. I actually knew what was happening and I was actually ready with my camera when I went to the Fire National Training Institute (FNTI) at Camp Vicente Lim in Laguna where all these happened.

Everything was part of the recently-held graduation exercises of about 300 new Pinoy firemen who demonstrated various firefighing and rescue techniques.
rescue1
rescue2
rescue3

I salute these new firemen who endured half a year of being away from their families to train at FNTI. Hindi biro ang pinagdaanan nilang training. Some have experienced collapsing out of exhaustion. May mga nagkasakit. May mga nagtiis na walang extra money na pambili ng mga personal na pangangailangan. I know all these because someone close to my heart was standing among these proud firemen that day.
proudfiremen

Posted 8 years, 5 months ago at 8:07 pm.

28 comments

Update

Just an update on my Pens of Hope project. Some boxes of writing pens are already on their way. I am sooo excited. I already got some other pledges, too. Thank you, thank you, people. I know it’s too late to start this project for Christmas but it’s okay. I am in no hurry. Whatever amount of pens I will gather before Christmas I will still distribute to some kids. Though not in Northern Samar yet because I need to prepare more time to be able to do that.

I now have a recipient school, here in Metro Manila. But after December, all pens I will receive will be brought to my hometown province.

Thank you again for those who have emailed me about the project.

Posted 8 years, 5 months ago at 11:59 pm.

8 comments

Hopeful

Let’s pretend that I care much about politics 😉

I was at the Edsa-Shangrila Hotel last Friday listening intently to the very young Senator Alan Peter Cayetano speak about the state of economy and education in the Philippines, among many others.

His speech, eloquently delivered, was full of hope and bright ideas. All the while I was thinking, “Does he really mean everything?” Sometimes I couldn’t help but be skeptical about pretty speeches laced with great promises.

But if Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano meant every word that he said in his speech, then I am happy. And I hope that all the young politicians are as driven, motivated, patriotic, and sincere as Sen. Cayetano seemed to me that day.

Wag sana silang magpakain sa kasalukuyang malalang sistema.

Posted 8 years, 5 months ago at 1:14 am.

8 comments

Of My First Bike

bike(This photo is being posted here with permission from the talented Vicki Hunt. Do visit her website and be in awe of her skills in photography. Thanks, Vicki!)

I was at a fellow blogger’s site where he wrote about his father. That reminded me of an article I have written many months ago where I wrote about my first bike and how I learned to ride it through my father’s patience. I am resurrecting the article here.

Having been raised in a very remote town, my first idea of a bicycle came from an old magazine that was left in our house by a visitor from the city. It was the first time I saw that two-wheeler thing and it haunted my curious young mind. I wondered how it would feel to ride on it, to go against the wind, or ride along the wind’s direction.

My first close encounter with a real bike was when my father bought a new one, a big one, which he used in his job as the town’s mailman. It was to become the only bike in that small sleepy village. I had to wait for a few years before I was allowed to learn to ride. By that time, the bike was already old and worn out but it still worked—as if it purposely waited until it was time for me learn how to ride.

My father taught me the most basic skills needed in riding a bicycle. He taught me through the traditional way—he ran along with me every afternoon for many days. I was still a bit small for the bike but he managed to teach me how to operate it. “Maintain balance otherwise you will fall.” “Pedal, just pedal, to keep moving.” These were his constant reminders.

When I learned to get the bike going on my own, my young heart was pleased. My dream had turned into a reality. No longer was I daydreaming to ride a bike, I was actually riding it and steering it on my own.

My father’s rickety bike became my magical carpet taking me around the neighborhood whenever I was off from school or free from doing household chores. One early morning, I dared to bike to a nearby hill. The narrow road was a challenge as well as the climb. But the prize was worth it: the view from the hill. Sitting next to my bike, I would be overwhelmed by the immensity of nature before my eyes—the sprawling ricefields, the rising sun, the animals in the nearby farm, the tall and big trees which have withstood weather and time, and the serene river which leads to the calm sea surrounding the town. When it is time to go home, I would be thrilled by the smooth downward drive as much as I was thrilled by the upward climb.

The old bike was also my escape. When I was sad, the first thing I would think of was hop on my bicycle and ride away to the seashore or dart toward the farm and lose myself behind the tall talahib grass.

On most Saturdays, I would look forward to visiting some of my classmates. As I steered my bicycle to their houses, I would see familiar faces walking along the way, smiling at me and sometimes calling out my name and waving as I passed by them. They were neighbors, distant relatives, family friends. One good thing about living in a small village is that you know everyone so well.

I have said goodbye to my old bike many years ago. It did not withstand time. I have had more bicycles, but the memories of the first bike I rode on still live on. Today, whenever I ride a bike, it makes me remember the small but beautiful village I grew up in and its warm-hearted and hospitable people. It brings back a vivid mental image of my father patiently running beside me as I struggled to maneuver the handlebars. It makes me realize that riding a bicycle is like riding through life’s stages: you have to keep pedaling and you have to maintain balance in order to move on. And sometimes, just sometimes, the downward drive in life could, in the end, bring blessings and rewards as in the upward climb.

thestreet(The street where my father patiently taught me how to ride a bike.)

Posted 8 years, 5 months ago at 8:02 am.

14 comments

Where Have I Been?

So this is how it feels when you become absent from your blog—you miss tapping the keyboard and you miss squeezing the juice out of your brain for a sensible post 😀

Where have I been the past two days? Well, I’ve been chained to a rusty chair going through some important papers which are very important to my existence.

It is nighttime already so I better lie down and rest. Wait, I think I’ll be needing the company of Jack Johnson. This is one of the days I need to hear his let’s-not-worry songs hahaha. Times like this, I truly enjoy his songs, even if sometimes they seem to make no sense at all LOL.

Good night all! Don’t let the surot bite you 😉

Posted 8 years, 5 months ago at 4:07 am.

3 comments