Go, celebrate the gift of life!

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Break, Break, Break

My trip to La Union will push through tonight and I am excited about it. I’m sure it is going to be a fun weekend for me and I hope you will also have a great weekend.

Perhaps, you plan to keep yourself busy being lazy heheh…..


…you plan to have yourself groomed 😀 😀 😀

Whatever it is that you plan to do, I hope you enjoy. My doggie and I wish you all a blessed weekend!

Posted 8 years, 8 months ago at 11:26 pm.


Textmate, Anyone?

It always amuses me whenever I receive a text message like this:

“Hi, pwede bang makipag-textmate?”

For one, iniisip ko, hindi ba sila nanghihinayang sa load? Siguro naka-unlimited sila hehehe.
Pangalawa, hindi ba sila nanghihinayang sa time spent in looking for textmates? Siguro bored sila hehehe

Last night, kakaibang text naman ang natanggap ko:

“Hi, I’m Norberto. 15 years old. Single. Pwede ba kitang maging girlfriend?”

Naisip ko, “Aba, dapat ay talagang single pa siya at his age” hehehe

At dahil naka-unlimited ako, sinagot ko naman siya. Heto ang sagot ko:

“Sige, iho, kung ok lang sa yo na maging nobyo ng 60 years old na lola.”

Hindi na ako sinagot. Naisip ko, siguro hindi ok sa kanya hehehehe.

Posted 8 years, 8 months ago at 1:01 am.


Pens of Hope Badges!

It is truly amazing when people give without a thought of receiving anything in return.

When I first came up with a post here about the Pens of Hope Project, I was overwhelmed with the response that I got. I received emails asking me how to support the project. Some emailed to wish me luck. Some offered to send pens and other school supplies.

Dan, a blogger from Dumaguete, published a post to help create awareness of the project among his blog friends. Then, he made these badges for Pens of Hope out of the pictures taken during the distribution of the first batch of pens last December.

In this tight times when most of us have to work harder than ever and struggle to get by, I am thankful that I have found generous hearts who are willing to reach out and devote some time for the project.

If you could put one of the badges on your blog, please click on the link on the sidebar to get the code.

Thank you very much, Dan. And thank you everyone for your support. I am forever grateful.

Posted 8 years, 8 months ago at 11:38 pm.


Going North with a Toy

I’ve been busy wrapping up some things at work so that I can go on a trip this week. I will be traveling for the first time to the northernmost part of La Union province with a guest toy. Yes, you read it right—a toy. Her name is Chiara, a baby dinosaur.

Here she is reading a German newspaper.
I think she feels shy to face the camera 😉

Okay, here’s an upclose shot.

Chiara is a traveling toy. Her owner, a German lady, had sent her to me so Chiara can see some places in the Philippines. She is one of thousands of toys who are making their way around the world by being passed on from person to person. The person who hosts a traveling toy takes it around, shows it some places, and photographs it. And he or she is also requested to update an online travelogue that belongs to the toy. Each toy has an ID number which should be registered online by the host so the owner can know the toy has safely reached its destination.

I took her to FNTI at Camp Vicente Lim to watch the firemen’s graduation

Chiara2 chiara Chiara7

…and to a children’s party. She is shown here with my three inaanak, Lance, Lester, and Kaye.

lance lester kaye

I hope Chiara will learn some more about the Philippines on our trip this week so she can share with many other traveling toy enthusiasts all over the world how beautiful La Union is 😉

Chiara’s next itinerary is Intramuros, Luneta, Manila Ocean Park, and some universities in Metro Manila.

This is an educational hobby sana for Filipino children. They’ll learn a lot about geography and culture and they’ll also have many friends from around the world. Medyo magastos nga lang sa pagpapadala ng toy sa post office. Pero hindi lang naman ito pambata. Maraming owners ng traveling toy are adults who enjoy sending stuff through postal service, meeting new people from around the world, and learning about other people’s culture. So if you’re looking for a new interesting hobby, you might want to try this out. I think it’s fun.

Posted 8 years, 8 months ago at 8:18 pm.


One Unfortunate Sto. Niño Festival


The pictures of the Sinulog and Ati-atihan festival which graced the pages of the recent issues of newspapers reminded me of how the festival is being held in some remote towns in my province.  My people also celebrate it, but in a different manner. It may not be as wild, as merry, and as celebrated as the Ati-atihan of Aklan and the Sinulog of Cebu, but I think it is unique in its own way. We do not call it Ati-atihan or Sinulog. We call it Embajada.

Not all of the participants in the Embajada are covered in soot. There are actually three groups: the Agta (covered in soot), the Kristianos (dressed in white costume and act as soldiers), and the Moros (dressed in black and red and also act as soldiers).

The highlight of the celebration is the reenactment of the Christianization of the Agtas and the mock fight where the Kristianos and Moros engage in a combat  using swords made of bamboo. It is a fight that’s fun to watch, especially when the participants start reciting funny rhymes about how superior their group is or how the Kristianos (or the Moros) should concede. It is like watching a balagtasan.

One fine early morning, before all the revelries began, everyone gathered for the procession and lined up peacefully. With me was my father who was carrying my younger sister. Before the procession could start, two men ran toward us shouting, in stern voices, “Paagi-a! Paagi-a!” (Let us pass! Let us pass!).

The two men drew their gun and shot a man who was just few steps away from us. I heard three gunshots. I saw the man fell.

Everyone scampered looking for a safe place. My father whisked my sister and I to a nearby house. From the slits on the bamboo walls of the house, before my father could order me not to peek, I saw three other men carried the bloodied victim into a pedicab and rushed him to the hospital. I felt my knees weakened and I started crying.

Later that day, we learned that the man who was gunned down was an off duty policeman. He didn’t make it. The suspects were allegedly members of a rebel group.

I was six years old when this happened. Growing up content and happy in one of the remote towns in my province where there was no electricity, no TV, it was the first violent scene I have ever seen. And it was the first event in my life that challenged my childhood certainties.


The Sinulog photo I used above was taken from here.

Posted 8 years, 9 months ago at 11:49 pm.