Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Dreaming Of Calayan


“Come over and experience the peace and quiet, see the pristine beaches, just be”, he enthused.

And I said, “I wish, I wish, I wish.”  I wish I have wings to fly and visit this wonderful place and enjoy what nature has to offer.

My priest son and I were in  a long, long chat a few nights ago and he reiterated his invitation that we go visit him and see Calayan Island while he is assigned there in one of their Dominican Missions in the North.  I am writing this from memory, from what he shared during our occasional but lengthy phone conversations. You’re right, I spent a few nights searching for videos on Calayan and visiting some blogs written by travel bloggers who’ve been to the place. I still dream of visiting Batanes of course but Calayan offers the same lovely, unexplored places  which make my soul dream of it more.

Posted with permission from Estan Cabigas, a travel blogger who writes for international and local travel magazines. Thanks Stan for thse lovely images.

Posted with permission from Estan Cabigas, a travel blogger who writes for international and local travel magazines. Thanks Stan for these lovely images.

Who would not be impressed by this scenery?

Who would not be impressed by this scenery?

 

“We’ve just harvested corn”, he continued and “enjoying the cold weather now”.  I jokingly answered “Send some via LBC”.

Unfortunately, they don’t have LBC there. Every day, they only have electricity from 12pm to 12am but they don’t complain, they are used to it. I love the idea of  fishing when you need food to eat, growing vegetables on one’s backyard and they come fresh everyday, planting rice the traditional way (and Lovell tells me that he will try using it – the plough hooked at the back of a carabao), breeding chicken and pigs for meat. I was so surprised when he said that they don’t have a public market in Calayan. The people peddle their  produce from house to house.  Sometimes, the parishioners give lobster, fresh veggies  or live chicken to the parish.

Children walk to school and they have the luxury of time to just admire the sunrise and the endless blue sea an hour before classes start.  You could never do that here in the city. Tricycles and motorcycles are the popular means of transport. The best time to go there is during the summer months of April or early May.  Twelve-hour bus ride, (unless you take a plane to Cagayan) and four to six hours boat trip to the island.

Here is a Wiki description of the place.

Calayan (Ibanag language, meaning “where laya (ginger) abounded”) is a municipality in the province of Cagayan, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 16,200 people in an area of 49,453 hectares (122,200 acres).

It is located in the South China Sea, in Luzon Strait north of Luzon Island. The town is composed of four of the five major islands of the Babuyan Islands namely: Calayan, Camiguin, Dalupiri and Babuyan Island. Calayan Island is the largest of the Babuyan Islands. Fuga Island, the fifth island within the Babuyan Islands, is part of Aparri municipality.Calayan is home to the Calayan Rail, a flightless bird identified as a separate species in 2004 and endemic to Calayan Island.

Lovell says, you cannot appreciate it enough through pictures. The best thing is to go there and see the island for real.

 

He Plays Baritone


Around this time last year,  I featured a pencil sketch of my seventeen-year old nephew  entitled One Sunny Afternoon.  I was so impressed with his drawings which he posted on his wall at Facebook so I picked one to write about. It reminded me so much of those times spent with mom during off-school days. My youngest brother and his family has been living abroad for the last 23 years so we always appreciate every bit of news from both sides, ours and theirs. We laugh at jokes while talking over the phone, exchange family food recipes when we are in the mood, we remember the early years back in our province. This morning he surprised  us with a picture he took of Justin, his youngest son who is into music. My nephew  is a member of the Renegade Regiment, Union High School Marching Band in Tulsa, OK. I love this picture, I think it was perfectly captured – the boy and his baritone.

The baritone horn is a low-pitched brass instrument. Baritone horn is a piston valve brass instrument with a predominantly cylindrical bore like the trumpet  and uses a wide-rimmed cup mouthpiece.

The baritone horn is a low-pitched brass instrument. Baritone horn is a piston valve brass instrument with a predominantly cylindrical bore like the trumpet and uses a wide-rimmed cup mouthpiece.

Seeing this, I miss them all the more. Go, go Justin, follow your dreams.


Originally posted on Our Precious Bundle of Joy:

Wow, is more adventurous than I am.

Wow, Nate is more adventurous than I am.

Nissa says he is more afraid of the birds  than holding  these up close. Our brave little boy, enjoying Sunday afternoon with his mom and dad.

View original

Welcome October


October

I actually thought of posting a blog yesterday but things got in the way as usual, it was a busy, busy day. Finally, Josef  and I were able to finish cleaning the garden and trimming the carabao grass. It looks more like a garden now, thank God.

How I wish the thunderstorms we’re having every afternoon would let up a bit and let me enjoy the sun all day long. The heavy downpour yesterday made going home an agony for most commuters. My daughter and son-in-law got  stuck in traffic for around two hours when on normal days, travel time is only about thirty to forty-five minutes.  I  told them to always have something to munch on inside the car for such eventualities. I left the corporate world fourteen years ago, but sometimes I miss the daily commute, the camaraderie we had with fellow commuters and office mates.  Back in those days, we had carpooling , sharing a ride with friends who lived  in the same area so travel time was more enjoyable than the options public commuters have now, jostling with  a big crowd, waiting in line on MRT trains that frequently break down,  smelling the exhaust fumes of motor vehicles, buses and jeepneys in all corners of Metro Manila. These are those times that I am grateful to be in the comfort of our home sans the traffic and everything that goes with it.

I am glad October is finally here. It’s my birth month so I am excited.  Time flies! I don’t mind growing old really, I am just grateful  and thankful for all the blessings in my life. At  times though,  unseen problems show their ugly faces but what is life without challenges?  Wear age with grace – never mind the grey hair that show regularly like a proud crown on your head, never mind the aching joints that make you sometime sleepless, never mind the wrinkles that crop up before you can even say, “gosh, I am getting old”.  Two years from now, I will be able to line up at the senior lane in supermarkets. Two years from now, I will be able to buy medicines at a discount. Two years from now, I won’t have to pay Philhealth contributions so I could enjoy the benefits attached to it. Two years from now, when Nate turns four, I will be able to teach him to read by himself and appreciate nature through the camera lens. You see, happiness is how you make it. Getting another year older won’t be a hindrance though, it somehow makes life something to cherish even more.

Welcome October!

Memories Are Made Of These


They come back in snatches, like a favorite old song that keeps you thinking how you felt while you listen and sing along. They come back, like the gentle patter of raindrops outside  your  window sans the frightening thunder and lightning that always accompany a thunderstorm. They come back and they make you smile.

Our overhead light got busted and you might think it silly that I am using a LED  light attached to my transistor radio to type my way through. I am afraid  I would forget these lovely thoughts if I postpone writing them even for an hour. I spent  the early evening visiting my favorite writers at Philippine Star. The latter is a  favorite national daily too because it was through their invites that I got two articles published a few years ago.  I was so happy that I got paid for  writing an article about OFW families, which we were back then.  I am digressing again. I read the editorial  page of  the Philippine Star now and then but I never skip the lifestyle section of the paper looking for Second Wind, a byline by Barbara Gonzales and Love Lucy by Lucy Torres. The former is a 70 something retired advertising executive who shares her journey with her readers. She writes, teaches writing, does arts and crafts while Lucy is the Lucy Torres Gomez, a house representative from Ormoc down south.  I am inspired by their writing style  that I laugh sometimes all by myself while reading their articles.  Lucy writes fluidly about her early childhood, her dreams when she reaches 85 (haha), her penchant for arts and crafts, her preference for writing short notes on pretty stationeries and sealed in even prettier envelopes, the midnight snacks she always craves for with hubby Richard.  These remind me of the days growing up in the province.

When we were kids, my aunt had a small sari-sari store that sold  everything from bubble gums, Vicks candies to Tancho pomade and that green aftershave/cologne that they used in barber shops  way back then. My favorite was the Vicks candies in small packets with free plastic rings that my cousins and I used to collect. All my fingers would be adorned with different colors of rings in different designs. Heaven! The treasures of youth.  I remember the happy times  when my cousins and I would gather dry twigs to use for cooking  and during summer, armed with wide baskets and bayong,  we would go out in the heat of the sun to gather duhat (black plum) for afternoon snacks. My girl cousins would use fresh annatto seeds growing in the backyard to color our lips,  and we would use madre cacao to curl our hair.  On moonlit nights, my cousins and I would play patintero or luksong tinik and tumbang preso. They were priceless games that a child of ten would definitely enjoy. The best though were the times when we would drink coconut juice straight from the tree and later eat the buko as soon as they were scraped from the husk.  By the  way, buko is a  young coconut.I had my share of climbing trees too (guava trees) mostly. Those were the days,  lovely memories of the past.  Some may be a bit hazy but the fun attached to those long-ago days are still fresh in my mind.

They make me smile with that pleasant ache of remembrance.  Traipsing down memory lane. What were yours, can you remember?

 

Sunday Blues


Sometimes it is hard to get back one’s muse. I’ve put aside blogging for the past week because I don’t know where to start again. Blame it on the erratic weather we have here and the things I need to do a week after the monsoon rains left us – a garden that needs attention although it is not that immediate, plants that need trimming, a pond that needs to be brushed of dirt and needs repainting.

I have this blasted cold for almost a week now and for the past three nights I find it hard to sleep because of  bouts of coughing. It’s that time of year again that almost every one you meet on the streets has colds. September is about to end and we are experiencing hot and sunny weather early mornings and thunderstorms in the afternoon.  Son says to set aside today for rest, he specifically told me to just relax and not touch anything in the garden. The only relaxing thing I could think of is to catch up on my reading but I get sleepy most of the time, probably the effect of the cough syrup I am taking. I seldom watch TV or DVD  for that matter, I have no patience with watching telenovelas but I listen to the news every day.

I got a nice surprise early this morning while watching the dogs having fun in the garden. I saw two Gardenia blooms, the flowers wide open and the sweet scent made my morning.  For the past several years, the only time I get to see  gardenia flowers in our garden  are during the months of May and June.  What a nice surprise.  And I remember this  touching  story I read and I blogged about a few years ago, about a girl who receives a gardenia every time she celebrates her birthday. When her mom died, it stopped coming and that’s when she knew that it was her mom who gave her all those blooms.  Today, my daughter turned 32 but her family was not around to celebrate with us. They attended a 7th birthday celebration of one of Nate’s cousins.  My brother who lives in Tulsa opened a  family group chat on Viber  and it is always a joy to exchange a word or two (longer if we have time) and talk about anything under the sun. That’s the kind of bonding we do have nowadays because it’s been years since we last saw each other.  You would see spur-of-the-moment postings on what-do-you-have-for-breakfast-today. Crazy you might say but it’s fun and the joyful moments are priceless. He craves for Filipino food, rice specially, I am contented with left-overs the night before and Nissa has her own breakfast regimen at the office.  We hear the laughter ringing through our phones sometimes and it feels great being with the family. It’s nice  to know that they are always there when you need them most – to laugh with, to cry with, to reminisce upon the happy times when we were staying in an apartment when the kids were  small.

We are celebrating the Feast Day of San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila today, our first Filipino saint.

Happy Birthday Nissa


Nissa

Today I celebrate the gift of life with you. May you always be blessed. I love you so much anak!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 921 other followers