Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Memories of Coron

"Coron Island or Calis Island, as the Tagbanuas call it, is a big island across the bay just 20 minutes by motorboat from Coron town. It is an island composed of towering limestone cliffs, coves, lakes, pockets of white beaches — all beautiful aspects one could think of of an island. The rock walls are undercut by waves and been exquisitely carved by wind and sea into sculpted forms and formations. It is a wonder to behold and is a photographer’s delight. "

Source: Coron Village Lodge

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Bukidnon Attractions

Hey, have you been to Bukidnon Province in Mindanao? If you haven't or if you have but have taken the views for granted, allow me to take you to a visual lakwatsa to this beautiful part of our country. Let's take the trip from Davao City.

Tayo nAPO sa Lake Apo!

There's Mt. Apo, APO Hiking Society and yes, there's also a Lake Apo. This is the story of our trip there.

We woke up to a rainy morning but since we were eager to take the trip, not even the rain could dampen our spirits. Off we went to Davao City and to Bukidnon. True enough, the skies cleared. We were meant to go to Lake Apo that day after all.

Isang sulyap kay Lolo Jose sa Dapitan

(This article originally appeared in Buhay Pinoy of the Philippine Online Chronicles on December 30, 2014, Rizal's 118th Death Anniversary)

Tawagin kaya natin siyang “Lolo Jose,” malamang na naging tawag sana sa kanya ng marami kung hinayaan siyang mabuhay nang matagal. Ang aking tinutukoy ay ang ating pambansang bayaning si Dr. Jose P. Rizal.

Narito ang aking “Rizal Day tribute” para sa kanya.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I think that I shall never see...such precious trees!

We've been through this road before but it was only when a friend told me to check this place out in case we pass by that we noticed it. This place reminds me of the poem of Joyce Kilmer which a lot of us memorized in grade school. Trees.

Tinago Falls, Revealed!

Tinago Falls
Tinago Falls is a fan-like waterfalls in a deep ravine in the heart of the jungle of Linamon town. It is situated in the boundary of Barangay Purakan in Linamon and Barangay Ditucalan in Iligan City. But it is usually considered one of the 23 waterfalls of Iligan City which is also called “City of Majestic Waterfalls.”

Channels of Blessings along Mabini St.

Here's a shameless plug I'm gladly doing in behalf of my siblings.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Living L.I.G.H.T.

“Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on!”

Those are the first lines of a poem, “Lead, Kindly Light” by John Henry Newman that a nun has taught us many years ago. They somehow show what kind of gloomy world we are in nowadays.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Davao del Norte wins hosting bid for Palarong Pambansa 2015

Davao del Norte Officials headed by Hon. Governor Rodolfo P. Del Rosario with DepEd Secretary Arman Luistro.
Photo from the files of DavNor Provincial Information Office

Davao del Norte won the bid to host the Palarong Pambansa 2015 last December 16, 2014. Here's the story by Keisha Therese D. Halili. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Gift of Time

What is a precious commodity which can be lost but which cannot be kept?

Blue Butterfly's 10 Commandments for Posting Photos in Social Media

It's that time of the year again when people are busy with so many activities, parties here and there, charity work everywhere. Everyone wants to capture such moments in photos, of course. Most of the time, they're for social media purposes like posting in Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest or whatever social media form one is subscribed to. So, to make such posts interesting, here are 10 commandments or tips in posting photos in social media.

Monday, December 15, 2014

On Family "Lakwatsas"

I have discovered something in the course of our family outing/lakwatsa.

I have posted beautiful photos of places we visited through the years and have enjoined friends to visit them. I have realized though that my views were quite subjective. They were thoughts which my family would’ve just borne in mind but which other people may not share.

The Virgin Falls Experience

Virgin Falls (Photo by Larry A. Halili)
Sometimes we need to take risks in order to know the glorious feeling of victory after. We need to go through hardships to know what it is like to triumph in the end. We need to go through difficult times to savor the beauty of being able to conquer such times and our fears, insecurities and even ourselves.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mt. Apo View from Kapatagan

Climbing Mt. Apo, the tallest mountain in the Philippines with an elevation of 2,954 metres (9,692 ft) above sea level has always been my dream. Perhaps it can still be a reality depending on these “golden knees.” The nearest to Mt. Apo that my family and I got was a view of it from Kapatagan, Digos City in Davao Del Sur last May 2013.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Peace and the two Francis

In a month's time, Pope Francis, the charismatic head of the Roman Catholic Church will be visiting the Philippines, a country with around 80% of its population or roughly 75 million professing to have "Roman Catholicism" as their religion. Like the saint from whom he got his name, St. Francis of Assisi, the Pope is said to be pro-poor. He would rather spend time with the poor of the Yolanda-stricken Leyte than hobnob with the rich of Manila (who he said can go and visit him in Rome) although he will spending most of his time there as scheduled by his organizers. Nevertheless, Filipinos are excited about his visit even if most will just be able to see him on television. He is seen to be a whiff of fresh air and a shining hope for the Filipino Catholics, only 5-30% of whom are pious and practicing ones. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Tagum, my Home ~ Part 1

Highway going to Tagum City proper coming from Carmen/Panabo/Davao City. 
I have spent practically ¾ of my life in Tagum. I may have gone away to study in college but I have come back. I may have gotten married to a BulakeƱo but even he considers Tagum as his home for over two decades.

Breathtaking Gratefulness!

Every morning, I take a "power hour" and do my "quiet time." Sometimes, I share a bit to my son before he goes to school and we call such moments, "breakfast with Jesus." This morning's reading in "Our Daily Bread" caught my attention as I was thinking of posting something about being grateful to be alive everyday. Let me just share these excerpts:

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Human Rights 365, count me in!

“I call on States to honour their obligation to protect human rights every day of the year. I call on people to hold their governments to account. ” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Sixty four years ago, December 10 was declared Human Rights Day by the United Nations General Assembly. It aimed “to bring to the attention ‘of the peoples of the world’ the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.”
This year’s slogan is “Human Rights 365” making the awareness of human rights a daily matter.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Davao's Pride: No Rival Lachi's Sans Rival - Part 2

Our family keeps going back to Lachi's Sans Rival, Atbp. along Ruby St., Marfori Subd., Davao City. It is Davao's Pride and has been featured in the "M" Magazine and other blog sites. So, whenever we have friends and family who come over to visit, we usually take them to Lachi's. 

Among the favorite staples of this place which boasts of reasonably priced delicious meals and tasty cakes and pastries are the following:

Monday, December 8, 2014

Dahican in My Eyes

It has been said, Dahican is better than Siargao because it is less crowded. It probably is for us. This Paradise in the east is just roughly 2 hours away from Tagum City. Very accessible. One can't get enough of its beauty. And there's more to it than a calm sea. The tumbling waves lend more beauty to it. It has become a haven, a paradise for surfers and skimboarders. It has changed my views of a beach outing!

Subangan rises!

Early this year, Davao Oriental opened its museum called "Subangan." It is a Cebuano word which means "a place where the sun rises" which is true of the province. This world-class museum is located along the National Highway, five minutes from downtown Mati City, the capital of the province. 

C'mon, take a glimpse of this museum.

Davao Oriental Islands: Waniban and Pujada

Two of Davao Oriental's attractions are the rustic islands of Waniban and Pujada. Our family was able to visit them in July 2014. Our jump-off point was the Blue Bless Resort in Mati City. The sky was overcast as it rained that morning but we still decided to take the 45-minute boat ride and see for ourselves what beauty these two islands hold.

We were not disappointed. Being nature lovers, we welcomed the untouched ambiance of the islands, never mind if the beaches were not cleared of debris of vegetation brought about by the waves. The sand was powdery white and soft, reminiscent of Boracay sand. There were not cottages in both islands but we contented ourselves with staying under the shades of trees. I like that there are still places around here that are hands-off to commercialization. 

Davao Oriental SEAneries

A favorite place we love to go to for leisurely and refreshing drives is Davao Oriental. Mati City, the capital, is approximately an hour and a half away from Tagum City and around two and a half hours from Davao City. One can also go to Governor Generoso town through another route with approximately the same time to reach it.

Davao Oriental is a coastal province with scenic rustic beaches and sweeping views of the blue ocean beyond. I have included some views in previous blog entries, Davao Oriental SEAneries and PINAScenes 2: Sky and Seascapes.

My husband and I took one such drive today and took a few shots of the sea along Banaybanay town, the first town of Davao Oriental after Pantukan, Compostela Valley Province. I'm also including here some shots of some coastal barrios of Governor Generoso taken a couple of years ago. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

10 Commandments of Writing

People write for a number of reasons but the bottom line is to convey a message. I suppose even journal writing is a way of driving home a message to one’s self if there is no intention of sharing the journal. Sparked by an online exchange of ideas with my college best friend, I thought of coming up with a list of “10 Commandments of Writing.”

Do Not READ! (So many books, so little time)

(This article originally appeared in Blog Watch of the Philippine Online Chronicles on November 26, 2014)


It’s almost the end of November. Do you know that through Memorandum No. 244, the month of November was declared as the National Reading Month by the Department of Education (DepEd)? Secretary Armin Luistro signed it in 2011 and it is celebrated to promote the Filipinos’ love for reading and in support of the 10-point education agenda of the Aquino Administration and the promotion of Every Child a Reader Program (ECARP).

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Sohoton, Bucas Grande: A weekend in Paradise!

This little known paradise in Mindanao should be revealed to all and sundry. Here's an account of our weekend in Sohoton, Bucas Grande Island in Surigao del Norte last March 2013.
 Bucas Grande Island can be accessed through Claver town which is 52 mins. (57.3 km) from Surigao City, or 1 hour, 40 mins. (127.6 km) from Butuan City via the Pan-Philippine Highway and Surigao-Davao Highway. If you're coming from Davao City, it is 5 hours, 31 mins. (423.5 km) via the Pan-Philippine Highway also. We left our car at the Tourism Center next to the Hayanggabon port where we just gave a minimal donation.

Tara na sa Club Tara!

(This post originally appeared in Trip Advisor dated April 13, 2013. Check out more photos in that post.)

My family and I usually visit places in the Philippines where nature abounds. Club Tara Resort is a refreshing place that opens the door to the beauty of Bucas Grande Island in Surigao del Norte. It is located strategically between the glimmering Sohoton Cove and the powdery-white sand beaches going to Socorro town.


There’s something about home that tugs at the heart. No matter how one has gone away to many beautiful places around the world, home still beckons and makes one feel, what else, but “at home”. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Life Resolutions

(This article originally appeared in Blog Watch of the Philippine Online Chronicles on December 5, 2014)

Back in grade school and high school, our teachers would often ask us to write down our new year’s resolutions after the Christmas break. After that time, I stopped writing mine. After all, I wasn't really keen in following them so to this day, I never write down my new year’s resolutions.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

LIVE in the NOW!

Have you ever thought what you would do or say today if you know you’re not going to wake up tomorrow?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Falling for Mindanao's Falls - Part 2

[This article was originally posted in Buhay Pinoy of the Philippine Online Chronicles entitled Mindanao's Amazing Waterfalls - Part 2 ]

Alalum Falls

Many times, we have traveled down the roads of Bukidnon yet we have not discovered that there’s one waterfall that can be seen just along Sayre highway in Barangay Kisolon, Sumilao, Bukidnon. On rainy days, the 148 feet high Alalum Falls double its width and its rustling sound can be heard loudly from the highway. It wasn’t raining when we dropped by to view it in October 2013 but it still looked beautiful.

Falling for Mindanao's Falls - Part 1

[This article was originally posted in Buhay Pinoy of the Philippine Online Chronicles entitled Amazing waterfalls in Mindanao – Part 1 ]

Our family lives in the land of promise, Mindanao. It promises amazing adventures to places not usually visited by tourists mostly because of apprehension about the peace and order in those places. The places we often visit are beaches, islands and waterfalls.

Mindanao is the second largest island in the Philippines. At 104,630 square kilometers, it is even bigger than 125 other countries in the world including the Netherlands, Austria, Czech Republic, Portugal, Hungary and Ireland. It has numerous mountain ranges and plateaus which account for many of the majestic waterfalls on the island, among them Maria Cristina Falls, Tinago Falls, Tinuy-an Falls, Aliwagawag Falls, Alalum Falls, Falls of Lake Sebu and Virgin Falls which our family has fortunately visited.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Facebook junkie no more!

So, here's my first treat for this week on this last month of the year. I'm back to blogging because I've finally licked something which has kept me from doing a lot of things. Facebook addiction! Find out more about it here. 

Please check this out and see if you're like me. 

This was originally posted in Blog Watch of the Philippine Online Chronicles last November 6, 2014.

Confessions of a Facebook Junkie

“Hi, I’m LP and I was a Facebook junkie!”

If I were in a “FAD Anonymous,” that would be my introduction. FAD stands for Facebook Addiction Disorder. It may not be a widely accepted psychological disorder yet but psychologists are studying it. I used “was” because I’m already on a self-imposed rehab and I’m on my way to recovery. Or so I hope.

A friend invited me to Facebook over five years ago when Friendster was on the decline and Facebook was on the rise in this part of the world. It was fascinating to keep in touch with long-lost friends, classmates, dormmates and relatives from faraway lands. At that time I didn’t have a regular job anymore but I was a full-time freelancer, er, homemaker and thus I had lots of free time for Facebook.

I got so engrossed with this social medium which I thought fueled my creativity. I would post fascinating status updates and photos of people and places from time to time, meaning, everyday. Like most Facebook users, I liked and commented on my friends’ posts and sent private messages to friends, old and new.

Over the years, the status updates turned into longer write-ups with attached photos. I would post albums of places where my family would travel to. Since I wasn’t contented in simply uploading them, I would include captions and directions until the albums caught my friends’ attention and turned them into travel guides. Some of my friends would also like me to take their photos during events because they knew they would appear on Facebook. What probably endeared me to most of them were the birthday greetings I would post with matching “framed” photographs of them. It tickled them to no end for being remembered in a special way. Aside from my personal account, I also created two pages, one for quotes and mini-posters, another served as a virtual gallery of my shots of places we visited.

Sometime ago, I wrote about a “Purpose-Driven F.A.C.E.B.O.O.K.” The acronym stands for Friendship, Art, Calendar of events, Education, Bulletin Board, Occupation, Online Sharing and Kinship. They’re practically what I had used Facebook for. It is after all a powerful tool to communicate for the greater good if used wisely. It can be used to drum up causes and spread information about campaigns, private or public, like what Blogwatch has been doing the past five years. Almost every aspect of modern-day life can be found in Facebook.

[Please check out the rest of the article in

Photo from "How addicted to
 Facebook are you"

I'm back!

I haven't written here in ages and I must say I miss doing so. Anyway, I thought I'd revive this blog and post more about our beautiful Philippines. There were some interesting and fascinating places my family and I had been to in the past which I haven't posted here yet and there might be someone who would be interested to go to them. 

I will also be sharing here not just about "lakwatsa places" but also some articles I've contributed to Blog Watch and Buhay Pinoy of the Philippine Online Chronicles where I contribute regularly. In addition to that, I'll also be posting about my "wandering thoughts;" nothing much though, just insights of a frolicking butterfly's mind. Or a butterfly's frolicking mind? 

Cheers for happy days ahead for everyone. After all, it's the season to be grateful and happy! 

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