Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Talaingod-Valencia Road Trip

After reading in Facebook posts that the Talaingod-Valencia road is now easily passable compared to years ago, my husband and I decided to embark on a road trip one fine day. Here is an account of that trip in photos.

If you read on, you will have an idea what's it like to cross this huge mountain range, what to expect along the way, how long will the trip take and what to see. It would be like taking the road trip with us. According to some Facebook accounts, it took the people who passed through only 2 1/2 hours to reach Valencia City in Bukidnon. I cannot say the same for us as we would get down and take photos from time to time especially along the picturesque Talaingod route.

The descriptions of the photos come before them.

Friday, July 1, 2016

12 nuggets of wisdom from President Duterte’s speech (Part 2 of 2)

president duterte
  1. “But the change, if it is to be permanent and significant, must start with us and in us.”
I have written this right after Mayor Duterte won as President (Read: The Eagle has landed
“But, a leader will only be as good as the pack it leads. Much as we all would like to see positive change in our country, we all should be the change we want to happen. We should be willing to change our ways, embrace discipline in our personal lives and at work whether in the public or private sector, and promote honesty and integrity in our dealings with one another, among other gazillion things we can do as responsible Filipinos.”
I would like to believe that we are more than our social media persona, that most of us are advocates of real change in the real world and that we are committed to do the best we can for our country. Change can happen because of the underlying principle of the next quote.

12 nuggets of wisdom from President Duterte’s speech (Part 1 of 2)

The Davao Eagle has just landed in Malacañang.
president duterte
It seems surreal but it’s true.
The newly-installed President of the Republic of the Philippines, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, has just been enthroned in his new nesting place, Malacañang. The reluctant candidate is the first-ever President to come from Mindanao. Most Mindanaoans, especially Davaoeños, were beaming with pride as he took his oath of office today, June 30, 2016.
A lot of people were eager to hear what the 16th president of the country has to say. They have been used to fiery speeches during the campaign and curse-laden outbursts during press conferences after he was declared the winner in the presidential race with over 16 million votes garnered, 16,601,997 to be exact. For sure, there were those who felt a jitter or two hoping he won’t make a fool of himself by making blunder after blunder.
Well, lo and behold, he survived his first speech as president. What a huge relief it was to know the expectations were unfounded.  He gave a meaty and eloquent speech which will go down the history of presidential speeches as one of the good ones. It wasn’t long so it didn’t bore his audience nor was it short that it left them wanting. I would like to believe that the 15-minute speech was not mere rhetoric but something which comes from the deepest chamber of his soul.
Let me go through some of the striking parts of his speech. I counted twelve.
  1. “…we have to listen to the murmurings of the people, feel their pulse, supply their needs and fortify their faith and trust in us whom they elected to public office.”
 This shows that the President is very much aware where his authority comes from and that is from the people. He did not really plan to run for president. He even said that he will retire from public office this year, 2016. But listening to the voice of those who vowed to support him no matter what – from the rich businessmen to the lowly street vendors – he gave in and tried his “luck” saying that if it is his destiny, he will win.
And win, he did. It is all because of the people who put their faith and trust in his capacity and capability to lead the country.
Read more: 12 nuggets of wisdom from President Duterte’s speech (Part 1 of 2)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Eagle has landed

Yes, the Davao Eagle has landed.
Photo via Some rights reserved.
Photo via Some rights reserved.
It’s like a dream which no Mindanaoan would like to wake up from. Or perhaps, to aptly put, it is a dream come true for the people of Mindanao to finally have one of their own as President of the Philippines. As Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte said it, if it is God’s will for him to become president, then it must be his destiny to be one.
Like an eagle, Mayor Digong or Rody, as he is fondly called, soared high to look at the big picture, not necessarily to take the presidency as his prey, but to see what he can do for his country. He went around major cities to feel the pulse of the people as he also peddled the idea of federalism for the Philippines. Admittedly having meager means and limited machinery compared to his opulent opponents, LP-backed Sec. Mar Roxas and UNA-supported VP Jojo Binay, Mayor Digong embarked on a quixotic journey by tapping the grassroots which willingly fell not just to his charms but for the beads of hope for a better life he dangled for everyone to get hold of.
Read more at: The Eagle has landed

The united colors of the presidentiables

Source: Rappler

(The Philippine general elections may be over as they were held on May 9, 2016, but I would just like to share this poem I've written a while back for Blog Watch of the Philippine Online Chronicles.)
In a world that wants black and white
comes a sea of colors
for those who
seek the presidency, alright.
Binay is blue
white is for Poe
Roxas is yellow
Miriam is red
Digong is, too.
I beg to disagree
because my mind can see
a different set of colors.
Without further ado
allow me to do the honors.
Binay’s skin color is brown
but that we cannot malign
lest we make critics frown.
From racism we draw a line.
Take note, Binay’s PR guys took pride
in calling him nognog
which means black
and threw another word to describe him
and that word is “pandak.”
Hailed as the one
who catapulted Makati to its heights
but with his color
the masses he represents
because he claims, like them
he comes from humble descents.
Alas, after decades of being in power
he thought he lived on a bed of flowers
but came a string of cases
thrown at him like broken vases.
The serene blue has become tainted
we wonder now if victory can still be painted
for the boy scout from Makati
whose will to win
rivals that of the Illuminati.
For the rest of the poem, please read: The united colors of the presidentiables

Tunay na pagbabago?

Bago ang lahat, mabuti sigurong sabihin ko munang taga-Davao region ako. At alam nyo na parang by default kung sino ang sinusuportahan kong tumatakbong presidente ng Pilipinas. “D” para sa Davao, “D” na default at “D” para kay Duterte at hindi “D” for Donald Trump ha?
Photo via Some rights reserved.
Photo via Some rights reserved.
Oooopss…teka, teka. Wag ka munang lumipat ng page. Magbasa ka muna nang malaman mo kung ano ang gusto kong sabihin. Mamaya ka na mag-mura. Mamaya ka na rin humusga. Hindi ako nangangampanya; gusto ko lang mag-share ng napagmuni-muni ko. May isa pa kasing “D” akong sasabihin sa inyo. Okay ba, kabayan?
Sa kabila ng kawalan ng malaking makinarya sa pangangampanya, sa kabila ng mga maaanghang na salita nung una siyang nagpahiwatig na tatakbo bilang pangulo at sa kabila ng paggiging nag-iisang kandidato bilang pangulo na di nakaranas ng nationwide campaign, napansin kong tila unti-unting umuugong ang kanyang pangalan. Sa paglapit ng mga araw tungo sa araw ng election, tila ba dumarami na rin ang mga supporters ni Davao Mayor Rody Duterte.
Ang sikat na mga slogans nya ay “Tapang at Malasakit,” “Change is Coming” at “Tunay na Pagbabago.” Ayos ano? Yong una, parang sinasabing matapang nga pero may pusong mamon naman. Madumi nga ang bibig pero di naman nagnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan dahil may malasakit sa mga taong nagpapakahirap magbayad ng buwis. Kaibigan nga ng mga Moro at rebelde pero kapayapaan naman ang long-term goal. Hmmm…pogi points lahat, sa tingin ko.
Eto ngayon ang gusto kong pagtuunan ng pansin. Change. Pagbabago. Padating ang pagbabago pag nahalal na pangulo si Duterte. Yan ang pinupuntirya ng mga think tanks ni Rody na nasa likod ng mga slogans na ito. Yan din ang unti-unting nagiging gusto ng mga sumusuporta sa kanya na hindi lang mga taga-Davao region.
For the rest of the article, please read: Tunay na pagbabago?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

On Spirituality and the "Life of Pi"

It was around this time a few years ago when I've watched this movie, "Life of Pi." I've written my own kind of review about it and I'd like to share this with you. The movie may no longer be shown in theaters but the lessons learned from it will always linger in the movies of my mind.

Much of the things written about this highly-acclaimed movie were about the film itself, written objectively, that is. I beg to differ here. I’d like to express my thoughts and even feelings about this beautiful story of Pi and how he survived a shipwreck in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger as a companion. 


"I found her diary underneath a tree and started reading about me." There goes the line of a song by the group called "Bread." What is now oftentimes called a "journal" used to be called a diary.

According to an 18th century Scottish historical novelist, playwright and poet with many contemporary readers in Europe, Australia, and North America named Walter Scott, a diary as a rule is "a document useful to the person who keeps it, dull to the contemporary who reads it and invaluable to the student, centuries afterwards, who treasures it." I don't know if our very own hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, an avid diary writer and keeper, had read that because his diaries were treasures from which we have gleaned most of what we know about him now.

Take Note!

If there’s one thing I’m truly crazy about, it’s notebooks. Yes, those bound papers held either by string or spring, ruled or plain and come with different sizes and covers. They can be used as journals or for taking notes, of course, hence the name, ‘notebook.’ If I have a love affair with words, I have a fetish for notebooks ever since I can remember. Buying them when classes would start excited me more than anything else. Now that I’m not going to school anymore (to study or to teach), I still go to the stationery section of a bookstore to scour for them. Sometimes, just buying one beautiful notebook would make my day.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Eat to live, NOT live to eat

How many of us can actually admit to the above statement?

The “eating season” has just ended. New Year Resolutions or Goals usually have “lose weight” in them. In the first place, it would have been best if one thought of eating right during the holidays. It might have helped to be reminded of what matters most when it comes to nutrition and what we stuff our stomachs with.

With the advent of social media and instant sharing of photos, it becomes apparent how we actually live to eat because of the proliferation of photos of food posted. It’s as if eating has become everyone’s favourite past time giving credence to the supposedly ‘favourite subject’ of a lot of people in school: recess. This applies, of course, to those who have access to modern gadgets, the internet and what else, money to buy food and more food. Never mind that there are those who are supposed to be wallowing in poverty and hunger; they’re not part of the “in crowd” anyway! But that is a different story.

One Year to Live

Screengrab from Instagram @hilariohalili. Acapulco Bay, Mexico. New Year's Eve.  
A new year is here again. We who have survived beyond the fireworks of new year's eve are blessed that we still have another chance to reach for our dreams and/or make up for the mistakes of the past. There were a lot who were not lucky to see the dawn of a new year.

Let me just share with you a part of what I've written last year for Buhay Pinoy of the Philippine Online Chronicles in an article called "If you had one year to live." 

Death is a touchy subject and more often than not, not many would openly talk about it, thinking of it as something morbid. But come to think of it, it is only when we are open about death which none of us will ever escape, that we could perhaps see life differently. We will learn to appreciate life more and make each day count for eternity. (Well, unless one doesn’t believe in the afterlife. But that’s a different story.)

Cheers to 2016!

Happy New Year!

Where did 2015 go? It was just here. People have waited for quite sometime for the holidays to come and suddenly, we're almost done with the first week of the first month of a new year! Whew!

So, have you written down your Goals for 2016? Or are you one who writes down new year's resolutions EVERY YEAR? Goals and resolutions are two different things: a resolution is “a decision or determination to do something” while a goal is “the result toward which effort is directed.”

I've written down my goals for 2016. Those are the things I want to achieve this year for my family which includes my husband, children and our dog, of course, our home, our business, and myself. I've scripted them out in an insert of my Midori Traveler's Notebook which I'm sprinkling out (to borrow the term of Jenny Penton of in the monthly, weekly and daily pages of my Hobonichi Cousin 2016 planner. These goals will help me go beyond my to-do lists on a daily basis and will set my direction for the year.

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