Saturday, June 28, 2008

Photo Hunt: Bright

a bright morning at the beach
Santiago Bay

I welcome this new day.
It is a gift to me, a new creation, a promise of resurrection.
Greetings to the Four Realms, the Goddesses and Gods, and the Kindred of Yore.
I salute the Sun, the Earth, the Seas, and the Sky.
I am thankful for being alive this morning.
Thankful for the sleep that has refreshed me.
May my hands do the good work.
May my eyes see the truth.
May I speak compassionately.
May I make the world a better place this day.

For more PhotoHunters, please visit

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sky Watch Friday: Boracay sunset

Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan
"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return."
~ Mary Jean Iron
For more Sky Watch photos, please visit Wiggers World.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Questions of an Insomniac

How does the body plead---wounded as it is from all its battles with the world---to the god of sleep?

Does it simply have to close its eyes and let the darkness flood the skin's interior like the water that closes---oh so gently---above the head of a drowning child?

Or does it need to fumble and tumble, to shout if it can until it is once again so tired and beaten it can choose to die?

If there, the body's slowly sinking into that soundless depth of sleep, how can you pull it further down to a flicker of headlight or the sob of a faucet can't send it rushing back to the surface, with all the weight of defeat?

What is the opposite side of 3:30 in the morning?

How many sheep have broken through the fence and tumbled straight into sightlessness?

What color does the sky have when a strand of sunlight is snatched into its unraveling fabric and all the stars are dipping?

What right do you have sleeping so peacefully like that beside me when I have flipped my pillow ten thousand times?

by Carlomar Arcangel Daoana

Sunday, June 22, 2008


A few years ago, when my mother first saw Ozzy Osbourne in MTV’s most popular reality TV show “The Osbournes”, she asked me if he’s mentally handicapped (her term actually was “retarded”). “And what’s with the bleeps?” my mother asked. We got the censored version of the show that all the foul language was bleeped. Sometimes, full sentences were bleeped! That, I find funny.

I am not really an Ozzy Osbourne fan, or a fan of any reality TV show, for that matter. This morning though, while channel-surfing hoping to catch a "Dexter" rerun, I caught an interview of the Osbournes. Tired of the news about the tropical storm Frank...what would you normally do on a stormy Sunday morning? Of course, vegetate and watch The Osbournes! Then I remember one Ozzy Osbourne song that I loved as a teenager and still do---“Changes” by the Black Sabbath, a ballad with a kick.

This song meant a great deal to me after I lost a high school friend to leukemia when I was 15. "Changes" also brings back memories of riding jeepneys in the early 80's with its booming stereos and halogen light that turns everybody's skin to a deathly purple.

Black Sabbath was an English heavy metal band formed by Ozzy Osbourne in 1968. I remember Black Sabbath fans in high school and we “good kids” thought of them as Satanists (only because of the black shirts and gothic look!). Ozzy was also branded a Satanist since his Black Sabbath days, and he’s a self-proclaimed Prince of Darkness. Of course, at the height of The Osbournes fame, the Prince of Darkness has become a household name and very much the Father of the Year.

a duet with his daughter, Kelly

Ozzy, according to articles in the net, is far from a devil worshiper. He is simply a talented rebel with a flair for creating controversy, and thus publicity. His drug abuse and alcohol dependence are also culprits of his wild and outrageous behavior. In a meeting during the early 80’s, Ozzy grabbed a live dove, bit off the head and spat it out to get attention. He gained further notoriety after he bit off the head of a bat while performing, thinking it was made of rubber. He also admitted to having shot their family pets, all 17 cats, at the height of his drug addiction.

Ozzy Osbourne is indeed a colorful character. He and his wife Sharon are also one of the richest couples in the UK with an estimated 100 million pounds in assets. I can’t say that I love Ozzy Osbourne but he sure is entertaining…and his duet with Kelly is so sweet.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Photo Hunt: Water

a sanctuary for weary souls
Hagimit Cold Spring, Samal Island, Davao del Norte
Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.
~ Norman Fitzroy Maclean, A River Runs Through It

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sky Watch Friday: Paradise Island

sunset at Paradise Island Resort, Samal Island, Davao del Norte

Most of us miss out on life's big prizes. The Pulitzer. The Nobel. Oscars. Tonys. Emmys. But we're all eligible for life's small pleasures. A pat on the back. A kiss behind the ear. A four-pound bass. A full moon. An empty parking space. A cracking fire. A great meal. A glorious sunset. Hot soup. Cold beer. Don't fret about copping life's grand awards. Enjoy its tiny delights. There are plenty for all of us.

~ United Technologies Corp. ad

For more Sky Watch photos, please visit Wiggers World.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

One fine day

One Fine Day by Natalie Merchant

There are days when I feel my solitude expands and the surrounding noise passes through me without disturbing my equilibrium. It feels like standing on top of the highest mountain, the inconceivable vastness of the world embraces me. I am filled with hope, even when I don’t understand the depths and surprises of fate. All I know is that there are always new dreams, new friendships, new loves, and beauty still undiscovered by these eyes.

These are the days that I hold dear. Everything is clear, and I am unafraid. Like a deep-rooted and drought-tolerant tree, I stand confidently under monsoon rains and hot suns.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

~Oscar Wilde

I am continuously humbled by an unexpected joy, by a resilient spirit, by a child’s simplicity, by an unwavering faith, by the changing of the seasons, by an unconditional love, by an ever-renewing gratitude, by an unsolicited tenderness, by life’s possibilities.

Like bees gathering honey, I collect the sweetness out of people---the simplest gesture of kindness, a kind word, a smile from a stranger, a sympathetic ear, a warm hug, a sincere compliment, a small act of caring, open arms, and an open heart. They sustain me when it's raining in my soul.

In life, there are disappointments, failure, tears, loneliness, betrayal. But there’s also happiness, friendship, successes, laughter, love. I relish the days when I can appreciate the joy of breathing, or walking on a bright morning. I delight with whatever remains in me.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

My Father, the greatest

I wrote this poem almost 20 years ago in honor of my father who passed away in 1979. This was published in a national women's magazine for their Fathers' day issue. I am sharing this with all the fathers---the men of our hearts, our champions, our biggest admirers.

On your shoulder lies

the burden of the world

as you struggled against the odds

to make me live.

The life you bravely faced alone

the battles you fought and won

are like a candle in a dark room

giving me hope to carry on.

I know you wouldn't surrender

though your brow grow damp with pain

you never flinch, wince nor groan,

but bear in silence and drift to dream.

You were unconquerable, my Father

until Death soothed your weary mind

you didn't resist nor try to fight

instead, you embraced Death so tight.

You are the greatest, as you lay triumphant

for what is to die, but to free life

from its restless tides,

and to seek God unencumbered?

All you have to do is ask...

For the past three hours, I have been trying to concentrate on Milan Kundera’s novel called “Slowness” but my mind is somewhere else. I am haunted by last night’s ironies---Joan Armatrading’s raw, edgy, impassioned voice suits my mood.

I said I'm strong
To be a shelter
In a storm
Your willow
Oh willow
When the sun is out…

Her unmistakable voice and the rhythmic riff of guitar echo in the stillness of the early morning.

Don't go under the sheets
Under a tree
In the rain and snow
I'll be your fireside
Come running to me
When things get out of hand
Running to me
When it's more than you can stand…

I first heard Willow in a movie called “Boys on the Side”. That movie by the way has a great soundtrack. Willow is one of my favorites. Listening to each word, in a voice that is affecting somehow calms my troubled mind.

And if you want to be alone
Or someone to share a laugh
Whatever you want to do
All you got to do is ask…

Yeah, all you got to do is ask. I am not psychic, after all.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

PhotoHunt: Emotion(s)

This is my first PhotoHunt. For this week's "emotion" theme, I'm posting photos of my 3-year old niece, Eliza. These photos were taken during a family get-together in our grandmother's home in Bulacan. Eliza was in her usual happy self, showing off her dance steps, and her beauty-queen wave.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Skywatch Friday - Camotes Island

Santiago Bay, Camotes Island, Cebu

“Some people, in order to discover God, read books. But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things. Look above you! Look below you! Read it. God, whom you want to discover, never wrote that book with ink. Instead He set before your eyes the things that He had made. Can you ask for a louder voice than that?”

— St. Augustine (354-430)

For more Skywatch Friday photos, please visit Wiggers World

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Daydreaming [and a Tag]

sailing in San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge at the background

I like to daydream. It's one of my escapes when I'm bored or stressed. It's also a motivator when I need to get creative. I guess I just have an over-active imagination.

I daydream about all sorts of things. I never told anybody but when I was a kid, I used to daydream I was Kelly (played by Jaclyn Smith) of Charlie's Angels. In my grandfather's laguerta, there was a huge uprooted acacia tree and it was my favorite playground. I would sit at the longest end of the root and daydreamed of being a pirate princess riding the waves.
a boat-shaped Alcatraz at the background
I'm an adult now and yes, I still daydream.

While stuck in traffic, I imagine myself driving a red Porsche along the Italian Riviera. Most people would rather go to sleep during long trips, but not me. I prefer to my castles in the air. In one of my trips to Baguio, I imagined myself living in a rustic cabin on top of the mountain, complete with a satellite TV and wi-fi. In Boracay, I daydreamed of owning a yacht where I also live, read all day, and sail from island to island. I imagine myself in an African safari as a professional photographer. I imagine visiting the Taj Mahal with Richard Gere (my imaginary boyfriend) where he pledges his undying love for me. I imagine being rich enough to have my own shelter for battered women and abused children, and have more than enough money to send my three nephews to Harvard or Oxford (this would probably remain a dream, unless there's divine intervention on their grades).

As I get older, my daydreams have become a little bit realistic (well, except for Richard Gere and his undying love, but hey, who knows? ). I don't think that old age has made me less imaginative. I'd like to believe that I'm now aiming for things that I can possibly attain. I once daydreamed of going to Paris and walk by the River Sienne under the moonlight. Well, it was not exactly under a full moon, but I was able to visit Paris two years ago and walked by the River Sienne from the Louvre to the Notre Dame Cathedral. I dreamed of experiencing New York City (yeah, from watching Sex and the City :D), and it happened. I don't know what will come next. I hope it's the rustic cabin on the mountains or a DSLR camera!:D

Bay Bridge and Bay area skyline

I have a cousin who once showed me a scrapbook of her dreams. A picture of her dream house, her dream car, beautiful places she would like to see. She believes that if you have visual aids of your dreams, it's easier to strive for them. No, I don't have posters of Richard Gere or a vintage red Ferrari at the ceiling above my bed.:D

Is daydreaming bad? No, i don't think so. As long as you separate your daydreams from reality, they're a great motivation for us to work harder for a better life. I'm a dreamer. There are a lot of things that I dream of doing before I die. Some I've already been able to attain, but some I still need to work for.

How about you? Do you think dreams can come true?

While you're thinking about the question and your dreams, I'm doing the Tag from Lawstude.

The Rules:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Why 7, I don't know...but it's my lucky number, so here goes:

1. The younger years: My first fashion show was at age 3 where I wore a muumuu, kalachuchi garland, another kalachuchi at my right ear, and my beaded slippers were chewed by a family dog. I won my first singing competition at age 5 with the song “Help Me make it Through the Night. Prize money was 10 pesos. I practiced singing on top of the dining table with the whole clan as my critic and audience.

2. I have been to Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, US, London, France, Italy, Amsterdam, and three quarters of the Philippines---half the time, I traveled alone.

3. I cry at the lamest of movies. I deny crying when Gabby married Sharon. I cry at TV commercials, Lupang Hinirang, and one time at Don McLean’s American Pie while riding a jeepney. I cry at weddings and christenings more than I cry at funerals.

4. I have cravings for pop corn, salmon sashimi, squash seeds and raw oysters dipped in vinegar with chili.

5. I pull my hair. Shaving my head is one of my favorite fantasies when I look in the mirror.

6. I once dreamed of becoming a painter, a writer, and an architect. Sometimes, I wish I’m a social worker, an activist, an assassin, or a barrio doctor.

7. My weary spirit is soothed in bookstores, with body massage, and at the ladies’ shoe section.

I'm tagging 7 blog buddies whose blog sites I visit often, and are nice enough to leave their comments here. No pressure, no need to reveal your deep dark secrets.:D

1. Gizelle

2. Bugsybee

3. Cons

4. Panaderos

5. Senior Enrique

6. Migs

7. Bertn

Monday, June 9, 2008

Fritz at The Fort

These are photos of Fritz taken yesterday at The Fort. I wanted to bring him to Bonifacio High Street across the parking lot to socialize but he was afraid of crossing the street so we stayed at the open grassy parking lot. Good thing we had the parking lot to ourselves that Sunday afternoon. I delight in his silly moods, and his big, dark brown eyes looking up at me adoringly. He snuggled with me on the grass and we watched the sunset together.

Bonifacio High Street

sunset behind the high rise

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Skywatch Friday - Bantayan Island

A perfect summer day at Kota Beach Resort in

Bantayan Island, Cebu

"When I look into the blue sky, it seems so deep, so peaceful, so full of a mysterious tenderness that I could lie for centuries, and wait for the dawning of the face of God out of the awful loving-kindness." ~ George MacDonald

For more Sky Watch Friday photos, click Tom Wigley

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Brothers in Arms

From the beginning of the song, Brothers in Arms captivates. Its haunting guitar solos and whispery vocals make me close my eyes and listen to the unmistakable essence of the song. As Mark Knopfler sings an ode about ancient Scotland and war, his gruff voice and his guitar creates a powerful feeling of desolation. But it was a kind of feeling that Victor Hugo described as “the pleasure of being sad”.

Now the suns gone to hell

And the moons riding high

Let me bid you farewell

Every man has to die

But its written in the starlight

And every line on your palm

We’re fools to make war

On our brothers in arms…

This was brought about by a 2006 TV police procedural drama, In Justice, which I caught on TV the other night. My attention was really on Fritz when I heard the familiar melody in the background. Tuning in, I couldn’t remember the song but memories came rushing back. I went to bed with the familiar melody in my head.

I become a bit obssessive when I couldn't remember something, so the next morning, I asked my brother if he remembers the melody---I hummed and described the guitar. Voila! It’s Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms! (Memory loss is definitely the result of general anaesthesia, not old age! No kidding!:D) Anyway, I have a Dire Straits cd since forever but I haven’t listened to it in years. It’s actually a burned cd, a collection of songs from their albums. When I came home that night, I dug up the cd and listened and remember how much I love Dire Straits.

So what’s so special about Dire Straits? Is it that whiff of “don’t-give-a-damn” attitude, the classic air of negligence in Mark Knopfler’s delivery, or the brilliant guitar playing? Not in the same brilliance as Jimi Hendrix or Joe Satriani but definitely up there.

Dire Straits is definitely not for everybody. While I was raving about the band’s music years ago, a friend who was totally into rock music said that the songs are so boring, she couldn’t stand it! In the reign of punk-rock, I thought Dire Straits music is unique and mind-blowing. I love the combined folk-blues sound of their music, and the fact that they don’t vent out their frustrations in the open but instead let their feelings gush through in a more subtle, intelligent manner.

Other standouts in the collection, aside from their hits Sultan of Swing, Romeo and Juliet, Tunnel of Love, Money for Nothing, are the thought-provoking slow blues, Fade To Black and Your Latest Trick, with its Caribbean feel and sensational sax, done with an amazing feeling of taste.

Dire Straits’ music is definitely diverse and eclectic. For lovers of fine guitar, Dire Straits shouldn't be missed---they’re probably the best rock band in history!

Dire Straits was an award-winning English rock band formed in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (vocals and guitar), his brother David (guitar), John Illsley (bass), and Pick Withers (drums). The band was dissolved in 1995.