Thursday, October 30, 2008

Litratong Pinoy: Kadiliman (Darkness)

May kakaibang pakiramdam na dala ang kadiliman. Ang mga bagay na hindi karaniwang kinakatakutan sa liwanag ay parang nag-iiba ng anyo pag inaaninag sa dilim. Bakit nga ba tila may nakaabang na panganib sa dilim?

May malalim na takot na pumipigil sa atin upang subukan ang mga bagay na hindi natin alam. Mas pipiliin natin ang mga bagay at sitwasyon na alam na natin. Sa kadiliman, hindi pamilyar ang ating mga hakbang, hindi natin nasisilip ang lubak-lubak na daan, at kung ano ang nasa dako pa roon. Ngunit kadalasan, ang likas nating takot sa dilim ay nagliligtas sa atin sa kapahamakan. Mula kabataan, nakasaksak na sa isipan ko na sa madidilim na sulok ay nandon ang mga gagamba, alakdan, ahas at iba pang nakalalason na hayop. At ang mga paalala ng ating mga magulang: H’wag dumaan sa madilim na lugar, baka may holduper. Pag dumidilim ang kalangitan, ipasok sa bahay ang mga sinampay. Ang madilim na bahay ay naputulan ng kuryente---version ko pala yon...ang sabi ng nanay ko ay---ang madilim na bahay ay lapitin ng maligno. At ang peyborit ko---ang naglalaro sa dilim ay nabubuntis este nadadapa pala.

Teka, dumidilim na ang paningin ko!

Bisitahin ang Litratong Pinoy.

Taken on December 2007 at the Mall of Asia grounds.


At breakfast, my mother asked me in a weird kind of tone how old I am today. As if she didn’t know! And to add insult to the injury, she asked if I have a date tonight.:D

Birthdays are strange things, the more you have the more you try and pretend they don’t matter, and the more people try and tell you they are not so bad. It’s true, I am getting older, but as someone just said to me “who isn’t getting older every day?” I think the problem people associate with birthdays has more to do with the fact that a birthday throws into sharp focus all the things we think we should have done, but have not.

It would probably be depressing if my to-do list is exactly the same as it was last year. That would leave me with a feeling of having accomplished nothing, and not going anywhere. I’d like to think that I’m fortunate enough this year. I look back at where I was last year and look at the fundamental things that have changed since then:

  • I am happier despite the bigger challenges in my job
  • I appreciate God's graces more
  • I am calmer and more forgiving of myself and others
  • I have simplified my life in many ways

Tonight will be a celebration that would beckon my friends to sit down and spend a few hours together over great-tasting food and some great conversation. Two old maids, an incorrigible playboy, a power couple, a self-proclaimed anarchist, a shopaholic and a placard-toting single mom. For one glorious evening, my birthday dinner will bring world peace.

So as you can see, I can’t see much point in feeling depressed, though I might think about what I want to change in time for next year. Today, and like any other day, I'd like to focus on my blessings. I have a lot to be thankful for!

And to guide me for next year’s to-do list, I will meditate on these verses from Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching

Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people's approval
and you will be their prisoner.

When you are content to be simply yourself
and don't compare or compete,
everybody will respect you.
Stop thinking, and end your problems.
What difference between yes and no?
Must you value what others value,
avoid what others avoid?
How ridiculous!

How ridiculous, indeed!:D And finally, here’s Lao Tzu’s advice that I should apply to my daily life:

Express yourself completely---then keep quiet.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Eden Nature Park

Mucuna Bennetti "Red Jade Vine"

In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful.

~ Abram L. Urban

Location: Eden Nature Park

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sky-Watch Friday: Sunrise

Sunrise From Terminal 3

An early morning flight gives me a headache. I’m not a morning person and getting out of bed at dawn to be at the airport for a 7 am flight requires a lot of effort. But nothing takes the edge off quite like seeing a colorful sunrise. Before going in to the hustle and bustle of the newly-opened Terminal 3, I stopped and paused a while to enjoy this beautiful sunrise. This could turn me into a morning person.:D

More beautiful skyscapes from around the world at Sky-Watch Friday.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Litratong Pinoy: Liwanag (Light)

Hindi matatawaran ang galing ng Pinoy sa paglikha, katulad ng mga ilaw na ito na gawa sa shell at resin. Nakabibighani ang mga modernong disenyo katulad nito na nagbibigay liwanag sa makabagong uso. Ang may-gawa ay si Dennis Ang, isang designer na taga-Cebu.

Here’s another example of Filipino ingenuity---lighting fixtures made from natural shells and clear resin balls. These distinctly modern sources of light captivate at the same time brings forth a fresh style to light. Dennis Ang, a Cebu-based designer concocted these beautiful, fun and functional designs.

More bright ideas at Litratong Pinoy.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Animal Farm

Here are the rest of the residents in my friend’s stuffed animal farm (thank you, Bugsybee!). My friend bought these locally but I couldn’t remember the name of the company. These colorful pillows are a feast to the eyes, they fill the room with quaint rustic charm and homey ambiance. No wonder my friend loves ‘em!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ruby Tuesday: Ladybug

This ladybug pillow lounges at my friend’s sofa, one in a dozen or so handcrafted cushions around her home. And I thought it would be perfect for Ruby Tuesday. My friend likes her animals stuffed and colorful. Need more proof? Here's her stuffed pink pig who doesn't live in a pig pen---Miss Piggy loafs around on white sheets all day long.

Enjoy more of Ruby Tuesday at Work of the Poet.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lasang Pinoy, Sundays: On a Stick

A familiar sight not only in the streets of Metro Manila but also in the provinces. This photo was taken in Davao a row of turo-turo near the cathedral. I'm not very fond of chicken BBQ and street foods but I love grilled isaw (chicken intestines)---the orange bunch that looks like worms.:D I was introduced to isaw and fish balls about ten years ago by my sister and cousin who were then students of UP Diliman. Aside from being one of the top universities in the country, UP Diliman is famous for its tasty street foods---the aroma of grilled isaw is enough to make me drool.

But as much as I love isaw, I seldom indulge myself. Isaw is one delicious chow that is potentially dangerous and could result to a trip to the ER.

More treats On-a-Stick at SpiCes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ruby Tuesday: flowers of Malagos Garden

For my very first Ruby Tuesday, I'm posting these flowers from Malagos Garden in Davao City.

More Ruby Tuesday participants at Work of the Poet.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Lasang Pinoy, Sundays: School of Fish

Grilled fish is got to be the most common recipe Filipinos do with fish. It is served with a dipping sauce of soy sauce, kalamansi juice, chili peppers, and onions. One American client asked me to bring him to a Filipino restaurant, and he ordered grilled pompano. It was too late when he realized that the grilled fish is served in whole, not fillet. He turned green when he saw the fish with head and eyeballs that he said were staring at him! And imagine his expression when I told him that fish head is the tastiest part, and that most Filipinos eat fish brains and eyeballs. :D

You wonder what this thing in the second photo? It’s not’s my favorite part---we call it bihod in Ilonggo, or fish roe. Whenever I eat bihod, I would remember my childhood in Negros where my siblings and I would fight over a piece of bihod. Since there’s only one bihod in a large fish (usually from fish locals call alibalay and gingaw or red snapper), my grandmother would slice it in small parts so each of us have a piece. Tuna bihod is available at the Seaside Market along Macapagal Highway.

More fish dishes at SpiCes.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Photo-Hunt: Lazy

Fritz was listening intently to my mom's lecture about his bad eating habits. More often than not, he's too lazy to eat on his own but would happily chew on his snack when I feed the pellets to him one by one. He also has a habit of leaving half of his regular meals uneaten in his bowl and would wait for my mother to feed him by hand. And he expects to wear his bib, too. Lazy dog!:D
Fritz sporting his bib and his "yaya" :D
More lazy photos at TN Chick.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Litratong Pinoy: Luma Na (aged)

Luma na talaga ang litratong ito ng nanay ko. Dalagang Pilipina, 20 taong gulang ang nanay ko noong 1963 nang kinuha ang litratong ito. Nasira na sa tagal ng panahon na nakatago lamang sa kanyang aparador. Mabuti at natagpuan ko noong isang taon at balak ko sanang ipa-restore. Maraming nagsasabi na kamukha ko raw ang nanay ko---ayaw namin parehong pumayag. Sabi n'ya mas maganda s'ya at sumasang-ayon naman ako.:D

This is an old photograph of my mother, taken in 1963 when she was 20 years old. Time has ruined this photograph that she kept in her dresser for many years. I finally found it last year and thought of having it restored. People say that I look like my mother---we both disagree---she says she's prettier, and I agree with her.:D

More old/aged treasures at Litratong Pinoy.

Wordless Wednesday: a carpet of green

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.

~Author Unknown

Monday, October 6, 2008

Tranquil Silliman

university campus
I first heard of Silliman when I was a little girl in Negros Occidental. A local girl who also went to my elementary school got a scholarship at Silliman. One summer break when she was home, I overheard neighbors whispering about her midriff top. Apparently, the sight of her belly button was shocking to the manangs at that time. I admired her midriff top, by the way, and the way she drove a motorbike around town, belly button bared, crazy hair flying, making people stop and stare. She was once a shy girl, the manangs lamented...Silliman was the reason for her transformation, they concluded with an eyebrow raised.

It was my first impression of Silliman---a bastion of liberal thinking, individualism, with some remnants of the hippie generation.:D I wanted to go to college there! Unfortunately, we don’t always get what we want.

Rizal Centennial marker and university seal laid in 1960
Silliman University is located at the heart of Dumaguete, overlooking the sea. The 61-hectare campus was founded in 1901 by Protestant missionaries of the American Presbyterian Church through a gift from an American philanthropist named Dr. Horace Silliman. It is the first Protestant school in the Philippines and the oldest American university in Asia.

Silliman Hall, the oldest building on campus was constructed in 1903

the University Church, completed in 1949
Alumni Hall, built in 1950
The rooms on its second floor where we stayed are designated for alumni and guests, while the ground floor is occupied by the office of the Alumni Affairs.

Splendid Bell

Located in front of the Alumni Hall and mounted in 1918, this bell was a gift from children in America given through the New York Women's Foreign Mission Board.

Silliman University gives Dumaguete a vibrant and dynamic character despite the city’s laid back lifestyle. My lasting impressions of Silliman are the peaceful moments under the acacia trees, cool morning sea breezes at the beautiful Silliman Hall, warm smiles, and a memory of that fearless young lady on a motorbike---breaking free.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sky Watch Friday: clouds above the lake

Gray clouds over Lake Balinsasayao
Sibulan, Negros Oriental

Truths are first clouds; then rain, then harvest and food.
- Henry Ward Beecher
More sky photos from around the world at Sky-Watch Friday.