Thursday, October 15, 2009

happy fiesta!

highlight of today's celebration is the parade of inasal. based from the program they sent me, they only have about 20 floats of lechon baboy for this year. a friend, who is joining, said he would put only one lechon in his float and fill the rest of his huge truck with lechon bread. lol

i hope the weather would be good the whole day today.

and i hope it's not all about the parade of lechon.

happy fiesta! :)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

new blog

i will have a new blog.

it's gonna be all about travels and places. and cebu, yeah. or i dunno. it's just an idea that occured to me tonight while playing 13 days in hell. i kind of like though.

so hopefully, i'll have my new travel blog with cool layout next week or before 2009 ends. and i'm gonna make money from it. lots! LOL

by the way, this one will stay. this will then exclusively host my stupid notes, ugly pictures, and other things that the world don't really bother seeing. but i'm posting them anyway. like you care if i do, or not.

so that's right, enough of this. i'll be back soon to post the link of the newest and coolest blog on earth. till then!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

to my number one

it was early morning of June 5, a friday, when i got two text messages from my brother telling me that our lola just died. even before i got to read them, i already knew they carried the message, as the night before, i was several miles away, my mother had already informed me, through text messages, that my bedridden lola was looking for me.

i did not know what to feel at that moment. i love her very much. she was close to me. she raised me, guided me on my first times, while my own mother was busy with work. when i was in college, i'd always pray that she'd not go yet. bec if it had happened, i doubt if i would be whole again. i even wished then she'd outlive me, just so i would not feel the pain of losing her. she was my number one.

and she's gone.

it was a different situation now though. she was 88, and so frail. i did not even want to see much of her during the last few months of her life, bec i'd rather remember her as that chubby lola who would tell us WWII and ghost stories every night when my cousins and i were kids. i always insisted the ghost stories be told first, though.

after the stories, she would then set up the mosquito net in her room, so that i could sleep already. but she also knew that i would not sleep alone, and would rather wait for her at the top of the stairs while she rejoined my uncle, her son, downstairs for their nightly drinking session of "tuba."

yep, i shared a room with her. until i started high school.

she was still there even if i was already a grownup. cooked my breakfast and my lunch and dinner. the reason why i never really got to learn cooking bec there was always she who would do all the cooking for me. until we moved out from her house. still, the family came to see her every weekend.

she was also tough. my lolo died of a kidney malfunction in 1972, leaving her all 6 children in her care. and me, bec i always wanted to be with her.

it just upset me big time that i wasn't there in her deathbed when she finally left. she asked for me, but i was miles away. i still feel bad about it.

shortly after i got the news, i felt like flying from bohol to cebu to get home quick. 3 hours later, i was already looking at my lola's face. amazingly, i was seeing only the good years in it, the happy memories. yes, i was so glad that her face did not register a sad expression. she seemed happy to see me. i was happy to see her, too.

at 4pm of june 7, a sunday, we buried her. i stayed longer than the others so she would still have company even for a few minutes more. i did not want her to be alone.

but i had to leave, too. i dont memorize the verses in the bible, but i know, it was just her body that we buried. the moment that she slipped from this world, she has actually rejoined her husband and her drinking buddy, my uncle, who died in 2007, and the rest of her family who have gone ahead.

it was actually not a lonely journey for her. she is sure back in her tiptop shape, eager to see the people she also loves. that thought made the situation easy to bear.

and while she is reunited with her other loved ones in another world, those she left behind have also been brought back together, by her death. she should be smiling now.

for that, and for the love and care, and everything, i have no other words to say to you, my number one, but to THANK YOU, THANK YOU.


i love you.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Sagada Vol. 2

Surviving Sumaging Cave
May 30, 2009

CEBU, Philippines - Sagada is not only about hanging coffins and burial caves. Favored by nature with high mountains and many caves, this sleepy town of Mt. Province has also quickly become a favorite place for mountaineers and spelunkers.

My friends and I were among those lured by the attractions of Sagada. We were there last Holy Week.

Initially, our itinerary only consisted of visits to the hanging coffins in the Echo Valley, the rice terraces in Kiltepan, the big falls, among a few others. But when the tour guide we contacted through e-mail suggested we should not miss Sumaging Cave, we included it, without actually knowing what we were in for.

After visiting the Burial Cave, with its wet and fog covered trail, we thought that Sumaging, the next cave to see, would be just another burial cave. But we were wrong.

Upon reaching the site, our guide Daniel, who already had a gas lamp at this juncture, told us to leave all the unnecessary things in the car, except for our cameras. And while he and the other guide named George were lighting their gas lamps at the entrance, I asked what could be waiting for us out there after seeing how big (and dark) the cave was.

Daniel then explained to the group we would be on a spelunking activity for the next two hours or so, depending on how fast we move. Hearing this, some members of our group started complaining. But heck, we were already in Sagada, so we should try what everyone was there for.

Sumaging Cave, which is said to have existed millions of years ago (there are fossilized seashells in its walls that date back to the time before the first men inhabited the earth), was also used as a burial ground by the old people there, however, the coffins were destroyed over the years by the water inside it.

So we went inside the cave with only the two lamps lighting our way. The spelunking is divided into three stages. Stage one is what could be called the “bat territory” and of course, with bats’ shit all over the place. And I mean really all over that our hands (and even hair) were already smudged with them even while still halfway into the fist stage. The trail is very steep and rocky that one has to hold into the nearest rock for support, regardless of the slimy feel and the stink in them.

It was a long and difficult trek down. We were all glad when our guides told us to leave our slippers at some corner for the next stage.

Stage two was a completely different world. If the first part was all rough rocks and bat manure, the next stage was a visual treat: magnificent stalactites and stalagmites all over the cave, plus, running water for the tired feet as bonus. At first, the task ahead looked difficult. The rocks in this part looked slippery, that it took several minutes for those in the frontline to follow the guides. But it was actually easy. Easier than maneuvering the hard rocks in the first stage.

Apart from having to jump 12 or so feet to the ground with only Daniel as our human ladder, the rest of the trail was fun. We got to see the many rock formations all over the place. The light coming from our two lamps added drama to the place, making it more breathtaking. And Daniel always had a story or two about the “queen” and her “king,” which he would ask us to find among the many rock formations.

The second stage was a bit of relief from the first. We got to clean our hands from guano and enjoy the relaxing flow of the cold water on our feet. Because of the abundance of water inside the cave, there are holes there that resemble small swimming pools or what Daniel calls “the mother of all bath tubs,” since there are also smaller “bath tubs” in some corners of the cave.

The final stage was another thing. It was a combination of both stages: hard and fun. What greets (and sometimes discourages some to go through it) is the small opening, which can only accommodate one person, going down feet first, at a time.

Just as we thought, the small opening was just the tip of the iceberg. Our guide George was in charge of this game, armed with only a gas lamp since all other belongings were left in the care of Daniel, who was accompanying our friend Ella, who was already chilling and decided not to join us.

Inside the small opening is a small pool, which is a jump-off to a tunnel-like passage, where ropes are used to get down to another pool of waist-deep water. There are rocks protruding everywhere in this trail. Plus, water here is already surging at high speed that you have to hold on to the rope for dear life for you to reach the water below. Falling would mean hitting the big rocks in the corners. It was more than just rappelling for us. It was a death-defying stunt!

But we managed to get to the last point all soaked and cold and exhausted that we could only giggle at Daniel’s never ending tales of the cave’s “kings” and “queens” and “the dinosaur’s footprints” inside the cave. He would tell his visitors these stories, and although he was corny most of the time, especially when he let us make a small line at the entrance of the cave to get to “another cave,” which turned out to be a tiny hole in a rock near where he was standing, we still enjoyed the way he helped us forget our worries, stupid worries of not coming out of the cave alive.

We survived! Beaten, stinking, and all.

fossilized shells at the walls of the cave. meaning, this cave was an underwater thing millions of years ago. or so said our guide daniel.

the survivors and the guides daniel and george.

part of stage 3. the fun part.

this is how i survived. with a smile. :P


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

notes of a sleepwalker (3)

May 1, 2009
McDo Jones

Im having fries and coffee here while waiting for my workmates/friends. We’ll be visiting a sick workmate at a nearby hospital. The agreed time was 11am, I just figured it out I should be here earlier to have breakfast. So anyway, im at the resto’s al fresco, it’s where you can feel the late morning heat and see people from different walks of life. Today, im particularly interested with a group of people just across from where I am.

from my corner, i can see this woman cuddling a baby and opposite her is a thin man, must be her husband. it’s almost lunchtime, the heat’s scorching, it appears that they come to that place, near jollibee’s garbage bin, at this hour everyday to rest.

The woman then produces from a plastic bag a piece of ripe mango. She sniffs it, then gives it to the man, who also sniffs it. It’s like it’s the first time that they’ve actually seen a real mango. It’s cute. And they look happy while repeatedly doing it. they also make the baby sniff the mango. A little while later, while I’m almost halfway with my coffee, the woman peels the mango, and lets the baby sip its juice.

Then an older woman came from nowhere. She’s now handing out packed rice to the small group. She must be doing it regularly, as it seems that the couple is not excited to see her today, with her gift to them. Or I dunno, she’s probably a relative.

So they start eating their rice, and their only mango.

And while they’re at it, my workmates arrived.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

next stop

The Ruins, Talisay City, NegOc