Where When How

a creative exercise

Green and Yellow

Green and Yellow.

That is the name of this picture (one of my favorites) that I took back when my camera was new. I was on my way to Quezon province to swim and I was just enamored by the sight of these yellow flowers in full bloom at one of our stopovers. 

To be honest, nothing really special about the stopover or the actual flowers but the sight of it, with the Sierra Madre plastered behind it, evoke what I think spring (if there really is!) is like here in the Philippines- colorful and abundant, reminiscent of our fiestas that celebrate nature’s produce.

Photo was taken at Famy, Laguna. 

Chubby, my Labrador Retriever

More than 10 years ago, I was a midwife to my pregnant dog while she gave birth to her very first litter of puppies. I nursed the puppies, they grew up, and were eventually sold except for one fat energetic dog that we named Chubby.

This is Chubby and here are some things that I fondly remember her for:

1. Chubby is my only dog that cannot see if there’s glass blocking her path. Throughout her life, she would always bump into our glass doors whenever I call her from our house. She was so excited to see me that she would sprint towards us only to end up bumping into the door. 

2. This dog was notorious for jumping into our pond just because it was terribly hot outside. For some strange reason, she loved water. Whenever an opportunity to get wet presents itself, she would make it point to drench herself- may it be in a small puddle, a murky creek, or our a nearby swimming pool. I can still remember the surprise (and eventually disgust) on the faces of the kids swimming when they saw a fat black dog in the pool with them. :)

3. While swimming in the pond, Chubby would try to catch anything that moves. She caught most of our fishes so for a time, we never had any fish in our pond. It became Chubby’s personal swimming pool. At other times, we would see him bring home frogs, rats, snakes, and fruits (yes, she stole our neighbor’s fruits) as part of her monthly catch. She was so proud to have caught these for us. 

4. This dog was always hungry. One time, she stole another dog’s food because it smelled so good. Unfortunately, she got caught and the dog bit a portion of her tongue off. (Look at the picture and you will notice that her tongue is unusually shaped)

5. Whenever Chubby sleeps outside her kennel, for some strange reason, Maya Birds would perch on top of her body to sleep with her. In fact, birds love her so much that they would play with her when she’s running around our garden.

6. She is my dog Ganda’s grandmother and has this strange habit of following me around wherever I go. She once tried to enter our house and our car just to follow me.

7. Perhaps she already had a feeling of what was to come but one day, she went outside to the vacant lot where her mother was buried, slept there, and never woke up again. 

That pink childhood dessert

I don’t know why but I have been craving for that sweet, milky, pink dessert called iskrambol.

It’s been a while since I last ate a decent cup of this airy substance since vendors who can make the authentic flavor and profile of iskrambol are quite rare nowadays. Making the perfect Iskrambol is still a mystery to me. I remember how vendors back then would use shaved ice and dump a lot of colorful powders into a bucket and happily churn it until the substance comes close to the consistency of clouds. (haha! up to now I still think I am eating clouds when I eat iskrambol)

Being a fan of this product, I somehow have a very picky attitude towards it. I want my iskrambol like how it was originally sold on the streets- pink, airy (with no traces of ice crystals), topped with marshmallows, rice puffs, milk powder, and a generous amount of pseudo chocolate and strawberry syrups drizzled above it. 

The experience of eating iskrambol was really heavenly as a kid. I could say that it is something that can match the nostalgia and taste of a eating dirty ice-cream sandwich and fishballs.

(I took this photo of mr. iskrambolman at Quezon Province. His recipe was not pink but purple and surprisingly, it tastes likes those quickly taro drinks but at cheaper price of only P5)

The Colosseum

When I was planning our trip to Rome, one of the places that I prioritized to visit was the Colosseum. I’m really not sure why it was way above in my list of places to see but back then, I was really very excited to visit it over the equally stunning and popular Fountain of Trevi  and Spanish Steps

As I was walking around the Colosseum, images from the scenes of the movie The Gladiator played in my head. It must have been amazing to have stood beside other Romans as they watched brave and gallant men fight one another to the death. I could imagine the cheers of the crowd as they go wild when their warrior wins over the other. It must have been as crazy as our modern-day fights like boxing/UFC matches.

It was almost noon when most of the tourists left the area. This gave me the perfect time to take some photos. The lighting wasn’t very nice but I managed to take some shots with the help of my tripod and camera’s live view. I apologize for shooting it in different colors, I was still adjusting with my new camera then.

(this main road led to the Colosseum. Somehow this is a proof of the saying that “All roads lead to Rome.” haha)

Koi No Yokan

The sense one can have upon first meeting a person that the two of you are going to fall in love. Differs from “love at first sight” as it does not imply that the feeling of love exists, only the knowledge that a future love is inevitable.

This perfectly describes what I felt when I met you.

photo taken at Tokyo, Japan. 

some pictures of assisi

Here are some photos I took back when I was in Italy. Here is a place called Assisi found in the province of Perugia. It is the hometown and final resting place of Saint Francis of Assisi; a UNESCO World Heritage Site; a location in one of those Twilight movies; and is also the hometown of two other saints. 

This is the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi. In it lies the remains of the famous saint and is also a place of worship and retreat for Franciscans. This is the mother church of the Franciscans like the Church of the Gesu is for the Jesuits.

Here is another picture of the basilica from another side of Assisi.

From the side with the cathedral’s belfry.

What I like about this place is the fact that it has very thick and tall walls that reminded me of medieval movies where there is a siege in the castle. From afar, Assisi looks like an impenetrable fortress porched on top of mountain with a scenice view of the Perugian countryside.

I spent a whole day in this place trying out the different fares that the locals offered. I got a bit tipsy drinking limoncello and got so full with tartufo pasta. A nice old lady taught me the recipe to her gnocchi al tartufato because I kept on praising how good her dish was when I ate at her trattoria. It was a shame that I forgot to take her picture.

that’s all for now. have a great day :)

determination

They say that there is no such thing as extraordinary people.

There are only ordinary people with extraordinary determination.

Photo taken while eating a nice burger on one cloudy day.

shoot for the sky

While I was at Luneta Park, there were a lot of kids playing this kind of toy. It was an LED dart that you shoot up the sky with a rubberband. What makes this toy fun to play is the competition that arises on whose dart flew the highest and farthest. Being a kid at heart, I also got one for myself for just P10 and started shooting away. 

photo was taken at Luneta Park.

dreams may be dreams

I’ve always wondered where dreams came from.

What I am talking about is not the kind that we see but hardly remember when we sleep; but rather the kind of dream that moves, shakes, and consumes us to do great (even horrible) things just to achieve it. 

I’m curious about this because from the way I see it, dreams just pop out of nowhere. It was as if someone programmed these dreams and installed it to our systems. The tricky part though is the timing when these dreams do get installed and run.  

There are a very lucky few who recognize their dreams early on.  But for most of us, dreams are picked up along the way; influenced by their situation, their families, and friends. Once we realize what our dream is, we simply let go of everything else and try to pursue it the best way we can. 

But what if one never realizes what his dreams are? What if his influences point him towards a direction that he was never born to be ready for? What does this make out of that person? Will that person be a complete failure?

Are our dreams unique? Is there a possibility that someone else out there is dreaming of the same thing?

I still have a lot of questions and ideas from my mind but at this hour (and the fatigue kicking in) I would have to call it a day. It’s time for me to sleep and maybe tomorrow find a way to do something about my own dreams.

photo was taken on a wet rooftop of my favorite supermarket in Greenhills.

mayday

In the Philippines, during summer, I always look out for fire trees for its orange flowers that instantly beautify its surroundings. Although its quite rare nowadays, I think Narra trees have a similar flower but yellow.

Let’s paint the town orange shall we? :)

the photo was taken at Sacred Heart Novitiate in Novaliches, Quezon City. It is the place where Jesuits in the Philippines are born and buried. I’ve spent a few memorable days in this place finding love and peace in absolute silence.

rekindling the fire

does our past completely define us and our future? are we mere prisoners of time?

this photo was taken in an old house at Quezon where the owner is quite fond of living the old way in a place where there is no electricity or cellphone signals to distract you.

capones island. i miss thee.

Its amazing how technology allows me to write this post about Capones Island while I am waiting for my flight back to Manila from Cebu. I felt the urge to write so I gave in and started typing this impromptu post for today.

What I find very memorable with this Island was that I visited it after I stayed overnight at Anawangin Cove in Zambales. We got a small pump boat to bring us to this small island with white sand and clear waters. 

It was a very beautiful place. Me and my friends had the whole island to ourselves and we swam, made sand castles, and played cards until our skin gave up from the scorching heat of the summer sun. 

Its been two years since this visit and I am hopeful that one of these days my schedule would allow me to visit the place again. 

Happy summer folks!

the 100 year old image

This is an image of Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus. I chanced upon this more than a 100-year old image in a small chaplet in Cavite. This statue is said to have originated from Tondo after an old lady prayed to it to win the lottery. In return, she promised to construct a chapel. The following week, the old lady won the lottery. She had a chapel constructed in Cavite and made image as the chapel’s centerpiece. During the war, the chapel was destroyed but this image survived. It was then transfered to another chapel as part of the other saints on display.

Hallelujah.

ganda, my labradoodle.

This is ganda, my labradoodle.  (Labrador Retriever + Poodle

Ganda means beautiful in Filipino.

I am very proud of this dog as she is the great-grand daughter of my original dog named Blackie who is a black Labrador Retriever from Australia.

I got Blackie back in 2000 as a gift from my father. She was the first dog with papers I had. Prior to her, I’ve had a couple of mongrels, but really exceptional ones who has done a lot of heroic deeds (more on that on a future post). 

Throughout Blackie’s 8-year existence, she gave birth to more than 30 puppies of different fathers. Her very first litter of puppies was sired by a Yellow Labrador named Frodo. That set of puppies were very dear to me since I assisted Blackie during the delivery. It was a 5-hour ordeal and I had to do some stitching and cleaning of the puppies. The puppies were breast-fed and then sent to different places as each of my aunts wanted one.

I kept one dog as a companion to the mother and named her Chubby. Her sister was sent to Davao and was named Noochie, Ganda’s grandma. Noochie would then go on and have a lot of adventures in Davao like climbing Mt. Apo, the tallest mountain in the Philippines, and swim in different beaches before giving birth to another puppy.

Noochie’s daughter was a chocolate colored Labrador. Her name was Maldita and wasgiven to my other Aunt as an early present. Now what makes this lengthy genealogy interesting was that an ash colored poodle raped Maldita in the middle of the night. It was an unexpected pregnancy that resulted in a brood of weird looking puppies. There was only one blonde and pretty dog in that set and that was my dog Ganda.

From Davao, Ganda was sent to Manila on one evening through the same aunt who got a black labrador puppy from us.  By then, all of the original Labradors have passed away. We used to have more than 7 dogs at home and now we only have 3. Ganda came home to us as the newest member of the family. She now stays at the very same cage where her great grandmother Blackie used to stay.

I got Ganda last year. I never thought I’d own another dog after Blackie and Chubby passed away but now, it comes back full-circle after 11 years.

flowers for the 13th

today is friday the 13th. here are some flowers to save the day. :)