Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Wonderful Palawan

The weather wasn't about to let us get away with a planned outing. It just had to rain for straight 8 days before our arrival in Palawan. We were there at exactly the same time that the land could no longer soak in the rain water. It just had to flood.

Good thing there were other places to see in Palawan. Staying at the city, at Puerto Princesa, has its own advantages and beauty. Everything was walking distance or a 6-peso tricycle ride. There are various tourist spots. At the butterfly farm, there were, of course, butterflies! In different colors. Roaming around.

The Iwahig penal colony, with the prisoners roaming within, free to work the land, a semblance of freedom that is surely most sweet to those who experienced the nigthmare of Manila prisons.

I don't like looking down from an elevated area, especially if what you see are tens and tens of meat-eating crocodiles. Good thing they just had their meal or else they might not be that placid.

Decide to take the Honda Bay tour or in simple words... island hopping. I had fun swimming at Snake Island, named as such because of its shape. (I did see a coiled snake under the sea! And boy, did I readily leave that part of the sea!). I took a walk along one of the "hands" of the Starfish Island, with the water lapping around my feet. We had to forego a trip to Lilu Island (guess why? it is short for lulubog-lilitaw. Now, I hope you know why.) so as to visit the crocodile farm. But for sure, it would have shown me its own charms.

There abounded seafood and grilled or barbecued meat. Eat with a magnificent view of the sea. Enjoy your food in a restaurant surrounded with the artworks of a genius of an artist-owner. Just along the main road, there are small nipa huts for the tourists (and even the locals), who would want to experience eating with the provincial ambiance.

For us women, there is another wonderful thing. Everywhere you go, they offer those magnificent pearls. It seemed that we just couldn't help it but stop and see if there is something interesting to buy. And there always was.

But the most impressive? The people! Palawenos seem to ooze with kindness. It was disquieting at first. The never-ending questions. Where are you staying? Where are you from? How long are you going to be here? When did you arrive? What are you doing tomorrow? Have you been to the Underground River? How about a Honda Bay tour? In Manila, it would mean they are planning something fishy. Not in Palawan.

The van drivers who were very concerned. One waited just to make sure that we won't be stranded and brought us to a place where we could stay. Another offered to take our pictures beside touristic spots. It was so easy to ask a tricycle driver where are the good places to eat or buy the pasalubongs. Hotel staff who were most helpful. There was never that feeling that somehow they are trying to con you into something. They are honest. They are kind. They know how to take care of their tourists. They do this because they are proud of their land and knew that their future depends on visitors who must tell others to come also.

I will never forget the young boy who guided this water-fearing tourist --- > me! If not for his kindness, I wouldn't have seen those colorful fishes and missed the fun of feeding them bread from my hand! He was patient enough to point out the fishes and to suffer me holding onto his arm (despite the life vest, for the life of me, I cannot bear not to have something to hold on to!). Dove for starfishes to show us and even willing to take our pictures with them! Wonderful experience indeed!

Someday there will be a Palawan Trip 2!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Let me be

Why the nitty gritty details?

Why me? I ask with patience...

I pause, I try to smile again.

It happens everyday.

Can be fun yet at times tiring.

Just let me be, I pray again and again.

Make the rope longer.

I can do it except maybe today.

Sickness prevents me though it is no excuse.

It is over for now.

Still, it will the same thing tomorrow.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


My cakes so far...

The first one was from Goldilocks... called something like Mango Light. It was with other Embassy girls. We had a delicious lunch at this famous Japanese restaurant (why do I always forget the name?)...

The second was from Petit Four (my fave bakeshop ever! hahaha!)... with my dearest girlfriends...

Where will my next cake come from? : - )

My birthday has just began! :- )

Lion Chaser Manifesto

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don't let what's wrong with you keep you from worshiping what's right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don't try to be who you're not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away.

Chase the lion.

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson (www.evotional.com)