Month: October 2015

Brain Break (Part 2)

Here are three additional tangible pieces that are the end results of my recent brain breaks.

my first mandala
my first mandala
tree & the owls
one tree and eight owis

These can be the additional art pieces which can be exhibited in my imaginary museum.

Humanda ka nashonal myusiyum, hir ay kam… balang araw…


If you’re not touched by this song, you are not a human being!

Let me be very short and precise on this.  This song has been my song for quite some time now.  The poignant lyrics hits right through the innermost center of anyone’s heart who has been left by someone, may it be a friend, a family, a person of secret infatuation or a loved one.

If you’re not touched by this song, then, you are not a human being!

Pucha, nakakaiyak naman ‘to!

Ditumabo Falls After The Rain

Mountain trekkers know that waterfalls are at their scenic best when there has been rainfall.  That is absolutely what I saw and experienced in Aurora Province on the day I conquered the exhilarating green forest of barrio San Luis which nestles the beautiful Ditumabo Falls.

my first waterfall trek
my first waterfall trek
pahinga muna
pahinga muna

The first gait I made to accomplish this adventure, I simply let my cares drop like fallen trees.  I did not expect anything to gain with this specific venture.  I was merely trying to endure what needs to be endured during the whole time I was walking up the mountain.  Nevertheless, while pacing my initial strides, I was already feeling the freshness of the air kissing my cheeks, similar to how the cool streams of water kiss the thirsty lips of earth.

love handles galore! hahaha!
love handles galore! hahaha!
the authentic "cool waters"
the authentic “cool waters”

But as I further my trekking, I eventually felt the flowing of nature’s peace inside my being just like how sunshine flows into the leaves and branches of a tree. And as I further went up the trail, I was feeling the fresh energy of the whole forest.  I felt no pain, I felt no fatigue.  It was sheer delight and pleasantness.


And when we reached our destination, the sight of the dream-like forest mist, the look of the inviting jade-colored pool and the magnificent appearance of the robust stream of the waterfall, resulted to a total feeling of intense joy and happiness!

Ditumabo Falls after the rain is indeed magical!

Wan wid da neychur ang peg…

Perfect Imperfections of Costa Pacifica

Costa Pacifica is a high end resort/hotel place in Baler, Aurora Province.  If I am to describe this stunningly relaxing resort in one word, the word would be “imperfect”.

first shot! the sun has yet to rise when we arrived
first shot! the sun has yet to rise when we arrived
picture muna
picture muna

Though ranked as the number 1 resort in whole of Aurora province, the soft, fine and sandy beach offering of Costa Pacifica (which is literally few steps away) is not the soft white variety that you would typically find in a high end resort in the Philippines.  But you will totally forget about the color of the sand as soon as you would see the awesome color of the sunrise, hear the calming sound of the beach and experience the exhilarating swells of its waves.

amazing view
amazing view

Though the very nice facilities and ambience of this resort can already be considered perfect, the reason for its imperfection is their overwhelming customer service flexibility.  It’s more than perfect that is why I consider it ridiculously imperfect.

I know that check-in time for any resort or hotel is at 2:00 PM and request for early check-in would usually be granted starting at 10 in the morning depending on room availability.  But what is insanely surprising is that we were granted a 6:00 AM early check-in even though we did not actually insisted or demanded for it.

Upon arriving in Baler super early in the morning, we went straight to this beautiful resort just to request on the possibility of our luggage to be kept in their storage area.  And that we would just return at 2:00PM in time for our check-in.  But surprisingly, we were already offered to check-in in our room right at that very moment!

super nice!
super nice!
nice loots for nengkoy... she would hate me if i will just leave those...
nice loots for nengkoy… she would hate me if i will just leave those…
fit for a king...
fit for a king…

To prove and push further their incredible customer service flexibility, they allowed us to avail our breakfast – which by the way was a delightful buffet – on the day we arrived.  When in fact, the breakfast should only be availed the following day after we have spent overnight in that beautiful resort.

These two rare more-than-perfect experiences made me incredibly so impressed by the customer service orientation of the whole resort!  It shut off my usual petulant morning crankiness making my whole throughout stay in Baler very pleasing and relaxing.   I have been to lots of expensive hotels and resorts, but never was I granted this amazing level of generosity and flexibility.

one happy & satisfied guest...
one happy & satisfied guest…

Walang kadamot-damot… Kakaiba ka Kosta Pasipika!

The Peanut Butter That Will Tantalize Your Tastebuds

nanay pacing, i was surprised that she was the one manning the store...
the lady on the label.  i was surprised that she was the one manning the store…

In some recent past, Philippine society got so crazed up by a food paste known as Speculoos Cookie Butter.  We were so wildly insane about it, it seem like a status symbol to own at least one jar.  As if possessing one jar is to have an insane bragging right.  Filipinos then would even post a photo of their cookie butter jar on their Facebook page!

Now that the hype has calmed down  and that Trader Joe’s in California (where this spread is sold) are no longer infested with Filipinos lining up to buy jars of it, there has yet to have another food paste that Pinoy society would have to be crazy about.

While waiting for the re-emergence of such phenomenon, let me introduce you to a locally-made food spread that will tantalize your tastebuds. It’s the Nanay Pacing’s Peanut Butter!

Buying two jars of this spread was the best purchase I made when I recently been to Baler in Aurora Province.  This peanut butter, my goodness, is evil!

one rare source of gastronomic happiness
warning! highly addictive…
glad to have discovered it in baler
glad to have discovered it in baler

In case you got hold of this creamy peanut butter and tried it for yourself, and you think you did not like it, then perhaps there must be no joy in your life and I hope things would get better soon.

There are few things in this world that deserves some great recognition, Nanay Pacing’s Peanut Butter is one of them!  And because of its magical taste which emanates the secretion of happy chemical compounds in the brain, I will then submit a formal nomination of Nanay Pacing to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for Chemistry and Physiology.

Maning may mantikilya o mantikilyang may mani? Basta yami!

First Time Surfer

Not in my wildest dreams that I would be one with the waves.  The thrilling waves of Sabang Beach in Baler, Aurora Province is the site where I first learned and experience gliding on water.

While learning the basics on how to position my body and the technique on how to stand on top of the surfboard, I pity my tutor because he will have to squander tons of patience, immeasurable strength and lots of miserable time before I can finally learn to stand and ride a thrilling wave.

trip to baler is incomplete if without surfing...
trip to baler is incomplete if without surfing…
move over Mick Fanning...   the future surfer of the year is here...
move over Mick Fanning… the future surfer of the year is here…

At my present age, in which my body is two steps behind my brain, I know that being a beginner sucks! And I have always accepted the fact that the whole Pacific Ocean would first have to dry up before I’d be able to learn how to surf.

And while acting out the necessary moves being taught to me by my tutor, I was also thinking that since it would be impossible for me to attain balance and be able to stand on a moving surf, I might as well enjoy the thrill and the feeling of my body crashing and splashing down the ocean!

But lo and behold, after just few attempts and immeasurable metric tons of salty water that I drank everytime I fell off the moving surf, I was already standing atop a gliding surfboard! I was like floating on air!

ryan, my tutor was also my "taga-buhat"
ryan, my tutor was also my “taga-buhat”

I can say that the experience was indeed pure fun!  It’s the ultimate feeling of joy out from accomplishing something that you never dreamed of in the first place.

I was so ecstatic, I even hugged my instructor when he approached me telling me “Good job!”  It’s that happy feeling of accomplishment that gives me a reason to visit back this thrilling side of the Pacific Ocean.

Parang gusto ko na tuloy bumili ng tatlong piraso ng Surp Bord!

Old Majestic Tree in Aurora

Trees are considered one of life-sources.  Aside from being the great oxygen supplier, trees also makes the world a beautiful place to live in.

After seeing the majestic trees that grew from the ruins of Ta Prohm temple in Siem Reap Cambodia, I thought I will never be again fascinated by any living tree on the planet.

But after being enchanted by the massive 600+ year old tree in the town of Maria Aurora in Aurora Province here in the Philippines, I knew I am mistaken.  Hailed as the Millennium Tree, this breathtaking Balete type of a tree is considered to be the largest of its kind in the whole of Asia.

nature's gigantic masterpiece
nature’s gigantic masterpiece; i’m like meters away standing from the tree…

Unlike the massive roots of the trees in Siem Reap, people can actually enter through the hoards of root shafts of this 200 feet tall tree.

super UGAT! "inside" the massive tree
super UGAT!
“inside” the massive tree

I’m pretty sure there are higher, older and more massive trees in some tucked away and untouched forest or mountainside on the planet.  But what makes the Millennium Tree more meaningful and delightful is that people are actually allowed to climb up to a certain point so as to feel and further appreciate it firsthand.

Seeing thrilled tourists climbing up or passing through the narrow crevices of its roots were like little boys and girls being cradled by no less than the enchanting Mother Nature.

Bonggang puno…