According to Kurt Vonnegut, “bizarre travel plans are dancing lessons from God”.
This is exactly what I, JB and MJ underwent. We initially planned and agreed to go hiking on a mountain and a nature reserve east of Metro Manila. But when all plans has been ironed out and only a couple of days left prior to leaving, we suddenly changed our mind. We simply agreed to scratch the plan and instead proceed at the heavenly Villa Escudero, some 2 hours travel south of Metro Manila.
And unlike the previous 2-hour travel adventures that we had in the past in which we would either rent a private van or drive our own car, we used the public transport. We simply commuted from Manila to Quezon via passenger bus and the ever reliable tricycle. One bizarre mode of travel for us yet surprisingly comfortable!
I am glad to have changed our plans. Villa Escudero has remained an amazing Filipino destination! In summary, this is how fun we had in this beautiful place…
It’s been several times that I have been to Villa Escudero and with all those repeated moments that I have been there I always fail to have my photo right at its famous waterfalls. Maybe it’s because in my previous visits, I feel discouraged because this prominent spot at Villa Escudero is always full of people trying to have their selfies or pictures taken. There is always a frustrating photo bomber lurking within your camera frame.
But with my recent revisit, I made sure that I not only be taken a picture with, I also made sure that the whole waterfalls is all mine!
Here’s a great tip for those who are planning to visit Villa Escudero and have the waterfalls all by yourself. All you need to have is your mobile phone, a gorilla pod (a camera tripod) and an alarm clock. First thing you need to do is to set the alarm clock the night before you plan to have your awesome photos taken. Set it at 6:00 AM and make sure to wake up at 6:00 AM.
Then early in the morning bring your camera and tripod to the waterfalls. Set it up and have awesome photos and videos taken! Be there while everyone are having their breakfast. Be there before all tourists flock the site.
In light of the National Day of Protest in my country, the beautiful Philippines! Let me post a photo which would represent my protest contribution. This photo is not mine and neither have I sought authorization from the owner. I just hope that the owner (musicorspaceshuttle.com) would be generous and kind to permit me in using this photo.
Look at the photo and imagine them lifeless. This is iWire Center in Moline Illinois in its full capacity at 9,200 people during a Pearl Jam rock concert in 2014.
The full capacity of iWire Center is actually even lesser by a couple of thousands as compared to the number of extra-judicial killings and summary executions that has occurred since the day President Duterte has run and governed my country. At present, human rights groups’ count stands at 13,000 casualties.
No to Extra-Judicial Killings. And i pray that it ends soon.
I got my middle fingers up because according to the majority of the supposedly most honorable men and women in my country (the Philippines), the cost of keeping and upholding human rights for the next year is worth one thousand pesos (which is equivalent to US$20). This rubbish decision by Philippine Congress is amidst the pandemic extra judicial killings that is going on in my country.
I have been silent and have been suppressing my feelings of disgust towards how my country is now being run. There is nothing to be proud of and nothing to celebrate about this dimwit decision. Actually, this decision by the sloppy Philippine Congress is nothing but shameful! #GiveMyTaxToCHR
Strange yet true, the Filipino language is one of the unique languages on the planet that duplicates the same syllables so as to produce a word or a name. I am so used to knowing a person with the following appelations: Cheche, Ging Ging, Gly Gly, Ton Ton, Lotlot and Jon Jon. And I am not a bit surprise to hear and use these Filipino words: hakahaka (speculation), singsing (ring), guniguni (hallucinations), gabigabi (nightly) bubukaka (will spread the legs widely) or lokoloko (loony).
Other Filipino duplicated-syllable words that I don’t intend to translate are pekpek, titi, kiki and bulbul! For those people who don’t speak the Filipino language you would just have to google the translation. While for the Filipinos, I’m pretty sure they are now laughing out loud while reading this.
From my readings, one reason why my Filipino language is so used to duplicating syllables to create a meaningful word is because Filipino language as a whole seem to be composed of only simple and uncomplicated phonologies. Also, my Filipino language lacks the composition of 3-lettered consonant clusters (like using str or psy in the beginning of a word and the use of gth or rch to end a word) to make it somewhat complicated. Because of these limitations and to compensate so as to broaden the language, Filipinos unconsciously decided to duplicate simple utter-able syllables so as to create different words and meanings.
Filipinos are so accustomed to duplicating syllables as words it unconsciously spills out from our train of thought when we even speak the English language. Remember Ms. Philippines (Venus Raj) during the final Q&A round of the Ms. Universe pageant who replied that she never had any “major major” problem that she has done in her life during the 21 years of her existence. This was a top trending topic then in the twitter world during that time.
I myself would sometime unintentionally utter doubled/repeated English words as if I am suffering from palilalia especially when I am so so very very happy!
But what is even more strange is that Filipino language does not only duplicate syllables, it even triplicates it so as to even relay a different meaning for such usage of syllables. Filipino words with triplicated syllables are actually words in future tense form. Take these as examples:
Lalala (will worsen)
Dadada (going to spread a word or spill the beans)
Bababa (will descend)
Nanana (going to develop into a pus)
Papapa (will eat)
Yayaya (will invite)
Dododo (will suck from a nipple of a baby bottle)
Pupupu (gonna defecate)
Wiwiwi (gonna urinate)
Nganganga (will wide open a person’s mouth)
I was about to type hahaha which means laughing out loud! Hahaha!
I was so glad that my participation in the petition was heard and Viacom (the owners of Nickelodeon) listened. Palawan, the most beautiful island in the world, was spared! Cheers to Dora the Explorer, the Chipmunks, Spongebob and the rest of the Nick gang!
It is supposed to be the time of the year when I would write about Cinemalaya, an annual indie-film festival here in Manila. I would usually write about the movie entry that I enjoyed or touched me to the core. However, I opted not to write any of the movies I saw because it seem that the quality of films featured this year seem not worth it.
Instead, let me feature the film I saw over the last weekend. It was shown in movie houses a year ago and in the comforts of my home that I got to see Ma’Rosa, a film by the brilliant Brillante Mendoza.
Ma’Rosa is the official Philippine entry in last year’s Oscars Foreign Film category. This movie however failed to make it to the final cut of finalists. Nevertheless, this is the same movie that was an entry in last year’s Cannes Film Festival in which the lead actress Jacklyn Jose was adjudged as the Best Actress.
The story, the representation, the set and acting seem so real, it felt like I was actually groping into the lives of a poor Filipino family who only have few options of endure life’s challenges. Jacklyn Jose was so outstanding now I know why she won.
After seeing the movie, I was actually not surprised why the Film Academy of the Philippines chose this movie as last year’s entry to Oscars. It is because the elements, the texture and the narrative are all Filipino in nature in its present sorry state. The movie effectively showed and represent how it is to be poor in the Philippines.
I was also not surprised why this movie did not make it to Oscars, maybe it is because the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences of America felt that this Brillante movie was too fictional to the point of being too exaggerated. But let me oppose that. I would be one of those Filipinos who was born and raised here, who would dissent at this type of notion. Ma’Rosa is nothing but real, genuine and existent in this side of the planet.
It was a superb Filipino movie. It may not have reached the Oscars level but Ma’Rosa is one brilliant Filipino film. And I hope next year’s Cinemalaya entries would be as exceptional as this one.