Tuesday, April 29, 2008


So on my way back from Abra, while on a 12 hour jeepney ride, I get a text from across the ocean informing me of the great news. It was an automatic BIG smile =)

Filipino WWII veterans win Senate vote on military benefits

It could be considered too late because thousands already have died without getting their benefits, but, knowing some of the veterans personally, I'm glad their fight is over. They won. Can't wait to get back to the bay to congratulate them myself=)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Road Trippin....

So before I embark on another journey through the mountains, I wanted to at least give a little snippet of these past two weeks.

It started as a trip to Sagada with my cousin, and continued on to one adventure after another. A festival in Bontoc, then three nights in Sagada--hiking to a waterfall, finding hanging coffins in Echo Valley, and a 3-hour journey through an underground river with squeaking bats along connection caves.

Followed by an bumpy 6 hour bus ride back to Baguio. Bummed around here and there to surprisingly meet with my uncle and aunt who are visiting from Alaska---who so happened to be going to Sagada. I had to join them again! So after three nights in Baguio, spent another six hours in a van back to beautiful Sagada--which led me to a bus and jeepeney ride to the WONDERFUL Banaue Rice Terraces. So wonderful, its referred as the "eighth" wonder of the world.

I know the pace I am describing these two weeks is quite fast, but let me tell you, time stops when I'm here along the Cordillera Mountains. Breathing in her fresh air, meeting the warm people here, absorbing the simplicity of life, walking through forests, climbing mountains, exploring dirt paths, and my most favorite of all dipping my feet in the rice terraces--learning how to harvest, taking photos, and talking to the farmers who spend 10-12 hours a day with their backs bent only to be paid three dollars a day. My trip through the terraces would not have been complete without feeling the muddy earth in between my toes.

I'm supposed to be somewhere in India right now... But as everyday passes, I'm glad I stuck to my gut.

(These two photos taken by talented photographer John Javellana)

The crazy photogs I was forced to cook for...haha...joke lang, but not really. Chicken manok!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

the little things, there's nothing bigger

a clip of a favorite scene of a favorite movie with one of my favorite songs...ladies and gentelmen we are floating in space.

so it's down to the last month of this "lakaran"-- or pilgrimage, or journey to the motherland.

i've been feeling quite homesick lately. quite so...

(photo by bigmikelakers on flickr)

yes, that is a photo of the 280... i loves it. April 2nd marks the bday of three dear people in my life. Happy Birthday Maricel, Daniel, and Happy 92nd Birthday Manong Hernando. He's the leading man in my documentary about the WWII Filipino Veterans. The last time I saw him, he was in tears, and that brought me to tears. I remember when I first met him, he was so charming and very sharp...always smiling. I would visit him at the veteran center in San Jose and he would always want to dance. "Did you bring your dancing shoes," he would ask me every Sunday.
He is a great man and is always open to share his war stories and how he still and will continue to fight for what is rightfully his and thousands of other veterans. But the last time I saw him, he was not doing too well. He can't walk on his own anymore, he fell and broke his hip. According to his daughter, he falls a lot. I don't know how he is doing right now, but I hope he is having a great birthday. I do miss doing the cha-cha with him tho...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Just a quote I like...
"In life, each person can take one of two attitudes: to build or to plant. The builders might take years over their tasks, but one day, they finish what they're doing. Then they find they're hemmed in by their own walls. Life loses its meaning when the building stops.

Then there are those who plant. They endure storms and all the many vicissitudes of the seasons, and they rarely rest. But unlike a building, a garden never stops growing. And while it requires the gardener's constant attention, it also allows life for the gardener to be a GREAT ADVENTURE.

Gardeners always recognise each other, because they know that in the history of each plant lies the growth of the whole World."
-Paulo Coelho

Just a thought I had....

I remember back in eighth grade one of assignments was to write a paper starting with the quote, "Life is a journey, not a destination." I got a D, on that paper, and I don't remember what I wrote... but its been 10 years, and that quote still lingers. Eh, I guess as an eighth grader about to graduate and go into high school, Mr. Norris and Mr. Scaramuzzo had the intention for us to at least think about the new door that was awaiting to be open. Since then, I'm not quite sure how many doors I've opened, closed, passed through, stood at the doorway, or heard the knock only to leave it unanswered.

Not just an ad... I may not like the product, but I love the message, and the cinetography. Beautiful.