Monday, June 1, 2015

282: Finding the One in Caramoan (Part I)

Last weekend my friends and I went to Bicol, then to Caramoan for our summer get away. This vacation is my 3rd and my last summer vacation. Having this place as the last is a great choice for a conclusion.

Before we settled in Caramoan, my friends and I arrived in Bicol last Saturday through Cebu Pacific. We were able to book our flight for 1,700++ (again, thanks to the Promo). I'm not sure how much is the regular cost, but the 1,700++ price to get a once in a lifetime experience is a winning case.

Before we proceeded with activities, my friends and I ate in Bigg's Diner at Albay. The place was a decent restaurant and with a good diner ambiance. Although the location does give you a local ambiance, it however, serves local favorite dish. The one I had was a pork chop with laing. It was the best! I love the laing and amazing soft meat of the pork.

Our first stop in Bicol is the Lignon Hill. This hill was supposed to give you a great view of the Mayon volcano. The ever shy Mayon volcano was not in humor that day, she hid her peak with the clouds all through out our stay. But it was such a majestic view to see her beauty in person.

here are my friends and I in the Lignon Hill
I believe that there are few activities that you can do in the Lignon Hill. I saw that there's a zip line activity and there's map for travelers to check out. We just passed by because it was so hot during that time that we cannot afford to stay longer in the place.

After the Lignon Hill, my friends went to Cagsawa Ruins. The Cagsawa Ruins is actually the historical place that we often see in our books in high school whenever we talk about Bicol. It's great that it's being preserved and kept clean in spite of the many visitors that it had.

During on the Cagsawa Ruins, there are these guys who roams around the place looking for interested tourist who wants to trek the volcano using an ATV. We paid 800 per person, but you can haggle if you are in large group. We were lucky enough that we are 13 and we were able to get the best deal.

The 800 would allow you to trek only on the foot of the volcano, but there's this 1800 price per person that will allow you to trek the 'lava trail'. We travel for a few kilometers and honestly, you'll enjoy the scenic view that you'd want to go even farther. If you'd ask me, we should have gotten the 1800 instead. But the 800 was not bad, at least you get to ride the ATV and have a decent view of the volcano.

My friends and I in the ATV
The one day trip in Bicol was great. The activities that we did were just the tip of the iceberg. I believe that there's so many things that Bicol can offer. It's just unfortunate that we did not stay long as our real goal was to get to Caramoan.

I hope you'll have your chance to immerse yourself in Bicol and get to know it as better as we had because it really deserves to be checked out.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

He dug so deeply into her sentiments that in search of interest he found love, because by trying to make her love him he ended up falling in love with her. Petra Cotes, for her part, loved him more and more as she felt his love increasing, and that was how in the ripeness of autumn she began to believe once more in the youthful superstition that poverty was the servitude of love. Both looked back then on the wild revelry, the gaudy wealth, and the unbridled fornication as an annoyance and they lamented that it had cost them so much of their lives to find the paradise of shared solitude. Madly in love after so many years of sterile complicity, they enjoyed the miracle of living each other as much at the table as in bed, and they grew to be so happy that even when they were two worn-out people they kept on blooming like little children and playing together like dogs.”

― Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Friday, May 1, 2015

281: "To me, you'll be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world"

"...To you I'm nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each
other. To me, you'll be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world ..."
- Antoine Saint Exupery ; The Little Prince
I knew that from the time that I've stroked the head of my wonderful dog, I knew it will be the last.

Don't worry Michi. We'll pray to Lord Jesus to heal you, and we'll talk tomorrow. I promise.

The last time I gently brushed my hands on her head, it was the longest. It was unusually the longest time. Maybe it's the fact that I knew deep inside that it will be the last time that I will ever pat my wonderful dog.

Lord Jesus, I pray to you to please heal my dog.

I woke up in the morning with the news that my dog has died. Indeed, God cured her permanently. My dog was with us for 11 years, I knew Jesus has a better plans for her. 11 years being with us wasn't so bad. We had 11 years of good memories. But I miss her terribly. I miss how she would wag her tail enthusiastically when I reach home and would be the first one to greet me.

Oh, Michi. How you took my heart with you. But you are with Jesus now. You are in a better place. Please, say 'hi' to Jesus for me.
I shall see you again, Michi. But not too soon, I'm afraid. I miss you my good friend.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

“I can't stand it to think my life is going so fast and I'm not really living it.” ― Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

281: Lord Jesus, help me to be able to help your people

April 15 encounter ...

"Kamusta na po?" (How are you?)
"Nako, nabundol ako kahapon. Eto o' namamaga pa yung braso ko." (Oh my, I was hit by a car yesterday. Look, my arms are still sore)

Thus said by the 93 old lady who usually sits outside the Eton Centris Mall. This lady, who had become a friend.

This is the last thing I wanted to hear. Yesterday (April 14) I was looking for her so I can give her the rosary that I told her I'd give her in replacement of what she currently had. I've noticed that the rosary that she's using as a necklace has a broken crucifix. I told her I'd buy her a new one. So I purchased it the last time I went to Manila Cathedral.

When I arrived Monday on my way to the office, I noticed that she wasn't sitting on her usual spot. So I thought I'd just give her the rosary the next day, and then when that day came, she told me the accident that had happened to her.

It was the reason why she was not on her usual spot when I was looking for her.

My heart instantly broke when I saw the bruise that she had on her arm. It was large. I asked her if the one who had ran into her helped her, she said that it was a hit and run.

During that time I was torn between telling her to come with me so I can bring her to the nearest clinic or just give her a cash and go to my office since I cannot - obviously - help her that much (my shift was about to start 30 minutes before I met her).

I reached out to my pocket and gave her a money so she can get herself checked, then I left with a heavy heart.

Here again am I just handing out bills to the person in need. But as I walking away from her I keep on mumbling 'Lord, please help me know how I can help her'. I knew I had to do something.

It took me a while to figure out, but while I was setting up my laptop on my cubicle in the office, I thought about inquiring in the clinic what medication is needed to do if one is suffering from bruises and sores. I bought what she needed and told her what the nurse told me about curing bruises. It was the best thing I can do at the moment.

There are many times that I keep on wondering how I can serve the people that Jesus entrusts me -- us --  to take care of. I keep on wondering because, on my part, I know my limitations (such as capacity to provide, etc.,) But I always pray for Jesus to help me figure out a way -- to be capable to help His people.

For the past few days, I haven't seen Nanay  yet. I pray that she's better. I never had forgotten to pray for her. I hope I can see her this Monday so I can inquire how she is faring.
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