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Posted in Uncategorized on July 18, 2010 by BatangMangyan



Posted in Masarap Maging Dayuhan with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2010 by BatangMangyan

konnichiwa (hello)– ohayo gozaimasu (good morning) — sumimasen (excuse me)– do itashimashite (you’re welcome)– domo arigato (thank you very much) – sayonara (goodbye) —  some kind words i learned from my recent trip to the land of the rising sun. and here are some interesting facts about Japan and some of my experiences which made my stay absolutely fantastic:

Japanese, in general, are so polite.  though English for most of them is an extra challenge, if you ask for anything, they would find ways to extend help.  and  as a sign of respect, they would bow their head down to waist level – Taragis!

I thought KYOTO is Japan’s old capital, it’s not.  i’ve learned that NARA was then  Japan’s capital prior to KYOTO and TOKYO.  it is a small city, just an hour- train ride from OSAKA.   NARA describes the old Japan – i’ve seen typical Japanese villages, old temples and even some geishas around – Ayos!

Japan’s railways, subways and bullet trains are no less than “ASTIG”, haha.  it’s quite confusing at first, but sooner  you’ll get used to it.  these systems simply made life in Tokyo and the whole of Japan a lot more easier!

Taxi! Oops, never open the door! Astig, door automatically opens and closes for you, para lang prinsipe ang sasakay, waaah. only in Japan??

Sakura a.k.a. Cherry Blossoms.  I have no idea that Sakura leaf is edible until my friend gave me a bread with fresh, caramelized Sakura leaf on it, it tastes good though. 

Japan’s spring weather during my stay, according to Yahoo’s 10-day forecast, was supposed to be 10-20 degrees, but H—  nah, t’was 3-9 degrees C and imagine, I only brought a windbreaker, tees, and shorts thinking that it’s gonna be just like Baguio, later to find out that Japan’s weather is so erratic especially during transition.  it was freezing and left no choice but to get fleece jacket and  thermals (putek GINTO ang presyo, waaah)!

Ramen House –  Irasshaimase! Walastic, Japanese authentic noodles, magicSARAP!  Noodles freshly done in front of me, SUPERB!

Sushi Bar – maguro (tuna), salmon, mackerel, king crab, caviar, name it, you can have it — walang binatbat ang DADS.

Get drunk with Nihonshu or sake ( “sake” is also the general Japanese term for alcohol), it is brewed using rice, but it’s more like our local coconut wine a.k.a. LAMBANOG.  Sake is served mostly at Izakaya, Japanese term for restobar.

On my 9th day, 3 men in black approached me as I exited at Akihabara station (a.k.a. electronic town in Tokyo)— haha, as expected… immigration police!  While these guys were talking in Japanese (syempre di ko maintindihan), I just answered back, “YES?, I’m really sorry guys, I don’t understand what you’re trying  to say, anyway, here’s my passport”, that’s it, they just needed my passport and tried to look for my visa.  then, they gave me back my passport and said “Sorry. Domo arigato”. Haha. nice experience, I should have asked them to have some pics with them- sayang!

Onsen — a term for hot springs in the Japanese language.  the last but the best experience I’ve had.   Just google it to find out or you may want to go to JAPAN to know what an ONSEN really is. Astig!

Japan has a lot more to offer.  The cities I’ve visited: Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Tokyo, and Yokohama are truly remarkable.  I encourage you to visit Japan.  Though it’s a common knowledge that everything in Japan is expensive yet of good quality, yes it is.  My Japan adventure is totally different from my other trips and I consider this as one of my best trips, though expensive, i’d still say “I shall return.”  Travelling though is not about how much you spend, it’s all about how much you gain from it. 

But how frustrating it was that I haven’t seen any Japanese paper… walang PAPEL DE HAPON sa JAPAN? waaaaaaaah!

Gone in 13 days.

Posted in Masarap Maging Dayuhan with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 6, 2010 by BatangMangyan

Before archie finally migrated to the US in 2005 (that was a long a time though haha), we decided to make a short trip across Southeast Asia to spend some time together abroad, to escape from work (haha), to have some imported beer and “pulutan”—and of course another adventure to add to our several trips together here in the Philippines.  Since all of us three couldn’t afford much time to go on-leave, we had to squeeze our visit to five countries: Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Singapore in just 13 days.   We had a total of four flights, two bus rides and a boat ride to finish our trip.  Each country has a unique picture, and each photo I have here simply describes its distinct beauty.

Our first stop:  Selamat Datang! Malaysia – as what Malaysians say, it’s truly Asia!  Departing from Clark @ 10pm via Air Asia, we reached KLIA @ past 1am.   To save money (tipid tip no.1), we just stayed at the airport until 7am before we went to KL via KLIA Express.  We spent the whole day roaming around downtown KL. Of course we landed first at the magnificent Petronas Towers, then KL Tower, had lunch @ little India (tried a lot of indian food), then @ night, had some beer @ beach club café.  The next morning, with our huge backpack, we took the monorail going to Bukit Bintang, stayed there for a while, bought some souvenirs, tried some malaysian dishes and then went to the airport via KLIA express to catch our flight to Bangkok in the afternoon.   Terima Kasih!   

Next stop: Bangkok, Thailand (3rd day).  Sawasdee Amazing Thailand!  We arrived at the airport @ dinner time.  From the airport, we took a bus (tipid tip no.2) bound for Silom, where the famous Patpong (known as a red light district at the heart of Bangkok) is located – also a busy night market!  We had dinner along the side street of Silom (tipid tip no.3), had some thai noodles and the famous tom yum.  The next day, we had a typical thai breakfast along the street, Winner!  We strolled around Bangkok, visited the grand palace, a lot of temples, then spent the rest of the day at Chatuchak market, the largest weekend market in Bangkok.  Of course, the night wasn’t complete without a bottle of Singha, Thailand’s pride!  KHOB-KUN Thailand!

Fifth Day:  In the morning, we left Bangkok via a provincial bus and reached the Thailand-Cambodia border at lunch time.   After 2 hours in the line for immigration procedures and security check, finally we crossed the border.  We hired a taxi to bring us to Siem Reap, the home of the Ancient Angkor (a must-see paradise).  After a 5-hour drive, we finally reached Siem Reap, immediately we had dinner and had some Angkor beer (first night pa lang beer na!)  We spent 2 days to see the Angkor, truly– AMAZING!   On the 8th day, we left Siem Reap early in the morning and went to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, visited temples, the historical killing fields during the time of Polpot (leader of Cambodian communist movement), and walked around the city and at night had some Angkor beer by the bay.

9th Day:   Early morning we left Phnom Penh for Vietnam – about 5 hrs to reach the border, and then another 2.5 hrs to reach Ho-chi-minh City (formerly Saigon). we arrived at the city earlier than expected and we had enough time to stroll downtown and have some shopping, and had snack @ Jollibee.  Of course at dinner, we tried the famous vietnamese noodles and some authentic vietnamese dishes.  We spent our night at Eden Bar, had some Saigon Beer and of course we tried our very own SMB — “masarap pala ang feeling” when you encounter Philippine products abroad, we were so proud then.  Thank you, Vietnam.

10th Day! Welcome to Singapore!  Finally we reached the first world (haha)!  Airport pa lang, astig na! we spent 3 days in Singapore. We went to Sentosa , took the cable car.  then we went to chinatown and little india –food trip (tipid tip no.4)!  Had some shopping @ orchard road, hangout with pinoy friends @ lucky plaza – tagged as the Philippine department store in Singapore, met a lot of OFWs (saludo ako sa mga bagong bayani).   Had so much fun! (In the picture @ the lower right: Don, Archie & Joel (BatangMangyan)

Finally, the 13-day trip is over!  Much fun, not so expensive though (courtesy of promo flights and cheap backpacker’s inn we discovered in The Lonely Planet).  Indeed, the trip was no less than extraordinary!  We learned a lot of things – discovered different cultures/values, tried various dishes (this is what I like most haha), and of course met a lot of people.  Along this new adventure, the most important thing is the time we spent together, truly it’s exceptional.   And I’d say that it’s not how many hours we spent; it’s how much we put into the hours. 

“The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything.  They just make the best of everything.”

Byaheng 2010

Posted in Masarap Maging Dayuhan with tags , , , , on December 31, 2009 by BatangMangyan

I got an email an hour ago, it’s a poem written by Andrew, he is my eldest sister’s son who is currently working overseas (mabuhay ang mga OFW). The poem talks about mishaps in 2009 and the challenges of 2010. And I want to share it with you thru my blog in time with the 2010 countdown. Wishing you all a meaningful 2010 and the years ahead. God bless us all.

(Ngitngit, Galit, Inggit at ang Biyaheng 2010)

ni Andrew Faye Semilla

Tatlong daan at animnapu’t limang araw ang nagdaan,
Karanasang sukdulan sa kaibuturan ang aming naramdaman,
Mga pangyayaring kailanman ay hinding-hindi malilimutan,
At sa tingin ko ay wala sinuman ang nais itong alalahanin pa at balikan.

Nuwebe ang taon na kung kelan nangyari ang mga paghahamon,
Mga sakuna, trahedya, kamatayan, dagok ang siyang sa atin ay lumamon,
Kahirapang nagpalugmok pa sa madlang tanging dasal ngayon sa Poon
Na sana sa taong hinaharap ay hindi na muling maranasan ang ganitong panahon.

Ang taong ito ay nag-iwan ng mala-delubyong pangyayari,
Nagsimula noong Enero’ng problemang dulot at dala nina Hayden Kho at Halili,
Pumagitna sa taon ang paghagupit ng makasaysayang Ondoy, Pepeng at mga buhawi,
At nagtapos sahumahambalos na pagputok ng pinakaperpektong bulkang Mayon na kumakandili.

Simulan natin ang kwento sa pagpanaw ng mga kilala at karespe-respeto,
Nasilayan natin ang pamamaalam, huling sayaw, kanta at huling mga El Bimbo,
Tulad nina Michael Jackson, Patrick Swayze at ang sarili nating si Kikong pilipinong-pilipino,
Talaga namang ang luksa ay umabot sa bawat sulok ng mundong ito.

Sa larangan ng pulitika, mga Pilipino’y muling nasubukan,
Mga pangyayaring sanhi ng dalamhati’t ngitngit sa muling kasaysayan,
Nang namayapa si Cory, ang unang ina ng perlas ng silanganan,
At ang karumal-dumal na pagpaslang sa Maguindanao nang pamilya Ampatuan.

Ngayong taon din natin nakita kung paano gumalaw ang pulitika sa bayan.
Dahil sa ang eleksyon ay ilang buwan na lamang na masisilayan.
Kaya naman sunod-sunod na ang mga bakbakan at patayan,
Daig pa ang World War II sa dala nitong takot sa madlang-bayan.

Napag-usapan na rin ang eleksyong kaabang-abang,
Nagsimula na rin naglipana ang mga buktot sa kapangyarihan at makabagong aswang,
Mga paru-parong ligaw at mga lintang pilit na kumakapit sa punyal ng kayamanan
At mantakin nyo’y pati ngani’y pangulo’y muling tatakbo dahil sa siba at katakawan.

Trahedya, sakuna,pinsala at delubyo,
Paglubog ng mga barko at pagbagsak ng mga eroplano
Pagkawasak ng bansa dahil sa dulot ng mga baha’t bagyo,
Ay iilan lamang sa bakas na iiwan ng taong ito sa bawat Pilipino,

Ang 2009 ay taon, na ang mga kababayan natin ay nasubukan ang angking kabayanihan
Sa kabila ng dalamhati’t kadilima’y, si Juan dela Cruz ay pilit na tumayo at lumaban,
Walang nagawa ang mga bagyo sa lakas ng pwersa ng mamamayan,
Dahil sa kapit-bisig, ang lampas sa tao na baha ay talaga namang nalampasan.

Talaga nga namang ang nuwebeng ito ay walang sinuman ang makakalimot.
Sa hapdi, pasakit, kirot at rubdob sa damdami’y talaga namang sumusuot.
Mga pangyayaring nais nang mawala at pilit na ibabaon sa limot,
Dahil sa nangangarap na sana ang 2010 ay hindi na tayo muling sisimangot.

Tanging dasal ko sa pag-alis ng nuwebe sa atin,
Ay madala nito ang lahat ng dusa at pasakit at tuluyan ng kalimutin,
Na sana sa pagpasok ng ika-sampu sa buhay ng bawat isa sa atin,
Ay mayroon tayong magandang umagang sisilalayan at mamahalin.

Sana sa pagtatapos ng unang dekada ng milenyong ito,
Matuto na sana tayo sa idinulot ng mga kasaysayang tulad ng ganito,
Na ang tanging naging pahiwatig nito ay magkaisa at mahalin ang ating mundo
Pahalagahan natin ang biyayang handog ng Ama nating sa ati’y nagmamahal, tapat at totoo.

Harapin natin ang DYIS nang may galak,
Maligayang Pasko at masaganang bagong taon sa lahat!

Seven Days of White Christmas

Posted in Masarap Maging Dayuhan with tags , , , , , , on December 6, 2009 by BatangMangyan


I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
Where the treetops glisten,
 and children listen to hear sleigh bells in the snow 

 During Christmas since my childhood, i’d always hear nanay singing the song “White Christmas” and since then, i started to like the song (no choice, haha) and even used to sing the same during Christmas programs in my elementary days. I never thought nor dreamed to experience a white Christmas because for me it’s impossible.  surprisingly, it was last year that i had my first white Christmas.  

it was on December 24 of last year, taking the 10pm flight, I left for San Francisco. with me was my best friend don, we were set to spend Christmas with other best friends rchie and his wife janice, who are presently living in the US. the airport was so quiet then, the flight was not full, I was quite sad yet excited.    

But before I left for the airport at 7pm, I spent dinner with my mom, my other siblings, nephews and nieces, though still early, we had our “noche buena”, nanay was emotional then, t’was my first time to spend Christmas afar, but in my heart I knew that she’s kinda happy for me because her dream of having a white Christmas would now be a reality, not to her though, but to me 🙂  

To cut this long story, I have here my seven days of white Christmas –- what I have received (unexpectedly) – presents, surprises, treats, wishes; places where I’ve been — and more.  really it was a meaningful Christmas. 

on the first day of white Christmas — @ noche Buena, a honey glazed huge turkey ham for me.  sa pilipinas, pang mayaman lang ang turkey, shocked ang batangmangyan haha.  aside from this, we had fun games after noche buena, got 29 bucks from the scavenger hunt, a billabong shirt from rchie & janice, 50 bucks from janice’s mom, and more gifts from janice’s family and friends– ang saya ng Pasko unang araw pa lang.  and in the morning of Dec. 25, @ 11am, we attended the mass.  Happy birthday Jesus! 

on the second day of white Christmaswhat a real Christmas Tree.  I didn’t  notice that it’s a real tree until the second day, i came across the Christmas Tree at the living room and smelled a real tree.  Putek, totoong puno.  Hahays, I learned that the trees are grown for one year and sold during Christmas.  Astig!  A six-foot tree costs 150 bucks.

how about a stroll at a Filipino neighborhood, houses full of Christmas lights – para lang nasa policarpio street in mandaluyong.  weather is too cold.  ang sarap ng kwentuhan at bidahan.  

on the third day of  white Christmas —  got a new watch…i love my tag. haha. while having a leisure walk around downtown San Francisco, saw a watch store and decided to get a new one, a white Christmas gift for myself. 

on the fourth day of white Christmas —  Let it snow today!  a Christmas treat to RENO-Nevada courtesy of rchie and janice.  @ dawn of the 4th day of Christmas, we left for RENO and along the road, we passed by these mountains fully covered with snow.  hahays, real snow.  was so happy then.  my photos could tell how happy I was.  Really a white Christmas! 


on the fifth day of white Christmas — got a new shades…i love my oakley.  Every time I’d go to a new place, I’d make it sure to get or buy something. and since RENO is a new place to me then, i’ve had to get a second Christmas gift for myself, hahaha. 

on the sixth day of white Christmas —- a three-night stay at Peppermill, a casino hotel in RENO, still a part of the Christmas treat courtesy of rchie and janice.  Sarap ng may best friends sa US. Libre!  Since we’re in a casino hotel, I played the slot machines and even tried to play a 3-card poker. It was fun.  I won a 100 bucks. Yahoo! 

on the seventh day of white Christmas  —  Let it snow again! On our way back home, we stopped again at a different snow park.  it was a fine day, snow was so fresh and white, snowfall had just stopped.   It was fun playing on the snow. it was hard to believe that really i was enjoying a white Christmas. 

indeed, i had a fun and meaningful Christmas last year!  Yet, the most important thing to remember when we are thinking about Christmas is that, it’s not just about presents/gifts, or Santa Claus or singing carols.  It’s not just about the place where to celebrate nor just the people to be with. Wherever we may be at, whoever we may be with, the most important thing to instill in our heart and mind is the true meaning of Christmas —–  a celebration of the incredible act of  LOVE HE has given us. 

A blessed and meaningful Christmas to everyone mula sa puso ng BatangMangyan!

In His Footsteps

Posted in Masarap Maging Dayuhan with tags , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2009 by BatangMangyan

Should I say I am so blessed and thankful to have this once in a lifetime opportunity to have travelled and literally walked on the lands where Jesus lived, died and ressurrected – walking where Jesus walked, where the prophets prophesized, and where the apostles lived, was thrilling beyond words.  In return, I am so proud and happy to share this blessing with you thru this post (it’s been awhile tho since my last post hehehe).

Since i was a kid in my religion class (during my elementary & high school days) and read the Holy Bible laging first honors sa Religion class haha, i dreamed of going to the Holy Land.  To my surprise, this dream came true when i was sent to Israel to attend a 3-week training program on agribusiness (marketing & export management- but of course am not gonna detail on this thing ) and fortunately, I had the chance to visit most significant places associated with Jesus – sacred places which I’ve only encountered in the Bible and usually seen on NGC – but now with my naked eyes (soooo amazing, unbelievable – beyond these words nga, haha).  I don’t know where to begin to speak of my experiences on this trip — to talk about how much I learned, what wonderful things I saw, how spiritually emotional it was to touch, see, feel, smell all that Jesus touched, saw, felt and smelled.  Each stop was filled with so much wonderful stuff that it was hard to believe that the next stop could be better– but it always was.Mt. PrecipiceI’ll start with the first stop @ Mt. Precipice, Nazareth – according to Catholic tradition, the site where Jesus leaped from the hill after having been chased from the synagogue.  At the top of the cliff, you can see the fantastic views of the Yizrael valley and the round-shaped Mount Tabor in the background. Inside the Church of The AnnunciationChurch of The Annunciation





Still in Nazareth is the Church of The Annunciation – the site where, according to Roman Catholic tradition, the Annunciation took place. Greek Orthodox tradition holds that this event occurred while Mary was drawing water from a local spring in Nazareth.  How amazing, how goldilocks haha!  Sea of GalilleeI wish I could have walked also (like Jesus did) over the waters of Galillee – renowned for being the beautiful waterfront before where Jesus performed His miracles (the story of Jesus calming the stormy waters and the infamous feeding of the multitude), it has also been acknowledged in the New Testament as a lush and bountiful giver of life; a rich source of fish stock for the Israelites. Standing there I could just imagine how our Lord Jesus first proclaimed it to His disciples in Biblical times — and then a big chill went down my back, nakakakilabot talaga.Jordan RiverBaptism @ Jordan





Get wet @ the Jordan River.  Running from the Sea of Galilee into the Dead Sea, it was extremely important as a source of water during biblical times.  Jesus came to the Jordan River to seek his own baptism from John the Baptist.   The water is so calm, fresh and clean – uminom pa nga ang batangmangyan – and luckily I was able to bring home some haha (bottled water from the holy land).  Town of Jesus Synagogue of Jesus




 A quick stop in Capernaum – where Jesus did most of his preaching and healings.Mt. of OlivesGethsemani





A short climb to Mount of Olives: a place of many of Jesus’ activities; Dominus Flevit, where Jesus cried over Jerusalem; Ascension Church and The Our Father Church. Beit Faji Church, where Jesus started his ride towards Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.  Gethsemani where Jesus suffered the agony in the garden right before his crucifixion. Jerusalem

Few places inspire such passion as Jerusalem. Its significance to Jews, Christians and Muslims endures. The Israeli capital’s major sites include the Old City, the Wailing Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (the tomb), Via Dolorosa (the way of the cross), and the Dome of the Rock- the third-holiest Islam shrine in the world. The Old City is easily explored on foot. Away from the religious sights, jazz clubs, hip restaurants, arthouse cinemas and edgy theater entertain Jerusalem’s 725,000 inhabitants and constant stream of visitors and pilgrims.

The Way of the Cross

Via Dolorosa - The Way of the Cross

Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, I kissed the stone on which Jesus’ body was laid down and was anointed after death and before entombment.   At that moment, I felt a big chill went down my whole body, then tears started to fall – I cried, wala akong nasabi kundi “salamat po Panginoon”.  Those were tears of joy, tears of contentment, mga luha ng pasasalamat – I felt the presence of Jesus – and I’d say this was the higlight of my trip to Jerusalem.  By chance, I am now a certified Jerusalem Pilgrim. The Dead Sea

What was different about a refreshing morning swim in a clear turquoise water of Jordan River?  How about if it’s in the Dead Sea?! My Last stop — The Dead Sea – it has 37% salt in it or it is 6 times saltier than other seas, so we’re absolutely buoyant and float up (nakalutang kahit hindi marunong lumangoy, haha astig!).  The Dead Sea is 1,200 ft. below sea level – the lowest point on Earth.

We travelled on to the northern edge of the Dead Sea and the Judean Desert and beyond, had a glimpse of a greener Jordan Valley and Jericho.

Unfortunately, the group wasn’t able to have a peek on the Church of Nativity in Betlehem and also the city of Jericho while these two cities are currently under the Palestinian Government. 

The knowledge of the scriptures, the events of Christ’s life, the historical sites I visited – was no less than amazing.  No question was left unanswered.  And everything I saw was up close and personal. I don’t know if my words will encourage you somehow to visit Israel, or maybe dream of going there someday – maybe sooner or later (maybe some of you had already been there).   I would highly recommend it.  It is a life changing experience.

The Gospels now have a face.  I have walked in His footsteps and my memories from this trip are of a value untouched and unparalleled by money.  Yet the most important thing is that we continue to walk in His footsteps, follow His teachings that will guide us to a more meaningful journey of life — that will lead us all to our ultimate destination.  

“The strenght of a man consists in finding out the way God is going, and going that way.”

Paraiso: Sa Kabila ng Malagim na Pagsabog

Posted in Ang Ganda ng Pilipinas with tags , , , , , , on September 6, 2009 by BatangMangyan

noong isang buwan lamang ay napabalita na ipapasara na ang mt. pinatubo para sa mga trekker (lokal o banyaga) dahil sa pagkasawi ng 2 french tourists at 9 na pinoy at ilan pang nawawala, matapos nilang akyatin ang bundok.  ano nga bang meron sa tuktok ng bundok?

natatandaan ko noong 1991, isang malagim na pagsabog ang naganap sa mt. pinatubo at libu-libong buhay ang napawi, maraming pamilya ang nawalan ng tirahan at kabuhayan.  halos nagmistulang disyerto ang lalawigan ng zambales, tarlac, pampanga at ilan pang kalapit na probinsya sa dulot nitong lahar na halos umabot pa sa mindoro ang abo noong kasalukuyang sumasabog ang bulkan.   makalipas ang halos isang dekada, napabalita na isa nang tourist attraction ang mt. pinatubo.  una ko itong nabasa sa mabuhay magazine, at binalak ko, na kung may pagkakataon ay aakyatin ko ang bundok.

isang kaopisina ang nagyaya sa akin para umakyat sa mt. pinatubo, at maswerte ang batangmangyan at nabigyan ng pagkakataon na makasama sa adventure na ito.

ikalawa ng madaling araw nang umalis ang bus sa cubao patungong capas, tarlac.  pagdating sa capas sa ganap na ika-5 ng umaga, ay sumakay kami ng jeep patungong sta. juliana, na kung saan magsisimula ang pinatubo adventure.  kinailangan namin na makarating sa lugar bago mag-ikapito, bago pa magsimula ang “balikatan exercises ng mga US military” na kasalukuyang ginaganap noon sa sta. juliana.4X4 4X4





kasama namin ang dalawang local guides, ito ang aming sinakyan nang halos isang oras para marating ang simula ng paglalakad (simula pa lang pala, akala ko doon na). gabundok na agos ng lahardalawang oras at kalahati na paglalakad sa tubig, bato, buhangin, abo – bago namin marating ang mt. pinatubo.  sumasakit na ang likod ko, ang binti at paa sa sobrang tagal ng paglalakad, at halos ayoko ng ituloy sa sobrang pagkainip at pagod.   naaliw lang talaga ako sa kasama naming guide, kasi nasasagot nya ang lahat ng tanong ko, kahit wala na itong kinalaman sa mt. pinatubo (kakulet ng batangmangyan eh).pagod na pero ngiti pa rinnakisama naman ang panahon kasi hindi naman masyadong sumikat ang araw noon.   kaya sinamantala ko na rin ang paliligo sa bawat tubig na madaanan YAHOO.sarap maligomag-aalas onse na ng marating namin ang paanan ng bundok. TARAGIS! taragis ang nasabi ko sa guide, kasi paanan pa lang pala ‘yon.  May aakyatin pa pala kami para marating ng tuluyan ang bunganga ng bulkan.  Sa pananabik na malaman kung anong meron sa itaas, nagmadali na ang grupo sa pag-akyat sa makitid at madamong daan pakyat ng bundok.paanan ng bundokmga kalahating oras din ang aming inakyat — TARAGIS ULIT.  ito ang tumambad sa mga mata ng batangmangyan..isang paraiso wala akong nasabi kundi – OMG – haha.  nawala ang pagod, sakit ng paa, gutom – sa pagkamangha sa aking nakita.   putek, hindi ko pa pala narating ang crater ng bulkan.  kailangan pang bumaba para maramdaman ang lamig ng tubig sa bunganga ng bulkan.  mga sampung minuto pa na lakad pababa at narating namin ang maladalampasigan na bunganga ng bulkan.paraiso sa bundok ng pinatubosyempre, walang sinayang na oras ang batangmangyan, ligo agad, pero teka, sobrang lalim, wala akong makapa na lupa, haha, floating ang katapat, buti na lang marunong ako lumutang. wow pinatubo!isang oras din ang inilagi namin sa bunganga ng bulkan, inilatag namin ang dalang tent, nagpahinga, at iginayak ang dala-dalang mga pagkain at sandaling nagsalu-salo.  syempre may adobo, sardinas, tinapay, kanin, sisig. at nagulat ang lahat – ang dala ng batangmangyan ay dalawang lata ng SPAM LIGHT 50% less salt – hahaha. taragis.  matapos kumain at magpahinga, ay kinailangan na namin lisanin ang bunganga ng bulkan.   kailangan namin marating ang sta. juliana bago mag ikalima ng hapon bago magsara ang gate ng kampo ng balikatan. 4X4=16masasabi ko na sa kabila ng malagim na pagsabog ay isa na ngayong paraiso ang tuktok ng mt. pinatubo.    ang pinatubo adventure ng batangmangyan ay isa sa pinakanatatanging karanasan na mananatiling buhay sa kanyang ala-ala at isang patunay lamang ito ng katatagan, lakas at tibay ng loob, tiyaga, at hindi pagsuko sa anumang hirap at pagod marating lang ang tuktok ng tagumpay.

Tara, byahe na —  sasamahan ko kayong tuklasin ang ganda ng Mt. Pinatubo.

“Never stop exploring!”

Coffee Prince Road

Posted in Masarap Maging Dayuhan with tags , , , , , , on August 23, 2009 by BatangMangyan






‘di naman ako mahilig manood ng tv – maliban sa NGC at Starsports, at lalong hindi rin mahilig manood ng telenobela. pero bakit ba sikat na sikat ang mga koreanobela sa pilipinas? madalas ko madinig noon ang“coffee prince” at “full house”. kaya pala, pretty naman kasi ‘yong bida na si andy, pero mas trip ko si jessie ng full house, nagkalat ang picture nya sa bahay namin, paborito kasi sya ng pamangkin ko. given the chance to visit korea, i’ll find jessie – hahaha.

demilitarized zone

demilitarized zone

 bingo! natupad ang dream ng batang mangyan, isang araw, nagising na lang ako na naglalakad sa isang demilitarized zone (DMZ) – ito pala ang common grounds ng south at north korea – lahat ng dialogues/ negotiations at kung anu-ano pang mga bagay-bagay between the two nations, are held here, napakaganda ng place. medyo malayo man ito sa seoul, pero pinilit kong marating kasi nandito ang highlights ng history ng dalawang bansa – hindi ko na ikukwento dito, i-google n’yo na lang, hindi kasi ako nakinig sa tourist guide.

1988 Seoul Olympic

 marami pang tourist spots sa seoul at outside seoul. malinis sa seoul, kahit hindi gaanong friendly ang mga tao – (cultural thing, igalang natin)  pero disiplinado.  masasarap ang pagkain, kakaibang mga street foods – hindi ko ’yon pinalampas. syempre ginala ko ang olympic village, theme parks, ibat-ibang museums, art gallery na pwedeng kausapin ang mga paintings, ito ang pinakauna sa buong mundo na interactive ang mga displays. naitanong ko pa nga kay monalisa kung nakakaintindi s’ya ng tagalog, at ang sagot n’ya, “i am sorry parang si PGMA lang sumagot,  i don’t understand” hahays. astig.

seoul tower

hindi ko din pinalampas ang seoul tower, spring noon kaya nakakita din sa wakas (on my way up to seoul tower) ng mga cherry blossoms na sa magazines ko lang nakikita. binisita din ng mangyan ang typical korean villages na taragis ang pagkasosyal kung ikukumpara sa mga mangyan villages sa mindoro huhuhu.  syempre maraming palasyo ang napuntahan ko, kabilinbilinan kasi ng ate ko na bisitahin ko daw si jumong at si jang geum, pero wala sila pareho, ‘tsaka di ko sila kilala. pasensya na ate ko, ang goal ko lang naman talaga eh makita si jessie at wala ng iba. sa mga night market, puro pictures ni andy ang nakikita ko, wala ni isang picture ni jessie. nalungkot naman ako kasi parang hindi ko masisilayan si jessie baliw ang batangmangyan kay jessie. 

pinsan daw s'ya ni jumong

pinsan daw s'ya ni jumong

 matapos ang pamamasyal, nagtanong–tanong ako sa mga kababayan doon, malayo daw pala ang “full house”, tatawid pa ng dagat, hahays –meaning hindi ko talaga masisilayan si jessie. mas accessible daw ang “coffee prince”, malapit lang daw sa lugar na aking tinatambayan. so, ayun naman pala, may andy pa to the rescue haha.

coffee prince logo

isang araw bago umuwi ng maynila, natapos na ang tour at wala ng magawa, nagpasya na lang ako na hanapin ang coffee prince, instead. inaya ko ang ilang kasamahan na magkape sa coffee prince. ilang train stations din bago namin narating ang coffee prince road.  maraming beses din kaming nagtanong sa mga koreano pero parang napakaordinaryo para sa kanila ang “coffee prince”. mahaba rin ang nilakad namin para marating ang coffee shop.

The Coffee Prince

The Coffee Prince

naknang! isang maliit at napaka-simpleng kapehan lang pala ang coffee prince. hahaha. kaagad umorder ng kape ang batang mangyan (mas masarap pa syempre ang sariling atin na kapeng barako ng batangas), tapos walang hinto na pictorial sa loob at labas ng coffee shop. nagtitinginan sa amin ang mga koreanong halos wala ng mata sa pagkasingkit. tumambay at namahinga sa pagkapagod sa kakalakad, pero wala rin pala si andy. andykawawang mangyan, wala ng jessie, wala din andy! pabalik na kami sa aming hotel-tambayan ng mapansin ko sa isang station ng train ang napakalaking letrato ni andy. ayun si andy, agad akong nagpakuha ng letrato habang hinihintay ang sunod na byahe ng train. kahit man lang sa picture ay nahalikan ko si andy (baliw nga ang mangyan eh).

coffee prince roadwala naman talagang “coffee prince road”, ako lang ang nagbansag sa napakahabang kalye na aming nilakad habang hinahanap ang coffee prince, kaya sigurado akong hindi nyo mahahanap ang coffee prince road sa kahit-anong mapa. pero kahit wala pa s’ya sa mapa, memorable sa akin ang coffee prince road, dahil dyan nakilala ko ang isang tao na naging malapit sa puso ng batang mangyan-hahaha! — masaya at makabuluhan ang korean adventure ng batang mangyan.  o pa’no na, byahe na, hanapin na ang coffee prince road sa korea! tara!


Impake na!

Posted in Ang Ganda ng Pilipinas with tags , , , , , , , on August 14, 2009 by BatangMangyan

Cool— astig naman nang nakaisip na kalkalin ang laman ng bag ng may bag haha. sakto naman, kakabalik ko lang from a 2-day trip to Cagayan de Oro.  heto na ang laman ng bag ng batang mangyan, medyo nakakahiya naman yata but am doing this just for fun, napag-utusan lang ni pareng bon, baka di n’ya na ako padaanin sa MRT “bonistation” pag ‘di ko pinagbigyan ang kahilingan – haha! salamat pala sa pag-tag sa batang mangyan 🙂

laman ng bag 006ito ang bag na ginamit ko kahapon – mahilig ako sa black.  aside from my clothes (good for 2 days syempre, putek, di ko na pinakita kasi marurumi na) ito na nga ang iba pang laman ng bag ko:  pocket prayer– astig! pang-alis ng kabog ng dibdib while on board until maka-land hahaha.  kidding aside, sa lahat ng trip ko, i always bring this small prayer book which I got from Manaoag. laman ng bag ‘di ko man nababasa madalas, pero palagi ko kasama sa byahe!  marami nang narating ‘to, haha!  touchscreen SUDOKU– pampalipas oras lalo na sa eroplano tsaka pampaantok din! try n’yo!  swiss knife–  ‘di ko ito dapat dala kasi bawal ‘to sa carry-on bag, pero this time nailusot ko, hahaha.  hindi kasi nakatingin sa monitor ‘yong security when i went thru the x-ray, noong pauwi naman, sira ang x-ray machine sa Cagayan de Oro airport, tapos hindi naman nakapa, buti na lang, hassle pa sana ‘to, ayos!  though you can check it in naman kahit yun lang knife, nagawa ko na dati hahaha astig, kasama s’ya ng mga baril! body spray – syempre para palaging mabango!  bio-flu & ponstan SF– just in case, laging handa lang. hand sanitizer– wala lang, uso eh. hahaha. shades– nasanay na kasi ako, isa pa too early ang flight eh mataas ang araw paglabas ng plane, putek ang eye bag hahaha!

laman ng bagslipperssuot pagpunta sa Jollibee (breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner), tsaka oftentimes i  travel on slippers para walang hassle sa airport. toiletries– toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, mouthwash, cotton buds – walang bath soap and shampoo, sa area na kasi ako bumibili para sakto lang. i put them together in a zip-plastic bag, space-saver din kaysa ilagay ko pa sa isang bag, tsaka required din kasi na dapat nasa plastic lahat ng liquids! pang-workouti follow rules haha!  laundry bags– courtesy of linden suites (inuwi ko syempre, libre!)  short length tubes plus guide para ‘di ako maka-skip ng workout hahaha, sayang ang oras.  wala naman ako makakasama gumimik kaya workout na lang. pang-swimmingboardshorts & swimming trunks– ito kahit kelan palagi kong dala talaga, kasi mahilig ako sa swimming, kung may oras lang din kahit sa ilog, dagat, batis, pool, canal, ayos lang basta makaligo. pero ‘di ko nagamit this time kasi sa city lang ako, wala naman pool sa hotel na tinambayan ko, kaya ayan, ayos na ayos pa sila haha! back to drawer!

pampabigatnetbook– kasama ang charger (na pampabigat sabi ni bon), mouse at 3 pen/flash/USB/etc. drives, but i call it pen drive, conio ang arrive hahaha, pangmangyan.   kelangan ko to dalhin kasi work ang ipinunta ko doon at hindi pasyal – i wish!  signpen– pang sign syempre hahaha, putek!  celfone charger– pwede naman sanang  wala kasi 2 days lang naman, pero nandayan na kasi lagi yan kasama ng mga cables kaya kasama pa rin. plane ticket– ito pinakamahalaga kasi kung wala ‘to wala lahat saysay ang laman ng bag ko.

laman ng bag 012wala na!  travel light lang ako palagi. maliban sa ayaw ko magbuhat ng mabibigat, limited din kasi ang baggage allowance sa plane, 7 kilos lang kung carry-on, ayaw ko naman check-in kasi sayang naman ang bag ko. tsaka matagal pa maghintay.  at higit sa lahat, ayoko ko rin naman mag-uwi ng sangdamukal na laundry, mahirap maglaba!  kaya heto, umabot lang sa 4.7 kilos ang lahat ng dala ko for 2 days. ayos na ‘di ba?  o san ka pa, byahe na! pwede ko pahiram bag ko, huwag lang kasama laman, walang problema basta kunin nyo lang dito sa bahay, anytime!  

Tara na! Impake na! Byahe na!

“If you want all the comforts of home, stay there!”

Unang Byahe

Posted in Ang Ganda ng Pilipinas with tags , , , , , , , on August 2, 2009 by BatangMangyan

Syempre pa, Mindoro ang unang byahe.   Nakakalungkot isipin na sa dinami-dami ko ng napuntahang lugar, minsan din akong naging dayuhan sa sariling probinsya.  16 years ako namalagi sa Mindoro, pero di ko pa naikot ang isla ng Mindoro.  Maliban sa mahirap na buhay noon, kinailangan ko kasi pumunta sa Maynila para magpatuloy sa kolehiyo.

Ano nga bang meron ang Mindoro (maliban sa mga mangyan).   Bata pa lang ako naririnig ko na ang Puerto Galera, nasa Mindoro pala ang isa sa pinakamagandang tourist destinations sa Pilipinas.   Nasa college na ako noon nang nagkaroon ng pagkakataon na mapuntahan ang Puerto Galera.    puerto-galera‘Di man gaanong maputi ang buhangin sa beach kung ikukumpara sa boracay, pero naiiba din naman ang taglay na ganda ng Puerto Galera – malinis na tubig-dagat, sangdamukal na makukulay na ibat-ibang klase ng isda, mga buhay na corals – ilan lamang ito sa mga patunay na may natatanging ganda ang isla.    Tara balikan natin ang White Beach at ang isla ng La Laguna.

Marami ng pagbabago at pag-unlad ang Mindoro simula noong umalis ako.  May Jollibee na din, lately kasi naging indikasyon na ng progress ang Jollibee.    Sa ngayon, kung gusto mong pumunta sa Boracay sa mas murang gastos, may access na din sa Mindoro (goodbye Puerto Galera, welcome Boracay).    Simula nang nagkaroon ng access sa Mindoro patungong Panay Island, libu-libong turista at mga negosyante ang dumadagsa sa Mindoro araw-araw.  Tuwing umuuwi ako, mahigit sa 20 malalaking bus na puno ng pasahero ang nakakasabay ko sa pier ng Batangas, lahat ay isasakay sa barko, itatawid sa Mindoro, at tutuloy lahat sa Aklan at Iloilo.   Nakakatuwang isipin na may malaking naitutulong ang isla ng Mindoro sa pagpapaunlad ng lokal na ekonomiya ng mga kalapit probinsya sa Visayas.    Tara na, punta na sa Boracay, pero daan sa Mindoro (pwedeng-pwede stop-over sa bahay namin, libre! san ka pa?)

Masarap manirahan sa probinsya.  Simpleng buhay, simpleng mga tao.  Hindi ka magmamadali, walang trapik, walang holdap, walang baha (wala din gimik sa gabi, sorry na lang sa mahilig gumimik).   Hindi kumplikado ang buhay.   Huwag natin iwanan tuluyan ang ating mga probinsya.   Saan man tayo ngayon – Maynila, ibang bansa man, huwag sana tayo makakalimot sa ating pinanggalingang bayan.   Hindi man tayo bumalik para manirahan muli, magbakasyon lang, ayos na.  Sigurado ako, maraming pagbabago.   Huwag sana tayong maging dayuhan sa ating sariling bayan.    Magbalik probinsya! Tara na!

“All roads lead to possibility.  Wherever the path takes you — enjoy it.”