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Follow her as she prepares and partakes the "bread for the stomach" in http://beforesixdiet.blogspot.com/ . And while you are full at it, she offers you the "bread for the soul" in her travels by foot and by thoughts in http://footandfire.blogspot.com/ Happy Reading!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sunday is Market day at Upland, Canlaon City


                                          

    Canlaon City, Negros Oriental is having their market day every Sunday. Supermarket vegetables are found here from carrots to cabbages, cucumber and cauliflower. Bring sacks and buy in bulk inorder to get big discount. All veges are freshly picked. In the midtown, the city market is slow and laidback but in the upland, everybody is busy packing and repacking vegetables of all kinds. There are gingers and peppers too. We didn't have much time so I think I have to get back to this city and explore its other spots. According to the locals, there is a high place called Juesca (not sure spelling) where there is Vermi-culture (growing of worms) and roses are grown, a kilometer away from the city.  The Kanlaon Mountain Park is quite away but it could be one good nature trek experience next time when I get back.




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Saturday, July 17, 2010

TALISAY-SILAY TREK: The Search for the Hidden Ocean

I Searched for the Hidden Ocean

IT FEELS GREAT TO BE INVOLVED IN OUTDOOR ADVENTURE ONCE IN A WHILE. It tests your capacity to survive in almost all aspects of life – spiritually, physically, and intellectually. Nature trekking reminds you to remember God and His pristine creation, to commune with nature, to be one with nature as you take in the chilly air of the fog, embrace the coolness of the breeze and feel the tiny drops of rain as they slowly and steadily touch your skin.

I have had the honour to be part of the recent nature trekking of BAMC personnel. It was my first time to join a pack of trekkers and I even have no idea of what to expect. Since I was already there, I decided to conquer my fear of the unknown. I have always been a planner but this time, I just went on without any idea. But that did not make me any braver, in fact, that made me doubt myself especially looking at how the other trekkers look so prepared – see the outfit and the backpacks of SHEILA and company. (Thoughts of “I have no gloves, no leggings, no first aid kit, no rain coat and a lot more of nothing” kept hovering).


As we paced, I took pictures and sure, the first thirty minutes of the walk was a struggle but the next thirty minutes was a little less difficult. But as my body adjusted, the track is getting harder. The trek was more of an obstacle race than a nature tripping. I expected a nature walk, a site seeing, a walk in the clouds but I got brisk walks to speed walks to rock and root climbing and almost unending descending. Along the way, even the plants are unfriendly; they scratch me and linger on my pores. Ouch here and ouch there! The alimatok or the leech on the woods abounds and they are the most souvenirs we got; they suck and made many of us bleed no end. The rocks were big and jagged and the track was steep and long while the heights were making us nervous; we even had to balance our steps on bricks of the man-made water way at one point of our journey. (ALAN’S veteran long tie-dyed pants finally retired when it broke open when he slid in one clayish area of the track;; DIANE did too). Though I heard Timmy sang “what a journey it has been and the end is not in sight,” we all chose to rather be turtles than hares; our motto all the way was “slowly but surely.”



Sorry to Robert Frost. In times like these, we rather not heed his advice to take the road less travelled; we have to follow the guide or else, we will be lost. I recalled the Pathfinder’s skill I have had in my elementary year; the signs along the road left by the first trekkers were helpful. It was time to be smart, but was it JACK-JACK who said that the higher the altitude, the lower the IQ? Whew! There are times the track seemed not to be tracks at all because we had to crawl under vines and over big tree trunks and step on muddy and marshy areas. Yucky, I know, but I got no choice. But despite all these distractions, I did not forget to pause, look up to the sky, close my eyes, take a deep breath and feel the fresh air inside my system. Oh, an instant escapade away from smoke belchers and smoke belters!


All dressed for hiking.

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My brother with her future wife.



As we were marching onward, we all felt as if there was no end to the climbing and descending and climbing and descending. It was as if the end is nowhere to be found. When we a sked BUTCH who had been there November last year, he would tell us that we are almost there and always, he would always reply that “This is the last difficult part,” or “ This is the last ascending’” “We are nearer, we are almost there,” “we would be there soon!” So figured out that we were indeed near and decided that what we believed in was what matters. Isn’t that belief likewise true in almost all aspects of our lives and not only during hiking? I even believed all along and anticipated much that Tinagong Dagat (Hidden Ocean) is an ocean with reefs, but it turned out that there is no salty ocean, no colourful reefs but a soccer field with green field of grasses. The ocean was indeed hidden. Olala! But in that foggy and rain sprinkling place, I got embrace the space, inhale the oxygen and murmur to myself “Free, body and soul free” with gritting teeth and in improvised raincoat, of course.




We passed by the waters of Dumalabdab waterfalls before reaching Patag, Silay. It was indeed like a landing to the moon and made us all declare that this trek was as “one small step of man, a giant leap for mankind.”

Okay, I should admit it before I end my journal that I loved the hiking and trekking part so that I omitted in my narration the chilly tent under the rain, the uncomfortable sleep, the instant noodles and the “bombing” familiar to all hikers. As they say, they are all part of the experience. And indeed, they were part of mine, including my aching neck, arms, thighs and legs.

Till next time, guys!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

MAG-ASO FALLS IS A REAL RETREAT

MAG-ASO FALLS IS A REAL RETREAT
By: Gerlie M. Uy

            Found at about thirty (30) kilometres from the heart of Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental,  Mag-aso falls is a real find for all-week-long-city-beaten picnickers.

            Once you take the first small step going down the falls, you will go through at least six hundred steps. But of course, the steps are all calculated while you go down and see through the greeneries and huts of different sizes. You will also pass by a mini San Francisco bridge, a pond down under and nearby, banana plants, birds of paradise, and a stream flowing and passing down a nature-designed pool.   

            As you progress to about three hundred steps, you can choose to pass by the ‘mother of the falls’ where the water falls and then again falls to the place where you can later dive in or just dip into. And while you pass by that place, you can see the forest trees and vines.

            If you decide to go farther down, at about four hundred steps, you will see the cottages basically designed with modern steel crust and cement but ornamented with ‘kogon’ ala Vietnamese hut.        

            It was such a respite also to open your ‘malong’ down the open space under the jackfruit trees. The warm summer air will easily be dispersed by the breezy coolness of the wind against the trees.

            But you should not sleep yet. You should still go down a hundred steps to use the comfort room and to have a cold bath or wash you dishes. In the same area, there are concrete picnic tables and you can even set up your picnic bounties under the trees nearby. While sitting at you tables, you can see a very old (more than a hundred, I bet) and very big (yes, perhaps to get its circumference, I have to give five long hugs) tree that fell down and now serves as a bridge for you to closely scan the nearby forest. But my words of warning: Watch out for the slimy moss!

            But the steps do not end there yet. You still have to go down more steps and walk a little on the clayish rocks to get to the falls and be able to finally take your much deserved plunge. Happy swimming.

            Ooops! That is not the end of the journey yet. Id you decide to stay dry, you can just linger inside the mini cave located under the steps, where you can surely get picture perfect poses.

            By the way, for your information, the falls got its name not because the water is steaming but because when the water falls in flowing rush, it creates an illusion that it is steaming. So see it for your self! 

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Cebu and Bohol just over the weekend


This is what we did over the weekend in November 2009. Friday night, we rode the Ceres Bus going to Cebu at around 10:45 in the evening. The Ceres entered the barge at around past midnight in Escalante port. A jacket is highly recommended as the aircon is too strong inside the aircon passenger seats in the ferry. We arrived in Cebu in the wee hours of the morning and actually arrived in Cebu City at past 8 am. We ate breakfast at the terminal consisting of the staple corn meal masquerading as boiled rice with matching fish in clear hot soup. Cebuano's staple.


From there, we meet up with a friend who arranged our three-hour tour of Cebu (P1650/half day). We went to Lapu Lapu Shrine, Magellan's Cross and the church nearby, and we also passed by the Fort. By 1 pm we had lunch at SM Mall of Cebu City which is near the terminal of the vessel going to Dumaguete. At around 3PM, we rode Ocean Jet heading to Tacloban, the capital of Bohol. Weesam also have a trip to Bohol. We ate dinner onboard; they sell and serve meals.

After arriving at the port, we were fetched by the Van we pre-arranged and we headed to Panglao, the white sand beach of Bohol (An add on of P500 to the next whole day travel of P3,800). The cottages and hotels by Panglao are costly but we were lucky to have found a fun cottage which is actually a room for two. We got the two rooms left for P700 each.

From ages 3 to 83, we all went to Cebu and Bohol in just over the weekend...Here are some of our souvenir photos:

PHOTOS 1,2 AND 3 -- We first went to the Lapu-Lapu Shrine then the Magellan's Cross and the Church nearby. At this point, I ran out of battery. Sorry. But then, we went to many other places like the Fort and the Taoist Temple. All in half day roaming around.

PHOTOS 4 AND 5 -- The Magellan's cross is also the shrine where the first cross was buried in the Philippines by the Spaniards, the symbol of Christianity. There is a big old church nearby where everyone can say a prayer and burn candles.





PHOTO 6 -- After having a morning bathe at the Panglao beach, we headed to the first and farthest itinerary of the day: The chocolate Hills. Breathtaking numbers of hills are best appreciated from the viewpoint of the highest peak where the Boholanos placed a more than a hundred steps. No wonder why they call Bohol as next to heaven.

 
PHOTO 7 AND 8 -- The Butterfly garden (P20 entrance) is a nice stop. A Boholano or Boholana will escort your group to the rest of the garden after explaining the difference between a moth and a butterfly, showing the caterpillar and pointing out the bisexual butterfly as a result of genetic anomaly. They made us experience the tickle of the butterfly and take a photo of the insect kissing us!












 
PHOTO 9 -- We had lunch at the Loboc River Cruise (P300/pax buffet). It happens that it was our Lola's birthday and the musikero (musician) sang for her. We enjoyed the 30-45 minute cruise. On our way back, we passed by the Loboc community choir and my cousin sampled the Tinikling (bamboo dance.

PHOTO 10 AND 11 -- The long hanging bridge over the river is made of strong old dried bamboos and some heavy duty ropes(P10 entrance). It's thrill to pass by it.


 
PHOTO 12 AND 13 -- Baclayon Church is a big old Catholic Church in Bohol. The peeled off portion of the facade where the mold grows was specially photographed by me because the driver-tourist guide says, it etched the figure of Fr. Pio, the priest of the church. See for yourself.


PHOTO 14 -- The O in the mouth of the three-year-old says it all. The smallest monkey in the world is right in front of him with two big rounded eyees. Breathtaking, indeed.

PHOTO 15 -- The Blood Compact Site is by the highway so it's a convenient place to stop by on the way to the pier and look at the sunset by the sea.




PHOTOS 16 AND 17 -- At the end of the day, we rode the last trip to Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. We arrived Sunday at past 7 pm. We planned to eat Inasal (grilled chicken) by the sea wall while there are live bands playing. But it did not materialize as there was a curfew and it's not happening on a Sunday night as there is a class the next day. So we headed further into the sea wall and was dropped off at the Hayahay bar where we had dinner and some cozy drinks. Hayahay has jazz music for Sunday, so we were lucky then. We love their pizza too. At 12 midnight, we headed to the Ceres terminal for our trip home at 2PM. We were bathing and resting at home by 8'oclock, Monday morning.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Thailand)

The Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha a.k.a Wat Phra Kaeo (Thailand)



Here is an essay in photos we got after trekking the vast area of the Grand Palace in Thailand from here up to there despite the heat of the Sun. Not captured were the important artifacts in the museum, like the king's robe made of gold thread. The antiquity of the Emerald Buddha (dressed in summer, rainy and winter season) is awesome. The grandeur of the Grand Palace is beyond words.

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