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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!

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Rustic Antique: The ranges of Mt. Madya-as from different perspectives

One of the joys of a visit to the countryside is the unending admiration to the natural beauty of the mountain ranges against the clear blue skies and fluffy cotton clouds. And if one happens to be in Antique, one cannot escape but admire the beauty of the Madya-as Mountain ranges (also spelled Madia-as). It is said to be the second favorite mountain to climb among the mountaineers of the Philippines. Here are the decent shots I had of the Madya-as Mountain while we were traversing the highways and numerous bridges of Antique as well as while we were in our Culasi hometel called Ana Sophie and in Malalison Island.    





Madya-as Mountain at dawn taken from our hometel in Culasi proper.


Madya-as Mountain at dawn taken from our hometel in Culasi proper.

Madya-as Mountain taken from the hilltop of Malalison Island.


Morning face of Madya-as Mountain 
taken from the seaside of Malalison Island.


The break of dawn against the majestic Madya-as Mountain 
taken from the seaside of Malalison Island.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Rustic Antique: Sunset from Culasi wharf

Viewing the "ball of fire" from Culasi, Antique wharf.
Photo Credit: Ramon Pasaporte of PALI 

Colors, that is what the photographers chase and the artists try to emulate and all regular folks like us stare at and enjoy for the moment. Colors are like salt and pepper to our food, without them, our life is bland. One of the magical manifestations of color is in the sunrise and the sunset. The burst of orange, yellow and in between colors against the blue or gray skies  is what I want most. Isn't it amazing to witness the momentary setting of the sun? Culasi wharf offers a wide screen of the setting sun between the flanking silhouettes of Malalison Island and Batbatan Island. Here, I am sharing to you the joy of sunset!   

Culasi wharf offers a wide screen of the setting sun 
between the flanking silhouettes of Malalison Island and Batbatan Island.


The Mother and son portrait.


The sisters act!


Bye, sun. See you when I see you.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Malumpati Health Spring Resort in Pandan, Antique

One of the joys of summer is being able to breathe rural fresh air and tasting the spring waters. Malumpati Spring is the source of the water district of Pandan as well as the free flowing source of the popular summer destination, the Malumpati Health Spring Resort.

When we got to Malumpati Health Spring Resort, there were a lot of excursionist for the holy week so we had a great time eating under the shade of green trees as well as taking photos of the swimmers, mostly teens and children.

The waters are green and ever flowing, as all springs promise. The spring is sponsored by a foundation and one interesting marker was planted beside the tablets bearing the benefactors. It came from a Japanese I surmise. It says: Yokoi: His love flows like a clear crystal water to every Pandanons' (sic) homes (sic).





Pandan Water District.


A Marker from a Japanese, I suppose.


The tablet bearing the names of benefactors.





One can stay overnight in the private properties just in front of the resort which is a government resort.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Writing Home: 19 Writers Remember Their Hometowns

Writing Home: 19 Writers Remember Thier Hometowns
Edited by Ruel S. De Vera
Anvil Publishing
191 pages, An anthology of essays, poems and short stories

As of writing this review, I am yet to finish four more entries: The Bacon vendetta by Eileen R. Tabios (Santo Tomas, Candon, Ilocos Sur), The Adopted Hometown by Alfred Yuson (Dumaguete), Habit of Space by Karina Africa Bolasco (Lipa) and Outward Journey by Jaime An Lim (Cagayan De Oro).

Just immediately before I sat down to write this review, I read one which is closer to home: EBJ Freedom Park by Alex de los Santos (Antique) which is a poem that remembers how the park came to be when "we heard the volley of gunfire that made this park a tomb." EBJ stands for Evelio B. Javier who was a much-beloved Antique Assemblyman and governor who was assassinated in 1986. In the poem's opening lines, the park for Antiquenos is "here is where we rise, here we bury victories." And as closing lines, the freedom park is "here is where we bury all hate; here we unearth our greatness." 

Among what I finished to read, my top three favorites are: First, Silay: Ang Banwa sang Dulce by Doreen G. Fernandez (Silay) because it is closer to home and the food journey of the author, although many decades apart from mine, are very much familiar. It was a delightful read. 

Second, A Son of Palawan Returns by Aureaus Solito (Palawan) is also a heartwarming story of "leap of blood" towards a homeplace. While I visited the tourist-ready Coron, El Nido and Puerto Princesa, I believe there are remote places in Palawan to which one can agree that it is the last forefront of our archipelago. The author shares one of these places, and reminds us that its little culture and history needs to be retold.   

My third is a tie between My Iloilo by John Silva and Looking North – to Baguio. These two stories are more than talking about a hometown, they are homecoming to childhood. I equally loved both of them. The former talks of an Art Deco boat house by the Iloilo River which the author lived when he was a child of tender age and returned for a visit. The latter talks about her memory of Baguio and why it was dear to her, the reasons why the place still has rhythm in her heartbeat despite the distance from where she is now.  

Other entries are Dabaw by Joey Ayala, Welcome to Alcantara by Jose Y. Dalisay Jr., The house on Carola Street, Sampaloc by Bino Realuyo, Sugbu Sedux by Carlos Cortes, Bohol Plaza Dwellers by Clovis Nazareno, Mangled, Marbled Mangoes by Alfredo Mendoza (Mangatarem), Proheme to Zamboanga by Cesar Ruiz Aquino, The Badjao Cemetery by Anthony Tan (Muddas), St. Martha's Duckyard by Jose Lacaba (Pateros), Prelude for the Volcano by Marne Kilates (Daraga).  

 When I got hold of the anthology and delighted on its title, I immediately thought of making one for my hometown. I'm glad i did. Pick up this one and be inspired to talk about your hometown too! 


Here is my poem about my birthplace and hometown:
La Carlota City in Negros Occidental, Philippines

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Souvenirs from Pandan, Antique: Bariw plant handicrafts

Just before heading to the Malumpati Health Spring Resort, it is highly recommended to drop by the barangay cooperative which is just along the way. The cooperative produces native handwoven products made of bariw plant, the one used to make the native mat locally called "banig." There are floor mats, hats, coasters, beer holder which can also be pen holders, place mats, bags, and fruit baskets. 

Here are some of the products I was able to take a snap:

Big round floor mat which can be used as wall decor (P1,200).


A hat for P100.


Bags with prices ranging from P100 to P400.


One of the many bag styles...




And more bags.


The Bariw plant rope 


Fruit bowl.


The Sto. Rosario Multi-purpose Cooperative.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Reader

The Reader
By Bernhard Schlink
218 pages, Novel
Translated from German to English by Carol Brown Janeway

Fluid storytelling should be the foremost trait of a novel and this is what the author delivers in The Reader. I have  seen the movie a long time ago and I must say that one should also read the book. While the development of the story is as entertaining as the movie offers, the latter lacks the subcontextual meaning of the story that the book tries to present to us readers. Watching entertains but reading entertains and makes readers ponder.

How do we come to terms with our shame? This book explores many shades of shame from the personal level, the shame of having a sexual relationship with a grown-up and keeping it from everyone, and only giving that relationship a "niche" rather than a "place" in his life on the part of Michael (Michael and Hanna had a sexual relationship when the former was only 15 years old while the latter was 36 years old), and the long-held shame of illiteracy on the part of Hanna (who chose to own up murder rather than be exposed as illiterate), and on a grander level, the shame of having German parents serving during the The Third Reich on the part of the children of the next generations.

I will not labor in telling a summary of the story here but I have just to tell you that I finished this story in a day because I can't put it down. Also, I just want to add, that this story is on how Michael examines his relationship with Hanna, how it affected him and how he came to terms with it is supposed to be a parallel as to how the new generation struggle with their past. It is not a very tight parallel but the message has been clearly sent to us readers.

The first two are the story, the vehicle in telling the message while the last one is the important message addressed to present German generation and the next ones who will always struggle with their parent's past. However, I strongly believe that the story has universal message rather than a message which is only particularly sent to German generation alone.

Here are the passages I deemed important that I highlighted:

Father to Son Michael Berg: "No, your problem has no appealing solution. Of course, one must act if the situation as you describe it is one of accrued or inherited responsibility. If one knows what is good for another person who in turns is blind to it, then one must try to open his eyes. One has to leave him the last word, but one must talk to him and not someone else behind his back." p.143

Being a legal historian: "Now escape involves not just running away, but arriving somewhere. And the past I arrived in as legal historian was no less alive than the present. It is also not true, as outsiders might assume, that one can merely observe the richness of life in the past, whereas one can participate in the present. Doing history means building bridges between the past and the present, observing both banks of the river, taking an active part on both sides." p.180

On Berg's research on Law in the Third Reich: "Here, escape is not a preoccupation with the past, but a determined focus on the present and the future that is blind to the legacy of the past which brands us and with which we must live." pp180-1

On Hanna's first scribble: "I thought that if the right time gets missed, if one has refused or been refused something for too long, it's too late, even if it is finally tackled with energy and recieved with joy." pp188-9

Hanna as to why she accepted murder during the trial: "When no one understands you, then no one can call you to account. Not even the court could call me to account. But the dead can. They understand. They don't even have to have been there, but if they were, they understand even better. Here in prison they were with me a lot. They came every night, whether I wanted them or not. Before the trial I could still chase them away when they wanted to come."  pp198-9

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Tigbauan Church and other chanced-upon Catholic Churches

A pose with itchy-feet and award-winning 
photographer Bernadette Porras-Teves.

To give a timely post for the recent Easter Sunday, this blogger decides to post some of the churches she chanced to photograph during her roadtrip to Antique together with bunch of friends.  We were able to drop by the Tigbauan Church. There are more churches to anticipate if one is on a roadtrip from Iloilo City to Antique, such as the grand Molo Church, majestic Miag-ao Church and the old Guimbal Church.   

This is a 19th century old bell.


One of the few images that I have captured.


Mary and Jesus figure inside the Tigbauan Church.


A photo from the side of the Church.


Culasi, Antique has a modern San Miguel Arkanhel.


A closer shot of the image of Archangel St. Michael on the facade.


The belltower.


This is the celebrated Jaro Cathedral Church in Iloilo City.


Another shot of Jaro Cathedral Church in Iloilo City.


Saturday, April 4, 2015

A visitor sees Dhammayangyi Temple (1167-1170 A.D.)

Atop any temple in Old Bagan,
I can easily spot you
because you are the gigantic one
among the silent sacred standing brick stones.
Dhammayan, as you are popularly called, 
is your being the biggest a blessing by chance?” 
Your red bricks were layered 
by the subjects of King Narathu
who ordered to brick up your interior 
so no one can enter you,
and perhaps, 
so no one can understand his intentions.
One more, you were patterned 
to the prettiest temple of Ananda --
the most welcoming of all temples --
so why close you up inside 
and open only the four porches 
and the vast corridors 
to your faithful Buddhists 
and this visitor?
I know the reasons of your being the biggest 
and your being secretive inside died with your king 
who was said to have died in assassination,
the very means he used to seize the power 
from his father and elder brother. 
Perhaps your gigantic existence 
would atone for his sins.
Perhaps your closed interiors 
would keep his inner remorse. 
Perhaps this is just something a visitor can say,
so that she can understand 
why she traveled this far away.

Copyright February 2015
Gerlie M. Uy

*This is a poem inspired after a travel in Bagan in April 2014.
Please see, among my entries on Myanmar,
my travel blog on Dhammayangyi Temple here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Buledi Temple in Summer of 2014

I cannot content myself
in admiring you
from afar
and down here.
You are speaking to me
and I have to listen.
I have to leave my sandals
as I leave my inhibitions behind.
With my bare feet and bare hands
and open mind, I have to climb
your steep and rail-less beauty.
Over a millenium ago,
your still beauty was built
with both red bricks
and Buddhist foundations:
these are enough to captivate me.
(I do not know your story:
scholars consider you a minor one
and I content myself in approaching you
with complete ignorance
so I can surrender to your beauty.)
So I almost reached your stuppa
and breathed in your stillness.
Sitting on that spot atop you,
I can see Dhammayangyi,
Ananda, Htilominlo, and Sulamani
all set against Bagan's vast reddish-yellow dessert soils
dotted with sporadic green heads.
As my eyes revel to your major fellows,
I am illuminated by Old Bagan's waking sun
which slowly grows into a golden one
that is surreptitiously warming
my contemplative

Copyright March 2014
Gerlie M. Uy

This poem commemorates my travel to Myanmar last year.
Please check my previous entry on Buledi which is spelled as Bule Thi.
and on other temples of Myanmar as well.