Odyssey | noun | od•ys•sey | \ ˈä-də-sē \
1 : a long wandering or voyage usually marked by many changes of fortune
2 : an intellectual or spiritual wandering or quest
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Thursday, July 05, 2018

Ember

Thursday, July 5, 2018

I wrote an article a few years back, entitled "The Wind and the Fire".  I spoke metaphorically about an inspirational time in my life.  I was the fire.  And the wind had breathed new motivation in me.  Yet, over the years, the caressing breeze and harmony turned into violent storms and tornadoes.  Regardless, the fire in me was able to withstand, albeit barely at times, all the torrential havoc.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Monsoon

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Wave after wave, the rains slam down.  There are times, where you believe clear skies are finally ahead, only to be shocked that you were dead wrong.  In fact it is during these times, where you may lower your guard somewhat, that the blow knocks you down and hurts the most.

Unfortunately, some people don't get back up or survive the ravaging from the typhoons of bad times and depression.

Old House

Thursday, June 14, 2018

This post has a melancholy feel to it, for me.  Particularly because my grandmother has memories living and working at this place.  And today it is like a skeleton of its former self, so devoid of life.  It makes me wonder what it was like during its prime.  But more, it makes me regret that period of time has gone and is no more.  It is now just a memory, living only in the mind of my grandmother, and those she has told her stories to, such as myself.

Friday, June 01, 2018

Eclipse

Friday, June 1, 2018

A few weeks ago, I met this Aeta in Subic.  We made a fire together using just bamboo.  He may look silly in this photo, but he has a lot of admirable traits.

He is proud of who he naturally is.  He has not forgotten where he came from, and how he got to where he is today.  He understands the value of hard work.  And whatever I could offer, he genuinely showed appreciation.  These are some qualities that earn my respect.

Unfortunately, most of those who encircle me do not share the same perspectives or appreciation for good principles; and my influence, for whatever reason, is weak upon them, if not countered or ignored completely.  Oftentimes, my say is worthless.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Pain

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


(Tagalog and English versions below)

May gusto ako sabihin na makasakaling makatulong sa iba.  Lahat tayo ay merong mga kahinaan, at alam ko yung sa akin.  Isa sa mga kahinaan ko ay yung inklinasyon na saktan ang sarili (na ngayon ay bihira ko na gawin, dahil malinaw naman na hindi ito mabuti para sa atin, kaso nga lang ito ay nangangailangan ng matibay na kalooban para iwasan).  At gusto kong gumawa ng ilang mga paglilinaw tungkol dito sa pag-asa na makakatulong ito sa iba.

Hindi lahat ng nananakit ng sarili ay pareho, at may magkakaibang mga dahilan. Hindi lahat ay baliw at hindi lahat ay gusto magpakamatay.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Nothing

Monday, May 21, 2018


Hindi ako ganung kasamang tao para marapat ang lahat ng sakit, paghihirap, kalupitan, at walang pusong pagtatrato.  Umiiyak at sumisigaw ako, nagmamakaawa at humihingi ng saklolo, pero walang nakakarinig.  Kaya alam ko walang Diyos.

Ang ibig sabihin ng pangalan kong "David Eric" ay "minamahal na hari", pero hindi ako minamahal at hindi rin ako hari.  Wala akong halaga.  Anyway, ayaw ko ng kausap, ayaw ko ng tulong, gusto ko lang mapag-isa.  Sinasabi ko ito, dahil hindi ko alam kung kailan ako makakapag-post ulit.

Friday, May 04, 2018

Flowers at Dangwa

Friday, May 4, 2018

Simon's sister had passed away, and so Simon, Hope (Simon's daughter), and I visited the Dangwa fresh flower market to purchase some flowers for the funeral at Ilocos Norte.

I don't really know what to write about for this post.  A few things popped into my mind, like:  how flowers are just instruments used for attraction and selfish means for plants;  how there is potentially no afterlife and we should have utmost value for this life so as not to screw up this one shot;  how we should heed warnings and signs because full-fledged major mistakes can leave scars in our lives that cannot be undone and could potentially be crippling or fatal (if not for our lives, also for relationships and other aspects);  how things are more genuine and simpler when money or material is not involved;  how a bunch of flowers cannot really solve problems;  how some flower stems have thorns and poison;  how some people cannot or will not understand because they care more about themselves than they do for you;  how I'm just smiling for the camera when in reality I've been having a bad few weeks...  Lots of things.  But I'm not really in the mood to write about any of these in more detail at the moment.

The Dump Site


Friday, May 4, 2018
Apart from touring the dump site, the walk I took on this day was a pleasant one.  This was in the middle of the rainy season, and it had just rained a couple of hours before.  It was relatively cool with enough clouds to provide enough shade, but not too gray for it to turn gloomy.

The photograph I took of the white gumamela/hibiscus flower with the dew/droplets of water is one of my favorites.  In a way, I like to think of it as symbolic, perhaps of the peace, serenity, purity, and innocence of that time period.  There are some moments you can no longer return to, and you cannot transfer the state to the present time either, no matter how much you'd like to.  Once ruined, sometimes ruined forever.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Simplicity

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

It's funny how years ago I had so little money, but so much time to myself.  And now, I find myself close to the other end of the spectrum, where I am doing better in terms of my career, but don't have enough time to really enjoy myself.


It was a rare occasion on this day to get some extra time to myself and to be able to go out beyond my normal vicinity of travel.  Disappointingly, it had to take an undesirable crisis for it to happen, but that's another story.

Coconuter Flowers and Gifts

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

For those who have been readers of the blog since close to the beginning, you may recall my good friend Simon.  Well, I am proud to say that he now runs a flower shop business, and he named his business after what started our friendship--Coconuter.

The Forest

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

As you read through some of my posts, you will notice that I sometimes inject commentary regarding health.  I am still health-conscious today, and it's been quite a journey of what I've learned through the years.  I remember during the time of this post, I was experimenting with certain foods available in the area (and observing their effects on me), one of which was raw carabao's milk, which I would wake up early in the morning for, in order to purchase from a nearby market.

I would also often go into the forest and nearby mountains to gather fruit that I would find.  For example, mangoes, langka/jackfruit, suha/grapefruit, pineapples, papayas, and of course, coconuts!

I was such a proponent of the natural state of things, that you will read below that I recommended drinking water from streams.  Well, opinions and theories change, and mine regarding this topic has also.  Though natural water sources are typically a good source of minerals, I would take caution or avoid drinking directly from them, because pollution and toxins are so rampant these days; plus you want to be careful about microbes in the water as well.

Ploughing the Fields

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Despite the mishap regarding the theft, these were still some relatively good times.  I was enjoying myself, despite the circumstances.  The environment in general was still new to me for the most part.  The charm of the countryside still alluring, and it remains so for me even today;  I just can't live there anymore, because I have to work, as well as other complications, which can happen over time as life proceeds to become complex as we grow older.

The Mountain Village

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

I was quite fortunate to have gotten my digital camera back, and only in a matter of days.  But I was even more fortunate that I was not harmed during the theft, as the thieves were reportedly known in the area for carrying guns.

As I look back, I think it was also around this time when my naivety gradually started to dissolve, and my view of the people around began to worsen drastically.  I would become short-tempered and it would not be uncommon for me to confront and explode on locals whom I thought were trying to fool me or harm me.  To this day, that I write this entry, I am still the same way--pent up with frustrations and a lot of anger from years of ill happenings.

Bad Things Have Happened


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

I still remember the night this happened.  I never thought it could happen and never experienced something like this, so it was completely unanticipated.

It was past midnight--the exact time I can no longer recall--but I was just sleeping, like any other regular night in the bukid/countryside.  But this was not like any other night.  My senses detected a foreign sound interjecting with the normal solo hum of the electric fan.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Frankenstein

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

It seems that the older I get, the more complicated things become, and the uglier I see the world to be.  Even if one tries to do good, many times it is for nothing.  The evil around us just drowns it out.  I could die right now, and it would not matter much to even those who seem closest to me.  My use to them would be no more, that is all; and my body and mind no longer able to be owned or manipulated.

Their hearts grown cold, if not hardened to stone, by greed, deceit, betrayal, envy, revenge, cruelty, and selfishness, among other negative elements that murder good, peace, harmony, growth, happiness, and love.

Talahib

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

I remember the talahib weeds quite well.  I've gotten cut by their sharp blades many times during mountain climbs, which is why I've learned to wear pants when venturing into the mountains.

I mentioned having a shovel with no handle in this post, yet still using it for chopping.  Improvisations like that were necessary during these times.  Make do with what you have, so to speak.

Breakfast

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

For the most part, I still do largely agree with what I wrote here.  However, it was a bit simplified, which I'm sure I meant to do at the time.  But health is really a complex matter, and involves so many factors, and I have been studying it for so long.

Baguio

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

This trip was very spur of the moment.  I tended to be very spontaneous back then, and it usually did not pay off well for me, especially regarding decisions that steered my life's direction.

But for trips that came out of the blue, there was at least one good outcome in that it provided content for the blog.

I have since mellowed over the years, but still give in to some things I feel impassioned about.

And I never did re-visit Baguio.  Maybe again, one day.



Old School

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

One thing I noticed about myself -- I seem to value or hang onto the past, and sometimes a bit too much, to the point that it detrimentally affects me.  There are examples of these negative outcomes throughout my life.

But on this particular day, it was harmless.  I was just re-visiting an old school; although out of all my classmates, I am probably the only one to have done this.  Because frankly, this likely does not mean much to others.  Yet somehow or for some reason, I seem to cling on to simple memories.



Vulcanize

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

This is how quite a few posts came about.  Because I was usually low on money, basically, I would just walk in the nearby areas, and observe the life and goings-on around me.

Also, a good portion of the people in this area during this time were still fairly friendly and approachable, unlike my most recent experience in that area.



Friday, March 16, 2018

Jungle

Friday, March 16, 2018

We are all in a jungle, a deceptive and ruthless environment where most are out to get you and only a rare few actually care.  There's a constant struggle for power and survival, with predators and parasites abound, preying on your vulnerabilities.

Sometimes you find what you believe to be havens, but you are actually never truly safe.  In fact, these moments of calm are when you get damaged the most.  When you do not anticipate the blow is when you suffer the greatest.

Penitensiya

Friday, March 16, 2018

There were some onlookers who frowned upon this at the time, because I did this not for penitence, but for experiential reasons and also socialization--to participate in a cultural event and to be part of the congregating community.

Moreover, though I do sympathize and can understand those who truly feel sorrow and regret for having done wrong, I do not consider penitence as an infinite blanket safeguard or as an instrument that can universally and limitlessly absolve oneself -- meaning despite how many wrongdoings, one will always be forgiven if they go to church, read religious texts, or ask for forgiveness.

Roaming in the Corn Fields

Friday, March 16, 2018

Roaming in the countryside, climbing things... I was definitely doing some catching up with my boyish/childlike desires.  Perhaps it was a reunion of spirit between myself, my early childhood years in the Philippines, and the rural parts I could recall from those times.  Or perhaps it was due in part to the relative deprivation that I placed myself into when I inherently became sheltered and mostly just focused on my academic pursuits growing up in the US; and now I was sort of trying to retrace my steps back to go visit the paths and simple joys I may have missed along the way.  But sometimes, there are experiences that, once missed, can no longer be appreciated in the same manner or to the greater extent as they could have been at the appropriate stage or phase in life.

Riding a Carabao

Friday, March 16, 2018

This picture might be the most iconic from the saga thus far (based on publications' selections).  It was the one chosen as the main photograph when the Coconuter story was featured in newspapers like the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Philippine Star, and magazines such as Illustrado.

Bataan (Lamao)

Friday, March 16, 2018

I remember the hunger during these times quite well.  Sometimes I would only eat once a day, with the meal being only beans and rice or just some bread/pandesal.  One would think that these were far from being fond memories, because I was lacking a lot of comforts or even necessities, like enough food.  However, the sentiment I have for these times is really not like that.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Sunny Day

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The last couple of days, I've noticed it to be sunnier and hotter, so I've been getting some midday sun, even for just a few minutes, especially when I am feeling sluggish or sick.  This usually makes me feel a little bit better.  And I've noticed animals do the same thing -- like chickens and dogs -- laying out in the sun.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Black Panther

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Typically hidden in the rough, you may find me lurking along the streets, creeping in murky waters, and prowling in the jungle.  Often subdued, and confined for now, you may for a moment think that the animal was succumbing to the cruelties and misfortunes of life, or perhaps in times of stillness, even had died.  However, you would be mistaken.


Rushing

Saturday, February 24, 2018

I remember the simple meals, and I grew to become satisfied with them, and even finding them comforting as time went on, as I still do today.  I would even sometimes enjoy the feeling of being hungry, and sweating while walking long distances.

It gave me a feeling like I was detoxifying myself, and it gave me spurts of true drive.  Whenever hungry and having to roam and forage for food in the jungle or mountains, it took away all excess/unnecessary thoughts and gave you focus on one sole thing -- to find food so you could eat.  It's a primitive mechanism, but that's a prime form of true satisfaction that's very invigorating to the mind and body.  This of course gets corrupted if you no longer live for just yourself, because then you have more to think about than just meeting your own needs.

I see I posted about the cemetery.  I bet I would have never predicted back then that I would end up sleeping at cemeteries for a couple of instances in the years that followed.  And it was not because I wanted to, but because paradise was eroding (or was not attainable) and I began to suffer from mishaps, the harsh reality of life, and wrong turns.

Original post below:

Monday, March 13, 2006

I'm really rushing right now. I'm praying I have enough money to pay for this internet cafe bill, haha, really. Let's get right down to the pictures. I enjoyed a cheap meal of rice, raw dilis or anchovies, and arusep, which is a type of seaweed. The dilis tasted fine and the texture was ok, and I was able to stomach it despite having no flavor and it being raw. The arusep was also ok. It's very salty, and I probably would not have been able to eat it all without neutralizing the taste with rice. Overall, the meal was decent. This is not pictured, but I ate some fried talong or eggplant with dried fish or tuyo last night that someone offered me. I didn't like that meal as much.

The other night I found myself passing a town I was supposed to get off at, so I just stayed in the jeepney until I reached the jeepney's final destination, which is Olongapo. Fortunately, the jeepney driver did not notice, otherwise I would have had to figure something out because my budget that evening would not have been able to cover the fare. From Olongapo I trekked back to the barrio I was supposed to get off at. On the way, I noticed a cemetery. I decided to stop and take some shots and experiment with my camera's timer. The Olongapo City Cemetery is quite large, and it extends high up the mountainside that it resides on. Some of the tombs are stacked upon each other or patong patong. After getting sweaty and dirty, I had enough of that and headed out. Finally, I am flushing a toilet in the other two photos. What you do is use a tabo or pour a bucket of water to make the toilet flush and pray that it does.








Washing Clothes

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Looking back, life in the rural province was still not bad during this time period.  The rampant theft, corruption, pollution, disease, mishaps, cultural and social clashes, complications from more people and lack of money, etc. had not yet reared their ugly heads.  Before all of those complexities, there were simple preoccupations of washing clothes, relaxing and enjoying the countryside and animals around... they were nice times.

If I didn't have enough money to pay for the electricity or water bill, no problem.  I could still gather water from a waterspout.  I was always full of energy and was very strong-willed.  And I only had to worry about myself then, so it was not a major issue.  I was living in the moment and by the day, and though it was physically more work, it really did make my heart smile.

Original post below:

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

I woke up early this morning and went out for a jog. It's just too hot to do it any other time, except perhaps during the evening. I washed clothes today. Washing clothes here involves buying a very long bar of detergent soap and breaking a piece off to use. Then you make somewhat of a fist with both hands and rub the piece of clothing to clean it.

A board also helps. After washing, squeeze the water out and place it in a bucket. And after that you hang it on a line so that it may dry in the midday sun. Do this several times until all the clothes have been washed and you will finish with a satisfied feeling that you have washed all your clothes by hand.

You will also have palms and wrists that are quite sore if you are not used to washing and scrubbing clothes this way and may think to yourself that it would be nice if you had a girlfriend here to help you out or have enough money to buy a washing machine and pay for the water and electricity bills to keep it running. But still, you finish with a satisfied feeling that you did it. And that feeling stays with you when you go out late in the afternoon to get your warm clothes that smell great.

That is, of course, if your clothes are still there. You have to keep an eye on them every once in a while because sometimes they are stolen. After washing clothes today, I cleaned up and just sat around for a while. I usually find myself taking a one or two hour nap during the hot afternoons, but I wasn't sleepy today so I walked around in shady areas of the bukid, or in English, a field or farm setting. I skipped rocks, chased chickens, played with ducks, and whatnot, haha. Sometimes I sit under nipa huts to cool off for a bit.






Recovered

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The greenery and simple bamboo homes and fences you see in the pictures are no more.  The last time I visited the area, it was already quite developed, and is now a small subdivision.  Have the people in that area changed for the better?  Doesn't seem like it, based on the things that happened during my last trip there.

I mentioned pollution, particularly vehicle emission/exhaust, in this post.  As expected, that hasn't changed for the better either.  In fact, not surprisingly, it's much worse now.  President Duterte said he would get rid of all the old jeepneys to help alleviate this situation (pollution), as well as the traffic.  However, I haven't noticed a reduction yet in either.

And I just have to re-mention that photograph with the yellow paint on the wall, as it's a unique one.  So, wings or oncoming headlights?  If you knew how the next two years after this time would play out, you probably wouldn't be too sure.

Original post below:

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

My sickness is gone. I'm out and about now. I just came from the market and bought some fruit and fish. I was going to stick around the marketplace to search for guavas, but it was just too hot. I think I am begged for money every time I pass about four or five market stands. I thought to myself that the money I brought with me this morning would already be finished had I given every beggar some money. It is sad to see that there are many Filipinos who are enduring such hardships because the government cannot provide enough jobs. Going to the market is a daily chore for many people here in the provinces. Food cannot be stored long-term without spoiling for Filipinos who cannot afford refrigerators. I'm looking out the window right now, and I'm glad to be inside the internet cafe. Not just because of the heat, but because of the air in the market, especially along the main road. The fumes are nauseating. Whoever's for low or zero-emission alternative fuel research, I'm with you! Last night I felt the house shake from an earthquake, which I heard from other people struck at Quezon City. I haven't felt one of those since Mt. Pinatubo erupted. On to the pictures. This morning I helped gather some buho or bamboo. They use it to build huts and fences. Along the way to the market, I stopped by a shady area where I often see people rest. No one was there so I took some shots. The last picture is pretty neat. There were some small children around when I took the picture. After taking the picture, I showed it to the children on the camera display. One said it looks like headlights of a vehicle coming from behind me. Another said it looks like wings.