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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Friday, March 16, 2018

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.

You see, to truly appreciate what you have, sometimes you have to experience what it is like without it.  Without experiencing true hunger and hardship, it is difficult to realize and appreciate the opposite end of the spectrum.  If from the very beginning you've had a silver spoon in your mouth, had everything fed to you and never had to work for things, then you likely cannot empathize or comprehend what it really means to be poor and desperate.  There is no sense of fulfillment in a life that did not have much lacking.  Only when you've been deprived of an element long enough, let's say sugar, will you realize just how sweet or satisfying even a bland vegetable can be.  And this doesn't only apply to food and money.

Regarding the girl I mention with the disability--I do not believe in such beliefs or reasoning that such was caused by eating certain foods during the mother's pregnancy (and hence the offspring inherited the qualities of the said food).  It was most likely caused by the mother's nutrient deficiency during the pregnancy and/or usage of substances/medicines that do not belong in the body and should not have been taken during the pregnancy.

Original post below:

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I went to Bataan this weekend and have posted some pictures. The beach was very littered but the water didn't seem to have too much trash, just a lot of rocks. I also went out for a brief bangka boat ride. I'm climbing a mango tree in one of the pictures. There are lots of mango trees in the area, and I think I'm on an Indian mango tree in the photo. In this specific village in Bataan there lives about 50 people. They are very close-knit and share pretty much everything. Among the things they share is a single toilet. They also share a fountain, and here they bathe, wash clothes, drink, etc.  The water is free, and it comes from a natural underground reservoir.

I'm trying to convince a friendly old woman to take a picture with me in one of the photos, but she was shy. I came upon a child who was riding a bike near a basketball court, so I asked if I could borrow it for a few minutes. I haven't ridden a bike in quite a long time, and I thought before about disassembling my bike in the US so I could have a faster means of transportation here but decided against it since it just weighs too much and I'd probably get into an accident here.

The girl without a chin is someone who is talked a lot about in the village I visited in Bataan. The story goes that pinaglihi daw siya sa manok, kaya naging kamukhang manok. In English, when her mother was pregnant with her, all she craved for was chicken and so they say that's why she now resembles a chicken. She's friendly and just a very nice person. The food, and sometimes lack thereof, here is starting to affect me. I'm getting thinner. I still exercise, and I'm probably burning more calories than I take in. So I'm just trying to eat more when it's possible. It's hotter in Bataan too (and the Philippines is already very hot as it is), and my skin burns easily.

Oh yes, I also wanted to mention how much I appreciate fire. It's really difficult to keep a fire going when coal is not available, or you can't afford it and you have to use grass and litter as I am doing in the last picture I posted. It's not hard to get companions to tag along during my expeditions. Usually, most everyone's always happy to come along. I tried messing with the manual settings on my camera and took a picture of the ocean and moon from a boardwalk. I decreased the shutter speed to take in as much light as possible, but the photo still turned out poorly. It was a beautiful sight in real life, too bad the picture cannot attest to it.

I really like the internet cafe I am currently at. The connection is very fast so I am able to post the pictures quickly. The only problem is that it's very far and a bit expensive.


Anonymous said...

I admire your courage, your restlessness, your "jumping off the bridge" in search of whatever it is your inner being is looking for. I hope that despite the hard bearings of living a Philippine-life, you'd get to enjoy every minute of it, and would make a most memorable time of your life spent here. I know that with your talent (loved the Catharsis video) and pure genius (Mensa, oh. my. god.), you'd hit it big in Manila. Well wishes and the best of everything! Linked you.

eloisaganda said...

tell me when youre in manila na ha

eloi to, di ka na dumaan samin! we were actually looking forward to your visit e just tell me when youre here na in manila

saturnjupiter said...

Enjoy your stay and good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

you are one crazy kid, but you are amazing. leaving your comfort just to track back your roots, man that's unbelievable. if you are going to manila, just be careful, you will encounter trafic, smoke and some snachers (don't flash your camera anywhere). try to audition for PBB (big brother-Philippines), free food, shelter and fame. if you are in metro (right now) just buzz us if you need some help.

Pico88 said...

Thank God you are going to Manila soon. There are lots of call center jobs waiting for you here. Just tell me via your blog if your resume has the updated contact details and i'd be glad to forward it to some of my contacts. Good luck.

savante said...

Hope you're enjoying your Phillipine life :) Tell us more.


chuayjai said...

how old are you? you look very young. what you're doing is really courageous.

Jed said...

A simple job that earns some money should help you. You could try working as an 'attendant' in the Internet cafe. I'm sure if you tell them your "jumping off bridges" story, they might be interested in helping you out. Show them your blog too. Or join a social group/organization that can provide for you as you help them out. You might even get to travel more, meet more people that way.

Anonymous said...

good luck on your journey of self-discovery. i'm pretty sure you'll get to know much about your self and the great things you're destined for here in our islands. being a wanderer myself, i know why you've chosen to turn your back on your "opportunities" to try to figure out a mystery that isn't even clear yet to begin with. i'd add you but my blog is over at http://ialman.livejournal.com

looking forward to the next update. your catharsis video makes clear one thing: if you ever hit it big here in manila, it'll probably be in showbusiness. hope someone spots you walking down the street. :D

Anonymous said...

Talk about David and his COCOUNTER at http://pbbfantasygame.proboards102.com/index.cgi?board=blogsandpersonalwebsites&action=display&thread=1143454567

Anonymous said...

David, I created a thread for your blog. Here is the link: http://pbbfantasygame.proboards102.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=blogsdotcom&thread=1143469830

Anonymous said...

nice blog!

Many pinoys should be inspired by your story.

I am surely one of them...

Hope everythings turning out alright for you.

Anonymous said...

hello... you've been here in bataan pala... i guess you went in lamao (saw it from the photos in the pier)... exciting naman ng life mo! i'd to try di yung ginagawa mo, but di ganun kalakas ang loob ko... hehehe... how's your wife??? hope you've been doing great! thanks for being an inspiration to me and to the people... i'll pray for your family... good luck and God bless!

Owen Jaen said...

Your journey should not stop there. There are more to discover in the archipelago you and I call home.

The wonders and misery of the Philippines make this country more than the usual.

I admire you for your courage, I salute you for your passion and I
am inspired by your mission.

Keep the flame alive!

Pole said...

hello.. its my first time to see your blog.. i envy you cos youve seen the world not as much as i do... guess what, i dont even know that theyve featured you on tv.. kaya pala sabi ng mga friends ko nakita ka na nila sa tv. well, impresively nkaarating ka na pala sa bataan. its my hometown, i used to trek Mt. samat for 3 hours, alone!!! :)
keep it up man... youve been an inspiration to many... god bless...


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