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Shooting cascades in Papa-a

As soon as I saw small cascades running down the stream, I immediately thought it would be good to do long exposures. It was just disappointing that I did not bring my tripod [again!]. But then I felt I had to shoot.

Awesome sunset in Butuan City

It is not very often you get to witness a stunning sunset that gives you goosebumps. For a photography junkie like me, you should never, never, never let it pass just like that.

Winning a photo contest

Winning a photo contest for the first time (well, officially and with a prize for that matter) gives a different high!

Missing Cordi

From afar, I could already see the clouds rolling over the mountaintops. It was a sight to behold. So I asked the driver of our vehicle going to Buguias, Benguet to stop so I can capture this once-in-lifetime scene.

Cory Aquino: An inexhaustible gift to democracy

She further stressed the belief that the Filipino people, as a nation, can be great again. During her last State of the Nation Address (SONA), she said: I believe in the inexhaustible giftedness of the Filipino people.

Conversation with a cab driver on climate change

Ironically, this cab driver who would like to contribute something help curb climate change and global warming, by planting his narra tree becomes discouraged and disappointed...

At home [and at peace] with HDR Photography

HDR is not bad per se. HDR is nice to learn. In fact it is a must for non-pro like me to learn HDR to learn more about shadow and light and exposure, which is the crux of photography.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Adel Tamano on the defense

ADEL TAMANO after all is not just a prettyboy spokesperson of the Genuine opposition when he defended Islam [and even Christianity] against those who stereotype Muslims and link them to organized cheating.

He said in the Inquirer:

“But cheating is cheating whether committed by Muslims or Christians and should be condemned. The law prohibiting election fraud makes no distinction based on religion,” he said.

"Those attempting to make the issue a war between the Muslims and the Christians have completely missed the point," said Tamano. (An excerpt from the Inquirer.net.).

As I have made my point earlier, it is unfair [and even pathetic] to tag Islam and Christianity with the election fraud. Some advances have been made to unite Muslims and Christians, particularly for the peace and development efforts in Mindanao.

I just hope that this election will not engender divisiveness. Not again!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Maguindanao 12-0 vote, explained

THE ALLEGED Team Unity landslide victory in Maguindanao is attributed to the Moro culture of obeying leaders. Muhammad Ameen, chairperson of the MILF Secretariat, bares his thoughts on this matter to Luwaran.com. He stresses however that "obeying the leader concerns only those orders, instructions, edicts that are within the prescriptions of Islam, but if they are not, Muslims are equally obliged not to follow."

Read more from Luwaran.com.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

NGOs must learn how to fish

I HAD A chance to sneak-in during the Luzon Inter-PAC Development Planning Workshop of the PEACE and Equity Foundation (PEF) yesterday, and had a rare opportunity to listen to the lecture of Dan Songco where he discussed the need for NGOs to engage into social enterprises. The following is a summary of what I learned from him:

"During the 80s, NGOs responded to the needs of the time to help the government deliver the service gaps the latter has failed to deliver. During this time, funding from the international donor agencies were abundant. However, in the 90s, grants for programs and projects began to come in trickles. As a result, some NGOs, which failed to sustain their operations because of heavy dependence on external funding sources, either closed shop or have limited their areas of operations and scope of services. NGOs now face a financial sustainability issue.

One possible solution to this is for NGOs to venture into social enterprises. The bottomline is earning profit in order for them to pursue their mission and goal for the clients they intend to serve. Now, they have to rethink their strategies, identify their strength, study the market and learn what they were not used to do--that is making profit."

This is not impossible. Some are already into social enterprises. One common example is the Good Shepherd Convent in Baguio City. With limited funding for their scholarship project, they used their craft and skill in cooking jams and sweets, thus Good Shepherd in Baguio is somewhat synonymous to jams and jellies. With their profit, they could send girls to school.

I also had a chance to work with the Salesian Brothers of St. Louis School of Dumaguete (which was formerly operated by the CICM congregation, thus the name St. Louis). The Salesian Brothers are running the Don Bosco, which is known for their technical and vocational school for the poor. Since Dumaguete City is still primarily agricultural, they rather engaged into Diversified and Integrated Farming Training Program. Initially, they got funding from the German Doctors for Developing Countries and Algers Foundation. However, they failed to sustain their operations after the funding has been exhausted. Learning from this, they proposed to the Philippines-Canada Development Fund (where I used to work as a Project Officer) that they would like to sustain their project. Thus, the program includes income-generating component (setting up their piggery and poultry projects), which aims to raise funds for financial sustainability, as well as to continue the mission to train poor households on their farming technology. And it didn't hurt the intended beneficiaries now if they were charged for a minimal fee for their training. Now, the DIFTP is self-sustaining. The last time I heard, they have expanded their services into the other barangays.

If NGOs' mission then was guided by the motto "teach a man how to fish" in order for him to be free from the bondage of poverty, today's NGOs must also learn how to fend for themselves, and become financially independent in order that they can stay on the ground and sustain their mission.

Note: Dan Songco, together with Karen TaƱada, was also one of my mentors in Community Organizing for Coastal Resource Management way back ca. 1992.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Among Governor

WATCHING THE EVENING news today is delightful. Why not? Fr. Ed Panlilio, a native of Minalin Pampanga won over incumbent Governor Mark Lapid, and Lilia Pineda, with a measly 1,147 votes. The proclamation was a sight to behold, not only because it was a time for jubilation. More importantly it is historical as this is the first time to elect a [former] man of the cloth.

I am not a Kapampangan, but my heart goes for the supporters of Fr. Ed. Pampanga has been a haven of controversies like jueteng, the never-ending megadike issues, and the recent controversy over Mark Lapid's alleged marriage with a Korean in the US. They deserve a new leader who is not linked, at least, to these controversial issues.

I am happy for the Kapampangans, and I wish the new governor to muster enough courage, loyalty, determination, and commitment to serve his people just as how he has served his flock when he was still a priest. This brings me to wish that my fellow Novo Ecijanos would also learn from the Kapampangans to topple down the oligarchy of Josons. (I am not sure but I think, the Josons were also defeated for the gubernatorial seat.).

It is disheartening to witness some uneventful events this elections--massive fraud and vote buying, poltics-related killings, and many more violations of the election code. But hearing and watching these good news could somehow lift the dampen the spirit of the Filipinos.

It is not yet too late to change our poltical system. It is not too late to choose a leader who can bring peace and development. It is not yet too late for us to change from within.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The legacy of an old chair


I TOOK the responsibility of enrolling my two sons this afternoon, and I just realized how alienated I am from the schooling of my two sons, ages 12 and 9. I didn't know where and how to enrol them and I felt as dumb as a high school freshman, not knowing where the registrar and the cashier are. So I resorted to asking parents (mostly mothers) who were there on how to proceed.

Thank heavens I did not trust the security guard because his instructions did not help me at all! He showed me the wrong room for registration. The teachers seemed inutile sitting along the corridor while writing on some pieces of paper, when in fact they were tasked to assess the tuition fees. I did not know that until I asked them, which prompted me to tell them they should put a sign on their table that says "Tuition Fee Assessment". (Pinakialaman ko na naman ang sistema nila). To think that is a private school run by nuns!

Anyway, I am just blurting my horrible experience enrolling my two sons.

What I wanted to share is that I finished reading Bob Ong's book ABNKKBSNPLAko?!. Reading him was like a trip back to my days in the public school--that I could relate to his funny stories on the legendary nutribun, and felt guilty for being teachers' pet (yes "teachers"), for power tripping over my classmates (Who would not dare to power trip? My mother was a teacher! Smile. Bad me!).

This also brings memories of my old chair that I photographed last December 2006. It is now painted yellow. It used to be just brown with its faded varnish. This old chair (yes the one in the photo) is almost 50 years old. All seven of us, including our cousins, nieces and nephews who lived in our house, sat on this chair. Only one of these remained of the four kiddie chairs. The study table is still intact.

What brings me to be sentimental about it? It is because it carried all of us--all seven of us, now successful in our profession and careers. I remember sitting on this chair doing my homework and school projects or just making doodles on my notebooks and pad papers, or while watching TV or delightfully listening to our late Papang's story about their tragic experiences during the Japanese occupation. And I would not forget our Papang fixing the chairs whenever they get wobbly or broken.

Just like how our parents saw us through elementary, high school and college years, this chair carried us through our schooling--that becomes a symbol of our passion for learning.
------

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

In the defense of birthright

THIS WEBSITE called Uncyclopedia, which is a pale parody of Wikipedia has infuriated me when I learned about this in my Flickr group.

This website presents itself as a satire to the Philippines and to other nations, people, events, things, and cultural practices, but simply failed to bring the humor it has intended to elicit from the readers. While it intends to entertain, it is far from entertaining people, especially someone like me.

This is not humor or entertainment or comedy. This is utter disrespect of one’s culture. Once a joke touches on culture, it is no longer humor. It is maligning one’s living tradition.

It even provides a link: which says: “For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia have an article about Philippines.” This further makes their website rather pathetic.

This is not satire. Wikipedia states: “Satire (from Latin satira, "medley, dish of colourful fruits") is an artistic form, chiefly literary and dramatic, in which human or individual vices, follies, abuses, or shortcomings are held up to censure by means of ridicule, derision, burlesque, irony, or other methods, sometimes with an intent to bring about improvement. It is used in graphic arts and performing arts as well. Although satire is usually witty, and often very funny, the purpose of satire is not primarily humour but criticism of an event, an individual or a group in a clever manner.”

And I underscore “clever” because it will never be such. This is not an art but a trash coming out from a trashy mouth.

This is brazenly dehumanizing and racist, not to mention debasement and disrespect of Filipino women and the Filipino poor. To think that there are Filipino contributors in the website, makes me even puke more in anger and disgust. I would not wonder why they could audaciously describe the Philippines in such manner, but I would willingly eject them to Pluto because they do not have any right to malign our country.

Sure, we do have out flaws, iniquities, inadequacies, frailties as a third world nation. But I still love it the way it is. The Philippines is my home. Our home.

This is my territory and I would defend it from intruders like them!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Jungianisms

IN MY STUDY of psychology, there are at least 4 psychologists who are influential in my life:

1. Sigmund Freud - because of his id, ego and super-ego concept and that your motivations are actually a function of your physical desires.
2. Viktor Frankl - his concept on man's capability to find meaning in his existence. His book Man's Search for Meaning is just so riveting and at the same time hopeful as he narrated his life in a concentration camp.
3. Carl Rogers - who inlfuenced me about becoming to be I want to become - that I am someone who can make the best out of my difficulties and maladjustments, that I am rational and I can solve my own maladjustments, and lastly,
4. Carl Jung - because his theories are more "rational" and realistic than Freud's. It is something I can touch, taste and feel.

Of the four, I like Jung most. That is why I am dedicating this section for "Jungianisms" or some of the quotations I gathered from the net:
  • A shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.

  • All the works of man have their origin in creative fantasy. What right have we then to depreciate imagination.
  • An inflated consciousness is always egocentric and conscious of nothing but its own existence. It is incapable of learning from the past, incapable of understanding contemporary events, and incapable of drawing right conclusions about the future. It is hypnotized by itself and therefore cannot be argued with. It inevitably dooms itself to calamities that must strike it dead.
  • Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk.
  • Death is psychologically as important as birth... Shrinking away from it is something unhealthy and abnormal which robs the second half of life of its purpose.
  • Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.
  • Follow that will and that way which experience confirms to be your own.
  • Great talents are the most lovely and often the most dangerous fruits on the tree of humanity. They hang upon the most slender twigs that are easily snapped off.
  • I cannot love anyone if I hate myself. That is the reason why we feel so extremely uncomfortable in the presence of people who are noted for their special virtuousness, for they radiate an atmosphere of the torture they inflict on themselves. That is not a virtue but a vice.
  • I have never encountered a difficulty that was not truly the difficulty of myself.
  • If one does not understand a person, one tends to regard him as a fool.
  • If people can be educated to see the lowly side of their own natures, it may be hoped that they will also learn to understand and to love their fellow men better. A little less hypocrisy and a little more tolerance towards oneself can only have good results in respect for our neighbor; for we are all too prone to transfer to our fellows the injustice and violence we inflict upon our own natures.
  • Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.
  • Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also.
  • Man needs difficulties; they are necessary for health.
  • People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul.
  • Sentimentality is a superstructure covering brutality.
  • Sometimes, indeed, there is such a discrepancy between the genius and his human qualities that one has to ask oneself whether a little less talent might not have been better.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

FREE JONAS BURGOS

I got this from my friendster Bulletin. I usually do not re-post spam. But I have a moral responsibility to share this. I do not know Jonas personally. But I believe we share the same vision for the country--to free every Filipino from the bondage of injustice and poverty.

SO I QUOTE:

Date: Monday, 7 May, 2007 9:1 PM

Subject: ISANG LIHAM MULA SA NAGMAMAHAL NA KAPATID PARA SA NAWAWALANG KAPATID

Isang sulat para kay Kuya Jay (May 7, 2007)

Tol,

Sana pinapabasa ka nila ng dyaryo. Sana umabot sayo ang mensaheng ito. Alam naming mahirap ang sitwasyon mongayon. Alam din namin na nagaalala kasa pamilya. Ayos ang mag-ina. Matibay na hinaharap ng mag-uutol ang sitwasyon. At bibilib ka sa husay ni moms. Magu-gulat ka sa dami ng suporta. Kasama ang mga kaibigan, sama-sama naming hinaharap ang struggle na to.

Naalala mo nung kinulong si erpats, di natinag ang pamilya. Ngayon sa krisis na hinaharap natin lalong di matitinag ang pamilya. Huwag kang magalit na kinukwento namin sa mga kaibigan ang pagkain mo ng tutubi, ang pagiging pasaway mo nung bata ka pa. Kasi kailangan nila malaman na tao ka at di hayop tulad ng ginawa ng mga dumukot sayo.

Gusto ko lang sabihin sa’yo na tibayan mo ang loob mo. Tandaan mo na ang iyong paniniwala at paninindigan ay para sa nakakarami. Mas mahusay at mas matapang ka sa mga may hawak sayo. Mga duwag at traydor ang dumukot sayo. Kung anuman ang ginagawa sa yo para balewalain ang pagkatao mo ay alam mong mas tao ka kaysa sa pinapamukha nila sayo. Tibayan mo ang loob mo dahil nasa tama kang paninindigan. Huwag na huwag kang mag-aalala sa min. Ayos kami. At pinagyayabang ka namin. Isa kang mabuting tao at sinisigaw namin yan sa buong mundo. Konting tiis pa tol at magkakasama nating titingnan ang pagsikat ng araw! Para sa bayan!!! At para sa lahat ng biktima ng paglabag ng karapatang pantao!!!

JL

Si JL Burgos ay nakababatang kapatid niJay-Jay.


HERE ARE SOME LINKS TO INFO ON JONAS' DISAPPEARANCE:

This can also be read at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dying_of_the_light/488034257/ by Leonard Reyes.
Leonard's photos on Jonas' disappearance can be found at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dying_of_the_light/sets/72157600172080510/.
JONAS BURGOS BLOGS:
http://freejonas.blogs.friendster.com/my_blog/

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Understanding and embracing blogging

The first time I heard about BLOG, i was completely dumbfounded. So I consulted Pareng Webster to shed light on this. But I could not find any BLOG word in the dictionary. Was my dictionary outdated? Probably.

Then I heard about its cousin: Web Log. So I assumed that you "log" in the web or write something on it. Cool!

The first time, I was afraid to write about me and what I think or feel or even express my positions even on trivial matters. It is like opening myself up to the world! But eventually, I was able to overcome this. Besides, I told myself that when I retire, i would like to write a book about me and my family, and even about the entire clan. (Mind you, it's story is of epic proportion.). Would the book look like "Agila" that I watched when I was still in the elementary?

One of my friends even laughed at the idea that I will write a book. Who would read it anyway? I calmly but annoyingly said "No one." But it would be a repository of our ancenstral history. And it would just be for family's consumption. Period. He did not intrude anymore.

Instead of writing a book, which I think is far-fetched (and I am still young to think about retirement), I would just blog so everyone could already read what I am thinking, feeling, and dreaming.

At this point, I am still at a lost what to put in my blog. I do not want this blog to fully concentrate on me. There is also that word DISCRETION, which I have to live up to. I cannot be an open book.

So I consulted Mareng Wikipedia this time. And I think she is more updated when it comes to this matter. So I am also sharing the link with you to make you fully understand what blogging is all about....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BLOG

Monday, May 7, 2007

Igorot Foot Massage


LAST APRIL 23, I attended the Launch of the First National Weaving Congress in Mt. Data Hotel, Bauko, Mountain Province. We were treated to a cultural presentation. One of the highlights of the presentation is the Igorot foot spa, where some participants obliged.

The foot massage, according to Manong who gave me one after the conference, is a pasttime of elderly men. After a hard day’s work, their sons give them the footspa in their “dap-ay” (huts). The “technology” uses coconut oil and two sticks of bamboo which are rubbed alternately on their soles, until they doze off.

When I had mine in my room, it gave me that tingling feeling, which really sooths you with the “kiliti” , until it become more at ease with the rubbing of sticks. I think the secret there is the “kiliti” factor which runs up to your spine and head until you get goose bumps (got the idea?). It is synonymous to laughing, which makes you secrete some hormones that will calm you down after.

While we hanker for other Asian-type massage (e.g. Thai, Chinese reflexology), it was a suprise even among the other Cordillera participants that we have this indigenous way of relaxation.




Also mentioned at: Pinoy Centric



Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Weaving the tapestry for saving the Cordillera weaving industry

I had a chance to work again with the Cordillerans, specifically with the weaving industry. The following is an excerpt of the summary of the study I did for the Peace and Equity Foundation, CORDNET, and DTI-CAR.

FOR CENTURIES, the tribal people of the Cordillera in Northern Philippines have hand-woven the rich tapestry of their culture and heritage into the tight-weave designs we see today. Each community group has their respective designs, colors, and symbolism. One can easily identify one group from another by the dresses that they wear.[i] Moreover, the blankets and articles of clothing that they produce by means of the backstrap loom not only fulfill a practical function but also play a part in religion and ritual.[ii]

Inasmuch as weaving is an important element and component of the Cordillera culture, it does not only become an alternative source of income. More importantly, it becomes a family activity. Wives, husbands and children have a role to play from, cotton separation, dyeing, drying, spinning and weaving. Back strap looms are handed down either as heirloom or as gifts from the husbands. It is a living tradition. Stores may close down but the tradition lives on.

With strong cultural exchange and influences, introduction of technology, and consumerism, the weaving industry in the cordillera faces a great challenge.

Over the years, the industry has to confront the following concerns/ issues:[iii]

  • Diminishing number of or ageing skilled weavers,
  • Market development –
  • Enterprise management
  • Product development
  • Technology
  • Gender equality issues on multiple role of women
  • Lack of credit for the weaving industry.

Woven materials from the Cordillera have taken many forms, but sometimes, these woven materials no longer impact to buyers as something that is indigenous, and symbolic or have significant cultural meaning – it simply becomes a bag, a table runner, or a tapestry on the wall.

Amidst modernism and utilitarianism, Cordillera woven products must find its niche—one that is cultural, but also functional.

NOTES:
[i] Available at: http://www.slu.edu.ph/offices/arts_music_culture/museum/collections.jsp. Downloaded on April 21, 2007.
[ii] Available at: http://www.filipinoheritage.com/arts/visual-arts/pre-colonial-period.htm. Downloaded on April 21, 2007.
[iii] The need to validate these initial impressions would be very important in the future program assistance for the weaving industry. The separate case studies I have facilitated have validated these issues. The case studies did not intend to make a full-blown study of the entire weaving industry of the Cordillera Administrative Region. It aimed to provide a quick glance of the status of the weaving industry in the selected municipalities and specific weavers associations/ cooperatives. Information on these groups and community-specific conditions and issues would serve as the start-off point for future technical and financial assistance. Nevertheless, the study was also juxtaposed with the bigger scenario or the entire weaving industry to establish the validity of the findings, as well as to properly situate the varying conditions of the industry in each locality.

See related article at: BAGUIO CITY ONLINE, WOW BAGUIO, AND CORDILLERA ONLINE


Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Baguio vignettes


(Note: I wrote this sometime in 2004).


Anything about Baguio is good and beautiful to me.

Why? I grew up there as a person. I studied there for 4 years and worked for another 2 years. Despite some heartaches and difficulties, Baguio has a special place in my heart. I do not know exactly the reason why I would never, ever forget Baguio! That is why it was hard for me to leave Baguio in 1991. Had it not for a career change, I would never leave Baguio. In fact I even had a pajama send-off party with two of my girlfriends (dahil kami na lang ang natitira sa barkada that time), and there I had to let go of my favorite cardigan and my fluffy white mufflers to each of them, and going home at 6 am, practically chilled! Who would not? That was January and the coldest month of the year!. Anyway, we slouched in the attic and ate cookies, baked spaghetti with lotsa mozzarella cheese as toppings, barbecue, and soda courtesy of my girlfriends. We talked till the wee hours in the morning—about our present lives then, our plans in the near future, and what we would become in our respective careers, and many more! This reminds me of the conversations of 3 young professionals inside the bus on my way home. Just like us then, they were 3—one guy and 2 ladies, saying parting words because the 2 ladies are going abroad, and they also wondered if they would still see each other again. Well, that scenario made me smile but at the same time made me sentimental again that drove me this afternoon to email my girlfriends abroad and my buddy here in Manila—telling them I terribly miss them. (And I almost cried while writing that email!).

Looking back in time, and seeing the present is always my favorite pastime, which is a form of therapy to me. Dreaming about the future is something I always look forward to—everyday in my life. And having the chance to dream about my future empowers me to take control of my life.
---------

Of Maryhurst, flowers and drizzles

IN MY BAGUIO sojourn, there are three things I wish I could still have in my life here in Manila. Those who lived in Baguio would certainly agree with me, 100%. These include my unforgettable and treasured memories of Maryhurst garden, the flowers of Baguio and indolent weekend strolls amidst the afternoon drizzles.

When I went to Baguio recently, I have reminisced about the good life I once had while in Baguio.
With nothing to do during weekends, and with depression creeping in after college, I spent weekend afternoons with long walks while contemplating about my work, thinking about the ‘could-have-beens’ about many things, and life as a whole. I just love the drizzles slowly wetting my skin. This experience made me shiver in cold but I just loved the way these tiny drops fell on my face. The cool wind that comes with it just made me so refreshed and relieved of loneliness and fatigue after a week of work and studies. Starting from Session Road, down to Leonard Wood Road, up to Gibraltar, I end up at the Mines View Park and stare at the endless Antamok ranges. On many occasions, I would go to Camp John Hay just walking and enjoy the cool pine scent, the humming of the wind and sprawling greens that sometimes I found myself lying on the dried pine needles, and catch a nap afterwards.

One of my favorite destinations in my long walks is Maryhurst Garden. For those who do not know the place, you take Villamor Street, which is the road on the right facing Mansion House. Further down, you arrive at an intersection and you take the road to the right. Approximately 500-600 meters is the Maryhurst Seminary, which owns the place. The gardens start right at the gate. However, I regret that nowadays, outsiders are no longer welcome after they closed it to the public.

Maryhurst was and still is a very special place for me. Right at the gate, you could already smell fragrance! It was a point in my life that I said I have known and felt how it was to be in paradise. I could not recall the exact scent, but definitely, it is a mixture of lavender, roses, and other sweet smelling flowers. And I am not boasting if I would say Maryhurst was a natural perfumery.

When the seminary was ravaged by fire in 1990, I felt so bad that I thought my good memories of Maryhurst have also turned into ash. Since the time it was closed to the public, I have never been to the place. Honestly, I felt that it was a good decision for the CICM priests to close the garden. Why? First, I would no longer have the reason why I should go there and relive the past, and second, Maryhurst, which was a very wholesome place, was transformed into a day motel by some lovers who had their sexual trysts done in broad daylight. How could some lovers be so indiscriminate that they have not respected the place, which is, in fact, a seminary? I guess, this is the main reason why they closed my favorite garden.

I do not know if Maryhurst Seminary still has its beautiful garden. Like the Camp John Hay, which was stripped off its historical value, perhaps Maryhurst, too has also changed tremendously! But I would say that those who had been to the place would agree with me. It was a place for reflection, for clean fun, for clean love, and for peace of mind.

Priceless! That is how I would describe Maryhurst garden now. Even the memories that come with it will always be treasured. It was the place where I literally stopped from the daily grind and smelled the flowers! Nowadays, Baguio seems very crowded and Baguio now is no longer what I have experienced it to be.

Places, people, and things change. The face of Baguio has transformed a lot after 18 years. I may no longer see the same people whom I have befriended. Perhaps, they might have forgotten me, or I have forgotten them, except for that kind of familiarity that make you smile when you meet them again along Session Road. But what is important to me is what Baguio would offer me when I go back and say hello to my old friends. I have a treasure with me, that is-- the memories of Baguio, and the people I have related with. And that treasure will always be kept in my chest of memories. It will not burn down just like Maryhurst, nor change like the Camp John Hay (and I still call it by its real name and not exchange it with ‘adulterated’ Club John Hay!). And I am writing it now and sharing with you these treasures so you could also partake in the love, peace and calm I once savored in my young life.

My recent trips to Baguio made me wish I could spend time walking again in the afternoon drizzles.


BACK TO: INKBLOTS' PSYCHE

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