Scaling Greater Heights

divilacan trek (44)

Pitong araw po naming nilakad ang bundok ng Sierra Madre hanggang makarating kami ng Divilacan, Isabela. Jump off namin, Sindon Bayabo, Ilagan, Isabela, September 2, 2011; 7:30am.

 

 

 

Binabagtas namin ang tropical rain forest ng Sierra Madre sa pamamagitan ng aming mga paa. Nariyang malusob ang aming mga sapatos sa putik; matisod, madapa at mabasa sa mga mabatong sapa; aakyat ng bangin; gayundin tatawid sa isang madulas na troso.

divilacan trek (38)TREEEEE

TREEKKKKKKKKKKKK

Hindi na inaalintana ang mga lintang kakapit sa aming mga binti. Pag nabusog ang mga linta sa mga dugo ng aming mga paa at binti ay kusa na lamang itong aalis. Ang mga linta nga pala, sabi ni Sir Banjo ay isang natural indicator na isang parte ng rainforest ay undisturbed.

divilacan trek (39)LIMNTA---1

Sa gitna ng kabundukan, naubusan po kami ng bigas at baong sardinas. Kaya nagkasya na lang kami sa mga halamang gubat kagaya ng dahon ng ferns, prutas ng rattan, at mga saging at mga kuhang isda ng mga katutubong Agta mula sa mga sapa ng kagubatan. Isang buong araw na laman ng aming tiyan ay nilagang saging lamang.

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Malaki ang naitulong ng mga porter or guide naming mga Agta na sina kuya Noni, Weasly, Ate Merly at mga kasama dahil kabisado nila ang kabundukan at mahusay silang maghanap ng aming makakain. Napakagaling manisid ng isdang “igat” si Mang Noni at si Kapitan, kung kaya’t wala man kaming bigas ay masarap naman na isdang igat ang aming ulam. Si Kapitan, binalewala ang kagat ng mga bubuyog ng kagubatan, makuha lamang ang honeybee bilang aming merienda.

  1. divilacan trek (24)

 

Nariyang matutulog kami sa gitna ng kagubatan gamit adivilacan trek (40)ng aming mga tent na dala sa mga batuhan, sa gilid ng ilog, sa mga tablang naiiwan mula sa mga old logging ng mga nagdaang taon.

 

 

 

divilacan trek (16)

Si Blackie nga pala, ang kasama naming aso, pero tawag ko sa kanya Lyka. Perhaps Blackie was the first dog to traverse Ilagan to Diviacan. Bilib ako sa stamina ng asong iyon, kahit nataga ang kanyang likod noong minsang nilinisan ni Mang Noni ang aming daanan, ay kaya pa rin nya. May kasamahan kaming nagsabing pupulutanin na lang si Blackie noong wala na kaming makain, pero marami ang tumutol.

 

 

Sina Kuya Rusell nga pala at Kuya Walter, ang dalawang engineer na GPS master, sila po nag-encourage sa akin na ipagpapatuloy ang paglalakad. Muntik nga po kasi ako sumuko sa pangalawang araw ng trek, hehe..Thanks Kuya Rusell and Kuya Walter.

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Sir Banjo, thanks sa mga inputs at insights na ibinahagi mo sa amin. Si Sir Banjo ang spokesman ng grupo. Kahit pagod, he never tired of speaking, hehehe,. I mean sharing with us, sa kanyang mga nalalaman tungkol sa environmental protection lalo na yong palagi niyang sinasabing batas – ang Republic Act 1586 – Phil Environment Impact Assessment System. Taga DENR siya kasi, hehe.

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And foremost to Kevin, hehehe, siya talaga ang atat na atat sa experience na ito, kasi ayaw ko talaga kasi alam ko ang hirap sa ganitong trekking. Kevin, we made it, bro…nyahahahaha!!!

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Alam kong bihira ng maulit ang ganitong yugto sa aking buhay, at ngayon pa lamang nagpapasalamat ako na nagkaroon ako ng pribileheyo na maranasan ang ganito. All 7-days we had to commune with nature. Sabi nga ng taga DENR naming kasama na si Sir Banjo, we had to walk in congruent with nature..Dapat synchronize ang aming mga hakbang sa kalikasan, otherwise matitisod, madadapa o mahuhulog sa bangin ang sinumang lalabag sa laws of nature.

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The essential is still invisible

I first heard of the book, The Little Prince during our recollection for graduating high school students when the seminarian/facilitator quoted an excerpt in Visayan dialect, “nganong makipag-amigo man ka nako nga fox man lang ko,” dealing with the topic on friendship and taming. Years back, I was able to watch its movie adaptation, and lately its animated version. Early this year, it came to my knowledge that another author tries to write its sequel, The Return of the Young Prince. I noted some drawings on its pages just like the original written by Antoine De Saint-Exupery. Still don’t know its content, that’s why I’ll be reading this book tonight, asap!

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Every Ocean Deserves A Visit

Now putting the book, “Everything, Everything” after reading it for five nights, to its predestined spot in my YA bookshelf. Also today is the first screening day of its movie adaptation, but to my disappointment, it isn’t screening in either SM Cinema or Robinsons Movieworld here in Isabela, so after putting the book down, I content myself now in viewing its movie trailer and video clips via Youtube.

“Everything, Everything” is the first novel written by Nicola Yoon, and it’s a New York Times best seller. What I love most in this novel is that, it is not racist, a proof of a paradigm shift of modern YA authors that romantic dramas don’t really need white, beautiful sick girls to make us care.

The lead female character in the novel is Maddy, an 18-year old aspiring architect, plagued with a rare illness called Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID), a rare and incurable immune disorder that means she can never go outside, so she has to spend her whole life in a glass smart house designed to keep her from getting infected. Her protective mother, a doctor, closely monitors her every move. Maddy takes an immediate interest in the cute neighbor boy, Olly whom she spies moving in next door. They get to know each other and managed to converse through texting and gmail. Further on, it develops into flirting and soon, fine romance. SPOILER ALERT: (if you haven’t read or watch it yet, stop reading it now) Towards the final chapters of the book, it turns out that Maddy was never actually sick. After her father died, her mother convinced herself that her daughter was ill, terrified of losing her. But of course, love conquers all —-

#EverythingEverythig
#EveryOceanDeservesToBeSeen
#SCID
#NickRobinson

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Sibbling Struggle

This month, I am really hooked into South Korean teleplays and films, the like of the Goblin and The Legend of the Blue Sea, which more often than not, I got hard time following through its English sub. This morning I came across this film, MY ANNOYING BROTHER, downloaded it, and just watched it in my laptop. Yet, I felt betrayed because what I thought the film to be a comedy focusing on sibling struggle, a shift in tone suddenly came in conflict towards the second half of the film. That’s the selling point, that thing called “just when”, the film delve much deeper, leaving me torn between laughing and devastating tears, almost I was like being pulled out of a buddy comedy and thrust into yet another tear-jerker film. Yes, just when the two half-brothers are starting to make amends, the elder bro found out he’s on the final stage of terminal cancer. He has only a short time to say farewell to his brother and help him win gold at Rio Paralympics, which will secure his future. Perhaps going in with perceived notions about the film hinders the viewing experience, so watching with an open mind might make all the difference.

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Moral Fiber

MORAL FIBER /*

Last night, in keeping up to be “always” a true blooded Potterhead and to personally commemorate the 19th Anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts, I watched (alone) for the nth time HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE. Towards the middle of the movie, on that part of the Twi-Wizard Tournament at the Black Lake on which Harry had hard time saving two souls, but triumphantly did it at the end without a moment’s hesitation saving both, then Dumbledore awarded him s…econd place (though he finished the task second to the last) because of Harry’s MORAL FIBER. I paused the remote and reflect. Just what is moral fiber Dumbledore is talking about? Then I realized it is the strength and ability to choose and act what you think is right in a difficult situation.
#moralFiber
#battleOfHogwarts
#HarryPotter
#Potterhead

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Making unbearable people, bearable

   

 

On March 31, 2017, I posted on Facebook regarding the character of Col. Carreon, from the primetime television series, FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.

Just a thought: Carreon’s character in #AngProbinsyano is multi-faceted. I can easily associate his character with that of Professor Snape in Harry Potter series. Both have access to information overload with what each party’s up to. How to use these information could make or break to which side they are most loyal to. Prof. Snape was unpredictable, so do with Carreon. The only difference is that, Carreon is heavily indebted to Joaquin in terms of financial matters, while Prof. Snape was “always” keeping his secret vow to protect Harry for his love of Lily. How Carreon will play his dual role by struggling to keep his police work and integrity intact, while supporting and feeding information to Joaquin, that’s ours to behold in future episodes. But I still believe, Carreon has still redeeming qualities left.

And yes, Carreon has redeeming qualities left. Fast forward this week’s episode, April 24 – 26, following the death of Col. Carreon’s daughter, a change of character reveals his true self. Last night, Carreon agreed to help Delfin proved Cardo’s innocence. He revealed to the media that Joaquin is alive and that the Tuazons’ are involved in illegal doings while Cardo is the one who’s innocent.

That makes unbearable people, bearable.

FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano is a 2015 Philippine action drama television series based on the 1997 Fernando Poe Jr. film of the same title, courtesy of FPJ Productions. Directed by Malu L. Sevilla, it is topbilled by Coco Martin, together with an ensemble cast consisting of Susan Roces,  Arjo Atayde,  Agot Isidro, Jaime Fabregas, and Eddie Garcia. The series is confirmed to air until January 2018 due to its high ratings, action scenes and “real life lessons” which was received well by the audience and also known to educate its viewers about Philippine laws and issues.

 

 

 

 

 

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MY THIRTEEN REASONS (and maybe more…) WHY

I intentionally delayed my “guilt-trip” to write something on what I read, listened and watched about Jay Asher’s THIRTEEN REASONS WHY because it’s my choice. Yes, a choice – just like Hanna’s choice, your choice, or just anyone’s choice, because we all have this freedom. Though, the novel or the hard-hitting tv series via Netflix is a work of fiction, yet it gains controversy because it deals with varied topics most of us rather won’t talk about.

I don’t know where to start. . . Just like creating thirteen recordings on cassette tapes is not an easy task. In the advent of the digital world, maybe some of us, most notably the millenials may not even know how to use cassette tapes. But on my part, my very first job after college revolves on tapes. From the news room, I recorded aired news from radio and tv, and transcribed the same – all in my 8-hour shift. What happened to those transcribed news scripts were sole resposibilities of the news editor and the news anchors who would afterwards deliver the news on air.

I remember during the early ‘80s, aside from the snail mail, the use of the cassette tapes was very useful to those working abroad, particularly those in the Middle East. It was a medium via voice recordings as a means of an exchange communication between a nanay or tatay working abroad and their families here in the Philippines.

What compels me to write something about Thirteen Reasons Why, is because even at the most holy of all weeks, I can almost hear Hannah’s voice, recorded on seven cassette tapes the night before her suicide. Hanna’s recordings are different. She elaborately planned it, even distributes individual starred maps to her listeners, which they’re supposed to follow as they listen to her recordings. She isn’t using the tapes for self-reflection, to try to figure out how she can gain power over her surroundings. Instead, she’s trying to put her listeners in her shoes – to show them how it feels to be on a list, how it feels to be accused of things and have rumors spread about them, and further confirms her belief that her problems are unsolvable.

No matter how calculating she was about her plan, it’s very clear from these tapes that Hannah isn’t thinking straight. For example, Hannah reveals the names of some alleged criminals (Jenny Kurtz) but not others (Bryce Walker), regardless of how bad each person was to her. She also threatens to publicly release the tapes if her listeners don’t do what she asks. But the last person on her list is Mr. Porter, who will almost certainly have to turn the tapes over to officials anyway. These tapes were definitely a plan made in desperation and we can hear it both through the anger and the confusion in Hannah’s words.

That’s what these tapes are all about. It’s through her recordings, and Clay Jensen’s reactions to them, that we get to know Hannah. We hear Hannah’s description of her life at her most desperate and disturbed, which makes it easy to forget that she wasn’t always this way.

To be more honest, it’s a challenge on my part to remain objective about the characters being accused of serious illegal activity, particularly Bryce, Tyler, Justin, and Jenny whose side of the story I haven’t heard, while still trusting the voice of Hannah..#
1. the tapes
(To be continued)

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THE GREATEST DELETE

 

THE GREATEST DELETE

Alvin E. Lauran

We are now living in the information age. People tend to think in terms of email, google, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. The message of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection has become a strange abstract for some minds. Perhaps a little story could help.

Archangel Alvin nervously ran to God’s throne to give his report. “O, God, the unexpected has happened! Everything is gone.”

He took a deep breath to calm himself.

Archangel Alvin was heaven’s computer programmer. A wizard of the trade, he was chief of staff of angels who monitored what was happening in the entire universe. Most importantly, he was tasked to update the records of all the faults committed by men since the beginning.

“Power hits us under our very wings. All the computers have conked out. And all the files have been deleted – all, including the billion geopbytes that stored mankind’s sins. Our system wasn’t programmed to react to brownouts. We’ve never had one actually.”

Archangel Alvin finished off his report with a hundred and one details that summarized the loss of eons of hardwork. He stood ashamed, head and wings bent. But in a quick glance, he caught God’s sad eyes.

Then in what seemed like a tired voice, God spoke – so softly it might have been simply a thought.

“I knew it was coming. In fact, I caused it. It’s all part of the plan. It was I who pulled the plug, but just for a while – for that one moment…just when my Son breathed his last on the cross and commended His spirit.”

So saying, time paused. Everyone fell silent.

Archangel Alvin felt in his heart that in the cover of heaven’s brief darkness, God has needed to cry.

And Jesus’ death had deleted mankind’s sins. #

 

 

 

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I am a walker…

walker

I’m no fitness freak, but I like to keep myself fit by walking. Allow me to exaggerate. If I could measure all the walks of my life – from my first toddler steps up to now, I could dare say, those small steps and brisk walks could equal to the distance one can travel to the moon and back.

Roughly 10 to 15% of my high school life was spent with walking. From the break of day, while other students of my batch was still on bed, I was already walking on my way to school, and during the twilight where they were already on their families enjoying dinner, I was still half-way home, walking.

I spent the afternoons-after-work of the year 2000 walking with the elders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints doing missionary work to both members and non-members of the church in the town of San Manuel, Isabela. I never get tired of walking with the Mormon missionaries – spreading and proselytizing the gospel, the best one year of my life as member of the LDS church.

My single all-walking-week was on September 2010, a 7-day trekking from Sindon Bayabo, Ilagan City to the coastal town of Divilacan, Isabela. That was 3 years after I was diagnosed with hypertension. Yet, after the diagnosis, I could still walk for hours and hours.

These days while I am on the prime of my life, I walk from my house to the gate of the subdivision to catch a tricycle ride, going work. And during off work, I opted to walk a few hundred meters from the capitol lobby to the highway to catch a jeep ride going home.

Yet, on top of all these walking, I walk the talk. Because of human imperfection, sometimes I could make mistakes, but more often than not, I make it a point to translate my words into meaningful actions. This is more important than physical walking, per se. One sloppy note to end the month#

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Wildflowers

…let the rain fall down upon her
she’s a free and gentle flower, growing wild

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..be careful how you touch her, for she’s awaken
and sleep’s the only freedom that she knows

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…but if allowed just one possession
I would pick her from the garden, to be mine

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…and a silent wind still blows
that only she can hear and so she goes

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.. a free and gentle flower, growing wild

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A Taste of Heaven

Can’t put down the book “Glimpsing Heaven: The Stories and Science of Life After Death” by Judy Bachrach (published 2014), while watching tonight’s episode of ABS-CBN’s “My Dear Heart”. Heart’s soul is now in wander, while her physical body is in a coma, just like Mia in Gayle Foreman’s novel, “If I Stay”. Hoping I can pull more insights from the book as I am trying to understand some near-death experiences, and see more light on this complicated topic of our life beyond boundaries.

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