no need for more. just smile.
or you can check out others’ joy!
six feet under. what do they have to offer?
is it the same with what they have above them?
blue, green, and serene?
or just the soil’s smell of nothing?
“There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.”
– Charles Dickens
The lamp posts heading to the cobble-stoned streets of the Heritage Village in Vigan, Ilocos Sur were not the kinds that could illuminate all of the place’s dark corners. Although my companion and I barely knew the place, and it was at night, we still felt safe trying to locate the historic Calle Crisologo. While doing so, interesting Christmas lights displays and old lamp posts provided a sense of awe that kept us away from the fear of getting lost. Most of all, the friendly Ilocanos we asked for directions lit our way making us truly appreciate the place and gain another valuable experience.
The Bangui Windmills (second to the last photo) are one of Ilocos’s energy resources, the power that provides light to homes in this part of the country, while, the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse (last photo), through its flickering light at night, guides seafarers in this part of the South China Sea. The topmost part of this structure, though, is already close to visitors. Our guide mentioned that the province is planning to put up a new lighthouse in one of the hills near the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation. Let there be more lights then.
of balance. of grace. of faith. of strength. of oneness.
“Banga” literally mean pots. The Banga or pot dance is a contemporary performance of Kalinga of the Mountain Province in the Philippines. This dance illustrate the languid grace of a tribe otherwise known as fierce warriors. Heavy earthen pots, as many as seven or eight at a time, are balanced on the heads of maidens as they trudge to the beat of the “gangsa” or wind chimes displaying their stamina and strength as they go about their daily task of fetching water and balancing the banga. (http://www.seasite.niu.edu/Tagalog/Cynthia/philippine_dances_cordillera.htm)
At present, the Philippines is again at a place where our faith and strength are tested. But just like this dance, we try our best to remain collected and to keep standing. We may be swaying off grace at some point, but we will never lose it. We refuse to fall. But we will not refuse your help or compassion to get through these hard times. And for your prayers, a big “thank you.”
Until we dance again.
The Stand of Lapu-lapu, Rizal Park Manila
(A monument of whom we consider as our nation’s first hero. In the books, we know Lapu-lapu as the brave ruler of Mactan- an island in the Visayas, Philippines- who resisted the first wave of Spanish colonization particularly led by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. On the streets, ask any one the question “Who killed Magellan?” and you’ll immediately hear his infamous name. After him, many have followed vowing to protect our gentle little nation.
Despite the controversy this 40-foot bronze statue stirred when it was erected in the park named after another national hero, it will always serve as a reminder of how we should be as Filipinos– standing tall.)
And below is not my not-so glam stand as reflected inside this lamp pole’s globe in my fun attempt for the challenge: a portrait of that globe and the encapsulated landscape of the place by the entrance gate of the Manila Zoo.
For more interpretations, check out the Weekly Challenge.
I can already see
or the wonder from His hands these little buds tease.
Do you remember that boy or girl in your street or class who became your first ever buddy? Or the time when you were really excited to tell your mother about a new kid you met? I don’t either. But I sure remember a few who left some special place in my mind: that little curl-haired girl who was fine with sharing packed snacks with me even if hers was way more tasty; that boy in first grade who helped me have an easy time conquering my shyness being my assigned partner doing that first field dance; my cousins who raced some kilometers with me from our school to our house just to get rid of the thought of the distance we had to take; and that kid neighbor who always went with me to that lone farm house with the big aratiles (Jamaican/Panama cherry) tree to fill a can of those sweet, tiny, red fruit at the expense of being scolded, or hit, by a strict mother upon going home.
Some people who started as our forced or random companions eventually become our friends and, if luckier, partners in life. You’re the luckiest if you get to keep those companions over time. As for me, I’ve lost a lot. Leaving one town or school or work for another because of personal circumstances means having to leave, too, those that already became more than mere companions. The good thing is that there are new ones that always come. And I guess despite all the other harsh facts of life, the fact that the cliche “No man is an island” bears will stay as the most assuring one. We are always forced to get our self that someone or something to be our buddy (e.g. Wilson, the ball, for Tom Hanks’s character in Cast Away). Especially at present, with all the technologies and ways, I don’t think the word “alone” still have the same meaning.
Sometimes though, moving away or location is not the reason why people once very close to each other have to part ways. Sometimes, it’s just growing up. Or sometimes, some people are just meant to be companions at some short time in our life. But that doesn’t mean they have the less impact. We are even surprised in some instances that those who come and become part of our life the shortest time are the ones who affect us the most. Long-time or short-time companions though, we know these people will always make us smile when our memories bring us back to those moments when they make us feel safe, special, and most importantly, happy.
And if you miss them? There’s always that thing called Facebook. 🙂
Floating… that fleeting moment.
roses oozing red, fields scattering greens, sunset on a horizon of orange, sheets of clean white, balloons smiling yellow, skies and seas of blue serenity, the deep brown in my grandma’s eyes that even though do not anymore behold this beauty the same way that i do, still reflect life… these are just some of my favorite things that bear the colors i love to see and that i goal to capture more of soon.
for now, here’s my take on this week’s challenge. being part of the crowd of these colorful people enjoying a dolphin show last year in Thailand brought a different kind of joy in me. as a kid who grew up with mostly the colors of poverty, i never dreamed of traveling outside my country because i knew it would be one of those dreams that would just leave me disappointed. when this undreamt dream came true last year, the joy it brought me inspired me to never underestimate the power of dreaming and working hard for it. much more joy when i got to blend with people of different colors. it was a humbling, challenging (with the language barrier), and enriching experience. sometimes, this kind of color that race brings sets boundaries, elicits fear and hatred, and even fuels wars. opportunities like this when you get to meet and be with different “colors” lessen if not totally remove the prejudice. but i hope that even though not all people get the same chance, we would all see that not one color is more vivid than another. white, black, brown, yellow… let us just appreciate the difference and stop the indifference. like the song goes, it’s a small world after all. and it should be a colorful world.
there should only be one color that shines through the world, and that is the color of love.
Guadalupe, Makati City, Philippines
… definitely not during the rush hours.
Nothing special, right? Seeing the place at this viewpoint though, I didn’t know it is capable of being this laid back. I won’t show the ‘reckless’ side of it. Or maybe I might someday. Or maybe, you come visit the place and see for yourself. Just one friendly advice. Do it when it’s all busy, messy, and noisy. I like that side of the place more, too, when I am in it (and that’s on a daily basis: first, before 5 AM when I’m office-bound, and the other when I’m home-bound, sometimes before 5 AM, too). Why? Well, if you want to be safe.