Monday, June 29, 2015

Maligcong: Stars in the Sky, Fireflies in My Room and a Snoring Dog Under the Bed

Milky Way with banana leaves - the sky on my first night back in Maligcong
The cicada kept bumping into the ceiling three nights in a row, attracted by the overhead light in my room.  So did the beautiful moths that line up the walls.  I kinda missed the two bees which visited the past two nights drawn by the only glow remaining after the whole neighborhood has gone lights out.  It's just 8:30pm but it already feels like the depths of the night.
The hour-long squall has brought the chill a few notches lower.  Lightning flashed across the sky beyond the distant mountains. Hahaha, just when I was planning on shooting the rice terraces at night and this happens.  The first two days, the rice fields were off-limits as there was te-er, a traditional ritual done to bless the harvest or so I gather.   I'm alone in my room but then again, I realize I'm not.  The moths, the cicadas, were there to keep me company as I read well into the night.

I almost felt guilty spending most days doing a lot of nothing but then I read this Zen book loaned to me by Suzette, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki.  He says "Though you do not do anything, you are actually doing something."   It somehow rang true in my case as I've been busy writing, conceptualizing and designing for projects the past few months so much so that my mind feels like it really needs some rest.  So instead of cramming my days with activities, I again opted to read and introspect.  Ignore my e-mails. Re-connect with nature.  Pet a dog or two.  Look up and admire the clear night sky.   Funny if nowadays, these all seem like luxuries (Saw a friend post the message "Offline is the new luxury" in FB the other day and while rather true, it seems like a cruel joke of modernity foisted on us working class people).

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Oceana Philippines Tañon Strait Photo Safari Summary & Highlights: 6 Days, 5 Towns, 3 Islands, 1 Fantastic Journey

6-day Oceana Philippines Photo Safari Route Map © 2015 Oggie Ramos
Full moon above Santa Fe, Bantayan Island
Day 1: Cebu City to Bantayan Island 
From the bustle of Cebu City, we headed over to laidback Bantayan, our vans loaded on a ro-ro. Full moon, moonlight serenade, sinugba dinner on the beach over at Anika Resort. Spent the night in container vans converted into rather comfy accommodations.

Virgin Island off Bantayan
Day 2: Bantayan Island: Visiting Virgin Island, Sunsetting at Madridejos 
Infected by the tropical vibe of Virgin island.  We found local color (and eating stuff) at the Madridejos market before finding kids catching what's left of the day's sunlight in bottles.  Awed by the sunset and seeing Lawis reef exposed during low tide.


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