May Kwento Ako #54 : After almost 80 Days of Quarantine

I did not experience what some refer to as “Cabin Fever”. I don’t know why. Perhaps, because I am ok to live quietly. And I am ok with my setup at home. I just have to make sure that I have water, food and ConvergeICT, my fiber internet supplier that did not fail me. And I am very thankful that I did not get stressed with staying home.

Rarely did I got out except to pickup food. Instead, I busied myself. I will leave out the details as they were plenty.

I am still very apprehensive to go out and be near people. Talking to them over the phone or the APP of the covid19 season, Zoom works for me.

Let me share some photos of the early hours of the “1st day of freedom” as I saw it.

This photo made me happy. It was an image that I used to ignore but not yesterday.
Oppps, sorry, we don’t know each other but I was experimenting on how to take photos of fast moving objects like bikes, motorcycles and people.
Honestly, I did not think I would see a Tricycle again as they were banned from the streets for sometime. Am glad that they are back.
As work at construction sites resumes. Or tries to resume. Hopefully, soon, they will resume.
More and more neighborhoods continue to be made secure by good people.
Different modes of transport here depending on your feel and budget.
Through it all, we continue to pray for security and safety. And appreciation for the blessings of the Lord.
Giant Ipil now in bloom.
And in due time, this will be completed. But for now, things remain uncertain.
This one is for all the frontliners. Doctors, Nurses, Aides, Security, Police, Army personnel and our Cleaners. Mabuhay po kayo.

May Kwento Ako #53 : Ahoy there, Turtle Island!

On board a banca, enroute to a marine sanctuary called Danjugan Island Sanctuary, one will not miss this twin island called the Turtle Island.

At first, I thought it was funny and quite pretentious that we would actually have islands in the Philippines with such a name. Or perhaps, it was just made up. But one learns not to judge, right ? Just go with it and explore.

While we did not dock in the Turtle Islands, I thought that the memory of once in a lifetime seeing these islands even from afar would be worth my journal. After all, this was my adventure, my memory, my story.

Danjugan Island’s approximate location in the Philippines
So, I won’t remember in my old age. 😀

May Kwento Ako #52 : A Trip to Balanan Lake, in Negros Oriental

I hope to return to this placid lake once again. With a few friends, we boarded a small boat and crossed this expansive lake. Despite being born in this country, I did not realise how many more beautiful places I am actually seeing for the first time. And very thankful to the family that brought me here for a short visit.

I was starting with my photography hobby when I took this photo so this photo must have been taken in 2008 to 2009. The photo isn’t great but the memory of being able to visit this place to this day remains in my mind.

This natural lake is surrounded by tropical forests and felt like it was being embraced by mountains that were full of wild life. So, best be carry.

Located in the Visayas, the mid section of the Philippines.

We drove from Dumaguete, where we were staying for a few days to explore nearby towns like Bais, Amlan, Tanjay, Manuyod and many other beautiful, beautiful places. It was a pleasant drive to Siaton. And although the template of the Philippines seem largely similar, I still am thrilled by each visit anywhere and everywhere.

Sadly, this COVID19 Pandemic is now allowing many to travel worldwide for awhile but perhaps, it is the Lord’s way of telling us “My children, you need to relax, sit still and fix your affairs that seems to be a mess!” I find this to me one of the powerful messages that repeatedly came into me throughout the 78-day Quarantine.

I was far from bored. Thank you to ConvergeICT, the fiber internet that I have installed at home, my Globe Telecom and Smart Telecom mobile phones that did not fail me. And many, many the other support services that made sure I was ok. Very thankful is not saying enough.

May Kwento Ako No. 51 : Blissful Experience Under Paris, not so long ago.

Weaving through a maze-like underground tunnel, I was approached by a pleasant surprise.
I have not experienced this before.

We all travel for many reasons. Some travels to escape. Some travel to experience new things in life. Some to learn more about self.

With this Pandemic that we are all going through now, I will be sharing more of my treasured moments which awed me. Some of you may find it common and banal but it was not for me.

I have created this blog for me. To remind me that one day, I would like to reminisce as I become more sentimental with age.

Hope one or two of you will like it.

May Kwento Ako No. 50 : Meeting and Greeting Rodolfo “Opi” Sadler

Autographed by Opi Sadler ( please excuse the messy background )

I must have met Opi Sadler in 2014 or thereabouts when he came to Manila. In the world of Oenology aka the profession of wine making, Opi is a Rock Star !

This post is specially being written to wish Opi a very happy birthday! Opi is a proud father, a son, a big bike aficionado and of course, has recently been rated as the Top Wine Maker in the world by journalists and wine judges.

Opi must be very proud of his home country, Argentina, the city where he lives and where most of the vineyards are located, Mendoza and his creations, the Santa Ana, La Mascota, Unanime, Big Bat, Grand Mascota and his namesake, OPI.

Just google Opi Sadler and see what fine man and work this cool man tirelessly has done, with over 30 years experience. Incredible.

Happy birthday, Opi! More power to you and to your continued good health and humor! Salute!!

May Kwento Ako No. 49 : Tasting Argentina

All I can say is that I did not find any bad food or any bad steak in any of the restaurants that I went to.

Some, admittedly were good to very good. Several were excellent when you throw in the ambiance. I couldn’t help but regal in the beauty and effort that they did to create that experience.

Will add more photos as I dig them out of my chest box. Meanwhile, here are a few of them.

Di ba, ang ganda ? Hindi kami pinapasok. Wala kamin reservations kasi.
T-Bone agad! Rib eye is not their favoured cut in most restaurants, I know. But always cooked to perfection. It must be the Argentinian Pride in their food.
Crispy to perfection! Photo, not so nice.
Drinks are on the house!
Seats in leather are common.
Beautiful edifice with that Old World Charm in the New World.

May Kwento Ako No. 48 : Buenos Aires has a modern side.

Yes! There is a modern side to Buenos Aires. A very modern side. Concrete, steel, glass. One would not guess that this hub is in the Buenos Aires that we pictured it to be. I think it is also a beautiful side. I really did not think that this place existed in this city. It is in an area that they call Puerto Madero.

Many tales I had heard about BsAs ( I saw them use this acronym so it isn’t an original by me ) had beautiful gardens and Parisian-inspired buildings that led the city to be called the Paris of South America with that “old world charm”. And this still holds true to this day.

Giant Doors
Espadrilles, anyone ?
An important church

May Kwento Ako #45 : Lipat Bahay ( Moving homes ), in France

In more modern cities where there are high rise buildings, modern conveniences like service elevators or lifts are common. But how about in centuries old cities like Paris where elevators are uncommon and often a luxury in homes. Oftentimes, only two people can fit into the elevator; suitcases excluded. Would they bring up the goods by the winding staircases ?

The thought of how people brought up their beds, sofas, dining tables in centuries old apartments in France has crossed my mind. But I parked the thought until one day, someone mentioned to me how it was done. And luckily, I witnessed an actual move shortly after.

There is an automated ladder that hauls up the goods in crates and someone up there receives it, presumably to unload and unpack.

I was amazed and glad it is now automated, probably only in recent years.

I took a video but I don’t know how to post the video of the actual crate going up the ladder – yet. Someday, hopefully.

Classic apartment building in France. So nice, isn’t it ?
I took a video but I don’t know how to post it. Items are brought up through
this automated ladder!
Yeah, the ladder goes over the pedestrians heads.
That truck below left contains all the furniture and personal effects that will be
brought up into the apartment.