something new!

this year, addu welcomed 2 foreign exchange students from the netherlands - to do their internship here in our country, particularly in davao city. i was tasked to take them for a day to see some of the good spots in davao. they were particularly interested in seeing the monkey eating eagle so off we were to mintal. since they have been hitting the beaches of samal island on their own, i decided to take them to eden nature park for lunch. we first visited the philippine eagle foundation. well, there were no major changes except for the cages of the eagles were a bit dark because the trees were really grown and it was a bit difficult looking for the eagles. and oh, they have a smaller eagle outside the cage.

anyway, we decided to leave after seeing all the animals. the mosquitoes were crazy and HUGE. and with the dengue scare, you won't make me stay longer either. before going to eden, i made them taste durian. it was fun. eduard was brave enough to finish 1 seed but hans gave up after tasting it. he told me that durian smells like baby poop and when he tried eating it, he can't help but think of baby poop. oh well, to each his own. but they did like mangosteen.

here are some of my photos:

the monkey eating eagle outside the cage. i so wanted to touch it :)

this crocodile is fat & lazy. look at his stomach!

the bird is mad at me for watching him eat. LOL.

we had lunch at eden and they were both impressed with the food and its taste. as usual, we just took the shuttle tour around eden and waited for our ride to pick us. it was fun knowing their culture and i hope it was fun for them too.

the group

rush blogging: is there such a thing? yes, i'm doing it now!

tomorrow marks 15 days before september ends and i have only posted 3 entries for the last 15 days. believe me readers (if i have any - thank you very much), i really wanted to update this as much as i can but right now, my life is a bit complicated and rather funny. there's this really mind blowing thing that i committed myself into and i don't even know why the hell i'm doing it in the first place. i promise to blog about it once it's over and who knows i might be posting something really wonderful. haha. anyway, im just writing this to let off some steam and all are random thoughts. mostly based on what i've read at twitter today.

senate against media: from what i've gathered, senator joker arroyo accused media of putting the country in a bad light when they reported the hostage taking and giving video feeds to an international news. what a load of crap. i think that's unfair. yes, media tends to sensationalize things (a lot actually) but to accuse them of making our country look bad is an idiotic statement. the media owe it to the people to tell them the news, whether it is good or bad. i'm not even going to point what the pnp should have done but the thing is, news is not about making the world see our best but actually giving the public what it must know. if sen. joker arroyo wanted to see only the good things, then watch NBN. wait, wasn't that TV station also in controversy?!

lady gaga's meat dress: seriously, i don't want to say anything about this. all i know is that there's a thin line between creativity that pleases and creativity that annoys. there, 'nuff said.

why was i not told drama: mothers of college students often complain to us why they were not informed about their kids' attendance and absences. oh my. just this afternoon, a very distraught mother was berating us that she was not informed that her son was already debarred from his classes. no matter how much we empathize, she blames us for this. well, first of all, this is not high school where class advisers call the attention of parents for every single mistake we do. second, there 2,000 first year students and playing mother goose to all this students is not part of our job. we give updates to inform parents but we leave it to the parents to do something about it. anyway, it saddens me that kids nowadays don't give importance to school. or rather to the fact that their parents work their butts off to send them to good schools. shame on them, really.

oh well. i've reached the 30 minute limit for blog writing. i have to many things to share but i'll do it next time. till next time folks :)

the things that actually made Mati trip memorable

our 2-time retreat master fr. rudy fernandez, sj never fail to mention in his talk the fact that he never gets bored. he shares that whenever he finds himself doing nothing, his minds travels to his memories and he tries to understand and appreciate them. i made a personal reflection the first time i heard that statement and i realized that in a way, i am like fr. rudy. i don't get bored. i always find a way to entertain myself - a good book (a reread or a new one), a good movie (then a movie review after) and a lot more. and i also found out that there is pure happiness in simple things. some good things in life are actually free. the point is to discover them.

i had an abundant share of simple pleasures the last time i went to mati. the fact that i got to visit mati for 3days for free is a pleasure in itself. so here are the others..

1) i mentioned in my previous blog (THE TRIP THAT WAS: Mati, Davao Oriental (Sept 2010)) that we visited the Carmelite Monastery. there was this nun (she was the one watching the souvenir shop over there) and she told me that i was very pretty. she even asked me if i was a student. she was surprised when i told her no. she said that i look so young to be working already. pinoy that i was, that comment made me shy. really. i said my thank you quietly. then she accompanied us to their chapel and she pinched my arms lightly and said, "gwapaha ninyo oi...labi nato inyong kauban." (both of you are so pretty, especially the girl who was here earlier. ->she was referring to jizelle actually.) anyway, that comment made me feel light-hearted. i know Sister does not often see a lot of people but i felt the sincerity of that comment.

2) we had a free afternoon when we arrived at dahican so i took advantage of the silence and solidarity since everybody was relaxing on their own. the whole afternoon, i played with the waves like running against them and taking dips. when i got tired from running, i'd sit down and reflect. believe it or not, i daydreamed. i whispered my dreams to the waves. seeing the waves rushing back and forth gave me strength that those waves are my dreams and they are coming to me because they are all going to come true. when it was dark, i lay on the sand and gazed at the stars. again, i daydreamed. it was a very clear starry sky. i was very happy and at peace at that very moment. i thanked God for giving me that moment to dream, to thank Him, to look on my life - how i wanted it to become. i imagined how Abraham must have felt when God told him to look at the sky and count the stars if he can for those will be the number of great-great-great grandchildren. and i told God that those stars are going to be my dreams and the people whose lives i have touched. it was a magical - talking to God, praising Him and hearing the waves altogether.

3) that trip broke all my prejudices. that trip opened my eyes to the goodness of other people. i remember bo sanchez's book about being a superstar and the trip helped me discover a superstar. people may say nasty things about him (i did myself but i guess i never really understood him the way i see him before) but this time, it does not surprise me that this person is a superstar.

4) FREE FOOT SPA! sand on a beach is actually a good way to get rid of those feet callouses. believe me, my feet were really soft after walking barefoot the whole afternoon and evening.

5) seeing a sunrise for the first time! it was an experience that i will never ever forget. seeing how the sun rises, how it throws light upon the world - it was truly wonderful. this is how i captured the moment:

thank you God for this beautiful treat :)

Mati, Davao Oriental (Sept 2010)

it's been awhile that i have not joined school recruitments and i wanted to give it a try again. i asked my boss if i could join them at mati for the annual school fair and was given the go signal so i was a bit excited to take the 3 day trip with them. whenever i think of mati, i always remember the zigzag roads and dizziness. but since i like taking roadtrips, i have to beat this problem. and only, only TRIPS will cure them. haha.

DAY 1 - we left the city at 6AM and arrived at around 10. we just checked in at our hotel and headed to the school fair venue. it was the Annual Davao Oriental School Fair. well, i just thought of it as bazaars in davao where people sell stuff but this time, we sell our school. haha. anyway, we didn't get to give our presentation that day since we arrived late. we were scheduled the next morning so we just stayed there till 2PM and headed to IMHA, one of our feeder schools. after IMHA, sir rikki invited us to check out dahican. so we went and well, what do you know? we decided to switch hotels the next day. they were actually planning for the grilled food along the shore thing and well, why not?
all blue and all smiles at IHMA.

who would not be enticed by this? sand? waves? can i sleep here? like now?

after a sumptuous dinner at seaside restaurant, we went back to our hotel and retired for the day. but i slept late since i had to watch "GREMLINS" on cable. i always get good movies on cable during trips. and it's when i have to sleep early. major bummer. oh well, i still had to watch my childhood movie even just for a few minutes. haha. but you know, gremlins are still really cute creatures - in my opinion.

- this time, we got there early and got the first slot to give our presentation. it was fun. the kids really liked games and giveaways. who doesn't?

some members of the recruitment team at work!

after the energetic talk of sir rikki, we made a short stop at the capitol over the hill. i love their capitol's location - overlooking the sea. work-related stress will be washed away just looking at the breathtaking scene outside your building.

goofy moments at the capitol building

we then headed to the carmelite monastery. i said some prayers and slept at the car while waiting for everybody. i was there already two years ago so i didn't join the group at their walk at the holy rosary. i just joined the group when they were buying stuff and entered the chapel. i love the silence there. it's so peaceful and relaxing. before we headed to dahican, we stopped at this really cool store with all those cheap finds. and the rest of the afternoon was spent at botona beach resort - sleeping at the sand, taking a dip at the warm waters, running with the waves, eating then going back to sleep. i love that afternoon. evenings were spent on getting a dip at the freezing water, eating and drinking and telling of ghost stories. we slept early that evening since we wanted to catch the sunrise that morning. i was excited since it was my first time to catch a sunrise.

(photo courtesy of: Bong Eliab)

DAY 3 - we woke up at 4:30 and waited. well, i was actually awake at 4AM and i was still so sleepy so i was debating in my dreams whether to get up at 4:30 or just sleep till morning. and since my mind was awake, i decided to get up from bed and join them. i took some sunrise photos and i hope they look good. i haven't done photoshoots for a long time and oh well, just look at the photos.

a very sleepy sir bong, catching the sunrise with us.

sunrise at dahican, september 2010

sunrise with the moon smiling at us (dahican, mati - september 2010)

before we headed home, we stopped by at sir rikki's house at lupon and had a good lunch. thank you sir rikki for the lechon and the bananas.

i'm definitely going back there. and next stop is MASAO :)

MILO Fun Run 2010

i've been invited to fun runs but my #1 excuse for not going is: TOO EARLY, i rather sleep. but this time, i promised my friends i'd join this marathon and it was actually fun - made me feel sorry i missed out on the other marathon invites.

at first, i was a bit hesitant to take the 5K. im not an experienced runner and i might embarrass myself for not finishing it. but my friend leggy, laughed and told me that 3K is for kids. 5K it is. i surprised myself that i handled the run and was actually looking forward for 10K. LOL.

(COUPLE RUNNERS: we actually had consecutive numbers...haha!)

(WE DID IT, WE DID IT! except for rowe and cheri who just did a fun walk..haha!)

the bad thing about the fun run though was the crowd - there were too many participants. it was too crowded and difficult to pick up your running pace. and whenever i was already pumped to run faster, i got stuck with these group of friends who were merely "walking". it was crazy. there should have been a lane for people who decided to walk and a lane for serious runners. good thing tiny and yos stuck with me. haha.

we love to run with each other and for the kids!

the second bad thing was the mess. they were giving out water along the way and majority of the people were throwing it on the street. the roads were a bit slick because of the water being thrown about. however, i give my respect to the organizers who cleaned up the streets after the event.

anyway, i've decided to commit to joining fun runs. it's a good bonding for friends and couples, too. what i actually loved about the MILO fun run was it was for a good cause: we ran to give kids shoes. till the next marathon guys!
(i placed #2655...haha. not bad for a first timer eh? we'll see at the next run!)

- FriendS -