Thursday, March 31, 2011

Photo Blog

Since pauwi na ako, I decided na gumawa ng Photo Blog about my province. Parang nagkakainterest ako ngayon sa photography. Madami na akong naiisip na category para sa new blog ko. Isa rin itong paraan para wag akong mabagot sa Isla at way ko na rin para maipakita ang simpleng pamumuhay at gaano kalaki ng "bayanihan" sa aming lugar.

Please add The Beauty Of Catanduanes to your blog list :) Pakiiwan rin po ang inyong "bakas" para ma add ko rin kayo. Thank you so much!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Confession



Malapit na akong umuwi. Habang papalapit ang araw kinakahaban ako sa mga pwedeng mangyari sa akin sa Pilipinas. Natatakot ako na baka mahirapan ako mag adjust sa buhay probinsya. Labing anim na gulang pa lang ako ng umalis sa bayan namin, half of my life nasa Manila/abroad ako. Iyong excitement ko kagabi nahaluan ng kaba, iniisip ko ang expectations ng uuwian kung lugar. Hmmm, feeling nila "mayaman" na ako. Hindi nila alam tama lang naman iyong iuuwi kung savings. Tama lang o baka kulang pa nga pero the good thing napaghandaan ko ang mga insurance ko. (kahit memorial plan, meron na ako. kung anu ang gusto kung way pagnawala ako, ayaw ko ng may ceremony gusto ko idonate ako sa hospital tska ako ilibing. Ang morbid ko daw pero para sa akin walang masama na hindi ko pahirapan ang maiiwanan ko. Ayaw kung namatay na nga ako, problema pa nila ang ibibili sa akin ng kabaong) Natatakot ako hindi para sa sarili ko kundi para sa mahal ko sa buhay na umaasang magtatagal ako doon, umaasang makakasama nila ako lalong lalo na si Mama na sobrang pinaghahandaan ang pag-uwi ng "suwail" niyang anak. Paano kung after one month, gusto ko na ulit umalis ng probinsya at maghanap ng ibang adventure?


"Ano ba talaga ang gusto mo?" tanong sa akin ni bf. Sagot ko naman hindi ko nga alam eh. Hindi maaring hindi mo alam, mag-aaral ka. Tatapusin mo ang kursong gusto mo, kumuha ka ng bubuo sa pagkatao mo. Ang problema saiyo, lagi kang may hinahanap. Iyong simpleng bagay kapag ikaw ang nag-isip nagiging kumplikado na. Stick to "OUR'' plans. Takot ako sa salitang "TAYO". Kinakabahan ako kapag involve ang salitang "OUR". Lahat na yatang nasa paligid ko concern sa akin, wala na silang ginawa kundi sabihin sa akin na nasa tama na akong daan, na ito na ang tamang pagkakataon, na kapag pinakawalan ko pa wala na akong mahahanap na kagaya ng meron ako sa ngayon.


Ang hirap ko talaga sigurong ispelingin. Nahihirapan akong magpasakop sa mga bagay bagay. All my life namuhay akong "AKO" lang. Halos lahat nakadepende sa akin, ako ang tumayong Padre de familia. Aaminin ko matagal kong pinagdasal na may dumating na bubuo sa akin, na handang magbigay at iparamdam sa akin na ako ang babae, na kailangan minsan sumandal ako sa balikat niya, na hindi ko kailangan humingi o magsalita maiintindihan niya ang gusto ko. Lahat na iyon buong pagmamahal na binibigay sa akin ni BF. Pang-unawa, pagmamahal, pera, at oras ngunit bakit iyong fear andito pa rin?


Ilang ulit ko na napaiyak ang mga mahal ko sa buhay. Ramdam ko ang frustrations nila sa tuwing umiiral ang pagigi kung dominante. Ako na yata ang pinakama "PRIDE'' sa balat ng lupa, at pinakamatigas ang ulo. Gusto ko laging may challenge, ayaw kong mabored. Gusto ko ang nakakausap ko nabibigyan ako ng knowledge at natutu ako sa kanya. Ayaw ko ng paulit-ulit ang sentiments, ayaw ko makinig ng rewind-replay na scenario. I rarely speak my innerself but when I share it to someone I make sure it will be the last one, so better to listen because there will be no second chance. Bihira ako magkaroon ng itinuturing kung kaibigan, madami akong kakilala pero ang "kaibigan" na salita bihira kong gamitin. Ang gulo ko talaga pati itong sinusulat ko di ko alam anu ang main topic. Gusto ko lang ilabas ang nararamdaman ko.


Sabi sa akin ng isang bulaklak kagabi, Ate ako rin naguguluhan. Paano mo ba masasabi na mahal mo talaga ang isang tao, na siya na ang para saiyo? Mas lalong binulabog ang aking kamalayan sa mga tanong niya. (mamaya pag nag OL na siya, sisitahin ko ng bonggang bongga, LOL) Dinadaan ko lang sa tawa pero ang totoo ilang gabi na akong walang tulog. Kakaibang nilalang siguro ako, ang hilig ko mag-isip ng mga mangyayari. Perfectionist? Organized? Obsessive-Compulsive? Sana hindi pa naman ito Bipolar disorder. ^_^ Ito naman si Yiyeh, nagrerequest sa akin wag daw ako magpapakasal. "Gemma, enjoy your stay in Philippines but don't get married" I gave him a smile. "If your not prepared to have a child then don't jump into marriage" sympre, super explain ako, "Yiyeh, my BF knows about that. He's fully aware of what I want." at ang sumunod na litanya niya isang oras na ang topic tungkol sa kasal.


What should I say "iskeri''! I am so scared of being hurt again. I knew my limitations, I couldn't take another pain. I don't want to fail. Bottomline, I travel this far not to do the same mistake again.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Finding YOU



I am tired waking up alone,
I can’t help myself but to cried,
The distance between us is making a big impact,
How long should I have to endure?

Last night before I fall asleep,
You said “hold-on Baby,”
“I am coming home soon before you even noticed”,
But my desire is making me insane.

I want to kiss and give you embrace,
For so long, I want you to be mine alone,
Sometimes, people just can’t understand,
Why I can’t wait any longer for you to go home.

I regret, it took me so much time,
To open my heart and give you a chance,
Time flies so fast and I can’t put back in my hand,
We walk differently but in detour we catch up.

I am sorry for burying my affection,
For leaving you a scar of no explanation,
But look at now Baby behind the shadow of pain,
You have me, more than you could imagine.

Finding you again is my gem,
Our second chance is our paradise,
The last resort to make things right,
Our vow will be our guide.

I LOVE YOU…
I LOVE YOU LIKE IT WILL ALWAYS BE OUR FIRST!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sickness

I am sick for two weeks now. It just started as a simple sore throat. I went to my ENT Doctor in Tri-Service General Hospital for a check-up because swallowing was my concern. They had my blood test to determine if my thyroid gland is functioning well but the result was normal. After two days, I came back because I felt it got worst, my Doctor said it was a psychological thing. Knowing me I won’t settle unless I get the clear explanation. They did endoscopy to determine if there was an abnormality in my esophagus. After the series of test, there’s nothing to be worry about. They give me oral medicine.

(my ENT Doctor and Nurse)



I tried not to think and relax but I can’t ignore the fact that there really something bothering me. On the third say I visited my gastroenterologist for (esophagogastroduodenoscopy). They explained that my acid level was very high. They suggested me to go back to my ENT Doctor. As they give me examination they find out my tonsil was swelling. Inflammation of tonsil for that I am convinced because that’s my predicament even when I was in high school.


(waiting area with tv)


(my oral medicines)

They give me the list of food to take and should be avoided. I also do my own research from my bestfriend GOOGLE.


What is Tonsillitis and Causes of Tonsillitis
Tonsillitis means inflammation of tonsils. It occurs frequently up to the age of 15yrs.
Predisposing factors for tonsillitis
Endogenous factors include

■Pre-existing chronic tonsillitis.
■Pre-existing upper respiratory infection.
■Post-nasal discharge.
■General lowering of resistance.
Exogenous factors include

■Ingestion of cold-drinks or food may directly cause infection.
■Contagion- i.e. infection may be contacted from other individual having infection.
■Pollution and crowded ill-ventilated environment.
Commonly responsible causative organisms for tonsillitis are
Respiratory gram positive cocci like, streptococci, staphylococcus and pneumococcus. Of these hemolytic streptococcus has a special predilection for tonsils.

Symptoms of Tonsillitis
■Raw sensation in throat.
■Pain in throat which is aggravated by swallowing.
■Voice may become hoarse.
■On examination tonsils are swollen and congested. Foul breath or halitosis may be present.
■General symptoms like malaise, fever and headache may be present.
How to Prevent Tonsillitis
1.Avoid foods like cold foods and drinks, curd, buttermilk, pickles, fried foods, spicy foods.
2.Eat foods that are soft and easy to swallow.
3.Drink plenty of warm liquids like tea, coffee or soup.
4.Crowded and ill ventilated places should be avoided.
5.Wear a scarf or cover the mouth with handkerchief to avoid smoke and air pollution.
6.Avoid frequent head baths and rain showers especially during acute phase.
Home Remedies for Tonsillitis
■Apply hot fomentation on front of neck externally.
■Gargling should be done after every four hours with a pinch of salt in a glass of warm water.
■Garlic cloves are crushed and a paste is made out of it and mixed with honey and applied to the inflamed tonsil with a cotton swab.
■Add turmeric powder (one teaspoon) in a glass of a warm milk and sugar to taste and should be taken twice daily for five days.
■Dry gingerpowder boiled in a cup of water can also be used for gargling for relieving congestion and hoarseness of voice

Friday, March 18, 2011

Isang Alaala Ng Aking Bayan

Ni: Gat. Jose Rizal

Nagugunita ko ang nagdaang araw
ng kamusmusang kong kay sayang pumanaw
sa gilid ng isang baybaying luntian
ng rumaragasang agos ng dagatan;
Kung alalahanin ang damping marahan
halik sa noo ko ng hanging magaslaw
ito'y naglalagos sa ‘king katauhan
lalong sumisigla’t nagbabagong buhay

Kung aking masdan ang liryong busilak
animo'y nagduruyan sa hanging marahas
habang sa buhangin dito'y nakalatag
ang lubhang maalon, mapusok na dagat
Kung aking samyuin sa mga bulaklak
kabanguhan nito ay ikinakalat
ang bukang liwayway na nanganganinag
masayang bumabati, may ngiti sa lahat.

Naalaala kong may kasamang lumbay
ang kamusmusan ko nang nagdaang araw
Kasama-sama ko'y inang mapagmahal
siyang nagpapaganda sa aba kong buhay.
Naalaala kong lubhang mapanglaw
bayan kong Kalambang aking sinilangan
sa dalampasigan ng dagat-dagatan
sadlakan ng aking saya't kaaliwan

Di miminsang tumikim ng galak
sa tabing-ilog mong lubhang mapanatag
Mababakas pa rin yaong mga yapak
na nag-uunahan sa 'yong mga gubat
sa iyong kapilya'y sa ganda ay salat
ang mga dasal ko'y laging nag-aalab
habang ako nama'y maligayang ganap
bisa ng hanging mo ay walang katulad.

Ang kagubatan mong kahanga-hanga
Nababanaag ko'y Kamay ng Lumikha
sa iyong himlayan ay wala nang luha
wala nang daranas ni munting balisa
ang bughaw mong langit na tinitingala
dala ang pag-ibig sa puso at diwa
buong kalikasa'y titik na mistula
aking nasisinag pangarap kong tuwa.

Ang kamusmusan ko sa bayan kong giliw
dito'y masagana ang saya ko't aliw
ng naggagandahang tugtog at awitin
siyang nagtataboy ng luha't hilahil
Hayo na, bumalik ka't muli mong dalawin
ang katauhan ko'y dagling pagsamahin
tulad ng pagbalik ng ibon sa hardin
sa pananagana ng bukong nagbitin.

Paalam sa iyo, ako'y magpupuyat
ako'y magbabantay, walang paghuhumpay
ang kabutihan mo na sa aking pangarap
Nawa'y daluyan ka ng biyaya't lingap
ng dakilang Diwa ng maamong palad;
tanging ikaw lamang panatang maalab
pagdarasal kita sa lahat ng oras
na ikaw ay laging manatiling tapat.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Maligayang Kaarawan, Mama!


Noon ako' y kalong-kalong at hinahagkan,
Pinadadama pagmamahal na walang katapusan,
Kahit itong anak maligaw andyan ka mamsusumpungan,
Dahil sa pag-ibig mong tunay.

Kumislap ang iyong mata, tandang-tanda ko,
Pag akyat sa entablado, karangalang nagpasaya saiyo,
Mga medalyang isinabit ipinagmalaki sa lahat ng tao,
Yapos sa mga bisig sabi mo "ang galing ng anak ko.

Lumaki akong busog sa pagmamahal & iyong kalinga,
Pangangailangan iyong tinustusan at nagpakahirap ka,
Trabahong panlalaki, ginampanan, iyong kinaya,
Pagod na katawan 'di mo ininda.

Naging haligi at ilaw ka ng ating tahanan,
Mahinahong pakikipag usap sa pagdidisiplina naging batayan,
Hagupit ng pamalo, 'di ko saiyo naranasan,
Kundi init ng iyong yakap naging sandigan.

Sabi mo pakikipagkapwa-tao 'wag kakalimutan,
Matutong magpakumbaba at mgbigay galang,
Apihin man ng iba, wag magmataas, wag gagantihan,
Ipagdasal at ipasa Diyos na lamang.

Maraming beses akong naging sakit ng iyong ulo,
Damdamin sinugatan, damdamin saiyo binato,
Luha'y naging kasama mo sa paglaki ko,
Sapagkat mahal mong anak, minsan matigas ang ulo.

Pagsubok dumagan sa anak mo,
Sariling buhay binalak kong kitlin, ki Kamatayan nakipaglaro ako,
Sapagkat isang trahedya sa akin bumilanggo,
Ngunit pang unawa mo'y sadyang walang makakatalo.

Ako'y natutong sumuway sa mga kagustuhan mo,
Magsinungaling at barkada nakaulayaw ko,
Akala ko kasi matapang at matatag na ako,
Ngunit ako'y nabigo luhaang bumalik saiyo.

Salamat Inay at lagi kang nandyan,
Lakas at tapang mo sa akin binigay,
Init ng iyong yakap muli kong naramdaman,
Lagi kang nag aantay at nag aabang sa ating tahanan.

Inay, maligayang kaarawan,
Nawa'y pagpalain ka ng May Lalang,
Nais kong iparating ika'y minmahal,
Dakila ka at nag-iisang huwaran.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Lucky One


List of his Novels:

The Notebook
Message in a Bottle
A Walk to Remember
The Rescue
A Bend in the Road
Nights is Rodanthe
The Guardian
The Wedding
Three Weeks with My Brother
True Believer
At First Sight
The Choice
Dear John
The Lucky One
The Last Song
Safe Haven


"Generally speaking, Nicholas Sparks sets out to write an easy-to-read, entertaining, original love story with a poignant ending, one that generates genuine emotion."

I’m always a fan of Nicholas Sparks writing. I love how he portrays an exciting story and the unexpected twist. He always caught my attention how he delivers the plots, the emotional dramas, and full of surprises to the extent. Just when I thought I knew the ending of the story, he is a master in making the readers want it more and longs for another story to unveil. As usual, he never forgets the reality that there are a couple of other permutations that create roadblocks to happiness. The story is formulaic, but is imbued with a great deal of life. He has the charm to tickle the imagination of every one not only the teenagers but different kinds of people whatever their present state, in love or in heart aches.

1999, I started collecting his books. His first novel in my hand was a Message in a Bottle. I like it so much and had decided to follow his writings. Yesterday, while I was busy finding a novel of Elizabeth Gilbert the author of Eat, Pray, Love I saw the missing piece of my collection THE LUCKY ONE. Some say im so weird because of my nature to be attached in their writings. Once I have a favorite author, I make sure I read all his/her novels. The first author I had completed my collection was Sidney Sheldon (sad to say, I lost some of it because of typhoon that rampaged our place) Harry Potter Series (the last book was sent by Ma'am Suming Tsai while I spent my vacation in Philippines. Although Mitch Albom books I also have in my possesion but I'm a bit disappointed, so far i only love his Tuesdays with Morrie. Ironic, Khaled Hosseini stop writing after his 2 best selling novels, (The Kite Runner novel I considered one of the best). The Twilight Series came from Yiyeh. Now, I am following Jodi Picoult :)

It's my dream to have a mini library in my own house. :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

FVR visits Taipei

Last March 6, 2011 I’m privileged enough to had a chance in meeting the former President Fidel V. Ramos together with the delegation coming from the Philippines. I was invited personally by Ms. Marie Yang the former President of FilCom and currently the Secretary General. The venue was held in Ugnayan Center Cosmos Hotel. The program started at 2pm ‘till 4:30pm. All MECO officials were there too, headed by Ambassador Antonio Basilio, Atty Serg Eulogio (Assistant Director to Nationals), Atty. Carlo Aquino (Deputy Representative), Mr. Rey Confirido ( DOLE), and Mr. Jose Capa (OWWA Welfare Officer)
Samahang Makata International with from L-R Atty Serg Eulogio, Ms. Marie Yang, Ambassador Antonio Basilio, former Pres. FVR, Mrs. Ming Ramos, and Atty. Carlo Aquino


Bicol Association in Taiwan (BAIT)

The program begins with the opening prayer by priest from Holy Family Church, national anthem lead by MECO officer, opening remarks from Ambassador Antonio Basilio. Former Pres. FVR speech lasted almost an hour, great speech with a commanding voice and witty remarks in between. He tackled the friendship between Philippines and Taiwan way back then, when the Philippines still lives in prosperity. He also mentioned about his father which happens to be the first Ambassador to Taiwan.

with Mrs. Ming Ramos He focused on how the OFW play a big role in the economy, his concerns on how the present government should handle the sensitive issue especially now that there is the wall between Taiwan and the Philippines. He suggested for us to maintain the decency and resilient towards the matter to avoid more harm. He also admits that the ones who suffer most are the OFW’s who just wanted to earn a living in a decent way. Because of his status as a private citizen, he can’t demand anything from both parties but he is willing to suggest a dialogue and give a report to the Malacanang. He reiterates that he came to Taiwan for a Ramos friendly golf Cup not as emissary of our government. After his series of talks to the private sector, he reassured us that 90% of companies and employers want the service of Filipino workers because of our nature of being resourceful and career oriented.
the unexpecte guest Macoy Fundales (lead vocalist of Orange and Lemon Band) What I really admired him was the reminder he said “ As OFW, all of you has a responsibilities to make your country proud. All of you serve as an ambassador of goodwill by our country” He told us to behave accordingly and do best to fellow OFW, and love our family back home even though distance separates from our love ones he mentioned the word COMMITMENT and FAITHFULNESS. He said we are here for our family not only for ourselves, we should save a penny for the future needs so that when we decided to go home we are our own boss.


with the former Pres of FilCom in Taiwan, Marie Yang and Myrna officer of OFW Family Club

with Ambassador Antonio Basilio Macoy Fundales was the unexpected guest. He sung Pinoy Ako with the amusement of the audience. Open forum follows. Most of the questions were about the temporary freeze of OFW and the added requirements of TECO. But according to Ambassador Basilio, things will be back to normal. He said the talks are still underway. Instead of being pessimist let’s be hopeful that everything will be solve as soon as possible. The bulk of audience who attended the event were satisfied. We left the place very proud to be Filipino. Today, while I am writing this article, I read from The China Post that former Sen. Manuel Roxas will come back on March 13 to 14 to further discuss the stand of our government and we are hoping for positive development.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Hometown


BATO



Bato, the smallest of the eleven (11) municipalities of Catanduanes has a land area of 48.8 sq. km. or 4,880 ha. It is situated along the eastern coast of Bicol Region. It lies on the Southern Part of the storm tossed island province. A 5th class municipality and with a population density of 321 persons per square kilometer, it has a total population of 17,761 as of 2000.

(the breathtaking view of Bato River, photo grabbed from Adolf Manlangit)

To prevail on this small strip of predominant agricultural land, the Batonhon has thought himself to be practical. She has resolutely formed an alliance with the typhoon-beaten soil to gain her education, which can serve as a passport to better life in which better life cannot be offered by agriculture alone. Education has to play its part, proof of which the town has produced an unsurpassed number of Professionals of the different fields of expertise.
(the famous Maribina Falls in our town, i remembered vividly the memories during my high school years)

As you look around the foliage of the hills and mountains, the ebbing tides of the river, the swamps and blue-green sea, the valleys, precipice and cloudy blue sky, one would reflect that it is indeed inevitable for a resourceful Batonhon not to move on and seek a broader prospective venture elsewhere or abroad.

(Garrison Site at sunset, photo grabbed from Rhonel)

BATO DURING PRE-SPANISH ERA

Little is known about the existence of Bato in the early part of the 13th century. It is believed however that on the basis of language peculiarities spoken by the natives, the early settlers were muslim traders from Surigao, traders who were previously immigrants from Borneo and Malaysia. They settled near the shore of Batalay for protection against external threats, and for communal needs, people lived together inn groups with elected leaders. Some of this group retreated from the shores and settled near the Bato River.

(me at St. John the Baptist Church, the historical and oldest church in Region V)


THE BIRTH OF HISTORICAL LAND MARK: (THE HOLY CROSS OF BATALAY)

Through a significant twist of destiny, Bato incidentally became an important stage in the drama of Philippine History with Fray Diego de Herrera as the main character. Fray Diego de Herrera was a missionary from Toledo Spain. In Philippine history, he is known as one of the members of the expedition as Miguel Lopez de Legaspi and as one of the first priests who came to Manila between 1571 to 1572, said the first mass and became the founder of the monastery of San Agustin, the eldest church of the country.

( the main road)

The Spanish Regime

Located at the Southeastern cost Catanduanes is a reef called Nagngagang Buaya which is linked by traditional with the place where a Galleon Espiritu Santo taken by Fray Diego de Herrera and nine other companies which embarked from Mexico suffered ship wreak on April 25, 1576 on their way to Cebu because of the negligence of the pilot of the ship and bad weather. According to Rev. Icacio Rodriguez, says that all the survivors were preened by the natives of the island, however, had they met an instant death, the story not have been completed. Mariano Goyena del Prado in his testimony says that the survivors were stranded in Batalay, a native “balangay” located at the Southern tip of the town of Bato, Catanduanes, where they were given shelter and provisions by the ruling datu. This testimony is closed to the belief of Batonhon that Fray Diego de Herrera lived for some days in Batalay and suffered martyrdom in the hands of the natives because he tried to introduce catholic religion, which the native did not accept. Tradition has it on the burial place of Fray Diego de Herrera where the Spanish companion planted a wander cross, a spring of clear water sprouted, which the natives regarded as an unusual phenomenon.

(crocodile island in our town)

Again tradition says that the death of Fray Diego de Herrera brought supernatural punishment to the natives for killing a holy man. The punishment was in the form of school of swordfish, which attacked and killed many of the natives. The survivors retreated inland, some finally settled near the Bato River and the others went back to Batalay after the incident.

After many years, From 1840 to 1860, Bishop Grijalvo of Nueva Caceres ordered a moment to the constructed over the grave of Fray Diego de Herrera, the site of which could not be located. It took many attempts to plant a cross on the right spot because no cross would stand, it was noted to be uprooted every sunrise, when finally one morning the cross did not fall to the ground that caught the natives in surprise, the natives dug beneath where the cross stood and found a human skeleton supposed to be the remains of famous martyr. From then on pilgrims placed it on the pained parts of the body, others brought with them oil and many came with empty bottles to be filled with the miraculous water from the spring. To protect the cross from further destruction, it was encased with hard wood. Presently, it is on the altar of the Holy Cross of Batalay Chapel where it is venerated throughout the year.

On April 21, 1973 on the occasion of the fourth Centennial Celebration of the death of Fray Diego de Herrera, a decree was signed by the Most Rev. Teotimo C. Pasis C.M. Bishop of Legazpi, declaring the Holy Cross of Batalay a Diocesan Shrine with the right to hold a Liturgical celebration on the last Friday of April of every year. Thus, Batalay, Bato, Catanduanes become a historical landmark
.


(my family during harvest time, near our house. taken during my 2008 summer vacation )

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PARISH

Although it was in Batalay, Bato, Catanduanes that the first seed of Christianity was planted by Fray Diego de Herrera, the spread of Christian religion in the place was slow, this was due to the refusal of the natives to an abrupt renunciation of their ancestral faith, Moreover, the establishment of Parishes in Catanduanes begun in the North.

Caramoran was established in 1600, Pandan in 1650 followed by the neighboring Parishes, Virac’s turn came late in 1755 followed by Calolbon in 1798 and finally Bato in 1830.

When the first priest was assigned in Bato, who was a certain Father Reymundoo, he constructed a temporary chapel with the help of the natives. They selected a Patron Saint appropriate to the Parish’s location and need. St. John the Baptist preaches the carrying of the cross and the parish significantly produced the highest number of Priests and religious people among the parishes in the province in proportion to the number of population.

Today the monumental church with unique architectural design dignifies the town. Its façade brings back the memory of the old times when our forefather, in the spirit of Bayanihan, toiled like ants until each brisk adhered together and form the massive high walls, the tower contained the legendary bell. Proudly the church stands as the oldest in the province and a tourist attraction.

THE ORIGIN OF THE TOWN’S NAME


When the Spanish conquistadores led by Juan de Salcedo set foot in Catanduanes in 1575, Bato remained for a time unexplored. However, during the Hispanization of the Philippines, the Governadorcillo ordered that all settlements must have their names registered, together with the data on population and estimated taxes due the king of Spain.

It was on this purpose that local Spanish official went around the Villages of Catanduanes. The Spanish officials assigned to this place asked a woman who was washing clothes in the natural stone well, the name of the settlement. She thought that Spaniard was asking the name of the well, so she answered “Bato” which the Spaniard recorded and reported as the name of one the setios of Virac.

So there, the place was called Bato until after it became full pledged municipality in 1896. Being strategically located at the bank of the river with only a few kilometers away from Cabugao Bay contributed to Bato’s becoming a municipality. However the Alcalde Municipal was appointed in 1898.

The people of the newly crated municipality fought brawly with the Spanish guards with Capitan Diego as the head of the Surrectus and General Brumbuela as the commanding Officer who took charge of Virac, Calolbon and Bato. The fighting continued until after Philippine Independence was declared in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898 because of communication gap.

AMERICAN OCCUPATION PRE-WAR

When the Americans came during the year Philippine Independence was declared at Kawit, Cavite, the Batonhon who did not like to lose their hard earned-freedom went to the mountains and refused to recognize the American Administration. But the natives were easily convinced to put down their arms because of the Americans better knowledge of warfare and superior firearms.

ESTABLISHMENT OF SCHOOLS

(San Roque Elem School, my dear Alma Mater)


The natives found the Americans more democratic than the Spaniards. In 1904, the Bato Public Schools was founded. It was housed in the Tribunal with two (2) teachers from Albay and an American supervising them by the name of Ralp Robinson. Miss Maria Nogot handled class A, Mr. Torrebio Vibarde class B. Batonhon found the school need better than the Spanish convent school in terms of methods of insurance and school supplies. While the Spanish School forced children memorize cartilla, the Americans introduced practical knowledge through English Instructor with school supplies available for few. In 1908, Miss Juliana Tolledana, the first Batonhon to be trained in the methods of teaching, taught in the public school. Then in 1909, teachers were all residents of Bato. It was in 1914 that Catanduanes became district 2, a separate district of the division of Albay.


(Bato Rural Dev. High School)


JAPANESE OCCUPATION

On December 12, 1942, two Japanese warships docked at Cabugao Bay. Several squadrons of warplanes flew over the skies of the Poblacion, Batalay, Cabugao and Virac. The Batonhon were able to evacuate to safer places with handy belongings. The Japanese eventually conquered Batalay despite of resistance of the natives.

Military government was organized in Bato after the fall of Bataan on April 9, 1942 and a Filipino Mayor served under the Japanese military command. In 1943, Atty. Basilio Soriano was appointed Major and the incumbent Major Ricardo Rojas was appointed as Provincial Governor by the Japanese Imperial Government until Catanduanes was liberated.

A guerilla forces was organize in Catanduanes with Major Salvador C. Rodulfo as the commanding officer and Bato as the official headquarter. Several encounters with the Japanese forces were happened somewhere in Mintay, Libjo, Virac, Gababang, Bato and in Banquerohan which is between Viga and Panganiban. In the early days of 1945, the Japanese garrison in Bato and Virac were cleared and Catanduanes was liberated of the heroism born out of the struggle for freedom.

BATO: 1945-1980

After the liberation of Catanduanes in 1945, Vice-Mayor Moises Tarrobal assumed the position of the Mayor of Bato and restored the function of the commonwealth government until July 4, 1946 when the country gained independence from American control.

Today Batonhon found it wholesome to glance in a while to the glorious past and trace fine it the roots of greatness that the town has achieved.

from: Catanduanes Official Site

Pakikibaka

(ang larawan ay sarili kong kuha)

Kampanteng isipan, nabahiran ng pag-aalala,
Lumipas na sandali hatid bagyo ng kaba,
Tumingkayad, ulap sa papawirin nakita,
Nag-unahang patak ng ulan, dumampi sa mukha.

Panahong nagdaan parang gumawa ng nobela,
May suspense hatid ng bida,
Pagsubok kontrabida ang may sala,
Dinaganan, nilihis sa tamang kategorya.

Mahahayag na tunay na karakter ngunit naitago pa,
Tumawid sa makitid na daan at rebolusyunaryong kalsada,
Isinukbit sa balikat paninindigan na tanging sandata,
Upang maipamalas kahulugan ng pakikibaka.

Matarik na burol inakyat isa-isa,
Pinasan ang duyan,emosyon mababakas sa paghinga,
Paghihirap ng damdamin bantay ang madla,
Kakayanin mga panganib tsaka na magpapahinga.

Baging na gamit iniligtas sa lawa ng pangungulila,
Lawak ng Parang ekpedisyong maraming sanga,
Pinagpatung-patong na alinlangan, katawan nanlalata,
Mapangahas na tinawid na tulay, lawa ang kasunod pa.

Takot itinulak hinugot tapang na dala,
Higit na nais matunton buhay na may halaga,
Mabangis na hayop susugurin sa abot kaya,
Munting tinig, pananampalataya sa may Lumikha.

Lumitaw na disenyo palumpon ng pag-asa nagiba,
Araw sumikat sa kanluran iniluwa,
Hagdan na binuo, inukit sa lupa,
Sinakop ng nagsitubong kahoy na gala.

Prinsipyong baon binaluktot ng pagkakataon,
Itak na dati kay talim napurol sa paghawan,
Gumuhong lupa at bato ambisyon natabunan,
Pumasok na silahis ng araw, naghuhudyat ng pagsuko sa kalaban.

Marupok na pader naaninag rektangulong bukana,
Ihip ng hangin nagsasayaw winagayway na bandila,
Kamay idinipa mahiwagang ingay ang nilikha,
Sumiklab ang apoy ng pakikibaka.

Sigaw ng kalooban ituloy ang laban,
Malinaw na sinasabi pag-asa 'wag bibitawan,
Madapa man, huwag panghihinaan,
Dahil ang magandang bukas muling makakamtan

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Grand Hotel and Shilin Garden Experience


What: The Grand Hotel
Where: Chungshan N. Road Sec 4 Taipei District
When: March 6, 2011

Stairs going to The Grand Hotel


The Main Entrance


Postcard perfect


The Grand Hotel (Chinese: 圓山大飯店; literally "Yuanshan Great Hotel"), is a landmark located at "Yuan Hill" (圓山, Yuanshan) in Zhongshan District, Taipei, Republic of China (Taiwan). The hotel was established in May 1952 and the main building was completed on October 10, 1973. It is owned by the Duen-Mou Foundation of Taiwan, a non-profit organization, and has played host to many foreign dignitaries that have visited Taipei.

The main building of the hotel is the world's tallest Chinese classical building,[1] it is 87 metres (285 ft) high.[2] It was also the tallest building in Taiwan from 1973 to 1981.


(The left wing of the building)

History:

After Chiang Kai-shek's retreat to Taiwan in 1949, Chiang felt it was difficult to accommodate foreign ambassadors due to the lack of five-star hotels in Taipei. He wanted to build an extravagant hotel that would cater to foreign guests. His wife Soong May-ling suggested to build it on the old Taiwan Hotel on Yuanshan Mountain, the site of the ruins of the Taiwan Grand Shrine, a Shinto shrine during the Japanese rule. Chiang decided on a Chinese palace-style architecture to promote Chinese culture to the West through its extravagance. Taipei-based architect Yang Cho-Cheng was responsible for the design of the new hotel.

The hotel was established in May 1952, but it was expanded several times before it became the landmark it is known as today. The swimming pool, tennis court, and the membership lounge were constructed in 1953, and the Golden Dragon Pavilion and Golden Dragon Restaurant opened in 1956. The Jade Phoenix Pavilion and Chi-Lin Pavilion opened in 1958 and 1963, respectively. In 1968, the hotel was rated as one of the world's top ten hotels by the US Fortune magazine. Finally, in the Double Tenth Day of 1973, the main Grand Hotel building was completed and became an instant Taipei icon.

In June 1995, a disastrous fire broke out on the roof of the main building during necessary reconstruction and refurbishment. As neither ladders nor high pressure pumps could reach the fire, the roof and the upper floors were destroyed. Not until 1998 did the hotel recover from the damage and became fully reopened to the public. Following the fire, the two dragon heads on the roof were rotated 180 degrees to point inwards. As dragons are traditionally a symbol of rain and water, this was intended to symbolize preparedness against a future fire

(the famous entrance wall)
from: Wikepedia

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What: Chiang Kai-Shek Shilin Residence and Garden
Where: Shilin District
When: March 6, 2011

the long walk going to the garden

this is the moment ^_^

Levi's Creativity

inside the Orchids Santuary

Sunflower House

Garden of Roses

Yesterday, i had so much fun exploring the other part of Taipei City. Ate Wilma who happened to be Bicolana too was kind enough to share her time with me. I knew her during her brief stay in Tri-Service General Hospital. She invited to joined them in the Gandola Tour but because of my prior commitment i refused to go with them to my surprised she canceled her scheduled tour and insisted to accompany me. I'm thankful for sharing her time and for touring me in 2 of the tourist spots in Taipei.

The experienced was awesome, though i got tired yet it will be my cherish adventure in Taiwan. The rose garden was so undeniably beautiful. When we came on the place, a wedding photo shot was being held. I saw lots of love in the corner, lovers holding hands and whispering sweet nothings. (inatake ako ng inggit, haha! sana kasama ko rin si bf)

True to what he said, Yiyeh wants me to take my off every Sunday. Hopefully, before i leave Taiwan, i have the chance in visiting my dream tourist destination.

next destination: Maokong Gondola

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Yakap Ni Inay


Sa ganitong mga oras, pinanabikan ko ang yakap ni Inay. Gusto kung maramdaman ang init ng kanyang mga yapos, at marinig ang katagang "Anak, andito lang ako, babantayan kita. Matulog ka na, pag gising mo bukas wala na ang iyong nararamdaman" Bukas ipagkakatay kita ng manok para makahigop ka ng sabaw at nang lumakas ka na"

Kumatok ang katotohanan na matagal na pala akong nag-iisa. Habang papalapit ang araw ng aking pag-uwi ay siya naman ang pagdaloy ng kawing-kawing na emosyon sa aking sistema. Namimiss ko ang lahat-lahat. Nanabik sa mga simpleng pagkakataon na magkasama kami. Gusto kung sariwain ang ala-ala sa piling nila ngunit mas lamang ang oras na nilagi ko sa ibang lugar kaysa sa makapiling sila.


Sa kalagitnaan ng gabi gumising ako para uminom ng gamot. Biglang bumuhos ang nakaraan noon abot-kamay ko lang si Mama. Tatapikin ako, "bhing, gising! bangon na muna, uminom ka ng gamot." Pagdilat ng aking mata makikita ko si Mama, may hawak na baso at tabletang ipapainom sa akin. Hahagurin niya ang aking likod, pupunasan ng pawis, kukusutin ang buhok at sasabihing "Anak, bukas magaling ka na"

Natatandaan ko grade 6 pa lamang ako ng umalis sa aming lugar, tumira sa bayan para mag-aral. Dahil sa pagkakaron ko ng close ties sa aking pamilya, hirap na hirap ako noon pero lagi nilang pinapaalala iyon ay para sa akin, para makapagtapos nag pag-aaral at para sa magandang kinabukasan. Laging mugto ang aking mga mata, makailang ulit ako bumalik sa aming tahanan at sasabihing ayaw kong tumira sa ibang bahay pero halos lahat sila iisa ang sagot "sa umpisa lang yan, masasanay ka rin". Sa aming magkakapatid ako lang ang nawalay sa aking mga magulang, siguro din dahil sa pagnanais kung maibigay sa kanila ang magandang buhay, maayos na kinabukasan hindi para sa aking sarili kundi para maiahon sila sa hirap.

"Mama, ayaw ko na po. Nahihirapan na ako. Gusto ko ng kasama kayo". Anak, tibayan mo ang loob mo, hindi ka namin kayang mapagtapos nag pag-aaral. Gusto mo bang lumaking walang diploma na hawak? Lahat ng ito paglaki mo, maiintindihan mo rin na ito'y para sa paghubog ng iyong pagkatao at pag-abot ng pangarap"


Makailang ulit na ba ako nadapa? Sa puntong halos nakasubsob ako sa lupa, si Mama ang unang nagpapalakas ng loob sa akin. Sa mga pagkakataon na karimlan ang aking nakikita, mas maliwanag pa sa buwan at araw ang kanyang inaabot sa akin. Sa bawat dantay ng kanyang kamay sa aking likod, halos lahat ng pasakit naglalaho. Sa bawat yakap ramdam ko ang kapanatagan na sa kabila ng aking pagkukulang, pagkakamali, at kahinaan ako pa rin ang kanyang anak, at gaya ng sinabi niya noon bata pa ako "kamuhian man ako ng lahat ng tao, sa paningin niya ako pa rin ng kanyang anak na may busilak ang kalooban"

Dalawang araw na akong hinihika, sumabay ang pagdaloy ng aking pananabik kay Mama. Ilang buwan na lang, malapit ko ng muling marinig ng personal ang katagang "Anak, namiss kita. Masaya akong bumalik ka. Mahal na mahal ka namin" Sa kabila ng aking katatagan at pagiging Gabriela Silang, ito ang katotohanan na hindi ko maitatago. Kapag tungkol na sa pamilya, ang babaw ng luha ko. Ang daming pagsubok ang aking dinaanan ngunit ipinagmamalaki kong ni minsan hindi ako iniwanan ng aking pamilya.

Alam ko, hinihintay nila ang aking pagbabalik sa tahanang humubog sa akin. At alam ko sa airport pa lang yakap ni Inay ang sasalubong sa akin. Sa pagkakataong ito ibang init ng yakap ang aking maigaganti. Maibubulong kong "Inay, nasa tamang landas na ako" "Inay, makakasama na kita ng matagal"

Friday, March 4, 2011

Habambuhay

(sariling kuha ng may akda, Minsheng East Park)


Niyakap kita ng mahigpit sa aking panaginip,
Kinaulayaw ang mga yapos na walang kasing-init,
Idinuyan ng titig na mapang-akit,
Sa Paraisong di maaninag ang pasakit.


Ang lumbay na naramdaman at mga hinanakit,
Sa iyong mundo tawa at saya ang kapalit,
Pusong napagal at pumasan ng sakit,
Sa piling mo pinangarap ay nakamit.


Tinik na naglipana sa daan ,
Ang habilin lagi humawak sa iyong kamay,
Bumuhos man ang unos sa di inaasahan,
Itataya mo ang buhay, wag lang akong masaktan.


Sa bawat dantay ng iyong kamay,
Ramdam ang katapatan,
Ang pagluha sabi mo walang puwang,
Habambuhay na mamahalin binigkas mo ng malumanay.