Inspiration, Philippines, Visayas

Palo, Leyte – What We Can Learn from Tzu Chi Foundation

“Margie.”

The little girl told me when I asked about her name. It was an interesting experience for me, to be in a village where thousands of Yolanda(Typhoon Haiyan) survivors live.

We just finished our vegetarian lunch and instead of having some chit-chat with my new-found friends from DOT, tour operators and media partners, I decided to explore the place. That’s when I saw Margie, walking alone outside the school.

The place is called Tzu Chi Great Love Village, the biggest housing project for the Yolanda survivors located in Palo, Leyte.

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Inspiration, Philippines, Visayas

Reflections from San Juanico Bridge, Tacloban, Leyte

It was more than a decade ago when I first set foot in Tacloban.

I was a high school student and I qualified for a national writing competition which was held in the city. It was my first airplane ride, first travel without my family, and first time to be away from home for a week.

It was an experience that has become possible just by being a student writer.

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Nature, Philippines, Visayas

Lake Danao: The Pride of Ormoc City, Leyte

When you hear about the city of Ormoc, what’s the first thing that comes your mind?

For me, aside from the devastating landslide tragedy last 1991, I must admit that I also think about Lucy Torres. Haha! The actress and model turned congresswoman of Ormoc.

But wait, don’t judge me too quickly and let me explain my side about Lucy Torres (defensive). I already shared my story to you right? That for years I worked as a Segment Producer and writer of a major TV network here and I can say that of all the celebrities I’ve seen during the time when I needed to rest and de-stress at the company gazebo, Lucy Torres was one of the few that literally put me in awe. As in took my breath away together with my STRESS. Haha!

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Nature, Philippines, Visayas

Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park: One of the many reasons to explore Samar!

 

The moment the music was played, it was as if my heart jumped with surprise and joy.

“That song…that dance.”

It was the familiar song, my mom used to play every morning when I was little. Then I understood everything the first time I witnessed my relatives danced to the tune of this song in one family reunion.

All I knew was it was named Kuratsa (or Curacha),a native dance in the islands of Samar and Leyte. And being born in the province of Northern Samar, I am not just aware of this, this song also traced back to my roots.

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Beaches, Philippines, Visayas

Kalanggaman Island in Palompon, Leyte: A Balance of Tourism and Conservation

 

It was another warm welcome.

By the time we stepped out of the coaster bus, the staff of the local government of Palompon, Leyte met us with their warmth and smile. They escorted us to the second floor of the municipal hall for a simple program and registration. It was actually a briefing before exploring the best kept treasure of the town, the world-renowned sandbars of Kalanggaman Island

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Food, Philippines, Visayas

5 Delicious Food During A Sad Time in Cebu

It was Valentine’s Day last year when a man and a woman suddenly appeared at the office. They were looking for someone.

One of them was carrying a guitar, while the other had a bouquet of flowers in hand. In an instant, we knew what they were up to. Somebody was lucky to be serenaded during the day of hearts. The question was, who’s the lucky one?

All eyes were fixed on them, especially the girls, probably expecting their partners could have exerted this tremendous effort to surprise them. The two asked my colleague who was located nearest the door.

They were pointed towards the conference room.

There, we all saw the lucky woman, she was fixing something as their meeting had just ended. It was my former boss, Ms. Al.

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Beaches, Philippines, Visayas

Laoang, Northen Samar – My Hometown

After one of my posts got traction from Facebook, I felt this sense of gratitude.

This is the confirmation of a sign I asked a few days ago.

I was in doubt at that time, if I really wanted to continue writing. I know this is my life but there are moments when you ask yourself, why by the time you decided to do what you love, something suddenly falls apart?

I asked for a sign if this is really my calling, if this is really the meaning I was looking. Then I doze off to sleep.

The next morning I checked this blog and was shocked to see one of my posts being shared by my country’s Tourism Department to its Official Facebook Page with more than 700,000 followers.

That post earned thousands of likes and shares, bringing tons of traffic to my blog.

It was the answer I was looking for.

Then I’ve made a firm decision, to continue doing this whatever it takes, not only for those who enjoy reading my works, but most importantly for me. I need this. I need to write to feel alive.

I’ve made a promise not to hold back anymore, to be open and sometimes even vulnerable.

So I’ll start with sharing to you my hometown, the place where I came from.

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Inspiration, Philippines, Visayas

Remembering Typhoon Yolanda

I was at the office when I first heard the news, the strongest typhoon to make landfall was about to hit the Philippines. Shocked and worried, I decided not to wait for the news on TV and just did my own research.

I remember how my heart pumped when I read that the storm (International name Haiyan) will directly hit my country’s Visayas region specifically the provinces of Samar and Leyte. Most of my relatives are in Samar, a beautiful island in the eastern part of the Philippines facing the Pacific Ocean.

I was born there, even spent some of my childhood days with the care of my grandparents and Aunties. Thinking that my loved ones might be facing an imminent danger made me restless. We were able to contact my Aunt, though she promised that they would take care, it was not enough to take away our worry.

The day came. Yolanda, the typhoon’s Philippine name, has finally made its landfall. Manila was hundreds of kilometres away from the center of the storm, but the strength was undeniable. We were busy dealing with the bad weather, not knowing that our fellows in the south were experiencing catastrophe. Yolanda, a beautiful common name in my country, has become a name we will never forget.

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