Philippines

Outside My Couch

OVER THE WEEKEND I had the chance to gather my backpack and put in my hammock. This weekend is about family time, sharing company and making memories. I was with my maternal uncle’s family hitting the road at dawn on the way to a beach I have never been to. Excitement ran through me.

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Just for a couple of hours I can get out. Feel and commune again with nature solely this time. Nothing in mind but spare leisure time with people you get along well. Adding to this was the food we brought. Home cooked meals that is thoughtfully made by a mother longing for her children’s hugs and banter while they live on their own at the big city. Holiday breaks is the only time of year they get to come home again and reunite.

She cooked for their missed out staples at home. Meals in the city doesn’t come close to the warmth, the memories that every flavor it brings out. That distinct home cooked flavor. That smokey taste and aroma of wooden fired stove. Indeed, food is memories.

Memories about family. Memories of having the time together.

The sea breeze smelled of moss. Really it was weird not to smell of salt but it was refreshing. By the time we waited for the sun rise, walking by the coarse sandy shore, the water is cold. Enough to what we all wanted, to cool ourselves from the hot weather of this year’s dry season. Intensely mad heat it was the couple of days past.

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While we were settled at the beach hut I saw a boat loaded with men and a woman approaching the shore. We all thought that they have already with them some fresh catch. My uncle intends to buy a tuna or anything that we can feed to the grill and eat comes lunch time.

As they offloaded and docked their boat, we saw them with a wooden contraption being turned. So much like the reel of a fishing rod where you spool the string once you caught something. This one is huge and it is attached to a net. They are hauling their what could be a big catch on that day. A couple of men, women, some kids and dogs gather round on the shore as they continue to haul in the net which they might have cast the night before.

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This sight was never new to me but it amazes me every time I have the chance to see fishermen doing what they do best. My younger years I was exposed to doing some farm work during summer time at my paternal grandfather’s. I learned to sow corn seeds on a freshly plowed earth. I wanted to learn how to maneuver the plough pulled by a water buffalo.

My grandmother begged off because I was a little bit small and she feared I might be pulled by the animal if I called out a wrong command. I insisted that the verbal command is easy. I just needed to learn how the rope works because it is where the buffalo relies on. How loosely or tightly you pull and flick it sends signal to the way it walks through the field.

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I am fascinated how they live their lives out here. How they thrive and sustain. I’ve learned from the books since that this sector of our country is left out and measly a fisherman’s income isn’t enough to earn a better keep for himself and his family. The irony of how rich my country is when it comes to our marine resource. I can only say so much because I don’t want to get so serious on this.

I went my way around them, taking their picture in their state of busy-ness. I felt excited seeing the net get closer to the shore and see if we have, I mean, they, have a big catch that morning. My excitement transcend to an urge inside me to help in hauling out the net but I restrained myself in doing so because I don’t want to feel intrusive. I contended to just taking some more shots of them. Watching their faces and actions as they continue to pull in.

More of them gather round where the net finally was hauled out and unfortunately it wasn’t a big of a catch. Sighs and low quips could be heard among them. From where I stood I clearly heard some of them that they might have reeled the net too quickly. Then the group dispersed quietly. My cousin went near the end of the net and found that small fishes and a squid were caught. Not even a pail could be filled of it.

My uncle walked away knowing we don’t have a fish to grill. It was his birthday that day. He too was excited to buy some fish but there’s just no fish to his wanting. He still got cake though and his birthday suit—rash guard and walking shorts.

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We returned to our hut and change to our beach wears. I could still see them afar that they put back the net on the boat and will be casting it again. I hoped they got lucky the next time they hauled it in.

 

 

Ready For A Night Spread

THE SUN HAD JUST SET FOR a few minutes.

I was standing on the pebble covered shore watching this as every change of light’s intensity and color shade is amazing and magical. The ambient lighting just brings me to a subtle mood and would want to never leave its cocoon like embrace.

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February, 2014.

There you go.

Me romanticizing again. But it feels good though because I know that that mood is fleeting.

The perspective behind this photo was inspired from the travel blogs I have been reading, some of them I’ve been following from WordPress and Instagram. That day I appreciated traveling and began dreaming of it up until today on reaching more places with people I love to be with is a reflection of the entirety of the travel photos I took.

I may have been stationary temporarily but the dream is still on. As my bestfriend put it, we have a bucketlist going on that is needing some checks on it.

 

Wait

 

I didn’t notice seeing the two of them getting up on those rocks. When I panned my camera back on those rocks, I was surprised to see them both sitting perfectly still there. As if no time.

 

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I say as if no time because it felt like it to me. I don’t know if they are brothers or friends. I really wanted to get near them and join them on those rocks. The late afternoon we arrived at this place together with my cousins, we slowly walk along, minding each of our steps on this same spot to take some photos. Those rocks are slippery and jagged.

 

True to everyone, I suppose, that we have different views of things around us. Every angle reveals new perspective. Looking and interpreting it on any way is completely beyond us and with that timing is everything. We look, hear, smell and feel time. We favor and like time too. We put to memory the best times we ever had. We wish time for all things we want and we look forward to happening. We hope and make up for time when we feel we have fallen short of it. We create time.

 

Time is life. It never ceases even long before we die I think. The memory. The thoughts. The words of ours are left within those persons we survived. It is just given that time is different categorically between past, present and future but in all fairness we still share the time no matter how we want to live up or forget about it.

 

 

Let’s Have A Drink

 

As the sun sets behind the mountain ridge, the calm warm water is inviting us to get in and have a swim. Gray fine sand greeted our excitement too. My hands are both full, a beer on the left and a camera on the right.

 

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I DRANK THREE CANS OF BEER in all, from dusk till night-time. That made my night while the rest of them were happily enjoying by the shore. One of our friends has slept on the sand few meters away from our hut and the tents. He dozed off right after our sumptuous chicken adobo dinner. While they were away, I got to lay on the bench and stretched my back. The cool breeze is soothing and inviting to sleep in. However, by the bonfire a group of other local tourists started making a fuss on setting their lanterns. Some of them try lighting and it lit and burned. Fail. So onto the next lantern they’ve learned and it lit up. Slowly it rose to the night sky and danced with the wind.

 

Morning Sunshine

 

“I hope you get where you’re going, and be happy when you do.” —On The Road, Jack Kerouac

 

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THE IDEA OF LIVING, SURVIVING AND THRIVING in this lifetime, in our world is crazy at some point. When we try to think hard of it, when we ease our way into it, evidently there will be misses and hits but ultimately it is us still who decides and makes a stand on whatever we want. What we really want for ourselves.

Days are passing and the first month of the new year is almost done, gone. I must say there are days that seem to pass quite fast and there were those that linger long unexpectedly. Wondering thoughts build in my mind to this kind of fleeting moments that is inexplicably good when either we are pressed for time or just buying more time.

When we need and lost time, we turn in ourselves and try to look. We look for what we can make most out of it or what we might have done about it. As we do this, I must say we should all be ready to be accepting, or not.

Being optimistic is part of this acceptance. The reality of missing and hitting at something is always there so the optimism part is valuable. It is that fuel that will power up the engine. It is that turbine that will propel the ship forward. When we choose, when we make decisions the optimism is never far away. That there is hope.

 

That looking on a brighter side we can get out of the dark.