Weekly Photo Challenge: Wrong

What is wrong with this?

baguette in the walk way
Ho chi minh, Vietnam
big shoes for a small feet
Bicol, Philippines


proper way of putting safety gear
CWC, Philippines


the road
Baler, Philippines




notes and thoughts

On my way home last Wednesday after getting stuck in the The Medical City because of the heavy rain, floods and understaffed.  I was very excited that day I even wanted to already go home early of that morning but my OIC keep pleading on us to duty because there is no one but us she can rely and because patients should always be on the center stage, we go even with so much longing to feel our bed and even with dizziness, we still go on and continue with our AM shift.  
When I am about to go home at 3pm the rain starts to pour hard again that made EDSA a huge parking lot with continuation to Quezon City hall.  It was a four (more or less) travel time.  I wanted to cry not just because I miss home so much but because my urinary bladder is about to explode but then I realized I have no right.  I have no right to fret, I have no right to complain.  And, the men who made me realized this are the bus driver, the conductors and the Navy man standing in front of me.  I stayed three days inside the hospital to do my duty and to cover the duties of those who wasn’t able to cross , I get paid to it, I was given a free meal, although I was not given a hot shower for my tired body I am inside an air condition facility which will not make sweat.  But the driver and the conductor they will not earn the money they used to earn on usual days.  They even joked about it while findings means to survive, they were planning to catch frogs, thinking of borrowing money to their boss, even wildly thinking of applying on “riding on tandem” but of course they were just joking.  I firmly believe they were just joking.  The other man is the man in army uniform, if my ears heard it right he’s from Navy and he is heading to Tandang Sora to rescue.  Because the (intrigerong) conductor kept asking questions we knew that the gentleman haven’t eaten and slept since yesterday.  After rescuing the people from Cainta they were rescuing people from Tandang Sora on that day.  So, hail to all the rescuers they have the most fulfilling job in the world.  They were indeed at our service across the land, in the name of Honor, duty and Valor and always in the first force.  
Home is where the heart is but to these days I guess home is where the heart breaks.  When I was working for the second day a colleagues told me that there was a landslide in Commonwealth and my stigma made me dialed our number and ask them if how are they at home.  I know it is so impossible to have landslide to where we live and even far to be flooded and I thank God for it but I just don’t know maybe the first thing that will come to your mind when you think about tragedy is family, is home. Thank God that we are all okey and safe. The landslide that took away the whole family of the father and left him all alone.  The tragedy that took away their home and broke his heart to little pieces. I know up to this night many were still on evacuation sites finding a temporary home, recovering and putting up the pieces of the broken heart. 
I know a lot of us still on recovering stage-recovering from  the massive stress, recovering from floods, recovering our houses from mud and recovering from all sorts of recovery.  As we recover let us all remember that tougher nights are about to come but we will live for as long as we hold on to our super power and that is HOPE.  And as we hum this Kelly Clarkson song “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, let us invite good vibes and pray for the speedy recovery of our nation especially those who had the most destruction.  Always remember that despite what Metro Manila had been trough we still owe God a lot and take this challenge as a major call to clean our drainage, to reuse, recycle and reduce. 

photo credit: paulina celis

Can we just please set aside our personal issues and think how lucky we are.  Let us set aside petty love life issue, unhealthy cravings and selfishness and give to those who are in need, I didn’t mean materials things help could also be in the form of prayers.  

This has been Liza tapping myself to realized.





PNR and the thoughts

It was the 6:30 pm Bicol express to Naga ride that we took, It was 5pm when we got at the Tutuban terminal station, very hungry and very excited as well.  I have all the anticipation on my mind, of how will it feel, how will it be and never minding about the safety despite our colleagues jokes about train ride.  Until, finally the personnel start the call for the passenger and (as we wish) someone offered us help as a porter for the boxes and the bags that we have.  Then it came, finally I will now experience a long train ride.

Even before the driver start the engine we already open the bucket of chicken and start eating, we haven’t eaten the whole day due to cramming packing and maybe (for my self) adrenaline ranging. So, there it us looking like children deprived of food.

KFC and train dinner

After sharing our thoughts about the train, the outpouring of blessing from our colleagues, friends and family for the outreach and the thoughts of pushing this through even in the absence of a defined plan and even without serious conversation about this so called (as our friends named it) “singles with a cause”.  It still (thank God!) happened.

As my friends get on with their respective bed and I decided to squeeze in Franz bed assume that like them will be able to doze off but apparently, sleep didn’t recognized my wasted body, mind and soul.  I tried it hard, watch a movie (courtesy of Marela’s laptop) listen to music, pray and even drained my mind, sleep still ignores me.  After turning around in Franz free space, find the position, even the right angle just to sleep I already gave up, I stand on the bed, pull the flip chair located at the walkway of the train, borrowed Crystal’s book “the unbearable lightness of the being and just plug in the earphones, read and guard them on their sleep.

thanks Marela for the photo grab without permission

Then suddenly I realized Crystal had the same dilemma, I was not alone.  Crystal went up of her bed and talk to me about the book, travel, philosophy, reasons, life and about PNR. We even made an issue (as we usually do) about the train being just a second hand thing from Japan (as we guess), that well I guess Philippine can only afford a used thing. Comment about the creepy trains stop over, about the smell of the cabin, talk about the late comedy king Dolphy and the life along the Riles. Naiitindihan ko na kung bakit sila nambabato, sa ingay ba nman ng tren mapapasigaw ka talga ng “kung ayaw nyong matulog, magpatulog kayo” tapos may yanig factor pa. Sad to say that Filipinos and all its tax payers deserved what is best not just better because we pay taxes, pay for the ride and also pay for a lot of extra fee.  PNR, terminals is not just the issue there are a lot actually including best settlement area for Filipino people.  Everybody deserves a safe, comfortable shelter as our basic necessity.

Coffee break…..

It’s 4 o’clock in the morning already then I ask again the train police if where we are, I forgot the name but it was in Bicol area already, Marela said half way through Malilipot and ask if he saw manong who sell coffee then he look for him.

presenting “Manong” and his shaky cafe

I wondered if “Manong” rides the train 24 hours back in forth Manila-Bicol-Manila.  I forgot to ask because my mind is loaded with hesitation to ask Mr. Train police if we can see the driver’s train and witnessed the Bicol Sunrise in full glimpse.  If I was able to ask I actually did but Mr. Train officer declined my curious thoughts.

coffeeing and sneezing

After drinking coffee I had the chance to sleep or lets just call it power nap.

It’s 7am when we got at Naga Terminal, a little bit late but it’s okay.

our cabin and my TMC visitor sticker (forgot to remove)

Naga Terminal and my glimpse of good morning Bicol  (my longest train ride so far and farthest Luzon South travel)

Rise and Shine Bicol version

If Train or bus ride? In terms of comfortability I’d go for trains, when you want to get rid of stiff neck hop the next train ride but if you are the kind of person very sensitive to noise well train ride is not for you.  The ticket fee is almost the same.  On train ride we spent 13 hours more or less, we depart at Tutuban station at 7pm we arrived at Naga terminal 7 am or 7:30am while when we took the bus going back we depart at Tabaco at 8am we arrived at Cubao 11pm.  So you choose, which do you prefer.  In Bus ride you have a lot of stop over plus a bonus stiff neck while in train ride you don’t have very little stop over, CR is already available inside the train, you can sleep lying down position but with free annoying signal horn sound and thousands of allergens to make you sneeze.

And the things I realized while cursing sleep for ignoring me is in cherish every chances of solitude.  It is not a bad idea having taking train ride going to places you have never been as one of your bucketlist.  Forget the world for just one moment, drift without being afraid of not coming back.   This whole vacation made me forget about work, home and Manila, this is one of the vacation I will really cherished.  Thanks Marela and thanks for the hospitality of your family, you made us all feel on a vacation plus plus thank you for a yummy three times a meal.  It is indeed an adventure to cherish and a vacation to remember.

If only the  railways could talk.  PNR has been there ever since the time of Rizal, it has been through world wars, revolution, a lot of typhoons and volcanic eruptions.  It has its fair share of history and story.  It remain still despite the many hardship the Philippine had been through.  I just wish that its service will continue up to my futures “apo’s” adventure.  I just wished that PNR mattresses and cabin will kept maintained and clean and hygienic.  I wish that they will allocate budget for Lysol or any disinfectant spray.  You’ll never know high end traveler might consider train ride on their next vacation.

This has been Liza looking forward for another long train ride, through Russia with the changing of timeline while on a train ride.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple

In aura purple indicate spiritual thoughts, it is not a strong point according to this link but it indicate right reasoning, higher purpose, being right and spiritual awareness. Well, I just want to share, don’t ask me your aura I don’t know how to read, Madame Auring haven’t hand me down her super powers yet.  Anyway, purple is a combination of red and blue (if my memory of color wheel feeds me right) and a favorite color of many. It is said that purple was a favorite color of Cleopatra while Leonardo da Vinci believed meditating in a lavender or purple-colored light was improved by a factor of 10.

Purple represents nobility, abundance, and dignity. It is very soothing and calming and is often related to intuition and spirituality.

That’s my fair share of purple, I know you own something purple.

This has been liza and her thirsty thoughts dreaming of a purple hair for the future.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Create

We are all made from a creation and from His creation we create–ideas, dreams, something, future and a lot more.  We struggle to create and there are who struggle a lot harder than we do which make life a challenge, which makes life exciting.  And, from the challenge and the excitement we create an adventure, a meaningful life.

To the people who’s challenges remain unchanged for the longest time, hold on.

To the children who are creating their dream, make it big.

And, to all who never get tired of ideas and thoughts, let’s wrap around hands.

a reality check that hit me the most

      We travel, take a break, take a nap, quit our job or if these things are not possible due to a lot       of consideration we settle ourselves to heartbreaking pathetic complains and complicate our life.  The first sentence hit me the way that it  hit you, were not perfect creatures, everybody gets tired.  But sometimes due to too much self centeredness we forget about the world and miss out the fact that we’re far more blessed than the people and their situation we overlook because we’re too focused about our own misery.

Siem Reap, Cambodia well known for its renowned heritage temples, even mistaken as Angkor Wat.  A South East Asian country and (just like us) a third world country.  A place where most lives were dependent on hope and dreams, a place very much like us holding on with hopes and dreams.  Sad to say, correct me if I’m wrong we’re far more better in terms of progress, as far as stock exchange is concern or at least as I see through my own life, having a frappucino to sip after 8 hours of work, 3 meals a day with snacks I crave for, having a 32 days leave and having a chance to travel and see the life out of my comforts.

Although not part of the itinerary we still go besides we are templed out and gone tired of too much stones.  Passing down several houses along side, sat down at the front seat of a tuktuk with a 360 degree view of Philippines rural area look a like landscape, not expecting anything not even a harsh reality

As I hop on the boat, as the driver put on the keys, pull on the motor and gradually maneuver the boat out in the open.  Suddenly I uttered this word “I’m so blessed”.  The boat lost its way,the motor stop while we’re half way through to where houses are lined up and while staring at the small boats that holds a soul paddling so hard, paddling so hard to survive a life. The two nice to goodness cambodians help each other in paddling in order to maneuver back again and finally got it right like taking chances on luck and life.  Then, the driver ask us if we want to drive, curious that I am I said yes, I drive.  Although sitting and just looking at the other side of tourism and contemplating with it is not a boring thing to do we still ask question to know more, to understand more.

The water is clear when its raining and brownish when its sunny and when the rain is heavy, when the water level becomes high  they have to evacuate to highlands to save their life.  Not all families are blessed to have a boat so when school time they fetch kids one by one, house to house like a school bus and send them to a floating school.  You can buy school supplies or foods at a floating store and donate it  to the floating school. The tour guide used to live at the unsafe village with his parents and siblings but his parents died while fishing in the night of heavy rain and now took charge of his siblings while learning english language in exchange of 20 dollars a month.

Traversing the wide river, there are kids on the boat holding snakes, asking for one dollar, houses with kids asking for one dollar, homes with hopes and dreams.  A place where remnants of their kingdom’s internal conflict, problems with genocide and past war left struggling  people just to makes ends meet.

It hit me the way that I hit you, we’re not perfect creatures.  It’s given life is an unending quest for an end.  But, isn’t sad to realized that we struggled so hard, paddled too hard to an ideal reality we perceive.  Isn’t sad to realized that we fret because of a daily routine that give us a frappucino to sip at the end of a very stressful day, we fret because of a missed piso fare, we fret because we have been cheated on, we fret because we are working on a holiday, we fret because of petty things which we can survive without.  Isn’t  sad to realized that we soul searched the whole world to understand our selves, to discover things that are only within us and there is this side of tourism where what they only need is just the basic necessities–food, clean water and a safe shelter.

A place full of life, overflowing with hopes and dreams that sad to say is a place where hopes and dreams flows down through its neighboring places and eventually discharges out to sea.  A place where poverty is a daily reality, a place where pollution is just a normal thing and a place where life begins and ends in a struggle to make ends meet.  A day to day basis of struggle for basic necessities without even minding about safety. A place where progress is sad to say, (again) correct me if I’m wrong is backward.  And as I close eyes put my hands together will not just pray to be able to see the world but also pray for all struggling nation and pray for an end to all the wars and selfishness.  

How much is the “experience”?

a photo taken at Saigon Backpacker Hotel

I’ve heard and read a lot of stories like this many times before and I’m laughing out on how much hassle did it cost them for this kind of, (fine!) “major katangahan” and now I have my own share of tale, a tale I will never ever forget and never (promise!) commit the same mistake of (yeah I know!) “katangahan.” I swear in the name of all the gods and goddesses, from Vishnu to the apsara.

Late discovery of stupidity

It’s our fourth day already, last day in HCMC (as set on our mind set), we were walking down the streets of Pham Ngu Lao when we suddenly discovered a market where coffees are half the price more cheaper than Ben Than Market and we’re jumping out for joy because it means we can go home with lots of it and enjoy a Vietnom coffee for months after the trip. While we’re off to War Remnants museum, walking down, passing park 23 September and surviving the vietnamese everyday motorcade parade, I suddenly told them to double check our ticket if we (maybe) miss our flight and BOOM! My instinct feed me right in a super late time. Frozen while we stare at the printed pice of paper that says 1:00H and says in unison “kanina pa yung flight natin.” Then there’s the so called “adrenaline rush” that rush us back to MIMI hotel and pile up for the C.R. and immense ourselves one by one on what happened inside the comfort of what we all know comfort room. Realizing that we we’re in a big trouble we end up laughing like lost dogs, thinking out loud and bang the internet, hunt for the cheapest flight and put our hands together and (yes!) pray. It feels like 2 days had past for that 7 or 8 hours after we knew it we already bid goodbye for a hard earned money that may come a long way for another set of adventure if we only kept to our minds that there are 2 ways to tell time and MILITARY TIME is what being used by the airlines. Damn that military time. Rather than blame each other for this major mishap and regret a thing we should do that never cross our minds, we just keep telling our selves the magic word “charge to experience”.

hello girls! you missed your flight? right?
(that's my sister and cousin looking for the cheapest available flight)

and now How much did it cost us for that experience

more than the double of how much we spent to experience two countries at one time, more than twice of how much we pay for the round trip ticket. After saving so so hard, bargaining so so much, after craving to death for whip cream coated coffee this is what we get pay a …..dan…dadadaann…….10,000 pesos worth of one way ticket.

and the Moral of the story

1. There are two ways to tell time. First is the standard or 12 hour clock, the one we (Filipinos) are used to and second is by 24 hour notation, also known as the Military time or astronomical time which is the international standard notation of time. International standard notation of time that is why this is the one being used by the airlines companies, now I know. Thanks for wikipedia and for what happened. Now I know!!!

2. Check the ticket one day before not hours before and don’t just produce several copies of it, look at it and read it. Don’t just worry that you might loose a copy, worry also that there are a lot of chances that you might miss your flight.

3. Enjoy your hard earned money. When I met a Filipino and told him about what happened, after laughing out hard on us (a typical Filipino attitude), he just said enjoy the 10 k and deliver another set of laughter. It is showing tranquility and enjoying life instead of ruining a much awaited holiday just because of unintentional avoidance of circumstances. As what pen and I favorite motto says “money are supposed to be spent”. Time is indeed Gold.

one more time, always check your ticket!!!!


A eulogy for a travel companion

Its not a boy nor a girl
but its girly, hippie
strike anywhere, anytime at any cause

Its my violet, flat, “pangharabas”, (Lacoste) rubber shoes.

Yesterday morning when I’m about to leave for work, grab that shoes and excited because its Saturday meaning no HR, high ranking personnel will sneak on my shoes and discuss to me the uniform code of blah blahh. I can wear it all day till the end of duty to coffee talks.  I can work beyond the comfort of my shoes.  Suddenly, I noticed that it had gave up already.  I can no longer used it. The slit is too long to give me the comfort I need and work for me.  Also, it is very much worn out already after traveling with from home to work, working 8 hrs a day and more, after braving the floods and unexpected rain pour, and after being with me most of the time.  It now resides on its resting place and someday it might be put in a museum with a caption of my biography. Wishful thinking.  Just a bipolar thought.

Let me tell you his story.  Actually I bought it out of depression shopping.  It was sale, the credit is not working due to max out issue that I can’t comprehend.  At first, I was hesitant to buy it because it is not my personality to buy expensive things for my self, I always rely on balikbayan boxes, hand me down when it comes to expensive stuff but because I was in some state at that time, after roaming around Megamall,  thinking it thoroughly, I bought it.

You were there when I was feeling down and it was a relieve when people make notice of you and not my sadness (melodramic mode.)  You were there when I was hit by a love bug for Maira-ra point, got lost at the desert of Ilocos Norte and failed to see their renowned sundunes.  You were there when I lost my flip flop at Crystal beach beacuse I was betrayed by that whisky at left hand and San Mig at the right as my chaser, you saved me and let me change the beach fashion for the mean time,  after wondering why in the world those people (I forgot the nationality, I don’t want to sound racist) wearing their hardcore stilletos over the beach of Boracay.  You were there when we hit Baler and help me out with those pathetic mimicking.  You were there most of the time, carrying me, giving me the comfort I need in my occasional ordeal in wilderness, be it sunny or rainy.  Now you’re resting.  You will be missed.  Afterall, there are begginings and ending point in the full circle of life and we reached our memento.

I really do literally put myself into a character’s shoes.                                      —RUTH RENDELL

inside the shoe box-flipping back and forth (January-June edition, series of 2011)

inside the shoe box- flipping back and forth 

Join me as I indian sit like playing jack stone and review the events of a great two zero one one, the year that it was.

The time to begin with

JANUARY (New Years eve of 2011)

The best time to start a new even we can do it all year round anytime.  This is the time of year to reevaluate life. Figure things out, sort the important from the unnecessary and let go.  This is the time when I realized that moments of the past 2010 becomes a memory and putting too much value on it.  This is the time of the year where I just closed my eyes, put my hands together and thankful for all shaky rough roads I had surpassed, thankful for all the blessings and for the power up of confidence and strength.

A love month, my birthday month-a not so special one.


I don’t celebrate birthday just to end day banging the dishes neither Valentines because isn’t pathetic to order a coffee for one and talk to your self. So, I did the best thing to do, cuddle on my bed and date myself in wonderland.   Plus the fact that it is the month where I got my sanction, no pay checks for the next 30 days.  Suspension days, suspension blues.  This is also the month where I spent most of the days ordering 50 pesos McSaver meals and getting used to aloneness and aloofness.  The month it was.  The month of sparing away from drunken nights and promise to cut my tardiness into two per payday.  The month of partiming in a unusual Laboratory and taking respite on my Facebook Farmville.  My silvery year that slips unnoticed. 

Going back!


Before I get back to work, we made a comeback to my second province–Zambales.  Before heading to a Zambales sleepover, coffee talks at the usual Subic Starbucks, over the beach lunch and North expressway road trip, we attended first the birthday bash of a dear kachikahan who at that time is up to bid goodbye to our Philippine homeland and look for a much greener pasture.  Suspension blues ends well.  

          Hitch!                                                                                          connecting trip to cave connection


Vacation leave... Banaue Rice Terraces... 
and utter this words to myself "You should travel more often" 
blow a kiss on the wind.

To see a once just a postcard thing and to unleash the mighty caver in me. To taste the famous pinikpikan and to taste other Sagada’s delight.  The Falls, the adventure, dead tired with a smile, the stories to share and happy thoughts. The epic top loading and to see Mountain Province (Bontoc) view deck, panoramic view.  It is also the month when we had our Laboratory outing and for the first time I tag along.



I only realized that May was a jam-packed month while doing the collage.  My cousins made a vacation here in Manila, so we have to stroll them around.  We took them to Manila Ocean Park only to find out that it is not enjoyable, it is so tiring and didn’t find any jaw dropping moment at all.   On one of my off duty I took the kids to Lamesa Eco Park for them to experience swimming pool (chlorine style) and compare their swimming pool (spring style) in the province.  They grew up in our province where beach (our “baybay”), rivers and spring is just a walk away, you just have to choose where you want to take a bath. We also took them to Manila zoo and made a comeback after being over with school field trip. The kids in them and the remnants of childishness, I will forever be a kid at heart. Their favorite is the QCMC and their hatest is Divisoria.  Jam-packed because while I am rushing them to experience Manila, I am also squeezing in the social meet up and gatherings I had to attend in my off duties.  The bridal shower of Ma’am Jean, Highschool Reunion, thanksgiving party of my dear friend Jether for graduating in Med. School with coffee talks and pressing comments and insights in my social network world in between those events.


French Class and classmates as a new found friends…

Tuesday and Thursday coffee talks and chismisan Venti style…

The Makati rain, the floods of Jupiter Street, Makati and MRT rush…                 (the yellow umbrella bought at 7/11 and the tales that lies beneath)

Discovering rice coffee and a coffee shop by the art galleries…


to be continued…..