Mar 31, 2010


Yes, my shoulder joints are as tight as frog butt holes now, but I really had a great time paddling through the glass like water, as spiders were jumping from one plant to the other and as I was trying to avoid the snake pit (!!!) at one of the sharp turns.

It wasn't hard at all balancing the kayak. At first I was a bit hesitant to ride since I don't have a life vest and who know's what is at the bottom of the stream. But you just had to paddle and relax and the smooth current will just take you.

The owner of the ecovillage / my boss seated with me to guide me where to go since I might get lost. Did I mention there's a snake living near the stream!? I felt a heavy and dark energy at one of stations so I tried my best to avoid it. After getting off, she told me that there's a snake who lives in one of the trees and it's good that I sensed it.

My birthday is just around the corner and right now, I'm thinking of three options which I might ask as a birthday present: 1) DSLR to shoot my self and satisfy my vanity... i mean my love of nature. 2) I really want to have my car retinted (for this summer's heat!) and buy some really good sound system. Maybe even a bass booster at the back of the car. 3) Lastly, I might ask for a kayak, which I can use in Yago's beach party!... now if only I have a pick up to bring it.

TUWA: The Laughing Fish

It is a village embedded in nature - beautifully backdropped by Mount Arayat, and surrounded by the calm rice fields. Where the energy is harnessed from the sun, wind and water. Where there is zero waste, and food (rice, vegetables, fish...) is actually grown from your backyard.

Welcome to Tuwa: The Laughing Fish!

It's supposed to only be "The Laughing Fish" but I gave a comment that although it will attract foreign visitors - which is one of its intentions - the locals won't be able to relate with the place.

Calling it just The Laughing Fish is a bit detached to the very Filipino architecture and orientation of the village. So we thought of another word. The name of the fish logo - tuwa. That's it! Tuwa: The Laughing Fish!

I've always been a student of beauty and the arts, and to be there and actually experience the building process of a masterpiece village is really overwhelming and humbling. Add to that the setting sun, birds flying everywhere and wind whistling in your ears.

Below is Paula. She's from South Africa but she's actually Dutch. She has traveled the world in search for something without actually knowing what it is. "What's the rush?" Her work involves computers but she's trying a new lifestyle of taking everything slowly.

Sometimes we are so pressured by the world to increase our "worth" without actually realizing if this is what we really want.

I'll stop being too wordy now (since most people these days don't read long blogs), and let the pictures speak for itself.

Right now, there are 4 structures almost built out of the 5 that is planned.


This will be the main house of the village, and this is where the head family will leave after it's completion around August.

It has composite toilet, four bedrooms, an indoor garden and I think this will be transformed into a restaurant where it will serve Asian vegetable meals.

I was able to taste their Indian mushroom curry! The spices just burst with flavors and the taste is just superb since everything is grown organically.


It is appropriately named Diwa because this will house the library and group dynamics will be held here.

The roof and walls are shaped like a bird about to take flight!

Basic construction materials include bamboo, pawid stones and cement for the base, and steel pipes for support.

I'm not so sure but I think this is where the commissioned artist's art space.

The place will be filled with art that may also serve as bird's nests...


It's called Supling because design concepts of Kanlungan and Diwa were combined to produce it.

This is where guests of around seven will sleep.

and the last (and my personal favorite)


Can you guess the purpose of this structure?

It's amazing how they were able to bend the bamboos and laid it almost symmetrically.

It really is something! Makes you want to cuddle and yakap someone.

Every structure in the place is designed to face the Mount Arayat.

The good thing about the design process is that the whole community is involved. Even the man just passing with his bicycle can easily give comments.

By the way, the designer is John. He's also from South Africa and has a European blood. He is very meticulous with everything - the position of the bamboos, the feng shui aspect, the energies surrounding the place, the water and earth spirits...

There's something really special in this place that you MUST experience to actually understand what I'm saying.

There are a lot of features which I wasn't able to take a picture:
-the Sacred Island (yes, there is an island in the place)
-the orchard (where I planted coffee, basil and cinnamon!)
-the mini rice fields (where Japanese, plain and black rice are planted)
-the fish pond
-the snake tree
-the big roaming owl at night
-the Labyrinth (another one of my favorite feature)

I can't wait to be back by sembreak! By that time, everything is fully functional.

They are offering a course on permaculture, community building and sustainable development for 65,000 (for foreigners) and 60,000 (for Filipinos). It's a one month Environmental Design Education (EDE) and this will mostly be offered to big decision makers and society shapers like company CEO's, politicians and university professors.

There are only 4 countries offering EDE in Asia and Oceania: Thailand, Australia, Japan and the Philippines.

There's a similar course in Burma and it's roughly $5,000+

If you'd like to stay or visit the place, you can contact me through my email: so that we can arrange everything.

Flying 101

Spent the first days of summer '10 with a lot of firsts...

For only 5000 pesos, you can ride this smallest plane ever in Angeles City Flying Club and get to fly with an instructor for one hour!:D

We took pictures of the land for the first ecovillage in the Philippines. These are the areal views, you will see the place up close in my next post.

Some actually claim they are ecovillages, but actually they are not according to the patented definition of my boss. Haha!

You can see that there are a lot of water ways. This will be used for kayaking (which I actually tried!) and for breeding of fish and shrimps. They are all man made streams and ponds.

Below is the very beautiful lake and river in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija. It's just across the main street from where the ecovillage is, but the view is obstructed by the houses.

Right now you can see a lot of water spinach (kang kong) in the pond - a sign that the water is very healthy and rich in nutrition.

Below are what I believe to be mango orchards.

And this is one of the projects of my uncle, it's a mini dam build to regulate the flow of the river.

Seeing everything above ground makes you appreciate nature more. Breathtaking!

Will be adding this again to my bucketlist next year!:D

PS: I'm turbo blogging so everything is rushed since I have loads of kwento. Will get into the details later, or you can ask me through comments.

Mar 26, 2010

Being Part of Something Really Special

I cannot express how happy and proud I am right now. There's this guy whom I have know since he was a freshman in high school, (I was a sophomore then.) He joined my club with his friends and was there until we graduated from high school - I think he became the vice president.

I just learned that he is now a seminarian!!!

We were all in shock because we didn't see it coming - especially from him.

I don't know why but I really felt great when I heard the news. It's like being a part of something really really special that is about to unfold (although I'm not sure what it is).

I immediately searched him in facebook and based from the pictures, it looks like he's been having a great time!

I heard there's another guy who went to the seminary one batch younger than him, also from my club (!!!), but I don't know him that much.

I'm starting to think I'm a good influence to others! Hahaha!

I hope I can meet and talk to him again soon:D

Mar 20, 2010

Sleep Box - Mini Hotels!!!

In a world where people appreciate good design everywhere, cool mini hotel rooms are the latest ‘it’ trend. In Tokyo, the Capsule Inn exemplifies the bare-essentials hotel rooms for brief use, and similar concepts are popping up at airports, train stations and downtowns around the world, replacing and mimicking the “day rooms” already existing at many airports.

Unlike Tokyo’s bed-only cabins where customers climb into a human equivalent of a honeycomb for a night’s rest, Yotel pods at Gatwick and Heathrow airports in London and Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam come in larger and more comfortable formats. These self-contained mini hotel rooms are equipped with a bed, table, HD TV and Wi-Fi.

The fourth Yotel is set to arrive in New York in 2011 with a location opening on 42nd and 10th street boasting 669 luxury rooms and the largest outside terrace in any hotel in New York

Also in Amsterdam, Citizen M has a hotel with 230 mini rooms at Schiphol Airport and a 215-room hotel in Amsterdam City. Citizen M plans to open similar hotels across Europe.

Qbic Hotels has opened two “cheap chic” hotels with mini rooms in the Netherlands: Qbic World Trade Centre Amsterdam and Qbic Maastricht, plus one in Antwerp, Belgium.

Taking the next step in rest and space efficiency, Russia’s Arch Group designed the SleepBox.

Along with an airport version of the rest pod, equipped with the usual, high-tech necessities offered by other companies, Arch Group has also designed an easy-to-relocate version fit for hostels. A small, mobile compartment, 2m (l) x 1.4m (w) x 2.3m (h), SleepBox is made of wood and MDF. SleepBox is meant to “allow very efficient use of available space and, if necessary, a quick change of layout”, making it perfect for hostels where demand and space available often come in conflict with each other. The hostel-specific SleepBox features bunk beds, flip-out tables and sockets for computers or phone chargers and not much else.

***I really wish they had something like this in school! Can someone make something like this, they can rent it like for a per hour basis.

Reflection on the Go

Driving or traveling, especially during a heavy traffic (or if it's raining), brings out a lot of insights in most people. I don't know about you guys but sometimes, I want to bring my laptop and type while on the car.

There's a lot of stuff happening outside. The MMDA giving a ticket to someone (who is being bribed in return), the taxi who almost hit you, the sampaguita vendor making limos, the traffic-less bus lane (!)...

But besides those stuff, you sometimes think about the relationship you could have saved if you were only more understanding and giving, regrets, your life after college, what lies ahead - the unknown.

A friend and I were driving along Ortigas earlier and the conversation got interesting. There were a lot of what if's. What if we were born at another place, let's say in Great Britain, a son of the Queen; or in Bangladesh, a son of a garment factory worker. What if we were born on another time - during world war 2 or in the future, a century from now.

It may be in driving or traveling that you are capable of giving out good insights, not directly of course to what you see around you. Somehow, we are less preoccupied, more alone and that may be the only time wherein we can reflect on what we have and will be doing.

Reflection is indeed a sign of a learned man. Few people can reflect. Few men are learned. I admire people who go to their roofs every available weekend and just stare at the stars, with no intention of arriving at a specific insight or thought. I guess it just happens once you get a hang of it. And in my case, I am most of the time humbled by my own insight.

Earlier this weekend, I was asking the president of Happy Earth of a lot of information regarding a conference I will have with some reps from Europe. I don't have a single clue on what to talk and what to contribute. She simply replied:

"Do not worry about not having enough info. The universe provides all that you need."

I just realized that she's not too lazy to think of answers for me. The universe indeed provides us with all the answers. Just stare at the star-lit sky and think. It had provided the Greeks, Chinese and Egyptians before, and it has continued even up to know.

Amidst the traffic, hustle and bustle of the city life, the universe still stirs us in the silence of our cars. You just have to listed to it, and bringing someone sensible with you to talk about it won't hurt either.

Mar 19, 2010

Ten Years From Now

Ten years from now, I'll be looking at these pictures and wondering, where have these people gone to?

Did all those calculus, accounting, statistics, finance and opman sessions worth the stress and effort we devoted to it just to get an A or (in my case) something higher than a D?

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You, too? Thought I was the only one."

Yes, we all had something in common - we all needed tutors Tanya and Michelle! haha! Because we may not be the brightest students, but we always try to be.

Perhaps grades won't even matter in the end. The laughters, study groups, overnights and friendships made will.

... and i just realized, this won't be my last semester with them (the rest of them don't need tutoring anymore)... I still have Math Economics that needs tutoring. Haha!

Mar 14, 2010

Some Thoughts

I learned so much last night - about the complexities of most people’s relationships and how much these people still devote time, effort and emotion into something contingent and uncertain.

I learned that amidst this world of exploitation of the poor and the flesh, of quick gratification and easy way-outs, of social-fulfilling stereotypes and pressure to not show “weakness”, there are still people who have the disciple, respect and purity of intention even though it is not demanded.

The world needs more people like them.

Mar 12, 2010

Saying Goodbye Is Still Loving?

I was watching Rent earlier and there's this scene after Angel's funeral when this group of "bohemians" part because they have to pursue what they think they need. And in that scene, I saw what my philosophy teacher was trying to point out yesterday, you break up because you still love each other.

Breaking up is a sign of love, not of hatred.

Roger left Mimi because he had to travel. Joanne had to leave Maureen because she wants to be a better lawyer. In that scene, you see that each one is pained deep, but they both know that it's for their own good. And this "goodness" is not a result of hatred.

People do NOT break up because they do NOT love, care or is concerned about the other. Love for that matter is eternal, it never goes away. You break up because you know the limits of the other and it's usually for the best of both parties.

I was consoling a friend before because her boyfriend broke up with her. She's a ballet dancer in a professional ballet company and she would write the (six-lettered) name of her boyfriend in her upper legs using a cutter. Bloody mess. She was complaining that he didn't love her anymore, and i wish I could have reasoned out what I knew today.

Of course I would not want to limit this notion to just the romantic side of love. Oprah said that she loved her show so much that she knows when to say goodbye to it. You do not keep your dead loved one in your basement because you love them and you know your limits so you bury them.

And in roughly one year from now, I'll be saying goodbye to something i have loved for all it's beauty and flaws - the Ateneo. I love it too much that I won't be staying for 5 years! Haha.

The most tragic thing in the world
is falling in love
with the past. Or believing
the past is writing you letters –
handwriting in an old
English script, letters
smudged, readable
enough to hold
you hostage — because you know
how close you are. Just a curve
away from knowing. Outside,
a cricket is kissing
the land, which must be like
falling in love with a pile
of borrowed books, exhaling
into it, dust floating
before leaving. It must be like finding
yourself groping the space
where the covers of returned novels
used to end, like sighing
into a harmonica — lightly
enough to keep the silence,
only crickets, and the invisible
notes of sadness.

by Gian Lao

(My philo orals are near so I'm trying to beef up my examples on the thesis statements so expect my other blogs till next week to be related to our philo class. Don't worry, i'll try not to make it boring. Haha!)

Driving Ethics

I saw again the Mercedes Benz C63 at school this morning (daydreaming!) and I kinda thought that it was a "bit" unpractical for a 7million peso car to be driven by a college student in the hellish streets of the metro.

How many times have we heard of stories where a son is gifted an Audi by his parents and after several weeks, ends up dead because he crashed his new car in White Plains or somewhere.

Accidents like these can be avoided with good driving/traffic ethics or a driver if you're drunk.

Don't you guys get a headache whenever you drive or is being driven to school and you could have avoided a serious accident if only that guy in front knew how to use his signal lights! It just takes one second to tap that thing and some people really take that for granted.

I think when you make singit in traffic, you should still use the signal lights because it's so much hassle to have the papers signed for the car insurance thing if you "accidentally" hit someone, and give us a warning if you're going to make gasgas because sometimes, people don't have decent cameras for documentation purposes.

And if you're going to be hit, better make sure that it's not a jeepney who will hit you because sayang naman. Mabuting nabangga ka na lang ng Chrysler, siguro may extrang moolah pa to get the car fixed, that would even make my day.

A jeepney driver will only say: "pasensya na po bosing!" or "putang ina mo hindi ka kasi tumitingin!"

Current mood: Pissed.

Mar 10, 2010

Memories of the Benches

I'm not from UST but I go there often for inspiration - seeing students express individuality amidst their uniforms, those iconic statues that were witnesses to 400 years of college life, and even just for a change of surroundings.

(my brother's water color painting below)

This entry was written by Julian Marcial (his pen name) and I'd like to share it here (of course with permission) because he was able to see "the world in a grain of sand" or at least college life in the most basic object we can find in the campus - the benches.

After reading this, I wished the Ateneo had some rock benches, able to preserve memories as effective as the one's in UST. It's a bit long, but a very good read.

There was a time before when I looked to my right, as I was sitting at the end of a silent, dim corridor of the right wing of the main building, that I had a compelling vision. There's a row of benches from the main door welcoming every passing stranger or student who happens to yearn for a destination at each wing, at the left is the pharmacy side, and at the right is the science side. At night, both turn into the commanding state of courtroom academe where the civil law students hold their night to night pursuit of reason either to defend or to prosecute with accordance to the blindfolds of the law.

Nighttime has always been a magnificent scene in the main building of UST. Especially when the chandeliers are lit with a radiating glow that seems to permeate to the soul, emanating from the untraveled depths of the firey blaze. The great chandelier that welcomes the common visitor is a perfect ornament before the ancient staircase, a grand staircase that reeks the smell of agelessness and wisdom. The staircase itself is a witness to the many endeavors of the students within the campus. Every agonizing step it takes for us to reach our destination has been made and has been accompanied by the wooden clanks and creaks of the grand staircase. It shines with waxy sheen, a recent renovation that serves to amplify its timeless quality. In that staircase, one could not help but feel a characteristic sense of smallness, a profound humility for all those who traveled the same steps you're making. Do we deserve it? Are the achievements of the era we live in enough to match the unparalleled greatness of the generations before us?

The benches beside it are no different. As I look at them during that time, I felt a tingling sense of wonder. Against the reddish to orange hue of the scene, the empty benches seem to emit a faint whisper of history and story. The mood is a perfect one for the poets. The darkness of the summer's night, the humidity of the windless air, and the controlled glow of the night inside the building's efficascent glow. There I thought of the things that makes those benches special during the night. What I saw there is a slide show of translucent visions of all the people that are present within the vicinity during day time. It seems appropriate, seeing them talking and studying, clutching books and handouts to prepare for their upcoming quiz, recitation, or any requirements of the academe, such a noble cause. I see them moving in a fast-motion sequence, sitting, standing, and another one sitting in place. Some stay longer, some stay for just a short while. Some just sit for the sake of rest, some sit while staring into space, apparently thinking deeply at their problems. Is it about love, the teenage hormonal attractant that rises in the roller coaster age of puberty and adolescence? Is it about studies, the greatest burden of the youth imposed by the generations? Is it about finances, the sinner's haven and breeding ground? Is it about family, the most emotive of all the problems that could ever be? No matter what, they just sat there for the longest time, and they're the most subtle of all the people in the scene.

Some chat, talking with their seatmates. The voices cannot be heard, and the silence is absolute. All you can hear is the small creeping insect beneath the window, buzzing its wings or clicking its pincers, while the visions continue. Neither melody nor rhythm would be appropriate, for the representations and the emanations of day to day life within those benches are mere copies of the originals. They're the power of certain objects to hold memory within their material. It's as if certain acts done with respect to their duties and purpose makes them weary not with use, but with the parts of each individual's soul left behind each contact. How willing are we to give something immaterial to the material? Immaterial as any spiritual doctrine; the immateriality of emotion and passion, left behind those benches. The pursuit of the academic life has been embedded within those benches, and all the students within the University seems to be able to rebound their voices through the subconscious act of giving value to those, initially, meaningless objects. People will someday remember those benches as the locations where events as simple as studying for a difficult exam had transpired without them knowing that the benches play a role in it as much as an actor plays the defining role in the movie's story. They pass by, and then they'll remember how somebody voiced publicly his undying love in those benches. They'll remember it as the good old days when they're still young and find how their former selves have forgotten purpose over their duties.

The things we possess reflect the acts that we do. In a sense, each object holds something from us that pulls us into another world, a world gone with the passing of time. It reminds us of what we were and what we are, the questions that matter not to us but to all, and most of all, the reflections of ourselves and how we developed through out the years. What you hold is already a valuable thing, as much as those benches, together with the dim lighting of the nighttime main building, holds part of the memories of the millions and millions of students that gave their time into sitting with them, or looking at them, as if to contemplate the always-taken-for-granted objects in their everyday life. In those benches are the memories that will never be forgotten.


The wife of one of my dad's laborers' just gave birth - it's a boy! Why do i know? Because there's this small compound near our house where most of the laborers live and it's where we store the cement mixer, shovels, grinders, drills and other stuff you saw in Hostel. And I'm naturally chismoso.

Anyway, I was having a fit this morning because my maid told me that the wife (now a mother) cannot afford to buy a 250 pesos set of Lampin (12 pieces in Divisoria according to the maid)!!! She was cutting their (dirty) blanket into lampin sized pieces to compensate for the cloth diaper!

250 pesos! It's like a budget for a lunch out with friends. It's like a super hyped up Starbucks drink. Or a 14 by 18 sized Berkeley canvas. To some, it's a 12 piece cloth which will house the first few weeks of a newly born child. Which investment is more worth it?

She knew that she was having a baby and they weren't even able to save anything. "Isang kahig, isang tuka" was the way they lived, and I cannot apathetically watch their situation. I wanted to give my brother's scarves as lampin but he'll kill me so I told my maid that when she goes to Divi, she should buy lampins for the baby boy.

I know WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYONE. Benevolence is the worst form of marginalization, according to one philosopher. But I ask myself, what if i'm the one in her position - I have barely anything to eat and I still have to usher this new life. Sigh.

On another side of my universe, I just semi-finished this painting and I guess it's a bit violent. Last few weeks were so stressful and instead of releasing the stress with a shot of Bacardi every night, it turned out like this.

As you can see, the bottom part isn't finished yet. Parang kamay ng powerpuff girls lang. I'm still finding the right object to complement it. A vase with dry flowers? A picture frame with a guy/family in it? Or a set of Lampin and a cigar in hand.