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31 July 2014

Marinduque Challenge 2014: The Rescue.

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We were at the town proper of Sta. Cruz, Marinduque 5:30 pm, done eating and we were about to go to Town of Mogpog when we learned at the terminal that the last trip of the van left already just a few minutes before we finished our food. We asked the locals but unfortunately according to them we need to stay overnight because 5AM of succeeding day is the next trip.

Bonj inquired the local tricycle drivers if how much we are going to spend if they’ll bring us to next town. “PHP500” , the driver answered.

“Naku kuya, we already hired for Php500 (PHP125 each) from Malbog Spring to Poctoy. We can no longer spend that much. We are only backpackers” Irene responded.

“Ok, PHP400 will do” the driver started to bargain.

We gathered in one place to talk about the next move. Our original plan was to stay in Mogpog overnight so it is easy for the team to rove the town next day without wasting time- we need to fulfill it. During the discussion, Bonj remembered that when they arrived at the port in Mogpog, they met this local driver named Mang Victor who offered them a space right at their house in case of emergency.

“Ok, here is my suggestion. It would be better if you (Bonj) are going to contact Mang Victor to rescue us here. It’s ok for me to spend PHP400 (PHP100 each) if we paid it to him, because if we opted Mang Victor, there is an assurance where we can stay this night.” I quickly proposed.


Bonj swiftly grabbed his phone and called Mang Victor right then. “We are still fortunate because we have Mang Victor” Norie jokingly said. “But we are more fortunate if we catch the last trip because it is only PHP60” I answered. And everyone was laughing.

Imagine, we spent the amount of PHP 100 each instead of PHP60. Truly PHP40 is a huge amount for me but the point that we were not in hurry- that was priceless and we were able to enjoy the moment and be at the moment.


Moreover, while waiting for Mang Victor, we watched a basketball game at the town proper.  Supposedly we planned to proceed to the famous Kawakawa falls (for side trip) while waiting for rescue of Mang Victor. But the team decided to stay and watch the game because we were all tired.

23 July 2014

Philippines! Do you know how to spell D-E-V-E-L-O-P-M-E-N-T?

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It consists of 7107 islands, a home of true-blooded “Beauty Queens” and well-known singers – who can afford to ignore this Republic of the Philippines.  Philippine is a sovereign island country located in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. Approximately, 99,887,500 Filipinos are residing this country and identified as nation’s precious gems due to its resiliency despite of calamities such as typhoons and earthquakes – no wonder why innumerable Foreigners invest (e.g. Business Process Outsourcing).


Aside from the smiling people, Philippine is famous for its various world class tourist destination. Tourism Industry grew and gained 2,061,135 arrivals of foreign tourists just this January to May 2014 as the impact of Department of Tourism’s promotional campaign titled “It’s More Fun in The Philippines” – forecasted to give employment of 7.4 million people by 2016.


Tourism is a major contributor to the nation’s economy, contributing 5.9% to the GDP in 2011” says National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) and the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Indeed, tourism has a huge social impact to the country. The growths of local businesses like loom weaving, sculpturing and locally made-products are now distributed worldwide that opened the door to all Filipinos into international trading. There are now a lot of beach resorts, restaurants, bars, malls and other recreational spots established around the country. Hotels and transportations (via air, land and sea) are available to all local and foreign tourists just to assure their convenience.
……

I’ve been to two of the best beaches in the country named Puerto Galera and Calaguas Island. Not surprisingly, when I compared the two spots, I witnessed the real meaning of Development – the environment.  Puerto Galera is a commercialized beach which gave the community’s stable medium of living. “I traveled here all the way from the opposite island during peak season just to sell our goods to the tourists” the vendor of shell bracelet said. However, environmentally, the effect isn’t quite good due to the unlimited visitors during summer and it shows in the surroundings.


Meanwhile, Calaguas Island is totally an immaculate beach which is perfect for soul-searching. It is a place for campers and backpackers who spend more sweat just to reach this paradise. The coast is very astounding – priceless. There is only small local community in the island which inhibits and protects the purity of the place. Their simple way of living is inspiring – they don’t even allow anybody to leave single garbage on the ground. “We can’t avoid the reality that sooner this Island can be developed also. It might give a stable livelihood to all the inhabitants here. And hopefully this development will not affect negatively to the environment.” The local said.


Truly, development in tourism in the Philippines provides positive outcome towards the society. But we also need to be more responsible on the maintenance of the environment. This is not just an accountability of the government but all of the stakeholders – including you. Because progress of tourism is worthless if this will leads to nature's distraction.

16 July 2014

Top 10 Dogs during my journey – not just an ordinary man’s best friend.

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Let me share you a story  

Man : I will spend part of my life with you.
Dog : Why?
Man :  Yes because I have to work for a living weekdays, and I have weekend getaways  during my rest day. 
Dog: I understand Sir. I will wait for you. Even though “YOU ONLY SPEND PART OF YOUR LIFE WITH ME” I will promise “THAT I WILL SPEND MY WHOLE LIFE WITH YOU.

I almost cry when I read this short story of loyalty.  Therefore I was inspired to post about dogs. Let me share you my TOP 10 dogs I’ve met in the middle of my Journey. 

1. Yurie a mini dachshund breed was my First Dog. At first I am not really aware and knowledgeable how to nurture a puppy. I just let him walk outside my apartment without any completion of his immunizations. I thought that he was healthy enough to roam outside, until one day I just saw him vomits. He looked so sick and his appetite was also alarming.  I quickly brought him to the Pet Clinic – But unfortunately He wasn’t able to make it. 

I was very devastated that time. I blamed myself due to my negligence. I was mourning and decided to buy right away a new one – that was ROCCO the Pomeranian. He was with me in some of my travel like Firework display in MOA and etcetera. The bond between the two of us was strong – more than a best friend, it’s like a companion.  Until lately when I had my long travel , the only thing I can do is to leave him inside the apartment for five days with foods and drinks. But I was thinking “TOO UNFAIR FOR HIM” . So since I can no longer fulfill my responsibilities towards him,  I decided to sell him to my friend “I SOLD MY BESTFRIEND” 


2. I met this ASPIN during my Marinduque Travel, July 7, 2014. When my team decided to trek going to Luzon Datum, we saw a nipa hut at the jump off location of the hill. We dropped by and converse the local owner of the nipa hut. “Kuya malayo pa ba? “My friend asked. “Wag kayo mag alala, ipapasama ko sa inyo ang aso ko” the local said. We went ahead towards our destination and that ASPIN guided us. “INSTANT TOUR GUIDE”


3. JANUS THE LABRADOR – I met this very intelligent dog during my Real Quezon Travel. His owner is Duane whom I used to be a co-traveler in some of my travel like Zambales .  This dog is very smart; he can even swim towards the sea just to retrieve his ball. Amazing Dog. Of course I played with him the whole time I was there. 



4. Another ASPIN from Palawan – I met him at vicinity of Baker’s Hill. I was wondering why he stared at me. When I went into him, he started to play with me. “IS IT HOW DOGS WELCOME THIER GUEST”

5. Give it Up for the Best Companion Dog – PUG.  The Pug is a breed of dog with a wrinkly, short-muzzled face and curled tail. The breed has a fine, glossy coat that comes in a variety of colours, although most often fawn or black, and a compact square body with well-developed muscles. I Met these pair at Luneta Park .


6. Next in the Line is CHOWCHOW - The Chow Chow is a dog breed originally from northern China, where it is referred to as Songshi Quan, which means "puffy-lion dog". These CHOWCHOW is owned by a resort owner in Puerto Galera (we were guests). I met this dog during my Puerto Galera Escapade last holy week.
7. Coming Up next this Huge DOG- at Sabang Beach during my Baler Travel. I was scared at first to touch this dog coz he is very big - as big as the waves for surfing.
8. Golden Retriever-  I met Him at SM MALL of Asia. this a large-sized breed of dog were bred as gun dogs to retrieve shot waterfowl such as ducks and upland game birds during hunting and shooting parties, and were named retriever . But now he is now in urban zone-In MOA to be specific

9. HUNGRY DOG in Pristine Beach, Puerto Princesa is the number 9 spot. Once you will visit the beach, you will notice innumerable dogs roaming around. You just be cautious of you foods or else they will steal it.

10. Last but not the least is another SWEET ASPIN DOG in Puerto Prinsesa City. Same location in Pristine Beach Vicinity.  I thought all the dogs at the vicinity were “PATAY GUTOM” but I noticed this Dog at one cottage. Sleeping. 

Truly, Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. They are better than human beings because they know but do not tell.

15 July 2014

Rejano’s Marinduque Delicacies – Arrowroot Cookies.

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The Rejano’s Bakery has been making bread, cookies, pastries and sweets for over 60 years now. The tradition began in 1946 when Timoteo Castillo opened the Castillo Bakery in Sta. Cruz, Marinduque. The bakery was inherited by Crisistomo Rejano, Castillo’s adopted son. Later, Crisostomo’s wife, Belen cooked up a very good arrowroot (uraro) cookie that served as treats for friends and relatives during birthdays and weddings. Little did she know that her arrowroot cookies would become so popular even outside the boarders of Marinduque. Balikbayans and local tourists would always buy Rejano’s arrowroot cookies as pasalubongs to their loved ones in Manila and abroad.  Carmelita, the daughter of Crisostomo and Belen continued the tradition. She succeeded not only in bringing the Rejano’s arrowroot cookies to arrowroot lovers in Manila, but also in sustaining the livelihood of farmers in her province.



The Rejano’s Bakery is situated in Brgy. Banahaw , Sta Cruz , Marinduque. It is very easy for you to locate the store because it is located walking distance beside the church of the town. Moreover, the bakery is famous - any locals are aware if you ask where it is.

They are proud of their unique product. “We have Gluten Free, Low Sugar and highly digestible foods here” the sales lady said.  



Meanwhile, arrowroot is a starch obtained from the rhizomes (rootstock) of several tropical plants, traditionally Maranta arundinacea and the Province of Marinduque is abundant of that plant - they called it “Uraro" . Arrowroot tubers contain about 23% starch. “Madaming ganyan sa mga gubat, kinkuha lang namin yan, pero ngayon may taniman na. (In the forest area, arrowroot is wild and plenty plant and we just harvest it but there are now some plantations exist” a local said.  The starch has t been quite extensively adulterated with potato starch and other similar substances in creating cookies.

List of best seller Products:

Cookies in Tins (250g)
Cookies in Tins with Pinipig (250g)
Cookies in Box (250g)
Cookies in Box with Pinipig (250g)
Cookies in Small Box (100g)
Cookies in Jar with Ribbon (Big 760g)
Cookies in Jar with Ribbon (Med 460g)
Cookies in Canister original (Big 300g)
Cookies in Canister original (Med 250g)
Cookies Low in Sugar (Oatmeal 310g)
Cookies Low in Sugar (Cinnamon 270g)
Cookies Low in Sugar (Pinipig 270g)
Cookies in Big plastic pack (250g)
Cookies in Small plastic pack (100g)
Polvoron de Uraro (100g)
Turones de Uraro (7pcs)
Banana Chips (100g)
Tamarind Candy (100g)
Tamarind Balls (100g)
How to make Arrowroot cookies?

8 ounces butter
8 ounces rice flour
8 ounces superfine sugar
6 ounces arrowroot
6 eggs

Beat the butter to a cream.
Whisk the eggs to a strong froth.
Add them to the butter, stir in the flour a little at a time and beat the mixture well.
Break down all the lumps from the arrowroot and add it with the sugar to the other ingredients.
Mix all well together, drop the dough on a buttered tin, in pieces the size of a shilling.
Bake the biscuits about 15 minutes in a slow oven.
Time: 15 minutes.
Sufficient to make from 3 to 4 dozen biscuits.



“It melts in the mouth”, that’s how I defined the cookies. It was like eating the famous silvanas in Dumaguete City but the arrowroot cookies is not extremely sweet- tolerable for my taste bud. “Maganda to ipakain sa mga kaaway mo, tapos wag mong bigyan ng tubig (This is perfect treat for your enemy and don’t give water afterwards” Bonjo jokingly said. The cookies really require water to avoid being choked.



Rejano’s Bakery
Brgy. Banahaw, Sta Cruz, Marinduque
Tel (042)3211069
Email: marinduquedeli@yahoo.com
This article is part of “ Marinduque Challenge 2014

12 July 2014

Calaguas Island: Yoga for Soul.

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I became an Instant Yogi in Calaguas Island when James Betia, shares his expertise about yoga during the travel. Eight in the morning, after we went back from the sunset watching, we just quickly grabbed our breakfast – coffee with kakanin prepared by chief Arvin. When everyone was ok - after the meal, James gathered us for a Yoga session. At first I was hesitant to join because I can’t really get the point of that activity- corny. So, what I did, I just joined them for picture taking only. Until when I started to stretch my arms, synchronized my core and expanded my legs – I felt something strange.


James taught us the proper breathing -With those few inhales and exhales, I felt eased deep within. Unconsciously, I enjoyed now the activity and I continued joining them when I felt the sweat from my body. “Sige na nga , tuloy ko nalang to”, I said. It was my first time to practice it and it gives me the impression that Yoga is fun (but on the beginning, I thought it’s a kinda corny stuff).


In Yoga, you should harmonize your physical, mental and spiritual being to reach your aim – that is body and mind transformation. Meditation is one way, but sometimes it is necessary to prepare the body for meditation by stretching and building strength. As Yoga becomes increasingly diffuse, diverse and popular, there are now innumerable establishments (e.g. fitness gym) that offer YOGA class.


The word yoga comes from Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language. It is a derivation of the word yuj, which means yoking, as in a team of oxen.

The chanting at the beginning was a great way to get into the mindset of what the next 90 minutes will require of you.  There was a solid warm up and then some fast paced flows to get you sweating, and then it slows down for some balancing and more challenging poses which always satisfied my explorative and playful side.  At the end, before Shavasana, they sometimes do a brief guided meditation which is really nice.

What I love the most of all those poses was the tree pose – because it taught me how to balance. Just like how we need to balance in our life to avoid failures. We need to balance the pros and cons in decision making. Moreover, a tree-pose can be executed with partner. And I noticed that the tree-pose with a partner is easier compared in doing it alone – just like in real life – it is easier in a journey with a partner in life.

More Yoga .. More learnings . More fun in the Ph.
.

06 July 2014

I Love Tansyong’s Blog Launches Hashtag #ILoveTansyong

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“I Love Tansyong | The Best of Tansyong’s Travel” is inviting everyone interested to post photos, messages and videos on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram with the unified hashtag #ILoveTansyong. Those sending contributions are asked to explain what makes a venue, place, destinations, foods, hotel and pro- or anti-tourism, so that others may know of these thingy. “The way the Filipino (and/or Filipino at heart) Travelers community - spends plays a crucial role in benefiting businesses that support tourism and place economic pressure on those who continue to love travel,” says Jonathan D. Orbuda, I Love Tansyong’s Founder.

In an initiative to support travel bloggers, backpackers, tourists ( local and foreign) ,Department of Tourism and travel photographers-  friendly domestic tourism, small and medium enterprises, hang-out/party places in the Philippines, I Love Tansyong has launched “#ILoveTansyong” , a social media initiative to showcase safe spaces and traveler’s friendly establishments and destinations for nomadic Filipinos (foreign ).

I Love Tansyong is inviting everyone interested to post photos, messages, links and videos on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram with the unified hashtag “#ILoveTansyong”. Those sending contributions are asked to explain what makes a venue, place, destinations, foods, hotel and pro- or anti-tourism; so that others may know of these thingy .These will then be featured in the Facebook and Twitter pages and official blog www.ilovetansyong.blogspot.com .  Especially in Instagram  , your photos that used the unified hashtag will automatically included on the slide located at the upper left side bar of the blog site.



“Aside from helping the promotion of our tourism industry, it also aims of sharing/collecting your captured scenic photos in a hash tag page for online critics”, Orbuda said. “An online critic helps us to grow and learn especially on how to capture best photos” he added.  “You can find other experts or teach beginners, which will also increase your knowledge”



Truly, Social Media nowadays supersedes the world of no-boundaries – the World Wide Web. It is also beneficial to those who joined this hashtag because they can gain more followers.  You can talk about recent issues and specific topics to drive people into the conversation. Manage the conversation properly and build a name for yourself in your chosen industry or field. Talk about activities or things that personally appeal to you or those which you have a lot of knowledge on. Travelers save time and effort looking for the best sources when others share media content or their original creations like photos and articles. You will have an opportunity to talk to people who also share the same interests and or belong in the same field.



04 July 2014

Ultimate Frisbee: Catching the flying disc and the beauty of Calaguas Island

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In nature, I am a sporty-type of person. I love various sports despite of my asthma.  One of the ultimate sports that gave me a hard time of breathing is Frisbee. In the first place; I know that Frisbee is not that easy upon knowing some sports icon that plays such game eg. Derik Ramsey and Marc Nelson.  I am curious about it because since I love beach it seems that sport is perfect during my beach bumming. (Well, I don’t have guts to play it, to be honest)



During my Calaguas Travel, I had a chance to play Frisbee with some of sporty travelers.  They taught me how to play properly in accordance to the rule. Ultimate (aka Frisbee) is played between two teams of seven players on a large rectangular pitch so Calaguas shoreline is very large – that was perfect for it. A line drawn across the pitch at either end creates two "endzones" (like in American Football) but we just drew it imaginary. These are the goal-scoring areas. A goal is scored when a team completes a pass to a player standing (or more likely running) in the end zone they are attacking.



Ultimate in 10 simple rules as per Steve Courlang


The Field -- A rectangular shape with endzones at each end. A regulation field is 64m by 37m, with end zones 18m deep.

Initiate Play -- Each point begins with both teams lining up on the front of their respective end zone line. The defense throws ("pulls") the disc to the offense. A regulation game has seven players per team.


Scoring -- Each time the offense completes a pass in the defense's end zone, the offense scores a point. Play is initiated after each score.


Movement of the Disc -- The disc may be advanced in any direction by completing a pass to a teammate. Players may not run with the disc. The person with the disc ("thrower") has ten seconds to throw the disc. The defender guarding the thrower ("marker") counts out the stall count.

Change of possession -- When a pass in not completed (e.g. out of bounds, drop, block, interception), the defense immediately takes possession of the disc and becomes the offense.
Substitutions -- Players not in the game may replace players in the game after a score and during an injury timeout.

Non-contact -- No physical contact is allowed between players. Picks and screens are also prohibited. A foul occurs when contact is made.
Fouls -- When a player initiates contact on another player a foul occurs. When a foul disrupts possession, the play resumes as if the possession was retained. If the player committing the foul disagrees with the foul call, the play is redone.

Self-Refereeing -- Players are responsible for their own foul and line calls. Players resolve their own disputes.

Spirit of the Game -- Ultimate stresses sportsmanship and fair play. Competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of respect between players, adherence to the rules, and the basic joy of play.

A flying disc is a disc-shaped gliding toy or sporting item that is generally plastic and roughly 20 to 25 centimeters (8 to 10 in) in diameter with a lip, used recreationally and competitively for throwing and catching, for example, in flying disc games.

I really enjoyed the sport because it takes total stamina, alertness and endurance to perform infinite run.  It was my first time and if given a chance, I’ll play it over and over.

02 July 2014

Solo Traveling – Soul Searching – Finding Oneself.

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Looking at the infinity, the waves touch my feet, the wind whisper my ear.  5:30 in the afternoon while the sunset introduces me to the darkness, the color of the sky changes rapidly.  I just realized that life is too short while staring at the fast pacing sunset – as fast as taking calls in my “call center life”, wherein I need to finish each calls in average of 250 seconds or else I will lose my incentives for the month. 

Unconsciously, my tear fell down. I don’t know what seems to be the reason.  I kept stressing on my previous post “Reason why I travel”, however despite of that post, why I really Travel spontaneously - if you’re gonna ask it directly to my heart, my heart can’t answer. 

The splendor of solo travel is time. I got time to be alone and talk to myself.  I steeped in a peaceful silence. I felt refreshed.  I was like a very strong person who allowed to be separated the reality and live the paradise alone. It was very fulfilling and I learned to value my self – my life to be specific. 

“I am not getting younger; five years from now I can no longer guarantee that I can still have the skin – the same skin that I am proud of today.”  Sigh…. 

I've been single for a long span of time. Living life alone, hahhahaa.. Well, I am no longer afraid of travelling alone… because I've been traveling all by myself for all of my life. There is no room for fear anymore. But why every time the coldness of surrounding starts to embrace me, I also felt an emptiness deep within.  “Am I really strong?” …

The breeze answered me. “Jonathan! You’ll start understanding yourself on a level you probably didn't even know was possible. When you’re on the road and all the decisions are up to you, you’ll start to realize things about yourself that you probably weren't even aware of before you stepped out of your comfort zone. “
The sand added “For one, you didn't realize you had a knack for pronouncing strange words in different languages- languages that your heart can only understand. “ 

The sun gave HIS final word before HE fades “Don’t be sad, WE know that you are intellectually strong but honestly you are very emotionally suppressed. Remember my Friend, Jonathan; you also didn’t know how much you actually enjoy the company of just you….Go back to your tent and sleep. I know you are not alone, because you are with yourself.  ”

I just cried.. I wanted to stop it but I can’t… I am weak... Yes.. I thought solo traveling is a way for me to showcase my strength but I was wrong… Solo travelling reminded me that I am also WEAK – I just hide it.  
(While writing this article.. I was crying)

01 July 2014

Rizalista : Religious movement or Occultism

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The Rizalista religious movement refers to the new religious movement adopted by a number of ethnic religious groups in the Philippines that believe in the divinity of Jose Rizal, the Philippines' de-facto national hero. But there are also people condemned towards the group that it may be an occultism. Join us , As “I love Tansyong “ and BSA Students from University Riza attempt to investigate.
The Rizalistas, as they are collectively and commonly called, are different group of people having different beliefs but focuses on one faith. It is their faith to the Philippine's national hero Dr. Jose Rizal that binds them together. Generally, this group immortalizes and worships Jose Rizal as a divine being. Many of these sects or religious movements believe that Rizal is still living and that he will deliver his followers from oppression and poverty.

Rizalist groups have differing views on the divinity of Jose Rizal. Some believe that he is God himself, some believe that Rizal was the second son of God, the reincarnation of Christ. Some of these groups also identify Rizal as the god of the pre-Spanish Malay religion. Some only see as Rizal as a spiritual guide. Leaders of the sect often claim that key people in the Philippine Revolution including Rizal himself were reincarnation of the Virgin Mary. Many of these groups claim that the only key to salvation is by joining their group

The Rizalist religious movement ranged from colorums which were prevalent during the 1920s up to the 1930s to Philippine Benevolent Missionary Association, which was led by Ruben Ecleo. Among these movements are the Iglesia Sagarada Familia, Lipi ni Rizal, Pilipinas Watawat, the Molo and the Iglesia ng Watawat ng Lahi

Photo credits above ( http://my_sarisari_store.typepad.com

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