A Song for my Darling Serenity

It’s Throwback Thursday! And now that I am itching for my next travel, let me bring you once again to a kingdom of ultimate serenity, Palawan.

The Viewfinder

Article 7 of the Palawan Chronicles: Last Article


DISCLAIMER: I recommend listening to the song “Cool Change” while reading this to gain maximum serenity.

And this exhibit launches in 5, 4, 3, 2…. .

If there’s one thing in my life that’s missing

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It’s the time that I spend alone

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Sailing on the cool
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And bright clear water

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Lots of those friendly people

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They’re showing me ways to go

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And I never want to lose their inspiration

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I was born in the sign of water

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And it’s there that I feel my best

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It’s kind of a special feeling

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When you’re out on the sea alone

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Or Sun? Or Sun?

Staring at the full moon like a lover

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Time for a cool change

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I know that it’s time for a cool change

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Now that my life…

View original post 72 more words

A Song for my Darling Serenity

Article 7 of the Palawan Chronicles: Last Article


 

DISCLAIMER: I recommend listening to the song “Cool Change” by Little River Band while reading this to gain maximum serenity.

And this exhibit launches in 5, 4, 3, 2…. .

If there’s one thing in my life that’s missing

.

It’s the time that I spend alone

.

Sailing on the cool
 .

And bright clear water

.

Lots of those friendly people

.

They’re showing me ways to go

.

And I never want to lose their inspiration

.

I was born in the sign of water

.

And it’s there that I feel my best

.

It’s kind of a special feeling

.

When you’re out on the sea alone

.

Or Sun?

Or Sun?

Staring at the full moon like a lover

.

Time for a cool change

.

I know that it’s time for a cool change

.

Now that my life is so prearranged

.

I know that it’s time for a cool change

.

I’ve never been romantic

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And sometimes, I don’t care

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I know it may sound selfish

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But let me breathe the air

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Let me breathe the air

Songwriter(s): Glenn Barrie Shorrock Copyright: Warner/Chappell Pty Limited

Other photos by Nessa Gabrillo

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Article 6 of the Palawan Chronicles – Fever and Farewells: The Ruins of Stalactites

The Ruins of Stalactites

Article 6 of the Palawan Chronicles


Palawan Day 5: Farewell


Our last day in Palawan was spent with travelling back to Puerto Princesa; buying pasalubong; another two-hour delay in flight with the same red-dot airline; and having a fever when I finally got home.

The wasp stings developed a dark mark on my skin, big enough to make me alarmed about it. I was a bit paranoid because we had an actor in our show Katipunan that got bitten by a spider in Palawan, and his leg swelled for the whole year.  Fortunately, there was a clinic in Manila International Airport and the doctor said it was just an exaggerated reaction of my semi-sensitive skin. I got a fever of 39.6 when I got home, which my father said was an effect of the sting.

But this article was not about going home nor the dark marks as the greatest souvenirs, because that was the ugliest part of all.


Encantadia. Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

Encantadia. Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

The Rain Goddess of El Nido was crying when the two city fairies first sought shelter in the caves of Encantadia.  And at first glance, the place caught the fairies’ hearts.

Encantadia. Photo by Nessa Gabrillo.

Encantadia. Photo by Nessa Gabrillo.

The cave is once a living stalagmite colony. Tito Bong said that when he was young, he used to stretch his vocal chords in the cave, with the stalactites as his audience. But some time ago, someone axed one of the stalactites for selling at the black market.  The stalactites seemed to be interconnected by an outstanding bond so when one died, the whole cave died. Thus, Encantadia will be born in the area.

An area will be transformed into a resto bar featuring performers from El Nido. An area will become inns for guests. And a lot of areas will be created for recreation and good picture-taking venues.

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo. Color by me.

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo. Color by me.

So before we bid each other goodbye, we decided to pay tribute to the spirits of the cave.  To do this, we climbed the rocks, which were sharp as usual.

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

Encantadia. Photo by Nessa Gabrillo.

Encantadia. Photo by Nessa Gabrillo.

Aren’t these enchanting enough to make you come back?

El Nido, may you retain your beauty and charm until I come back. Goodbye for now, and until we meet again, my darling serenity.


NEXT ARTICLE:

Let me Breathe the Air: A song for my Darling Serenity


Article 5 of the Palawan Chronicles – El Nido Inland Tour: The Attack of the Wasp


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The Attack of the Wasp

Article 5 of the Palawan Chronicles

Palawan Day 4: Inland tour

Apparently, Nessa’s motion sickness during the tour to the Sons of the Sea made her think twice into taking Tours A, B or D.  So that date with Henchman Dudz at Doy’s Restaurant was actually a secret meeting to plan another visit and what to tell the God of the Sea about not being able to meet all his sons.
Henchman Dudz told us about the El Nido Inland Tour, the visit to the son and daughters of the El Nido Mountain God.  And the destinations seemed promising. But since this was a favor for another god, Henchman Dudz asked for a fair price for it.  We told him that we will think about the offer.
On our way home from the secret meeting, we met a female enchantress, Ate Jhona, who offered a lower price to get us to the Mountain God.
And so the next morning, we had our trike again, ready to explore the mountains after a day of exploring the seas..
 We drove along a road lined with Palawan Cherry trees.  Kuya Orly, our trike driver for the day, told us that these trees are in full bloom, with its aromatic red flowers in May. Now I know the best month to be back in El Nido. Oh yes, I sure am coming back.
 Our first mission was to meet the nymph of Nagkalitkalit falls.  To get to her, we were accompanied by another enchantress, Ate Maricon.  And then we started our trek at around 10:15 in the morning.
To get to the Nagkalitkalit Nymph, we needed to go through The Nine River Guardians.

The first river guardian was the laundry central of the place.  The second maintains the same height and strength of the water.
Photo by Nessa Gabrillo.

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo.

The photo taken.

The photo taken.

 On the third, we met a man with two carabaos carrying what-seemed-to-be newly-cut wood.  And then Ate Maricon said that he might be an illegal logger.  The fourth river guardian had rocks for its defense.  The fifth was a wider one.
Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

The sixth river guardian housed a tree of life.
Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

The seventh river guardian offers a stronger current.  And rivers eighth and ninth were connected.  And after a few more walks, we saw this:
Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

The water was a bit chilly but it was worth all the effort.  And was where I saw the most beautiful dragonfly I’ve ever seen.  It has a blue shiny body and black wings.  Maybe it was just a disguise.  That dragonfly could have been the Blue Fairy and had given me a wish.  Or maybe the Nagkalitkalit Nymph.
On our way back, the Rain Goddess seemed to have followed us again.  And it was one heavy rain that did not stop until we reached our trike.
We traversed again the dirt roads for 20 minutes until we came to a sea of greens.
Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

We were told that there was a hot spring a few walks away from the field, from where I realised I was wearing a camouflage.  Ate Mely was our tour guide.  And her house was the one on the entrance of the field.
Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

Until everything in the path became hot.  Water from the hot spring was flowing out.  We came along a muddy path where we saw pieces of wood lined up as pathway.  Since the water was so hot, stepping on it would mean being boiled alive.  Plus, even the residents were not sure how deep the waters were, so stepping anywhere could mean sinking.
Until we came here.
At the Makinit Hot Spring. Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

The water was really steaming!  It was like a God was hiding at the bottom, transforming all its wrath for the world into hot, steaming water.  And Ate Mely, our tour guide said that up to now, no official studies were made in this virgin hot spring.  Students came before saying that it must have been sulfur.  And up to now, they did not know how deep this water was.  She also said that this spring was already here even before she was born.  And she told us another secret.  They were the original owners of the spring and the surrounding land.  Some time ago, the government took over the spring, during the time of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.  When the administration changed, the property was bought by the Ayalas.  Apparently, the El Nido airport was also an Ayala Property.  I just wish that the Ayalas would not make too much development in this place.  I like it as it is now.
But the wrath of the hot spring seemed to have not stopped here.  As we were walking back, a reddish golden wasp came attacking me, leaving me with two stings on my left leg, two stings on my left hand and one sting on my right hand.  This wasp sure was angry.  Maybe I accidentally toppled over his nest or whatever.  And the sting sure was really painful.
And then as we were nearer to Ate Mely’s house, a carabao came running after me.  I was not wearing red, I was wearing green camouflage so I did not know what attracted him.  The insects and animals here sure were fond of city fairies.
There was also a very pleasing beach nearby so we decided to visit the Sea God again so he would not think we were disregarding his invitation.
And this was Nacpan beach.
With the kids of Nacpan. Photo by Nessa Gabrillo.

With the kids of El Nido. Photo by Nessa Gabrillo.

It would have been so nice to just sit by the shore and listen to the songs of the sea, with pen and paper handy. I’ll do this, when I come back to El Nido.


 

NEXT ARTICLE: Fever and Farewells: The Ruins of Stalactites


 

Article 4 of the Palawan Chronicles – Henchman Dudz and the Sons of the Sea God

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Henchman Dudz and the Sons of the Sea

Article 4 of the Palawan Chronicles


Palawan Day 3: El Nido Island Hopping


The next morning, we were happy to see that the Sun God finally bade the Rain Goddess goodbye.  So the God of the Sea readily sent an invitation to the city fairies to meet his sons, and eventually choose among them. He has quite a lot of offspring that you needed four days to meet them all via Tours A, B, C or D.

We chose Tour C and Dudz was the henchman or rather the tour guide sent to us by the God of the Sea.

Henchman Dudz in black

Henchman Dudz in black

But we were not the only ones who would visit them.  There were other guests in the boat as well, and all of them were from foreign land. There were 2 Indian guys; an American couple; 2 British lovers; a Singaporean husband and wife; and the most interesting of them all, a Spanish girl and her Greek boyfriend.

Helicopter was the first son we met.
 
And he offered us the first buwis-buhay picture-taking location of the day.
Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

I call it buwis-buhay (life-threatening) because the rocks were really sharp.  One wrong move and blood would soon flow from your veins.

We sure knew where to take the best shots because after we had our bunch, other tourists came posing there too.
I would have wanted to climb the other stones and explore Helicopter more but then Henchman Dudz said it was time to meet the next son.
Talisay was the next one.  And he would be the one to offer us a royal banquet for lunch.  And who would prepare the food? None other than the Henchman and his sidekicks.
And so while they were busy at it, we went again for some buwis-buhay shots.
 
Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

 
When we came back, the fish was still grilling so we decided to walk around the other side of the island for more buwis-buhay shots.
Photo by Johnessa Gabrillo

Photo by Johnessa Gabrillo

I would have wanted to go the the farthest end of the cave but one of the sidekicks already called us for lunch.
I never knew that Jollibee was offering a buffet lunch at an island!
The Royal Banquet at Jollibee Talisay

The Royal Banquet at Jollibee Talisay

Kidding aside, I just love the food at the beach.  The foreigners didn’t seem to like the shrimps so I ate them all. 🙂
The next son we met was Matinloc.  And this was where the second pusong-bato  was residing.
Top view of Matinloc Island

Top view of Matinloc Island

Actually, the whole island was heart-shaped when viewed from above. From all the sons of the God of the Sea that we met today, Matinloc offered the most spectacular view.
Matinloc was the Cuyunin (local language) word for maganda or beautiful.  And it truly was!
We were set to meet the next son, named Secret Lagoon, but it seemed that he was not in the mood for any visitors that day because it was too wavy.  To appease the guests, the God of the Sea offered a very good snorkeling site instead.
At the end of the day, it was time to choose.  But my friend Nessa seemed to be interested with someone else.
And so that night, she met the chosen one, none other than… Henchman Dudz.   And I was their chaperone.
During the day, he was a faithful servant of the God of the Sea and during the night, he sidelines as a butler at Doy’s Restaurant.  And this was where I saw the biggest oysters I had ever seen.
Another reason for loving El Nido!

Another reason for loving El Nido!

These were also the most delectable oysters I had ever tasted!  Surely the best way to end our second day in El Nido.

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Article 3 of the Palawan Chronicles – Palawan’s Gods and Goddesses


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Palawan’s Gods and Goddesses

Article 3 of The Palawan Chronicles


Palawan Day 2: El Nido, A Whole New Adventure


After being inspired by the stars and the fireflies, all you would want to do was to let the creativity flow out of your system.

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

And so that night, we were in the mood for art.

Your color palette for tonight's art session. A photo by Johnessa Gabrillo.

Your color palette for tonight’s art session. A photo by Johnessa Gabrillo.

With a serenade in the background, Gypsy’s offers a soothing ambience, ready to bring out the artistE (emphasizing the ‘E’) in you.

I would love to try their coffee. But it was a tiring day, and I preferred sleep than a stimulant. I had green tea instead.

And what’s an art cafe without works of passion?

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

There was another Doll Installation Art work there.  And it was just a masterpiece.  I won’t post a photo. Just see it for yourself. 🙂

Reading a book? No. I'm checking our bill. Photo by Nessa Gabrillo.

Reading a book? No. I’m checking our bill.

We returned to the lodge at 10:30 in the evening, packed our bags and rested for an early trip the next day.


I first heard the name El Nido when I was a kid, in a Play Station 1 game entitled Chrono Cross.  And the mystery of the game seemed to embody the real town.

El Nido is a six-hour drive from Puerto Princesa. So we left the capital city with Tito Bong’s red car at 3:00 the next morning.

Oliver was our driver for that morning. And he seemed to be Paul Walker’s substitute for the next Fast and the Furious movie. He really knew the tricks of how to make your car fly, literally. Nonetheless, I was able to close my eyes and rest my mind for the first few hours of the trip.

I woke up at 5:45 in the morning and this was what I saw outside my window, a first glimpse of Palawan’s Sun God.

We had a stop-over at the bus terminal in Roxas to have some hot early meal.

The Sun God kept us company as we hit the road again.  Along San Vicente, the town after Roxas, the Fog Nymph started to play with us, diffusing all the light coming from the Sun God.  She was so enthusiastic that she turned the picture into an image of the Moon Deity.

It's morning.  Sun or Moon?

It’s morning. Sun or Moon?

Meanwhile, it seemed that the Sun God had also drained my energy away so I took a nap.

And when I woke up again, Oliver was asking if we were taking the right way because we are already in here:

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

Who would have guessed that we were just in Taytay… Palawan, I mean?
Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

The Fort of Taytay was built in 1667 to serve as defense for pirates that Spaniards call Filipinos.
 
 
Getting to the red car again, one would know if he or she was approaching El Nido when the rocky dirt road waved “hello”.
And finally, after another hour from Taytay, we came to El Nido.  And the Rain Goddess readily greeted us.
"Hello!" says the Rain Goddess

“Hello!” says the Rain Goddess

But she never stopped the Pinoy Explorer blood in us.  Yan, another friend of Nessa’s, a son of Tito Bong’s, said that the waves were too strong to swim that day.  So we decided to visit the River Spirit.

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

And then we found the first pusong bato of Palawan.
Nessa's Pusong Bato

Nessa’s Pusong Bato

It was still raining but I heard the God of the Sea calling my name.
"Yes, my dearest God of the Sea, how can I help you?"

“Yes, my dearest God of the Sea, how can I help you?”

He enjoyed my company and even danced with me.
Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

The same reason maybe why the Rain Goddess was still with us.  She seemed to be jealous of two city fairies that came to pay tribute to the Great Gods of El Nido.

NEXT ARTICLE:

Article 2 of the Palawan Chronicles – Iwahig Fireflies: Reminiscing Kenshin and Kaoru


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ONE STEP AT A TIME: The 2013 Unclaimed Baggage Center Catalogue

one step at a time copy
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Welcome once again to my UNCLAIMED BAGGAGE CENTER, where uncollected luggage are being sold.
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This year I decided to take the ladder to freelance film life. Let’s take a look at this year’s list of items for sale to see how my climb had been. Enjoy!

(The 2012 Catalogue is available here)

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BAGGAGE NAME: Ekstra
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION: Cinemalaya Directors’ Showcase Entry
DATE OF DEPOSIT:  01252013
STATUS: sold to me

With Ms. Vilma Santos on the set of EKSTRA

With Ms. Vilma Santos on the set of EKSTRA

For me, this film was all about catching up.

After spending more than a year in regular TV work, the few film projects in the last quarter of 2012 were like turning the car key and trying to ignite the engine that went dormant for quite a long time. In this project with Direk Jeffrey Jeturian, finally, I was able to jumpstart the sleeping engine of passion inside of me.

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BAGGAGE NAME: Sana Dati
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION: Cinemalaya Director’s Showcase Entry
DATE OF DEPOSIT: 03302013
STATUS: sold to me

Actors and Actresses on the set of Sana Dati

Actors and Actresses on the set of Sana Dati

We were shooting this film in the same time frame as Ekstra so I was only able to supervise continuity for half of the shooting days. The movie was hailed Best Film in the Cinemalaya Directors’ Showcase category.
I could say that the experience was another step in the ladder. It was all about getting used to the life again, after more than a year.


This post had been transferred by the author to another blog named “Nimotsu Counter.” To see the rest of the catalogue, kindly click here.