Fireflies: Reminiscing Kenshin and Kaoru

Puerto Princesa, Palawan is not just about the beaches. Situated about less than an hour from the heart of the city is a kingdom of bioluminescent insects in a place called Iwahig.

And to update my post about it, which I originally wrote in 2014, the Kenshin-Kaoru firefly scene has been slashed from the live-action movie of Rurouni Kenshin. For those who are interested to read my review of Kyoto Inferno, you can access it in this link.

iwahig river fireflies puerto princesa palawa philippines

A wall decor at the headquarters of Iwahig River. Photo by Nessa Gabrillo.

The Viewfinder

Article 2 of the Palawan Chronicles

Palawan Day 1: Iwahig Fireflies


It was 4:00 in the afternoon. After deciding to stay in Puerto Princesa for the night, Nessa and I checked in at a lodge near the airport and walked around the area.

We met a trike driver who offered a price lower than the normal rates of Puerto Princesa tours. So we decided to take the firefly watching tour.

Iwahig was a long drive from the center of the city. And we became feast to the hungry mosquitoes when we came to Iwahig River.

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

There was a fee of 600 for boat rental, which can accommodate 3 people.

And our tour started, this tour of firsts.

It was my first time to ride a katig boat so I was a bit nervous. It was this narrow boat with wooden balances at the sides, known as…

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Fireflies: Reminiscing Kenshin and Kaoru

Article 2 of the Palawan Chronicles

Palawan Day 1: Iwahig Fireflies


It was 4:00 in the afternoon. After deciding to stay in Puerto Princesa for the night, Nessa and I checked in at a lodge near the airport and walked around the area.

We met a trike driver who offered a price lower than the normal rates of Puerto Princesa tours. So we decided to take the firefly watching tour.

Iwahig was a long drive from the center of the city. And we became feast to the hungry mosquitoes when we came to Iwahig River.

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo

There was a fee of 600 for boat rental, which can accommodate 3 people.

And our tour started, this tour of firsts.

It was my first time to ride a katig boat so I was a bit nervous. It was this narrow boat with wooden balances at the sides, known as the katig. I know how to swim but when our boatman said that the river was about 30-40 feet deep, all I did was tighten my grip.

And then the boat man told us to take a look at our right side. And there we saw a bunch of fireflies on the Bakawan or Mangrove trees.

It was my first time to see fireflies. And it reminded me of one thing: that goodbye scene between Kenshin and Kaoru in the anime Rurouni Kenshin. It was that scene when Kenshin finally decided to fight Shishio Makoto and told Kaoru about it. Kaoru tried to stop him but Kenshin had already made his mind up. Kenshin said goodbye and Kaoru was left there alone, crying, with no one but the fireflies.  I’m a bit excited of how the production team behind the second live action movie will portray this legendary scene.  They better do it right.  (My fan girl review of the first live action movie can be read here.)

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Although it was a bit cloudy that night, we were still able to see the starry sky.  It was as if the stars were reflected by the clear river water to the Bakawan trees, thus signalling the fireflies to give out their lights.  Stars and fireflies were a very refreshing combination, sights that one would never see in other cities in the Philippines. If only the boat ride was not timed, I would have wanted to spend the night there, just watching the stars and the fireflies as they all send me to dreamland.

I just wish my camera could capture the sight so I could share them with you. Maybe these were some of the things made for my eyes only. And for yours also when you finally come to visit Puerto Princesa.

iwahig fireflies


Next article:

Palawan’s Gods and Goddesses: Sun, Fog, Rain, River, Sea


Article 1 of the Palawan Chronicles – The Red Dot Airline: A Blessing in Disguise


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YEAR-END SALE AT THE UNCLAIMED BAGGAGE CENTER

Welcome to my Unclaimed Baggage Center, where you can see a catalog of baggage left permanently on my baggage counter.  And just like in any unclaimed baggage center, items here are for sale… if I hadn’t bought them yet 🙂

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BAGGAGE NAME  Nandito Ako
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION  Mini-serye
BAGGAGE TAG  02202012
STATUS  sold to me
 
 
 

with David Archuleta

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February 2012 was filled with screaming fans worldwide with the launch of  David Archuleta’s mini-serye, Nandito Ako.  I handled the promo campaigns used for the show.  Here is the AVP I produced for the show’s press conference:

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The show became a trending topic worldwide every single night of airing, for the whole five weeks of conquering primetime television.

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Nandito ako worldwide trending

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BAGGAGE NAME Pinoy Explorer Rebrand
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION Adventure/ Travel Show
BAGGAGE TAG 04222012
STATUS sold to me

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On the summer of 2012, I did the launching promo campaigns for the rebranding of Pinoy Explorer, showcasing a more adventurous Aga Muhlach.  Here is the re-brand launch campaign:

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The launch was a 2-part special in the wonderful islands of Batanes.

 

BAGGAGE NAME Resignation
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION Straight to the point
BAGGAGE TAG 04242011
STATUS sold to me

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With two launches at the first quarter of the year, one may think that I’m doing good at work.  But it was not that simple.  Work is not only the act of doing what you need to do at the work place.  A lot of factors and outside consequences contribute to my decision to finally hear what my heart has been telling me for the longest time already.

I believe one of the highlights of my 2012 was my resignation at my job then as a Promo Producer.  Quitting a job is not easy.  It’s like saying goodbye, for good, not just to the work load but also to friends and colleagues.  Drafting a resignation letter is a piece of cake, but gathering all the guts to submit it and finally tell the boss is a whole new baking process.  Luckily, after months and months of brain-wrecking decision-making sessions, on April 24, I was able to bid everyone goodbye.

Here is a late christmas gift I received from a friend named Nessa Gabrillo. The lanyard was on a buy-one-take-one promo on The T-shirt Factory and so she has the same lanyard and said she will wear it to work.

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Fed Up lanyard

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BAGGAGE NAME Hong Kong
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION Travel
BAGGAGE TAG 05262012
STATUS sold to me

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Being my first out-of-the-country trip, this one is really memorable.  And simply because I was with the most awesome people in the universe.

Our adventures and misadventures in Hong Kong and Macau is detailed in Oh Yeah! This is First World!

 

BAGGAGE NAME Freedom
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION Greatest Separation Pay Ever
BAGGAGE TAG 062012
STATUS sold to me

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“Newly unemployed, I found this kind of life refreshing. No more commuting to work…. And best of all, I could read any book I wanted, anytime I wanted. I had no idea how long this relaxed lifestyle would continue….  It would have to end sometime, but until it did I was determined to enjoy it.” – Toru Okada in The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

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Mt. Samat in Bataan

Mt. Samat in Bataan

Being out of a daily work, I came to appreciate the small things in my life: the silence in the province, the good air in the province, the trees that are older than me, the wonderful chirping of the birds, the magnificent cloud formations… things I was taking for granted because of hectic schedules at work.  And I’m happy enjoying these things this way. (An entry about rural life in Bataan is soon to be published here so stay tuned.)

If Toru Okada is excited to be reading anytime he wanted, I was excited to write… to finally write a script that I wanted to do several months before but just can’t find the time to do it.  And I’m thankful I was able to write my short film script.  I intended it to be a short film but the consequences are telling me that maybe the concept is one for a full-length film.  I’ll see about that 🙂

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BAGGAGE NAME Baggage Counter
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION My very own blog
BAGGAGE TAG 08312012
STATUS you definitely cannot buy this

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And speaking of writing, I started blogging on August.  And so here’s my baggage counter.  Our Mt. Batulao trip was the lucky one to be deposited here first.  You can view it here: Ang Labing-Tatlong Rurok ng Bundok Batulao.

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BAGGAGE NAME Quarter-life crisis
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION Depression-inducing part of everybody’s life
BAGGAGE TAG 092012
STATUS For sale

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I believe I experienced my first wave of quarter-life crisis after my college graduation: the pressure to find a job in the soonest possible time, a job that should be related to my field of study.  This was accompanied by one of the greatest dilemmas in the world: which path to take.  Then, I decided the path to TV5.

During the time I resigned, quarter-life crisis came haunting me again.  And Diana Ross’ “do you know where you’re going to?” song became the official soundtrack of my life then.  I believe this is the downside of the freedom I got.  I was given all the time to think.  Even the things that I need not to be thinking of eventually entered my mind and I cannot stop them.

Eventually, I happened to see the good side of quarter-life crisis, it let’s you discover who you really are.

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BAGGAGE NAME Self
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION fragile
BAGGAGE TAG 2012
STATUS sold to me

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“I had simply been too busy to think about myself.” – Toru Okada in Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Maybe the good side of this too much thinking is that I was able to seek the deepest portions of my conscious mind.  Even my subconscious gave me hints on who I really am.  In one of the rakets that I managed to get, I did research on some psychological stuff that ended up triggering my suppressed memories out.

I had reasons for suppressing them, reasons that eventually turned to questions that I address to God.  But may I say that these were not the kind of questions that doubt His greatness but rather questions that later on turned to requests to make me understand why these particular things happened to me.

And during this second wave of quarter-life crisis was the time when God granted my requests.

Caloy’s story would gave you a hint on what I’m talking about here. View it at: Caloy, the Infamous Master of an Infamous Art.

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BAGGAGE NAME Rakets
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION Making a living
BAGGAGE TAG 092012
STATUS sold to me

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I would want to thank all the people who entrusted their projects to me.

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raket montage copy

 

BAGGAGE NAME Android phone
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION one of the latest gadgets today
BAGGAGE TAG 112012
STATUS sold to me

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Like I was always saying, I really have difficulty dealing with technology, technobobo ika nga.  But recently my Nokia 6680 phone, yes my NOKIA 6680 phone finally wanted to retire from its almost 8 years of service. So I finally need to buy a new one.

At first I was hesitant to buy techie phones because a phone that can text, call and alarm is all I need.

But I was happy to buy an android phone.  Because of it, I can write even when I’m on the bus on a trip to the province.

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BAGGAGE NAME Rurouni Kenshin
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION fan-girling to the nth level
BAGGAGE TAG 12082012
STATUS sold to me

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Ruruoni Kenshin live action movie was really one of the greatest anime adaptation ever.  My deepest fan-girling thoughts were best described in Memory is a Knife, or rather a Katana.  And thanks to Kaoru Kamiya, Emi Takei and Kathryn Bernardo, my blog is gaining more and more views. So keep it up! 🙂

 

BAGGAGE NAME My 24th
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION a heavenly celebration
BAGGAGE TAG 12142012
STATUS sold to me

On my 24th, I had a Parade, Fireworks and a Royal Banquet.  And it had been really really great!

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And that was my 2012: emotional, nostalgic, victorious, tragic, depressing, enlightening.  But overall I’m thankful for this year.  Realizations came up this 2012, realizations that may not have come if things went differently.  So on 2013, it’s time to deal with life with a completely different perspective, an entirely positive one.  And I would want to ask God to accompany me in doing so.

And if you have observed, I have that habit of keeping every baggage.  Only a few items were on sale and ready for disposal.  This is also one of the reasons why I put up this baggage counter.  So in 2013, I want to change that habit and start learning to let go of things.

How about you? How’s your 2012 and how do you plan to deal with 2013?  May everybody have a glorious new year.  And I want to thank all my readers.  May you continue to enjoy my baggage counter 🙂

MEMORY IS A KNIFE, OR RATHER A KATANA

Warning: Fan-girl mode on! Spoiler Alert! Spoiler Alert! Read at your own risk!

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The first few days of this week were just so full of resurfacing unwanted facts from the past.  Something about this research I’m currently doing for a written job was triggering the memories hidden in the darkest places of my subconscious.  And these memories were also pushing these wisdom teeth out of my gums.  And it causes an awful lot of pain.  So is there a correlation between these repressed memories and my wisdom teeth? Is this the reason why wisdom teeth come out during the time of everybody’s life when they are suffering from this so-called quarter-life crisis?

But this blog entry is not telling anybody about depression at the moment, because before it even ruined the whole week, something about this Friday just acted as an anti-depressant and melted it all away, or rather I would say slashed it all away.

Just recently, I posted a line in Facebook from the movie Hannibal Rising, “Memory is a knife.  It can hurt you.”  But this Friday, the knife became a sword, a katana that terminated the hurt away.  Thanks to SM Cinemas, Rurouni Kenshin Live Action movie was shown in the Philippines.

A smile, no actually a good grin, registered in my face at the first few seconds when a text narration of the Tokugawa Era appeared on screen.  And up to the very last second of the closing credits, the smile or rather the grin did not vanish but became even larger.

When the trailer for this came out around mid-year of 2012, I kinda did not like Takeru Sato, the actor playing Kenshin, he was so thin and actually I did not find him cute, unlike the anime Kenshin who sends the screams out of every fan girl’s lungs.  But when Takeru Sato started doing his samurai stunts and then his wanderer moves, he earned my respect for this film.

Emi Takei, the actress who played Kaoru looks like Kathryn Bernardo and sure is pretty in kimono.  Yu Aoi, the one who played Megumi looks like a Japanese horror character to me, but she sure was good.  Teruyuki Kagawa as Kanryuu Takeda did a very good job.  Munetaka Aoki as Sanosuke looks more of a Filipino than a Japanese to me.  Well, I just knew that they will have a strict audition for the chest.  The one who played Yahiko, Taketo Tanaka is so adorable.  But the character who caught my attention was Saito.  Yosuke Eguchi sure was a hotter policeman than the 2D Saito.

I also want to give a round of applause to the screen writers.  They did a great job of compressing a whole season into two hours.  And Aoshi’s absence was well accounted for.

I just missed the old soundtrack from the anime.  I actually expected the acoustic version of Kimi wa Dare o Mamotte Iru to play when Kenshin came to rescue Kaoru and the dojo from the bandits.  This is the magical audio cue that Kenshin is now in the house and ready to deliver his poetic speech about love, life, and swordsmanship.  I also wanted to hear Run to You, Sanosuke’s theme, especially in his fight scenes where he really tried to insert humor in every blow.  And maybe, a good revival of the song Sobakasu by a new band or artist would just be festive.

The stunts were also superb.  The battousai moves surely were transferred well from the boob tube to the silver screen.  I just died when Kenshin made his fatal stance, the preparation for the final blow.  And I would just love to see a LIVE Shishio fighting Takeru Sato in the next movie.  Oh please, the production team and the actors deserves to be given the privilege to shoot a follow-up on this.  And I believe that it is Aoshi’s right to be finally included in the next movie.

The viewing experience would be 100% satisfactory only without that girl behind us.  She seemed to be so rattled every time she sees brutal and violent slashes made by the samurais because the MTRCB rating at the start of the film says PG (Parental Guidance) and not R (Restricted).  A real RK fan is accustomed to brutality and violence.  And if there would be any moment of surprise, it could have happened years ago when the fan had seen the OVA and the animated movie which show more fatal attacks than the series.

But overall, this experience was just blissfully awesome.  The adrenaline rush it created was still here until this moment I’m writing this.  And I believe they won’t go away for a few days.  The feeling was just exactly as how the movie Citizen X defines passion, that it is when your heart is pounding and when your collar is tightening.

Anything anime-related really never fails to paint a genuine smile and erase a sad one on my face.

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