Sunday, April 12, 2009

Bohol Adventure, April 3-6 2009


Day 1: Bohol Island Tour
Day 2: Dolphin Watching and Balicasag Island Snorkeling
Day 3: Bohol Beach Club

Tourmates: Janice, Paolo, Concep, Bogs, Petite, Doms, Orig, Jamie, Ichi, Bubbles.

Special thanks to Ms. Dory, Rachel, Nicole, Jay, Mike the Butterfly Guide, Jimmy, Richard James, Rhene, Dodong, Bernard, Jude, Pablo (yari ka!) John Verhel and all others who made our trip a really exciting one.
Day 1: Bohol Island Tour

From the airport, we went straight to Coco Grove Tourist Inn ( for check-in. We wasted no time to hang around or rest, so we just took a 5-minute CR break at the resort. At 10:30, island tour has started.

We first headed to the Sanduguan Shrine for a short picture taking/ site-seeing. It was strange that we did not see any description of the shrine, just these bronze boys drinking by the table. If you want to appreciate this first stop more, you should remember your Philippine History.

Based on historical accounts, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi initially anchored in the town of Jagna, just a few towns away from Tagbilaran, but was force to leave beacuse of unfriendly natives. They then tried to anchor in the nearby town of Bool, just a few kilometers from Tagbilaran and met Datu Sikatuna and his tribesmen. With the help of a Muslim interpreter and his own tact and pleasing approach, Sikatuna welcomed the group. And on March 16, 1565, Datu Sikatuna and Miguel Lopez de Legaspi performed the traditional Blood Compact.

Sanduguan Shrine

The monument/sculpture was made by National Artist Napoleon Abueva, also a native of Bohol.

After our short stay at the shrine, we headed for the island's oldest church, the Baclayon Church. Bohol boasts a number of old churches, with its interiors and acritecture filled with history, art and culture.

We toured the church's museum and viewed the alter afterwards. No picture was taken in the museum because it was forbidden. :)

Baclayon Church. One of the country's oldest churches

We proceeded to Loboc River to experience the relaxing tour, added with the sumptuous food of the Loboc River Cruise.

Loboc River

Buffet Table

They served Barbecue, Chicken, Squid, Fish, Pancit, a variety of fruits, and native kakanin. It was a riot when the restaurant staff declared that lunch was served!

El Mariachi

While eating, we were serenaded by a local guitarist, singing famous videoke tunes like hits of John Denver and Elvis Presley. It helped my digestion a lot.

The sisters

After lunch, we headed straight to Carmen, Bohol to view the Chocolate Hills. I've seen this place before, but on the way there still made me feel excited to see the flurry of numerous brown hills that is visible as far as the eyes can see. As what others have written about this, never ever stick to the postcard for memories of the hills. You have to see it for real.

200++ Steps

They're Everywhere!

The Summiteers

It's a bit faster on the way down

We then proceeded to the Butterfly Garden in Bilar, Bohol. Mike the guide gave us a very informative, fun time. He not only taught us some trivia on butterflies, but also on other destinations in other parts of the country!
Mike the Guide as he shows invertebrates other than butterflies. His personal favorite: Salagubang :)
We saw varieties of butterflies, from the fragrant to the cunning to the sensual ones!
12-hour mating for butterflies
We passed by the man-made forest and stopped over for a few pictures.
After the tour of the invertebrates we went to the site of the hanging bridge to experience some adrenaline rush.
From the bridge, we then relaxed to the site of the country's smallest primate, Bohol's famous nocturnal Tarsier. We were prohibited to use flash in taking the pictures so as not to disturb their slumber, or blur their vision. The tarsier's eyes are conducive to minimal lighting so a sudden flash of cameras might damage their eyesight. We were also prohibited to touch those cute and cuddly mammals because it was found through research that they can be potential carriers of communicable diseases. Nevertheless, the sight of them is bliss.
We then headed to the site of the longest captive cold-blooded vertebrate. Prony the python (or phython? says the sign at the entrance) was a site to see with his sparring partner, Pablo the performer. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) we missed Pablo's performance that just finished when we arrived.
We capped the long day tour with cups of Tsokolate-Ah, Tsokolate-eh, coffee and a few paninis at Dauis, Bohol's much talked-about coffee shop, Cafe Lawis.
Cafe Lawis, located beside the majestic Dauis Church

Sunset at Lawis

Day two to follow...

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Bell 412 Crash

My condolences to the family of my two former coleagues, Usec. Marilou Frostrom and Asst. Dir. Perlita Bandayanon, victims of the deadly crash at Benguet. They were with 6 others including OPS Undersecretary Jose Capadocia.

Prish of San Isidro Labrador, Lucban, Quezon

I have always been fascinated at old churches and how they stand through the test of time. Just like the institution and the Catholic faith, these churches witnessed disasters, wars, phenomena. Despite these, the structures have remained intact, the culture and spirituality have endured.
At the center of the quaint, busy town of Lucban, Quezon, resides a majestic spectacle that is responsible for the spiritual upbringing of its people. All roads of the town lead to this place, which shows how much infuence this has been to the town. Every year, this building witnesses the bright and colorful display of art and festivities via the Pahiyas Festival, held every 15th of May.
Parish Church of San Isidro Labrador
The Church's Bell Tower

The altar with the traditional roof paintings and pictures of the 4 gospel writers, Mark, Luke, Matthew and John.

I was fortunate to have paid a visit to this Church in January as a side trip to Val and Ken's wedding in Tayabas. Ken and Val, my congratulations.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Results of the Bar Exams 2008

Finally, After years of painstakingly memorizing tons of issuances, Supreme Court decisions, Republic Acts, Latin phrases and other major Statutes, three of my good friends have passed the 2008 Bar Exams! Your determination, will to succeed, faith, perseverance and hard work have finally paid off! Congratulations to Attorneys Michael Geronimo Gomez, Eleazar Castillo and Ma. Cristina Navarro!

We have 1,310 additional lawyers this year, 20.58% of total 6,364 examinees. Topnotcher was from San Sebastian College of Law. 5 Ateneans, 2 Iskos, 2 Bedans and 1 MSU Graduate completed the top ten.

Top ten Bar Exams 2008 passers:

1. Judy Lardizabal - 85.70 (San Sebastian College)
2. Mylene Amerol Macumbal - 85.65 (Mindanao State University)
3. Oliver Baclay Jr. – 85.60 (Ateneo de Manila University)
4. Majesty Eve Jala – 85.55 (Ateneo de Manila University)
5. Maria Elizabeth Liceralde – 85.40 (University of the Philippines)
6. Michael Macapagal – 84.15 (University of the Philippines)
7. Denise Dy – 84 (Ateneo de Manila University)
April Love Regis – 84 (Ateneo de Manila University)
8. Christine Joy Tan – 83.80 (Ateneo de Manila University)
9. Jihan Jacob – 83.75 (San Beda College)
10. Vanessa Raymundo – 83.70 (San Beda College)

Again, congrats Mike, Eli, and Tina! :)

Below is the complete result of the 2008 Bar Exams:

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Chip Tsao's Cheap Shot

Mr. Tsao, I’m sure with all your decorations and achievements never have you come across the word “ethics” or “responsible journalism.” The fame and reputation you left in your field must have already clouded your sense of respect for other race, other people.
With all due respect, never ever deny the fact that you need “servants” like us more than ever. Without us, no one will be cleaning your sh*t, washing your dishes, cooking your food, doing your laundry, and other stuff that you think are too simple to do at your level of intellect. Beware because if all of us “servants” would boycott our posts and leave people like you, you might end up crying in the corner of your room, without anything to eat or anything to wear.
Dependence on us “servants” are evident in your hometown. Some of your people wouldn’t even allow Filipino domestic assistants to go on holidays, day-offs or vacation. Why? Because if we leave you, your lives will be one big mess. Never ever insult our abilities and capabilities because someday, somehow, you will be coming to one of us, asking for our service – be it to make you look good, to feed you, or even just to clean the roads you’re walking on. We’re everywhere, Ms. Tsao.
Well, in fairness to your statement, it is much better for our country to be called a “nation of servants” than to be called a nation of people like you. Mabuhay ang Pilipino, Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!
Below is the cheap shot article of Mr. Tsao.
The War At Home
March 27th, 2009

The Russians sank a Hong Kong freighter last month, killing the seven Chinese seamen on board. We can live with that—Lenin and Stalin were once the ideological mentors of all Chinese people. The Japanese planted a flag on Diàoyú Island. That’s no big problem—we Hong Kong Chinese love Japanese cartoons, Hello Kitty, and shopping in Shinjuku, let alone our round-the-clock obsession with karaoke.

But hold on—even the Filipinos? Manila has just claimed sovereignty over the scattered rocks in the South China Sea called the Spratly Islands, complete with a blatant threat from its congress to send gunboats to the South China Sea to defend the islands from China if necessary. This is beyond reproach. The reason: there are more than 130,000 Filipina maids working as $3,580-a-month cheap labor in Hong Kong. As a nation of servants, you don’t flex your muscles at your master, from whom you earn most of your bread and butter.

As a patriotic Chinese man, the news has made my blood boil. I summoned
Louisa, my domestic assistant who holds a degree in international politics from the University of Manila, hung a map on the wall, and gave her a harsh lecture. I sternly warned her that if she wants her wages increased next year, she had better tell every one of her compatriots in Statue Square on Sunday that the entirety of the Spratly Islands belongs to China.

Grimly, I told her that if war breaks out between the Philippines and
China, I would have to end her employment and send her straight home, because I would not risk the crime of treason for sponsoring an enemy of the state by paying her to wash my toilet and clean my windows 16 hours a day. With that money, she would pay taxes to her government, and they would fund a navy to invade our motherland and deeply hurt my feelings.

Oh yes. The government of the Philippines would certainly be wrong if they think we Chinese are prepared to swallow their insult and sit back and lose a Falkland Islands War in the Far East. They may have Barack Obama and the hawkish American military behind them, but we have a hostage in each of our homes in the Mid-Levels or higher. Some of my friends told me they have already declared a state of emergency at home. Their maids have been made to shout “China, Madam/Sir” loudly whenever they hear the word “Spratly.”

They say the indoctrination is working as wonderfully as when we used to shout, “Long live Chairman Mao!” at the sight of a portrait of our Great Leader during the Cultural Revolution. I’m not sure if that’s going a bit too far, at least for the time being.

Maritess vs. the Superfriends

Rex Navarette is a genius! Even if I've watched this comedy masterpiece more than 5 times already, I still couldn't prevent myself from laughing!

I posted this here so I could always go back and watch it when stress bothers me. :)

Kudos to Rex Navarette and all other genius Filipinos around the globe!