PHOTOGRAPHY CULTURE FOOD ART & A BOX OF LIFE FULL OF SURPRISES

Tag: life

Discovering Life by the Road – Beautiful Sunday

Discovering Life by the Road – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Welcome back to the fourth episode of our Bicol Region trip only here in the Philippines. You have seen the long unending road that we traveled to reach the region. I took you on a tour on one of the local […]

An Unexpected 5 Star Awakening – Beautiful Sunday

An Unexpected 5 Star Awakening – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 There are times in our lives that we get unexpected surprises. Sometimes life offers surprises even in the middle of the night. This is the case for us when we received a call when all the people are still sleeping soundly. […]

Field of Dreams – Beautiful Sunday

Field of Dreams – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

Farming is one of the major sources of income here in the Philippines. Often you will see rice fields along the highway as you travel across the country. Have you ever considered farming? Do you see yourself plowing or managing a land to reap the bounties of nature? Well today let me take you with me and visit my father’s land.

Field of Dreams

A small piece of property that ranges almost two hectares provides my father a whole year’s supply of rice. This also provides a little bit of income for him during harvest time.

He has been talking to me about his land and how he always  wanted me to see it. This time I had the opportunity to visit.

The air here is fresh and you could smell freshly cut grass as my father led me to the field.

I wanted to visit during the harvest time, but it was too late. All the rice has already been harvested.

In the field, he was showing me the border of his property. He wanted me to know which part he owns. He told me that one day it would be my time to take care if this land and I should know about it.

My father is an old man, but still very strong. In his way of managing the farm, he made a partnership with a farmer. He provides the capital during the planting season. When it is time for harvest, the capital is taken out first from the sale of the rice. Then the profit is split between the two of them. I think that is a fair partnership. Although, it is not that easy as there are still a lot of factors involved.

Factors that involves are typhoons, insect pests, rats and theft during harvest. During his early years of farming, he lost his capital as the field was devastated by rats. He was dismayed, but still he kept on. He learned how to control rats by electrocution. At the time when the crops are young, the scent is irresistible to rats. He then sets up electric wires around the field to kill the rats. Sounds harsh, but it is a must if you want your crops to survive.

I also learned from him that he only plants for one season. I learned from one of the farmers that you could plant twice in one year. This gave me an idea and opportunity to learn the business of farming. I asked my father if he would allow me to take over the second season of planting. He plants during the end of December and harvests in April. The second planting season would start immediately, but there is a problem. During these times water is scarce in summer.

Although, the field faces Laguna lake it would be hard and expensive to pump water to the rice fields. The best option is to hire a contractor to tap spring water from the mountains. This would be done by burying pipes. Still it would cost money and from the estimate it would take around 50,000 pesos or almost $1000 usd. It may sound cheap to some, but here that kind of money is not easy to come by.

My father said that once the pipes are buried and water has been tapped.  We would have unlimited supply of water forever. We could plant anytime that we want. I told him that I will try to save up some money and hopefully get the pipes buried next year. I do not know how many content I would need to create to come up with that amount if money. But I guess every bit would help. I am also hopeful the steem price would rise soon and that would solve it.

Anyway, if there is a will there is a way. Looking at the neighboring fields I see that they have not completed the harvest yet. A lone farmer tends to the land and inspects the rice field.

Here a woman is gathering left over rice that was not harvested. During harvest tiny portions of rice plants are missed as they are cut by hand and not by machinery. These tiny portions are then gathered and then brought home to their families.

My father allows this type of practice as it is one way of helping those less fortunate. Although, what is unacceptable is during harvest. My father told me that you need to have someone to watch over when harvesting. Some people have plastic bags and just grabs as much as they can.  They then run and hide it away in their houses. In this kind difficult situation diplomacy would need to come in. You cannot just reprimand the people but instead offer them to work in return for the rice. A fair trade don’t you think? In that way you would not be creating bad blood within the community.

This man is digging a canal to irrigate his field. Water is already getting hard at this time. The government provided irrigation, but unfortunately it doesn’t reach all. This is the reason why my father wanted me to invest in the water pipes first. That way we cab also share the water to our neighboring fields.

This is what we call “ipa”or rice husk. These rice are empty and did not fully develop. Looks like a very large mound that could have been turned into profit. I am not sure what causes this. I guess I would need to do some research to find out. It could benifit a lot when it is time for me to plant.

I guess these can be still used as fuel for cooking. I am not sure if it can be used as fertilizer.

A shack in the middle of the field used by the farmers. A great spot with the cool breeze from the lake.

Another source of income of the community is fishing. Farmers fish once the planting and harvesting is over. A difficult life, but helps them to get by.

This area is also part of my father’s property. He planted coconut trees around it, but sad to say the coconuts gets stolen most of the time. My father said that there would be no problem if people would ask, as he would gladly share. It is painful to know that there are some people who doesn’t respect the property and hard work of others.

Here in this small piece of land vegetables are also planted. There is so much satisfaction in harvesting and cooking what you grow.

Fresh tomatoes are available to add goodness to your home cooked meals. He had more vegetables plants, but was ransacked one reason why he doesn’t plant too much varieties anymore.

One thing that I noticed is the property is unfenced. Anyone could come in and out anytime.  The solution that I am thinking is it build a concrete perimeter around the area to secure the property. But that would cost again some money. Maybe I  could help work in that in the future if things looks good.

Chickens here are free to roam around the area. This is not my father’s chicken just happened to enter the property. I love native chickens and I would want to raise a couple of them too. Fresh eggs for breakfast would be very inviting.

This ends our visit to the property and I hope you found it interesting. A simple life, but requires hard work. A field that could turn dreams to reality. This made me think of how our future may turn out to be. Never was it a plan for me to manage a farm. Maybe at the back of my mind it is one of my dreams to live on a farm. Things may still change and nothing is certain in this world .  But if it is meant to be,  I would gladly take on the challenge.

Thank you for joining me and I hope you have a blessed Sunday.

 

Visit and follow @steemitbloggers AKA #powerhousecreatives. A community that is exceptional, talented and engaging.

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All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85 12-32 mm kit lens

 

A Romantic Evening and Life by the Resort – Beautiful Sunday

A Romantic Evening and Life by the Resort – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Hello again and welcome to the second part of our stay in “Villa Excellance”. Last week we went around on a tour around the resort when the sun was still up. It was very hot during the afternoon and figured that […]

Free Buffet on your Birthday “Tong Yang Plus” – Beautiful Sunday

Free Buffet on your Birthday “Tong Yang Plus” – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 How would you like to eat unlimited grilled food and hotpot? Well look no further as I would share with you today our experience in this restaurant. Not only that, if it is your birthday you get to eat for free. […]

“Boodle Fight” A Filipino Tradition – Beautiful Sunday

“Boodle Fight” A Filipino Tradition – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

It has been a while since my last content as there has been a lot going on lately. Finally I got a breather and it is time again to do what I love doing which is sharing, places, culture and life in our country. Take a ride with me today as I take you to the province. Here you will see the simple life and let me invite you for lunch in a traditional Philippine way. Fasten up, hop on as we go to Bailen, Alfonso Cavite in the Philippines.

 

“Boodle Fight” A Filipino Tradition

A two hour drive from our place we headed out to surprise a friend of the family.  Driving to the province will always lead you to empty quiet roads. Driving in empty roads is stress free, no traffic lights, no traffic jams, less pollution and you could definitely open the windows to feel the fresh air.

We passed a lot of bridges along the way. This one was too good not to pull over just to take a couple of shots. An empty bridge with no vehicles in sight.

My brother in law also pulled over as soon as he saw parking at the side.

As I looked over the river is brownish in color. I would be enchanting if the water was crystal clear. I do not know what has caused the brown color, could  be from the soil. I was told that people fish here and catfish are abundant in this river. Would you eat fish caught from this river? If it is safe and good to eat for the local, why not?

In some areas food is scarce and people adapt by eating what is available in the area.

Off we went and continued with our journey. This is another bridge that we passed and I was told by my brother in law that it was not always like this. Before there were no cemented roads with only dirt roads and wooden bridges.

After that long empty highway, I did not expect that we would be going deeper into the province. As we made that left turn to the inside road. I took a snap shot of the sign board and the guys captured in the photo gave me the eye thinking I was taking a photo of them. People in the province are friendly in nature, but you can never be to careful.

As we went deeper the roads were getting worse. It is a good thing that our van had big wheels and built for off road, so no issues with driving on pot holes and cracks.

My brother in law said that we are almost there as soon as he saw this steel supported bridge.

We finally reached our destination after that long drive. Here you could feel the environment which is very pleasant and different from the city. The air is cooler, fresher and the wind almost hums you to sleep.

This is the typical farm life in the Philippines with plants, vegetables and a few livestock. The kids were so eager to explore the place and was attracted to cow in the small shed.

A dog was barking, but was no threat. He just barked a couple of times and then retreated to the house.

The cow that they had was really big and I see this type pulling large carts loaded with different goods. Travelling from town to town, this cow is very strong.

They had piles of wood in stock that they use for cooking. Dried pieces of wood, branches and even coconut husks.

In this shed, I smelled something and immediately I knew they had pigs. A smell that is very distinct and easily recognizable due to the manure.

As expected they had a big pig, it is very common raising pigs here in the province as it is a good source of income. Some even raise domesticated wild boars and I saw some up in the mountain years ago. I saw a couple of wild boars raised in pens, I have heard that boar meat is much tastier that the local pigs.

Here is my brother in law petting the pig. He even invested in raising two pigs last year in this farm. A business venture which is very profitable if you know what you are doing.

I went outside to see what trees and plants they have. I saw this tree with a lot of strange fruit and I do not know what it is or if it is edible.

The back part of the house had a lot of trees which leads to a river at the bottom. We were advised not to go there this time as the ground is very muddy and slippery because of the rain earlier this morning.

They had fresh tomatoes in their garden which is just within reach. I tried planting tomatoes in pots, but they always die no matter how hard I try to take care of them. Here they are thriving and the plant looks very healthy. Maybe it is because of the rich soil and the cool weather.

It is time to prepare lunch, but before that let me tell you about this traditional way of eating. Popularly called as Boodle Fight it has been adapted from the military. During training banana leaves are laid on a long table and filled with mixed food of different sorts. Rice are topped with anything that is available like sardines, vegetables and meat dishes. During training the soldiers rush as pass by the table and grab whatever they could and eat as fast as they can. This promotes camaraderie to our soldiers. It has been adapted and has become a very popular way of serving food this time without the rush.

We were asked to get the leaves from the nearest banana tree. I told my brother in law to select the freshest ones preferably the new leaves. I told him that I got him covered by taking photos of him while cutting the leaves. He felt that it was not fair, but I just told him that he looked good on the photos.

My mother in law was in charge of preparing and cleaning the leaves. Normally, we use the top part of the leaves, but she said that it is the bottom part that should be used. The proper way of preparing is to wipe the leaves with a clean cloth and then letting it pass over a fire for a few seconds.

Now it is time to prepare the food and we had some left overs that we could add. It is best to put newly cooked steaming hot rice in the center.

On our way here we bought some roasted chicken and we also had left over shrimp, lumpiang shanghai (spring rolls), cucumbers and mangoes. Any dish would be perfect in a Boodle fight, but an all seafood meal is the best.

A balance portion meat is placed in sections for each individual. If you eat a lot it is best to sit next to someone who does not eat much. You’ll be ending up eating your seat mate’s portions.

Boodle Fight is ideal when eating outdoors, preferably near the ocean or in this case in the province. Although, we have done this at the office it is still best doing it outdoors.

The food is ready and it is time to call everyone to the table for this delicious family feast.

Here is the family getting ready for the fight and if you noticed there are no utensils.

The traditional way of eating is with your hand, but be sure everyone washes their hands first. I cannot explain, but eating with your hands in this setup somehow makes food taste much better. In a fancy restaurant is a different story, but out here in a Boodle Fight there is no other way to do this.

It maybe a meal with leftovers, but the bonding is genuine as you could see smiles on faces. A meal like this with the family is priceless which like the military it promotes bonding.

No worries in making a mess and you could even politely ask to pass over some chicken if your area is running low. Cleaning up after eating as we know is a pain, but in this case just roll the leaves and throw them away. No more washing of plates and drying them off.

I hope you enjoyed the lunch and thank you for joining us today. How would you like to try the Boodle Fight? If you are down to earth and looking for a unique dining experience. I strongly suggest that you give this a try. A fun way to eat with friends and family. Experience a Philippine tradition and do not be afraid to experiment to try new things.

Let me know what you think as I would love to hear from you. See you next time and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Keep of Steemin.

 

Visit and follow @steemitbloggers AKA #powerhousecreatives. A community that is exceptional, talented and engaging.

Discovering exceptional content in the community follow @curie and vote as witness

To have a glimpse of awesome content from the Philippines check out @bayanihan

Follow @surpassinggoogle to witness an extraordinary person in this platform and vote for @steemgigs as witness

All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85 12-32 mm kit lens

Drowning All Troubles Away – Beautiful Sunday

Drowning All Troubles Away – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Welcome to the second part of our travel in Lian, Batangas Philippines. Join me again to see what transpired throughout the day during our stay in this beach. A time when you could just forget everything that troubles you. Just enjoying […]

A Philippine New Year Celebration – Beautiful Sunday

A Philippine New Year Celebration – Beautiful Sunday

  My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 A bit late to share, but better late than never. Let’s go back to New Year’s Eve and let me share with you how we celebrated our New Year here in the Philippines. A night of food, games, family bonding […]

Undas (All Saint’s Day) – Beautiful Sunday

Undas (All Saint’s Day) – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

Every year we visit the cemetery together with the family and spend time with our departed loved ones. This tradition has been inherited from the Spanish which is also known as Todos Los Santos. The date is November 1 and is declared as a National Holiday. Although it is a holiday I still had to work and will just be meeting up with the family at the cemetery. Come with me today as I share with you a tradition in remembrance of the departed.

 

Undas (All Saint’s Day)

I was rushing to get here from work as it was almost 5 pm. My worry was I would have trouble getting a parking space during this time. It is expected that a lot of people are headed for the cemeteries and if you are not early you would end up parking very far from the place. Fortunately, I still found a parking space near a church although I had to walk a couple of minutes it wasn’t that bad.

As I neared the entrance to the cemetery you could already see the waves of people leaving and coming in. The local government organized the the traffic of people very well. They had it cordoned in the middle for the entrance and exit. This also prevent vehicles from trying to squeeze in the way to the cemetery which usually causes blockage of the flow of people.

As I neared the cemetery a lot of childhood memories comes back to me. When I was young I recall during All Saint’s Day that the ambiance was very festive in a way. A lot of food and stuff are being sold here. I always wanted to bring home a toy and buy some food.

From the entrance, the police are there to maintain peace and order. I do not recall any commotions that happened during All Saint’s Day. They are there to ensure that it would stay that way and apprehend anyone carrying liquor and firearms. Sorry no drinking in the cemetery.

The local government also assists the elderly to get to the cemetery. They give them a ride on this motorcycle sidecar and drop them off.

Who could tell that this is a cemetery? You would think that this is a market place. Just look at those balloons, any kid would want one. As I mentioned earlier, the smell of food emanates from this place and not only that there are a lot of stuff being sold here as well. There is some sort of exciting feeling in the air, seeing people who seems eager to spend time with their departed loved ones.

This place is big and you could almost see all the mausoleum and tombs lit up with a candle. Relatives offer flowers and put up photos of their loved ones.

Some people spends overnight in the cemetery to prepare for this day. They also bring food and snacks to share with the visitors who pays respect.

There are those who spends a lot on flowers and the flower business is very good during this holiday.

This is our spot where our relatives are buried and when the time comes I too shall be buried in this place. We are on borrowed time and we must always make the most of our life.

During this time it is also a family reunion and we get to talk with other relatives and cousins. We get to catch up on what is happening in their lives. Catching up in person is much better than  just checking their social media status to know what is going on. It feels more warm and sincere.

The air is getting a bit cold, but more candles are being lit up as the sun is slowly swallowed by the horizon.

My kid lighting up the candles on the tomb of my grandpa and grandma. He never met them, but I’m sure they are glad seeing him visit. When I was young this was my job which was lighting up the candles.

My daughter also wanted to help out in getting those candles lit up.

Here is my aunt and some relatives with beautiful smiles.

Here in this cemetery my other aunt is also here paying respects to his brother. We decided to drop by and chat with her a little.

This is where my uncle lies to rest and he was a cool uncle. He used to take me out fishing and he swears a lot which we found very funny. Like every sentence he was swearing, but we all got used to it and was a very cheerful person.

Normally, it is a bit scary visiting cemeteries here when there are no people around. But this day there is nothing to worry about.

More people are pouring in and before it gets too crowded we wanted to look around a bit. See what food they have and check out the goods for sale.

An ice cream man waiting for customers holding a bell which he rings. Here in our country whenever you hear a bell you know that the ice cream man is outside so bring out your loose change and buy a cone.

All sorts of snack, chips and drinks are easily accessible. You would see a stall almost everywhere you look.

The smell of grilled hot dogs, barbecue on stick and other grilled food would make you a bit hungry. Don’t forget to also get the hotdog buns grilled a great way to get that bread hot.

Other food stalls and pedaled to get more access to more people in different locations in the cemetery. They also pedal on the streets during regular days, but in this day business is good.

Nachos, hotdogs  and burgers are available at a very cheap price. Here the price of 30  pesos or around $.50 for the price of two burgers. If you want the foot long sandwich it will cost you 55 pesos which is $1.00.

You want pizza it is also available here and one of the popular pizza places in the area.

I do not know if you are familiar with the the most popular fast food chain the the country called Jollibee. They have branches all over the world now and if you ever stumble on a branch do give it a try to have a Filipino taste.

Now why are there a lot of people in this stall? Let’s find out.

Turns out that it is Takoyaki which is a Japanese snack. Made from flour and filled with octopus or seafood. A lot of people are buying so let’s give it a try.

They cook it in this ball shaped pan to make it round and the ingredients are stuffed on top of it.

This batch has baby octopus, crabstick and hotdog. The octopus looks interesting and I think we will have that.

Here is our order and we are ready to have this quick snack. I wasn’t able to take some photos of it as the kids pounced on the the moment it was served. Any way the photo on top will give you an idea and it was drenched it some sauce which was kinda sweet and spicy. Inside the Takoyaki I also found bits of shrimp which enhanced its seafood taste along with the octopus.

All sorts of toys are on display and these are battery operated which lights up.

There are bracelets and other accessories for sale. You could even find coin purses with cute animal designs.

You want gold and silver necklaces. Well, you would not find those here, but instead you would find these cheap jewelry. Fashionable if you are not too picky.

Well, after that walking my son need to use the mens room and I’m glad they provided portable toilets here. Back then it was a problem getting somewhere to relieve yourself. Easy for us to find an empty place with bushes to take a pee, but a problem for the ladies. I’m glad they provided these for the visitors to keeps the place sanitary.

The sky slowly darkens as the sun sets. When it gets dark, the place glows with all the candles lit up. As the air get a bit colder the warmth of the candles is comforting.

The sun has set, but for some it is just the beginning of this holiday as there are a lot here spends overnight.

The warm glow of the candles almost makes the place magical. A lot of people around makes the place so alive and we don’t get to spend some time at a cemetery at night too often.

Time for me to go around the cemetery to see other tombs and take some photos. I hope you would enjoy some of the images I captured as I roamed this place at night.

Before leaving I happened to get a snap of my aunt as she arranges a candle on one of the tombstones. It was a very touching sight seeing her offering a candle to a cousin who passed at a very young age.

Most tombs has bars on them, but today they are open with candles to lit up by their relatives.

A sight which you only see once a year. Children at night in a cemetery lit up by the glow of candles with no thoughts of fear whatsoever.

As the night goes deeper, it is fascinating to see beauty all around. You just need to know where to look.

The popular scene called  La Pieta by Michaelangelo lit up by Christmas lights which kinda reminds us that Christmas is almost here. In our country there is an exact replica of the Pieta which can be found in the Manila Cathedral. If you would like to read more about it feel free to visit one of my old content where it was featured.

Manila Cathedral

Some tombs are barred shut and left with lit up candles and the light would just die away as night goes.

It is getting late and I think it is time for us go home. No plans in spending overnight as the time we spend here has been sufficient enough in remembrance of our departed. But we must always remember that it is not only this time when we can remember our loved ones. We can honor them, but going on thru life and celebrate how they lived.

As we headed home the houses near the cemetery also had candles and some Halloween decorations still on display. It is not very common seeing Halloween decorations on houses in our country.

On the way out a lot of people were leaving, but still more people are coming headed to the cemetery. As for us, we were headed home and come back again next year to continue the tradition. Remembering those who passed and at the same time remembering the life that they lead. Honoring their memory with little things like cooking with recipes that was shared to us, going to places where they went, playing the songs that they loved and most of all loving the family.

Thank you for joining me today in experiencing Undas in our country. I hope I was able to give you a small window to our culture and tradition. Life goes by so fast and we must live it to the fullest. Until then I hope to see you again soon and do share what you think.

Have a very #beautifulsunday everyone.

 

Follow @surpassinggoogle to witness an extraordinary person in this platform and vote for @steemgigs as witness

Discovering exceptional content in the community follow @curie and vote as witness

To have a glimpse of awesome content from the Philippines check out @bayanihan

All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85 12-32 mm kit lens and Sigma 50 mm

Meeting Extraordinary People

Meeting Extraordinary People

Sometimes when you travel, you bump into people that makes your visit more fascinating. Usually, I take photos ask around for some background of the place and just leave once done. While roaming around the town of Paete in Laguna Philippines, we stumbled on a […]