THE TUNNEL AT FORT SANTIAGO

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Darn. I can’t recall if we went through this tunnel during the tour. Did we? I don’t think we did. Now I’m wondering what’s on the other side…and I’m wondering how many Filipinos civilians and guerillas were tortured and killed inside these tunnels by the Spaniards in the mid 1800s and the Japanese soldiers during WWII.

We don’t have any from where I come from hence I find tunnels fascinating. The journey through it can be quite symbolic but taken into a simple context, it’s just like entering the House of Horrors with a nasty surprise waiting at the end.

Sorry. I just saw an episode of The Walking Dead.

 

 

 

 

(Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Philippines)

 

 

DANCE & GORGE FOR COMFORT

I could eat an entire batch of store-bought brownie mix right now and dance to Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty” because that is how annoyed and upset I am today. Unlike other girls who cry, sulk or turn to drama queens, I do the exact opposite. I stay inside my bedroom and dance like a whirling dervish on a sugar high. If said doomsday falls on a work week, I put on my headphones while at the Daily Grind and listen to heart-pumping, feet-stomping, ear-shattering pop-ditties to drown out the noise in my head. At this point, I ignore everyone else and mentally will the hands of the clock to speed up to 5 o’clock PM.

The brownie is just a lousy, flimsy excuse to gorge on an old-time favorite baked goodie.

Okay – comfort food.

 

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE PATIENCE OF A BACKPACKER

If you’ve been following my blog, you would know by now that I’ve been planning to spend a week at the surfing mecca of the Philippines: Siargao. I had it all planned down – which outfit goes well with what…right to the very outfit that I’m going to wear on the ride back home.

This is not a spur of the moment decision. In fact, it took me two decades to finally get around to doing it. Eleven hours by bus, plus 2-3 hours on a boat, and one more hour to reach the final destination: A resort facing the Pacific Ocean. Do that again on the way back home and you could say that that is not an easy feat for a neophyte, intermittent backpacker like me to accomplish. AS much as I like long road trips, it would still take a good deal of patience on my part, to sit on my butt for hours on end, and make sure that I don’t go beyond the budget on food and transport.

Then last week something on the news made my heart sank like an anchor on the ocean floor: Out of 365 days in a year and 7,100+ islands in the Philippines, Typhoon Peipah, or locally known as Typhoon “Domeng”, chose to make its landfall in Siargao on Thursday. This coming Thursday. The same Thursday that we are expected to arrive…in Siargao.

1549395_412867195482517_1225960867_n $#$&*%@*!!! AAAAArgghh!

THE BROWN-SKINNED, TWO-LEGGED DOLPHIN

We were waiting for our boat to depart from the port when this little boy came clambering from one of the outriggers. He was prompting us to throw coins on the water which he will dive after. “Creative Begging” was how my brother called it. I say it’s akin to a street performer except I wouldn’t encourage this “talent” because it’s hazardous to the boy’s safety and wellbeing.

While the little boy waited for us, he stretched his lithe little body like a cat on a sunny patio, and sat with his back facing the sun. I marveled at how his smooth brown skin glowed. Wow, I whispered and  snapped away. After I’m done taking his photos I called out to him to come over. He sheepishly approached me and I handed him a few coins. Go and have your breakfast, I told him.

He gave me a big smile and without further ado, dove into the water like a dolphin.

 

THAT I WOULD BE GOOD

I spent four hours inside my bedroom yesterday afternoon practically doing nothing. Oh, a little bit of this and that (reading, writing) but most of the time I was just lying on the floor and doing reverse crunches. Seriously, I was, except I was lifting my butt off the floor in an underwater-like, slow-mo pace. This music by Alanis Morissette kind of distracted me while “working-out”.  It is so ironic to hear Alanis, angst-ridden-teenager that she was, sing this song.  Her words gently reminds me to cut myself some slack and be more tolerable when things get awry because eventually, everything shall come to pass and I only have myself to deal with in the end.

THE BEST DEFENSE IS TO HAVE A (STAGED) FORESIGHT

This Japanese movie clip from Zatoichi The Blind Swordsman does not have English subtitles but it doesn’t really need it because this particular scene is a slapstick. The first time I saw this is elicit minutes of belly-aching laughter from me and my brother. I wouldn’t have known how entertaining this movie was if not for my brother who introduced me to the magical movie world of Ninjas and Samurais.