The wonders of autumn!

I remember a birthday card that my best friend gave me way back during our school days. It says; " Even the falling of the leaves,has a purpose." I just thought about it because fall is here again and it's one of my favorite part of the year. The kaleidoscope of colors everywhere, of nature. I know most of the time, the falling of leaves from trees sometimes signify deterioration like dying, but it is a natural cycle where the non evergreens go to what they call the "dormant stage".It's almost like a hibernation for plant where they remain inactive or asleep.You would notice that some of the trees may have buds after the leaves fall off, but those buds doesn't grow, they suspend their growing state during the dormant season. Some trees may look dead with no leaves, but they are not. They are just asleep for the winter season.

There's a lot of stuff to do during fall. One that I am fancying right now is to go up to the mountains and watch nature change it's color. Maybe take photographic evidences of the changes.Of course with that includes hiking,trail hiking,picnicking, backpacking, you know just be out there.Another is going to the lakes. It's so much fun when the weather has cooled down a few degrees from the summer heat. Maybe fishing, canoeing. It would be awesome. The cool weather really is an inspiration to be active outdoors before the winter weather comes. Another thing that I enjoy doing when the weather is temperate is jogging, running and sweat off a few inches. It is harder to shed off pounds, it is so easy to put on weight. What we loose in exercising is far too small than what we take in. It would take a lot to shed a whole meal. Walking is good too. Sometimes an evening stroll or morning walk is beneficial. It would be so nice to go camping too. Of course there's the pumpkin patches to visit and the fall festivals.I have enumerated a whole bunch of stuff to do but I wonder how many of them will we able to do before the winter weather come freezing our butt. We would definitely go up the mountains and watch the spectacular fall unfold. There's just so much to do when the weather is great, there's just not enough time to do all of them. It pays to be active. One has to put on a conscious effort to be physically active. I am guilty of being one of those mouse potatoes, clicking the mouse all day or during free time. I just have to pull myself up from being glued to the chair and work out, run, walk, move. I figure, as long as I am moving, it would help. Cardiovascular exercises and sweat,those are the best. Fall is the best time to be out there in the outdoors, whether just for fun or to be fit because when winter comes it is harder to go out there in the freezing cold.


So True! (Totoo nga naman!)

This is so true. When I was back home five months ago, I observed that people take the signs as a "dare me" signs. My first encounter with the "SIGN" was in Baguio when I was waiting for a jeepney at Km 4. Just across the street is a bold sign that says "No Loading,No unloading". I had to go back and ask my cousin where should I wait for the jeepney since there's a sign that doesn't allow loading and unloading. My cousin and his friends laughed at me. I mean I haven't been there in years and while in the US I got used to really following signs. They told me, to just wait across the street just beside the sign. I didn't believe them at first so, I went out to the street again and stood there and observed. True enough, there were people waiting just in front of the sign and the driver stopped and let them in. I was thinking to myself, "What's the sign for,then? Okey,when we were walking along the streets, we just passed by the University of Baguio and I happen to see that in front of a building or store was a sign that says "NO Stand by", but just in front of the sign is a guy sitting down. I pointed it out to my cousin and he was laughing and then he went on to say that if they didn't want anybody hanging around then, there shouldn't be a bench or sitting area where the sign is. Even then I was saying "Pinoy talaga". Then I told him that in the US, if you didn't obey signs like that you may get arrested, or may have to pay fines. So, I asked my cousin what those signs are for. He said that if there are cops in sight, then they follow the signs.But if they see no cops, then theylook the other way, act blind as if not seeing the signs at all. It's maybe funny how there are signs everywhere that says "Bawal Magtapon ng Basura Dito" yet right below it are mounds of trash. And everywhere on the walls say "Bawal Umihi Dito" but one can already tell that people have been leaking there by the smell.I think that it's totally sad that we can't follow simple rules. I don't know if a lot of us do it because we think it's cool, maybe it's in the culture.I was telling this observation to someone while we were having halo-halo and he said that the signs are just ornamental. It's almost like we follow the crowd even if deep down we know it isn't right. It's almost like one thinks that they are not violating any rules as long as nobody catches them, or as long as nobody is looking and even if someone did see the act,they look the other way.Why is that so?


Is it lost in translation or lost in the humor or lost in a tongue twister?

We love humor,I mean everybody enjoys fun stuff. But Filipinos can be very funny in a lots of ways. Take a look at these Taglish humour; Nakakatuwa!

Onli in da Philippines
Can there be anything more amusing than these? Is there anybody wittier than a Filipino to think all of these names? Check it out. I was literally rolling-on-the-floor-laughing while I was reading it!

Only in the Philippines will you find such amusing names as:

Bread Pitt (a bakery)
Maruya Carey (a fast-food place selling turon and maruya in Greenbelt, Makati)
Caintacky Fried Chicken (an eatery in Cainta, Rizal)
Cooking ng Ina Mo (Resto in Mandaluyong)
Cooking ng Ina Mo Rin (Resto across the street from above!)
Mang Donald's (a burger joint at the Naga City Plaza)
Candies Be Love? (Can anything be sweeter than this ? )
Doris Day and Night (a 24-hour eatery)
Babalik Karinderia
Holland Hopia (Owned by Mr. Ho) and next-door neighbor Poland Hopia (owned by Mr. Po) in Chinatown
Miki Mao (a noodle house)
Tapsi Turbi (a tapa house)
Cleopata's (a manukan and bakahan)
Goto Heaven
Goto Hell (serves spicier goto)
The Fried of Marikina (a fried chicken house)
Wrap and Roll (a lumpia outlet in Quad, Makati)
Pansit ng taga-Malaboni (a panciteria on Boni Ave., Mandaluyong)
Side-saki (a side street eatery besides Mandarin Oriental in Makati)
Let's Goat-Together (a kambingan-cum-beer garden)
Meating Place (a meat shop)
Automobili Ko (2nd hand car buy and sell shop)
Meatropolis (another meat shop)
Isda best, Pusit to the limit, and Hipon coming back (entrees on the menu of a seafood restaurant)
Cinna Von (a laundromat)
Yo Wash Up (another laundromat)
Pier Carding (a tailoring shop in Pier, Manila)
Elizabeth's Tailoring
The Way We Wear (a boutique)
Curl Up and Dye (a beauty salon)
Goldilooks (a barber shop)
Goldirocks (a gravel and sand shop)
Sylvestre's Salon
Stomach Inn (motel in San Juan)
Bote Nga Sa 'Yo (used bottle shop)
Christopher Plumbing (your friendly neighborhood plumber)
Fernando Pe's Box Office Hits (a video rental shop in Palawan)
Leon King Video Rental (in Las Pinas)
Memory Drug (a clone of Mercury Drug)
Petal Attraction (a flower shop near U.P. Diliman)
Susan's Roses (a flower shop, but of course!)
Maid to Order (maids placement agency)
Kik-Mai-Balls (food cart selling kikiam, siomai and fishballs)

And here's what I add to the list from a Pinoy singer: Celine Din Yon.
Ang Pinoy talaga.


Remembering New Orleans

New Orleans was the very first state I landed when I moved to these united states. It's a famous city, as I have heard of it even when I was still in Asia. Of course Mardi Gras makes New Orleans very famous around the globe. I loved the location of our place, right there on the 5th Street across the Double Tree Hotel, just before the Causeway Bridge. Lake Ponchartrain was literally our backyard where we biked,jogged,walked or picnicked. It's a great site with flocks of birds flying each day. People boating or sailing on warm days.By now, it is different as people are starting to rebuild their home, their lives.

Places we have been during our stay in New Orleans: ( Some of these places may or may not exist anymore. Some may have been partially damaged by water,by wind.)
Cafe Du Monde:
I am sure a lot of you have heard of this famous cofee place. They are also well-known for their beignet. We have been to this place several times and I have enjoyed their chickory cofee.

River Walk: It's a long walking path that at the bank of the Mississippi River. You can just walk and watch boats,or even the steam boats. Great for strolling,sightseeing and even shopping.There are lots of shops and dinning places, walking distance from the French Quarter.

French Quarter:

It's of course a must see area of New Orleans.And according the the news, the quarters hasn't been that affected. In fact people are already starting to parade on that side of town well-known for it's partying and parades.

Bourbon Street:
If you love night life, this is the place to go for drinking, dancing, sight seeing. Yes, even at night, people dress up, wear masks and walk around the street. This particular street is lined up with bars after bars and dancing clubs, and souvenir shops. Some shops sell lots of beads,masksand knick knacks. And of course this is the street where you can flash your thingy to earn beads. Even on ordinary days, this area always gets crowded.

Harra's Casino:
This was the first Casino I have ever been to. And we won some money playing the poker machines.

Steam Boat Natchez:
We rode this boat one romantic evening, the weather was so nice. There was a band playing jazz, and a guide talked about the Mississippi River and it's history.

Charles Street
It's a quiet street lined with alot of old old oak trees and goes all the way to the Garden district and along the way you'll see historic houses from the 1800's. And the best way to see all these is to ride the streetcar or trolley.

These are the nice places we have been while living in New Orleans. I am sure a lot of these places may have been washed out or may have been flooded as the entire NO city has been flooded. The city of Metairie was our home for two years at the 5th Street. It's a quiet neighborhood, except for the screaming couples at night. We had a lot of nightlife since hubby works till midnight. We would drive to downtown New Orleans and enjoy walking by the French Quarter,on Bourbon Street. It is very colorful at night. People dress up and come walking around, strolling.And I mean, not just dress up but they would wear funny outfits and masks. So if you are up there in one of the porches, you would have a great view of the crowd. You would see people with hairs of different colors,painted live person all kinds of stuff. And of course you would see a lot of skin especially when people get drunk. At first, I was very inocent. I was appalled that the women would flash their boobs just to earn beads, and I mean they are not gold. Later on, it was a common sight to me. It's something I have never seen in my life. Their party is very adult. It's not a place to bring your children. Of course there are lots of family fun during Mardi Gras, during parades and lots of family activities.

Another fun place we have been was the swamp. There are lots of swamp tours, but we did our own touring via canoe. It was a fun tour to the marshes to see the wildlife.We have seen alligators,snakes,lots of turtles.A nice adventure into the wild. We might have slightly tipped over a few times,but we managed to get out of the water at the end of the day.

I have seen some of the weirdest things I saw was at a freak show. We just happen to enter this bar, we didn't even know what was going on it was dark,all the lights were off and the guy at the entrance told us that no cameras allowed. There were peircing of nuts, women carrying cans of beers with hooks on their labia and guys drinking the beer under them. There was a guy who hammered a long nail into his pennis. I mean, it hurt just by looking. Then there was this woman who turned a bulb on using her genital organs. Gosh! I couldn't believe what I was looking at. Hubby was laughing at me. I felt like what they were doing wasn't right yet I was drawn to watch. It was a lifetime experience.It was one hell of a shock to me to watch people doing these stuff. After that I haven't seen any other shocking stuff.

Then there were these trips across to the other end of town to get to the Asian stores. I noticed that there were lots of Vietnamese people in New Orleans. People sometimes ask me if I were Vietnamese. There were not a lot of Filipino stores around except for a small store by Canal Street. I talked to the owner one time and she said that most of her customers are Filipino sea men that just stop over New Orleans. She would cook Filipino foods on Saturdays and that's when Pinoys flock to her store.

Aside from all these I really enjoyed going with hubby to these concerts. Some of them organized by the radio stations he worked for, and he gets to introduce some of the bands and/or singers. So, it was a great experience for me. Most of the ones that I have met in person are country singers. We were at the Goerge Strait Concert, Hubby introduced Sara Evans. I had a close look at her,she's pretty. Of course I saw the george Strait, Brad Paisley and others. We also went to the introduction of Brian McCommas album at the House of Blues. Of course he was there to promote his album, so he was very nice to everybody. He wasn't quite famous then. Later I saw him on CMT. We have been to some other concerts,just can't remember them all. Most of them were country fests. I am not a diehard country fan,that's why I didn't really pay attention to the country stars.

So,looking back, I would say that we had a great time. Really great time.

I hope that in due time,people who have fled the city will be able to come back and rebuild their lives. To rebuild the once very lively and colorful city of jazz and Mardi Gras.


Isn't it a wonder?

A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy? -- Albert Einstein--


If you have watched National Geographic's documentary featuring what is TABOO, I wonder what you think of nudism, nudists.
I have heard of nudist beaches and topless beaches. I have always been curious and giggle when we talk about jewels just hanging,dangling in full view of people. But I am wondering how it's like to really be there and experience it. Okey, don't look at me and imagine me naked. Of course in our world, the proper thing is to cover up. It's interesting, don't you think? Go play in the yard naked, cook naked, walk around naked, do everything naked. Of course, for people who have been doing this since they were born or for a long time seems a normal thing. Being naked scares me. I was wacthing the nudist people on TV celebrate christmas naked, even kids, putting up the christmas lights naked. Well, as a kid, I may have been naked walking around with my snot and drool just flowing on my face, but as an adult, I cannot imagine myself being out there seen in public very naked. I would still prefer to wear clothes. I have also seen another documentary about certain groups of people living in the Amazon jungles, who really live their lives naked,but there are far for civilization. Unlike what they do in this nudist area where they have been once wearing clothes. Somehow what they say is true, that in the normal world were people wear clothes, people are judged by the clothes they wear, by the shoes they wear.If we could just see people as they are, from what is within, it would have been a better world. I guess since almost 99.9 percent of population wears clothing, then that's what is considered normal. But what if it's the other way around? Of course what is taboo to us maybe be perfectly normal for other people.

Now, the second episode features Manila and their graveyards. I am aware of people building houses wherever they can as I have been and seen some parts of Manila. Every little space could be used for anything; sleeping,cooking,everything.So, I wasn't surprised when they showed some people taking refuge and and making the graveyards actually their homes. Carton roofs aren't that protective from severe weathers and rain. While the dead is being roofed better, might as well stay with the dead. Somebody's got to do the jobs there, cleaning, and maintaining the graveyards,as long as the dead doesn't haunt them at night. Filipinos are very superstitious when it comes to the dead, so a lot of people don't really mess with them. Still I have heard of people using the dead to pull up a scam through "lamay",using the dead to collect money from people.

From personal experience, during All Soul's Day, we visit the tombs of relatives, clean the it's surroundings, maybe even have lunch on top of the grave. It wasn't that scary. The last time I was in my hometown, my friend's brother died. I had a very close look at him. We even touched his face. It felt hard to the touch.Surprisingly, I wasn't afraid. I guess it doesn't scare me as I have witnessed burials and wakes of dead people and have very close contact, can even see the pores of their faces. I think that there's nothing to be scared of with the dead.The living are even more scary as they can do harm to us. I haven't really encountered any ghosts yet in my lifetime except from stories from other people, so I don't know if I believe in ghosts though I believe in the supernatural.


Boy, are we glad we are out of Louisiana. It has been a few years now. If we would have been there, we would have been submerged since we live right at the levee just a block from lake Ponchartrain overlooking the Causeway bridge. I can still recall, that when the wind blows coming from the lake, wow, it smells like watermelon. Fresh breeze, the smell of the water. I use to spend my evening walking or biking by the lake watching flocks of birds and the lake view, so serene. So nice to sit and just relax out there. But now, the whole city would be inhabitable for months according to the New Orleans mayor. It's really devastating for people who lost their homes, properties, everything,jobs,not to mention lives that have been taken away.It's catastrophic. I can't imagine people wallowing to that mud of filth from the French Quarter. Filth accumulated from Mardi Gras. That would really make people sick. I mean, black filthy residue would form around your snickers if you go walk around the French Quarter, comnination of booze,urine,barfing, you name it.

My only experience with flood was when I was in Manila. Of course those who have been there, you already know that the city is well known for flooding. I was working there and one evening there was flood around Sampaloc area, and I was out, I was really in trouble as I didn't know my way around there yet. I just wallowed around with the water upto my knees. I was so glad a lady called me in a taxi and told me they will even drop me off to my place. I was profusely greatful when I got home after wallowing in the dark water, while it was raining. I was glad to find help from a complete stranger.

Hopefully, all the affected people from the hurricane will be given help. It would be a hard recovery, picking up the pieces, but life goes on.And I hope people won't be that cruel to be taking advantage of the situation, instead try helping those who has nowhere to go.