Posts by crookedgr33nthumb40

Praying for Our Brothers and Sisters in North eastern US

I woke up this morning and had to rush my little man to E.R., for respiratory issues…glad he was fine, negative for Flu, Pneumonia or Asthma. He just need to rest and stay home until he gets better. Mean while, I saw the impending large blizzard Going to hit part
of the North east US, I just hope that they will be okay there. We are getting Chilly weather here in West Oahu, Hawaii,
But I am sure it’s nothing compare to what they have back in the east.
Stay safe and warm everyone!

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Overflowing Blessings from the Sky

January is almost over. I was very lucky that I had too much blessings in my garden. During the month of December until mid-January, I had at least a 500 monarch caterpillars from my crow flower trees. Almost 95 % of the caterpillars pupated, and 90% of it emerged into healthy monarch butterflies. It was an overwhelming experience, between feeding and cleaning their frass ( poops).

Monarch on a Thai basil plant.

Monarch on a Thai basil plant.

Monarch butterflies in my hands.

Monarch butterflies in my hands.

Chrysalis and butterflies.

Chrysalis and butterflies.

Newly emerge butterfly.

Newly emerge butterfly.

But after waves of feedings and releasing them out, a dozen and a Half per day, I think it is well worth it. Now I have more caterpillars to raise, and at the same time I enjoy watching them hover and chase each other during Hawaiian chilly-sunny day.

Baybay, Roxas City :Peace and Quiet Still Exist Here

Roxas City Airport

Roxas City Airport

Nipa covered huts to hang around by day or night..

Nipa covered huts to hang around by day or night..

Bahia Norte Hotel, Baybay, Roxas city

Bahia Norte Hotel, Baybay, Roxas city

Baybay beach, Roxas City, Capiz

Baybay beach, Roxas City, Capiz

Baybay, Roxas city, Capiz ( Northern-west Visayas). Pronounce as ” Byebye” by the locals, is located in Northwest of Panay Island adjacent to Kalibo, Aklan. Roxas city has a small, old shipping port, in Culasi west of Roxas city. Capiz is popular and well known as the Seafood capital of the Philippines. Wide variety seafood by tons are transported to Manila daily, and other part of the Philippines. With its long, sea shore, and black sand, overlooking Sibuyan Sea, beach goers still flocks Baybay beach than other famous neighboring beaches of Kalibo and Iloilo. Baybay is an hour away from Manila by air, and 2-3 hours away from Kalibo and Iloilo. It is still unspoiled, and less crowded. Visitors can relax and enjoy the beach without being bothered by excess foot traffic and pushy individuals trying to see all kinds of products. until now, there is no high rise hotel buildings here and currently not inundated by Bus load of foreigners daily, mostly locals and balikbayans. Visitors will definitely enjoy an early morning and evening walks along the beach. Fine black sand is mixed with different kinds of sea shells are foot friendly. The beach is about 10 to 15 minutes commute via tricycle away from the city. Just less than 5 minutes away from the city airport. Culasi pier is still in use on the far west side of the city, Roll on Roll off bus system is also available now from Manila to Caticlan( near Boracay, island), then about an hour to Sigma, Capiz ( 20 minutes away from Roxas city), and the airport is about 5-10 minutes within the city radius.
Many visitors and locals can enjoy seafoods here without spending a lot of money. Fresh seafoods from various places within Roxas city are either transported to the Public Market, and the biggest drop off place in Banica town. For groceries and produce, Lipunan Market is the best place for fresh, and cheap vegetables, and fruits. Gaisano Mall, and newly opened Robinson’s place is just few minutes away via tricycle. if you want to eat fast, there are a lot places to eat. Ramboy’s I heared was one of the best place for seafood. My pick? I shop in the public market for fresh seafood, or meats, along with the greenest vegetables then cook it at home, I like it that way because I think the part where I prepare the meal with family members makes it more personalized and memorable.
Baybay Roxas city in my humble opinion is not for everybody. Nothing fancy, just fresh air, endless supply of seafood, fresh farm grown produce, of coarse, long peaceful beach. If you are the kind person who like the night life atmosphere I suggest for you to visit Boracay 3 hours away. Baybay Roxas city is just to quiet at night. I overheard from younger people in the internet that there are places here where everyone can go clubbing, drinking, and some Bars too, but I haven’t been to one because I have small children with me on my last visit. Since I don’t own a home in Roxas city, I stayed in a couple of nice place just outside the local airport. However, if you choose to check out the city, there are few places that you can go stay at. I stayed at a couple of nice places. one is at San Antonio Resort, just across the bay, it has different types of accommodation, slightly pricey but its clean, and they have great food, lovely swimming pool,and air conditioned rooms. there are also several hotels within the city, and the additional new place I am aware of is the Urban Manor, next to newly opened Robinson’s mall at Lawaan. On my last visit in May, I stayed at Bahia Norte Hotel, along the East end of Baybay, for $20.00 a night, I can say I was happy. it was located next just few feet away from the beach, although it was an old, place, I liked it a lot, one of my cousin jokingly said it was a hotel built back during Philippine and Japanese war era….I responded ” its more like built back in Spanish era!.The hotel had I believe around 18-20 rooms, but but it was all facing the beach, and has a homey, appeal to it. they have hot and cold shower, a flushable toilet, they have 3 beds for two in the room I rented, a good working airconditioner, hey, good enough for me! in addition, the staff were very accommodating, they helped us and guided us with everything, the breakfast is pretty simple, but I love drinking coffee by the beach in the morning.. I love the afternoon and early morning lounge by the beach, with my coffee, and mango juice in hand, just listening at the sound of the wave, just a perfect place to relax and reflect. I remember during my stay, I was able to see sunrise in the morning and sunset in the evening, it was a lovely place be at, no fancy room service, no swimming pool, but I enjoyed the constant pounding of the waves over the shoreline, it was so soothing to the senses, honestly I slept pretty well during my stay . I just can’t imagine going any place else.

"Turotot", as locals calls it, an edible shell commonly found in Baybay, Roxas city.

“Turotot”, as locals calls it, an edible shell commonly found in Baybay, Roxas city.


Sunrise at 5:40a.m., what breathtaking view.

Sunrise at 5:40a.m., what breathtaking view.


Not sure what were the boys was doing....picking shells or harassing the crabs:-)

Not sure what were the boys was doing….picking shells or harassing the crabs:-)


Sunset at Baybay, Roxas city

Sunset at Baybay, Roxas city

Nipa Hut at Bahia Norte, Baybay, Roxas city

Nipa Hut at Bahia Norte, Baybay, Roxas city

"Tahong", or green-lip mussel clams.

“Tahong”, or green-lip mussel clams.


Sinful, fresh barbecued Pork or "Liempo", along with grilled shrimps, and fresh baked tahong

Sinful, fresh barbecued Pork or “Liempo”, along with grilled shrimps, and fresh baked tahong


fruits and more fruits....

fruits and more fruits….


Sunrise at 5:40a.m., what breathtaking view.

Sunrise at 5:40a.m., what breathtaking view.


Sunset.

Sunset.


Bahia Norte, Baybay, Roxas city

Bahia Norte, Baybay, Roxas city


fresh produce:-)

fresh produce:-)


Bahia Norte, front yard garden.

Bahia Norte, front yard garden.


Forget Hawaii !!This is one of the reason why I come back to Roxas city....succulent, sweet and cheap gigantic prawns:-)

Forget Hawaii !!This is one of the reason why I come back to Roxas city….succulent, sweet and cheap gigantic prawns:-)


these White "Plumeria", or "Kalachuchi" blossoms permeates in the hallways of our hotel every morning.

these White “Plumeria”, or “Kalachuchi” blossoms permeates in the hallways of our hotel every morning.


Mixed Seafood Sinigang...courtesy of Andoy's Restaurant:-)

Mixed Seafood Sinigang…courtesy of Andoy’s Restaurant:-)


Where there are seafoods, there are charcoals...best grillmates:-)

Where there are seafoods, there are charcoals…best grillmates:-)


The Beach is calling!!

The Beach is calling!!


Fresh fish, squids, etc., eat as much as you can on with the rock bottom prices!!!

Fresh fish, squids, etc., eat as much as you can on with the rock bottom prices!!!


a few shells I found littered the sea shore.

a few shells I found littered the sea shore.


Guimaras Mangos......

Guimaras Mangos……

Suhot: A Place to Chill

Up fathomable....deep, deep, second underground cave.

Unfathomable….deep, deep, second underground cave.

So, why don't you come and take a quick dip?

So, why don’t you come and take a quick dip?

Morning is still and calm, the water is so tempting!

Morning is still and calm, the water is so tempting!

 At 6am Chilly, crystal clear spring water is waiting for you..

At 6am Chilly, crystal clear spring water is waiting for you..


View from the top.

View from the top.

Suhot Cave- located just at the foot of enormous Panginraon mountain on Dolores, Dumalag, Capiz. “Suhot” ( sue-hoot/ to crawl under), cave or ” suhot” spring is a popular swimming hole for the people of Dumalag and its neighboring places. spring wAter coming from an underground rocky source and is believe to feed the fresh water needs of the entire town, also for agricultural use. The cave itself is the main attraction, however, not necessarily people is brave enough to enter and explore it.
Visitors flock outside the cave just to escape the summer heat, Suhot spring has a large shallow to up to the neck deep swimming pool, the water level is constant throughout the entire year, and only becomes unswimmable on rainy season when it gets flooded and muddy.
the main cave is very old, it has huge opening, very dark, but I haven’t heard or read a formal exploration report about it. There are three caves to see, but people there are more interested in cooling off than to get in those dark, bat infested caves.
The first cave is located on the top of the swimming area. It is a very large, with a church like main entrance that resembles a cathedral. But if you are facing toward the cave, it looks dark, and spooky. Just like other caves, It has an old remnant of ” stalagmite”and “stalactite” formation. Sadly, those formation was chopped off for safety purposes. I myself have not really entered the cave.
The second largest cave is located below right to the swimming area. Again, I don’t have the nerve to swim in it because it is obviously deep. The third cave or the smallest Entrance lies just few inches below the water level is no longer reacheable…because for the last two decades, it disappeared because a dam was built around the swimming pool area to make the pool a little bit larger and deeper. Along time ago when I was a kid,I remember that we were able to dove down, hold our breath, just a few feet under the water and able to enter the smallest cave. And in order for you to get out, you have to swim out toward the larger second cave, from inside. you only have a few feet of crawlspace above you between solid rocky ceiling and the water. It felt super awesome, the water is very cold, Crisp, and refreshing. Although the water is crystal clear, I don’t remember seeing the bottom below, or how deep it was.it because nobody was able to correctly measure the bottom’s dept.
I visited suhot spring every year. in April 2014 was my sixth year, and my observation, there is a constant increasing number of visitors that come in and enjoy the chilly water of suhot. A Long time ago, coming to this place is free of charge. Now it is closely restricted, gate entrance is guarded by military police 24/7. people can come in and pay 20 pesos Per person. And can enjoy swimming, hang out with family and friends all day long.

Try to come as early as possible....@ 5:00am, you will enjoy swimming at Suhot better, by 0700, bunch of naked men will be soaping themselves already!

Try to come as early as possible….@ 5:00am, you will enjoy swimming at Suhot better, by 0700, bunch of naked men will be soaping themselves already!

The cottage.

The cottage.


My family while taking a quick swim in the evening:-)

My family while taking a quick swim in the evening:-)


Water gets murky in evening, disturbed sands just a reminder that a hundred children and adult alike just had their fun swimming in it.

Water gets murky in evening, the disturbed sands just a reminder that a hundred children and adult alike just had their fun swimming in it.


An overnight stay is very convenient for the entire family especially with young kids. They have cottages for rent and air conditioned rooms. The perk will be is that you can go swimming very early in the morning, where nobody is around, and the water is so clear. Then One can lounge and relax on the cabana or hut all day long if You want to. visitors can also enjoy that slightly interesting walk about the cave near the main entrance next to the grotto. during summer time even if it’s humid and sunny, just be aware that mosquitoes are all over the place, since it is located just at the foot of the mountain, bugs like mosquitoes are present. So just don’t forget to bring your own bug sprays or some sort of insect repellent. The short walk is a little bit uphill and inclined, with just little bit of difficulty.
Just above the cave is the best place to reflect and enjoy the peace and quiet, where you are surrounded with tall trees, maybe some local birds, suhot cave is a safe place. It is guarded by a private military police run by the city. It has it has an air-conditioned rooms and cottages complete with indoor toilet, and it can be reached via tricycle or jeepney on the main road just five minutes from Dumalag town public market.
Visitors can bring their own food and drinks, or they can cook barbecues on designated grilling area. The place also have Karaoke bar available for a fee, and they have those rubber tubes for rent if you want to be safe with with little ones swimming. Visitors, year not only to swam but the spend time with their families on holidays, Class reunions and birthdays. Visitors from all over the place comes around eight in the morning and throughout the whole day, doing nightfall it becomes a party place you wouldn’t imagine, but not in a chaotic way. So, where do you want to be?
The slightly steep stairway to the top of the cave.

The slightly steep stairway to the top of the cave.

Another view from the far end cottage.

Another view from the far end cottage.


Early morning , the crystal clear, chilly water is waiting for you.....

Early morning , the crystal clear, chilly water is waiting for you…..


My nephew and nieces, enjoying the evening.

My nephew and nieces, enjoying the evening.

What to do with these long gourdy schlongs?

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What to do with long, green gourds?
I went on a 3 week long vacation and I came back with these surprisingly long gourds hanging in my lime tree, on the ground and on my fence…These long schlongs are delicious by the way, but I am getting too tired eating it:-), I blame my other half for not listening to me. Before I left for my vacation, I repeatedly told him ( more like asked/command) him that to wait 3 more days and then chop off these “upo” and hand it to your mother…..3 weeks later I saw 4 more dangling freely all over the place! These long veggies can be cook as a soup, with beef or chicken, they are succulent and tasty, but I am just to tired of eating them! I gave some to my Co workers but a lot of it are just to hard to cook by now. In my head I can do few things: 1.use it as a baseball bat, 2. Back make it as a decoration when it dries, 3. Sell Em on craigslist, 4. Beat my other half with it. 5. Feed it to the chickens. 6. Throw them away!

Dumalag: Back to My Hometown

Panginraon mountain peak

Panginraon mountain peak


Me and my Little Man:-)

Me and my Little Man:-)

Dumalag, Capiz.( Western Visayas ) A small town located in Panay Island just an hour via bus commute from Roxas city, Capiz. It is surrounded by vast mountainous lands of Tapaz, rice fields of Dao, and cuartero. Dumalag is also an alleyway to Iloilo and Roxas city. Everybody can visit via Roro from Luzon, or an hour plane ride via roxas city. Dumalag is a couple hours away from Iloilo city. Philippine railway used to be running everyday to haul sugarcane, goods, cattle and humans, but sadly it is non existent today. My Hometown now is very quiet place. Crime rate is almost none existent.
Today people mostly live and work on rice fields, owns a small business, stores and some so-so jobs just to get by, many relies on family graces from abroad. However, back in the 1970s, to 1980s people especially families owns sugar land or cane fields. In those days Men in the family works in Santo Niño Sugar Mill, or ” arozera”, where sugarcanes were processed and turn obviously into sugar. Our hometown is surrounded by sugar cane fields, in addition to rice fields. And as far as I remember, there are a lot of many reluctant rich family that belongs to this town, if you walk around the neighborhood especially in town, Spanish era home designs still exist. I remember growing up as a kid, our town has one movie theater, were Filipino movies are shown on certain days, and even then some places in town houses own little movie houses, and play some Betamax tape movies whether it’s American or local Filipino. That is the main form of entertainment for us if you can afford to pay for it. We have No mega malls, not even a small shopping center. I do remember that we also have a cock fighting place or arena, Cockfighting is another form of entertainment, sure they can use ” tradition ” as an excuse. Rich, and poor came to pay and see cockfighting, everybody was happy money was pouring down.
We had a busy Post Office, where we received snail mails, and packages from relatives. Yes kids. We used to write letters and put them in the envelopes, lick the stamps and put it the post office mail box..and if you want to be technically fancy, we had what they call a ” telegram” service. An equivalent to text messages, except you pay the service per word, never mind… We will get to that later. These all happened back when Internet service was not around yet.
And then, back in the mid-1980s, for some reason a typhoon ( Undang, circa November 5, 1984) ravaged the entire island of region 6 and everything pretty much went downhill..people stop coming to town and everything seems to be so slow, no major activities. Everything halted just because of one event. To me, obviously it was the change of administration:-).
To this day, Dumalag town still have its beauty just like I left it about two decades ago. Just like any other towns in Capiz, this town has its public markets I believe it’s open during pretty much every day, and especially during Sundays. Our town pretty much sticks to its old, traditions, like people still go to church on Sundays, and still practices typical traditional Filipino holidays. Regardless of what they say the boom on Internet and computer age, I still believe this town have its own original traditions ( the ati Atihan, and the barrio fiestas).
I left this town in 1989, Although I was born up north, I consider myself as
” Dumalagnon”. As soon as I graduated from college in 2005, ( took me a decade to do it ), I made a promise to my Grandparent’s resting place that I will try to come and visit them every year. compare to other places in the Philippines, my hometown doesn’t really have anything special to show off, except to me, everything is still special. Just like being here in United States where you have Central Park in New York, or the Great Smokey Mountain up in the Appalachian in Tennessee, my home town have Suhot Springs, or Suhot cave, where a many people from other county or “barrios” go to to escape the heat of the summer. my hometown is, on my last visit looks the same except for obvious unfortunate damages still remains from destructive hurricane Haiyan back in November last year of 2013. according to the locals, they were happy and lucky to be alive and only a couple sadly lost their lives.What really makes heart leap is that people around there is so resilient and in my observation, they maybe poor, but they seemed contented and behind all devastation around them, they just get up and do whatever they needed to survive. something for me to be thankful with, knowing how hard life threw at me where I am at now, I just have to think about them and smile, ” they survived, and so maybe I can too”.
With all the same homes in shambles, of coarse I saw a lot of changes, some homes lined up along the main street in town were huge, and obscenely extravagant.I felt like the streets are getting to narrow, and more and more people scattered in and out. I was there for 3 days. My main event was to chill with some family members I took with me. I took many photos of the Plaza, and some were from my ancestral home in Sto. Angel, and of coarse, Suhot Springs. were everybody go during summer time.

Yes, most of the ambitious young Dumalagnons left the town, so they can find a better place, a better life to live. Only a handful, probably not too many come back and stay for good. However A former resident like me, would love to come back and enjoy the site, taste home grown foods, the smell of the air over and over again and I’d love to do that..

Landmark town water fountain

Landmark town water fountain


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Dumalag town Plaza
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During my visit, my family and I loved to stay in Suhot resort, I choose that place because of its close proximity to the water, and we can chill in their rented huts and air conditioned rooms.
calm in the morning, mad party place at noon:-)

calm in the morning, mad party place at noon:-)

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It looked like Jose Rizal's statue. The famous Filipino Hero hanged ( pls.correct me if I was wrong), during Spanish-Filipino war. But I can't remember this statue being here when I was a kid.

It looked like Jose Rizal’s statue. The famous Filipino Hero hanged ( pls.correct me if I was wrong), during Spanish-Filipino war. But I can’t remember this statue being here when I was a kid.


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I call this " little Pitoy boys", I just don't know how long they have peeing here..wish somebody could tell me:-).

I call this ” little Pitoy boys”, I just don’t know how long they have peeing here..wish somebody could tell me:-).


Saint Martin Church.

Saint Martin Church.

I am tired, but I get up in the morning stronger, thanks to you coffee!!

I had a long week. it is only Friday, and I am glad I am off from work! I am so behind of posting my vacation pictures, and talk about it but I am still going to do it. just let me lay down here in bed and enjoy my coffee. My job as a nurse is, really, under appreciated. I swear I felt like walking in a mine field everyday, but hey, I am happy that I still have all my limbs, extremities, digits at the end of the day. I don’t want to talk about the details because its so ugly, I am just going to end depressed. After coming from a three week vacation, it made me realize that hey, even my entire day at work is a hair pulling experience, I got something to look forward to next time. I am all excited just thinking about the next vacation. I usually like to go cheap, and didn’t want to be overwhelmed about the “gastos” or how much will it cost me, but of coarse, with careful planning, I don’t think it is impossible. I could talk about it on and on, but I believe when you have the will plus the drive, it can be done. Now where am I? I like to talk about my vacation experience, just let me drink my coffee first.