welcoming homeland

Roses are red, not blue

Beautiful

Despite thorny stem

I am a daughter, niece, auntie, even ‘Lola’ to the littlest ones

I am letting go and also learning to let go

Bathala na

There are times for joy, laughter

There are times for painful bites, in the process to reconcile or maybe not

Aray!

Ouch

Learning to accept thorny stems

Adjusting to post-venus times of universal transits

 

Lolo babe shared that ‘The old ones cautioned us to appreciate and worship our roots, that the same root-power that connects us with earth and universe also connects the flowers in the meadow and the blossoms on the trees that turn to sweet fruit.’

 

The grander it gets, I feel the loss of tranquility

I somewhat prepared myself knowing that Bohol is one of the ‘hottest’ tourist attractions and yet I mourn the loss of a quiet province I once knew as a child

Lolo Babe shared: ‘The Elders said when traveling the earth, “Don’t turn a leaf or break a branch.”  Carry yourself like a mountain lion in the forest.’  

But Lolo, I’ve never been around a mountain lion in the forest. The closest is kitty jojoh in the backyard

 

Seashells at the seashore

 

Bonding with family at the seashore, in the dark lit up by a handheld gas lamp, smell the fumes as it shines brightly above the warm and clear water

Learning to pick shells and mollusks with my 1st cousin, Bodoy, whom I saw last time I was here for his father, my Tito frank’s funeral, (rest in power), 8 years ago

And with Ninong Ernie, my godfather, whom I have not seen since I was a child of 7 before we immigrated to the land of the ‘mighty’ U.S.A. for better opportunities. It’s also Ninong’s first time with learning this ‘activity’ that feeds many mouths, a daily process for survival to bring food to hungry stomachs

observing as Bodoy with keen eyes pierce small fish so small as it flip flops on his palm, it’s big enough to feed a hungry mouth but with western standards too small to keep and must return back to the sea

an eel hiding within the corals, caught with a homemade spear made with the plastic of a ball pen as a retracting hinge, a piece of round black rubber as the retractor and a steel rod with a pointed end that meets the death to this small water creature

Observing as the wind starts to pick up, erasing the calm waters and the hint of a wave makes it difficult to locate small water shells and creatures with the naked eye

But experienced eyes knows

Healing space

A fellow shell hunter yells from afar

Rain is coming as lightning flashes more and more

We sort of slowly hurry back, looking with each step not just for a prize but also for the banig (a bed) of sea urchins, deadly some are

Carefully wading with each step not to step on the poisonous red utom nor to spear fierce water snakes mistaken for eel; just let them go and walk another direction

Back at the port, lightning flash ensues briefly lighting up the southwest island shore, thunder, hear it come

Malakas na ang ulan. The heavy Rain pours down

on us

cool Water blessings from above

warm Water blessings from below

satisfying Drench

Run in slow motion towards the ancestral home

a Gifted Log for a bangka (outrigger canoe)

June 8, 2012, Baclayon, Bohol, Pilipinas

It has been eight years since my last visit to the islands. I am back in the  island of Bohol with inquiring heart and mind, empowerment vision of canoes in the waterways with singers and dancers to heal and protect our Mother Earth, a medicine dream team. Envisioning Pilipino/ Fil-Am contingent to pull from the San Francisco Bay Area from California!! Plan to be at the future canoe journeys in the pacific northwest, dreams of singing and dancing in the bangkas of the San Francisco Bay Area waterways…

Filipino Canoe Log

Photo from Alexis Canillo.  the Filipino-Pomo canoe that will join the Tribal Journey of canoes in the Pacific Northwest. The log was gifted by artist/activist L. Frank Manriquez via support from The Cultural Conservancy (http://www.nativeland.org/)

build a bangka (double sided outrigger canoe) / bigiw (single side outrigger canoe) from a log gifted to represent Filipinos, find a local skipper, build a bangka family for support, pullers to train and practice, raise awareness and educate about the islands’ diverse cultures among indigenous peoples of the turtle island. But first, start with my roots, the seafaring Bisayans. What are our traditions, prayers and chants for building, launching, welcoming, being in the canoe paddling on the water? This is a quest.