Welcome to my words and travels

Please be aware that my spelling and grammar suck!  If it bothers you please don't let it, just go away...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Temple On The Mountain

I visited this beautiful Taoist Temple property the other day.  It was perched on the side of a mountain overlooking the sea.   From each individual Temple the view of the surrounding area was just amazing.

All over Cebu and the surrounding areas, business's are guarded by very armed guards.  I mention this, because here in this beautiful, tranquil compound a very armed guard made a very big presence. 
 Most guards are carrying a pistol on 
there waste, but many are carrying a sawed off shot gun with a pistol trigger. Even with the presence of this gun-toting guard, these grounds were still incredibly spiritual.  Once I got back into the car for the drive home I realized to myself that the guard was not there to tell me not to take pictures, but for the real threat that we deal with today in our society. 
When I first stepped through the main gate sparks were flying inside of me with the anticipation of entering this sacred place. Maybe it was just the whole moment of traveling and everything just feeling so good that hit me at that time.  
I remember feeling this way in Costa Rica years ago, when I was on a boat tour through the jungle.  Animals, birds, reptiles were everywhere.  It was a euphoric feeling.  It just felt really right!!
As I went into the big temple, I looked around and tried to take it all in.  I lit a stick of incense and set it in the pot with the other already burnt pieces.  How many dreams, prayers, thoughts had come before me.  I stood in silence as the smoke danced a wild dance, caused by the changing breezes that blew through the temple.

I stared through the rising smoke.  I have read books of Asian religions.  But this was all different.  It was real.  The temples may have only been built within the last forty years, but the ideas, the wisdom, and the presence of something there was no mistake this was very real.  No talking, no photo's just silence, so you can hear your heart beat.  Admire al
l th
is, and take it away, to remember in your own special way.  

Dragons hold a huge presence in the Taoist religion.   Also there were many pools of live turtles.  The turtle has many references in the Taoist religion.  Most that the turtle holds wisdom.  I looked down to  what I thought was just a little overflow of rain water, but it was a little tended to turtle pond.  No bigger than a goldfish bowl.  
There was no explanation to anything, and 
no one to ask.
  But as you continue to think of this most sacred place, even days after your visit it makes sense as to why there is no explanation.  This is a place for reflection,  for thinking, for just sitting, for anything that you want from your time here.  In whatever you believe I don't think there is place that makes a better place to believe.  There are places such as this Taoist Temple that may wake you up from a long sleep, or kick you a little bit, but there is nothing better than just here!!  

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's like a Frikin Oven Out There

The Heat continues!!  You can be fine sitting in the shade having lunch, but the moment you step into that sun, it feels like your standing next to a vat of molten steel.  Took a long drive north today, up the Eastern Coast of Cebu.  I had read a review when I was home about a German guy who had married a Philly girl and opened a German restaurant.  The place had been in Cebu when I read the article a few months ago but has since moved to a little coastal town called Sogod.  I called to find out directions and how long to get there, and heard what I suspected "without traffic one hour and with, who knows."  Albert the man who answered the phone told me.  
We set out and made it out of Cebu fairly quickly, then started hitting all the little towns.  It turned out the be a beautiful drive.  Beautiful scenery and beautiful views of the water, boats, and just one of those days where everything turned out to be really nice.  When you stop for traffic, or a goat, or sometimes a cow who thought the middle of the road was a great place to lay down, everyone looks.  I'll usually roll my window down to maybe get a picture.  I always smile, and always say hello.  99.9% of people smile back, wave, make there children wave.  All are interested to meet and ask if I'm English.  Meaning English speaking, not British.  
So Borussia Restaurant is set on a little property next to the ocean or sea as they call it here. The name Borussia is a German football team.  The owner is a fanatic from what i heard.  
They have pens with geese, turkeys, ducks and rabbits.  All of which can end up on your plate on any given day.  The owner makes an amazing Bunny stew around Christmas.  " I can't wait."  I said.  
German food is from what I have always thought HEAVY.  Description sounded heavy.  Anticipated heavy, but it was great.  It didn't feel like I was sitting in the middle of the Philippines eati
ng lunch.  I ordered for the three of us to make things easy.  Pork something, German meatball, Rolled beef with cabbage, my friends found it amazing.  When I saw there faces as they opened the menu, it was a Kodak moment.  They have learned to already trust me at least with food, as I have cooked a couple of great meals.  They offered German Chocolate Cake for dessert but I declined for all of us.  The bill was under twenty USA for all.  We walked down to the Sea for a minute while the car was cooling, and off we went back home.
It was a really nice day.  One that you remember. And describe on your blog.  LOL


Monday, October 20, 2008

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The ATM

This is hard to believe!!  I told the driver to pull over at BigFoot Studios, by the ATM.  Bigfoot Studios is described as a premier Film and Television studio in Asia.  I needed cash and this ATM location was in a very secure and nice area.  I went in and took out my money.  The ATM was in a little air conditioned brick vestibule, designed for just one.  I turned and was counting my money as I opened the door, and looked up and a girl with blonde hair was grabbing for the door.  I said "Hello" and smiled.  I listened for an accent.  My first thought was going to be British. Didn't notice anything.  "Do you work here"? I asked.
"What do they do here?"  I asked.
"We make movies and television show."
"What do you do here?"
"I'm a set designer."  
"Where you from?" I asked.  
"LA, what about you? She asked.
"I'm from Buffalo."  I said.  She laughed.  Oh no, what was the reason for that giggle.  Actually this happens to me alot.  I knew what was about to be said.
"I'm from Buffalo."  She said.
Now I laughed.  "Where in Buffalo?"  I asked.
"I was born on Dan Troy."  She said.
"You went to East?"  I asked.
"No I moved to LA before high school, I would have though."
She ran into the ATM machine and i said, "Areverderchi!"
Man that was that the weirdest most surreal thing in the world.  Halfway around the world. Still run into someone you could easily, within three people known her whole family. I left that game back in Buffalo. 

Bobby Blah Blog

My Blog today was more to get something off my chest for myself.  I pass it  along and warn you now it isn't  so cherry.  It may not actually make any sense, and forgive me if i have taken up your valuable time.

 I read an interesting article in the English version of a Philly (Philippine) newspaper the other day and it has struck in my "craw" the last couple of days.  "Incidentally does anyone really know what a craw really is?" A.R.  I will pass on the idea of the article because it makes you think/understand, and I sincerely hope I understand his point of the USA being such a great country.
The article's title, remember this is by a newspaper writer who is Philippine, was titled "Why I think America is still great!!"  He started to write about some of the recent failur
es of the USA under the Bush
administration, and I thought this should be interesting.  He quickly turned the tide to the embarrassing  
differences in the way tax money  in the USA and Philly are used for.  He said what makes the USA a great country is that tax money is to help directly and indirectly the people and the infrastructure of the country.  Schools, roads, elderly, the needy, medical care, all are accepted and expected uses of taxpayers taxes.  He pointed out of course, as we all know there are failures to all of this but in most cases tax money is used for the "good of the people".
In the Philippines, you don't know that the continued economic failure, (Philippines was the only Asian country that did not experience a recent period of growth, i.e. Korea, Viet Nam , China) as I have learned, heard and read in numerous places, is due to the excepted corruption of the economic system
from the President down to the local street cop conducting routine traffic stops.  If you don't put 40 or 50 bucks with your license when presenting it to a cop for a routine stop, don't expect it back till you show at the police station.  To wait in line for six or seven hours to retrieve your license is common practice.
In the article the writer said that politicians in the Philippines feel that tax money allocated to them is there money and there god given right to do with it as they wish.  Anyone sent to investigate allegations of wrong doing quickly report back all is Kosher.  
Millions of children are starving in the Philippines.  Millions of children go with out medicine and many die from what are common very treatable ailments.  A twenty-six year old woman told me she has a very painful cyst in her breast, that her Dr. advised her to have it removed.  I asked her what he will do?  She said, "I just won't think about it, I'm not going to die tomorrow, and all the money that I have, I need to feed my family."