Sunday Poem and Photograph: She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways

SHE dwelt among the untrodden ways,
Beside the springs of Dove,
A maid of whom there were none to praise,
And very few to love:

A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden by the eye!
--Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.

She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me

By: William Wordsworth

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how often do you pass by the "untrodden ways"?

Back in college, my professor in literature gave us an assignment to choose a poem from the English Literature collection.  She said to relate the poem to an important person in our lives.  We need to read the poem in our class but before reading, we need to inform the class to whom the poem is for or we are relating to. 

I read the above poem and I am referring to my mother who died when I was fourteen.  When I’m done reading I found that most of my classmates were in tears including my professor.  I did not realize that I read the poem with much emotion.

Road Trip to Cabatuan… Cemetery

By that I am referring to Cabatuan Cemetery in Cabatuan, Iloilo City, Region 6, Philippines, Asia.

It was not actually a road trip going to the cemetery. Who wants a road trip leading to the cemetery anyway? I chanced upon this place during our road trip from Iloilo City going to Janiauy – a province in Iloilo City, Philippines.  What I was looking forward to see during this road trip are the famous old Iloilo churches.  But…

this is what exactly caught my eyes
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Me: What is that?
Relative 1: (Grinning) “On no you don’t want to go there, it’s not a church,”
Me:  It looks mysterious, can we stop and check please?
Relative 2: (Wide eyed) It’s a cemetery!”
Me: Really? Wow it’s beautiful! Can we stop please? I’ll just take some quick shots
All Relatives:  We’re not going with you, you know… we’ll just stay in the car!
Me: Ok, but try to step on the breaks when the car drives by itself (grinning)
… and they all get out of the car (he he he)
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a treasure find!
amazing to chance upon this magnificent architectural structure along the highway
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To share some info from Mr. Wiki:
This century old Spanish-Filipino Cemetery is the only cemetery in the Philippines which is a perfect square. Three Byzantine arch entrances dominate the front-gate, while a baroque central chapel is located at the center. The chapel is a fusion of Roman, Gothic, Byzantine, and Baroque architectures. The complex carvings on the chapel's facade is considered to be the most distinct cemetery relief which can only be found in Cabatuan. Furthermore, this cemetery's neatness and organization is famous throughout the region.
And from philippineheritage.com:
Built of gray stone, the Cabatuan Cemetery was built by Fr. Juan Porras. The cemetery was blessed on 4 February 1894. Like Janiuay’s cemetery completed around the same time as Cabatuan’s; this cemetery is also built on a rise and approached through a flight of stairs. Its perimeter is surrounded by a fence of stone and wrought iron; the cemetery also has an octagonal mortuary chapel. The plan may be similar but the style is different. Here Classical and Romanesque elements dominate from the arch entrance of the main gate and its semicircular pediment, the use of arches for windows and door and even the arch shape repeated in the grille work. Baroque touches are evident in the rosettes decorating the gate and the mortuary chapel and the vase finials of the mortuary. Like Janiuay, Cabatuan has lost its dome shaped roof replaced by a flat cement roof. (Panublion)
Too bad they won’t allow me to further explore the place, so we just had some fun around the magnificent gate
Boo!
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It could have been exciting to explore more behind these mysterious wrought irons.  Talk to the creatures who stay there if possible (LOL).  But as I have mentioned this is just a side trip.  We have yet to explore three towns and its churches.  I’ll be sharing with you this road trip on another post.

The road trip that we were able to do after chasing the car that drove by itself!  Awooo…

Road Trip to San Mateo Isabela

By that I am referring to San Mateo Isabela, Region 2, Philippines, Asia.

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I could say that this is the longest road trip I’ve been to so far.  Before this it was Baguio.  When we passed by Nueva Ecija it dawned on me that it is farther than Nueva Vizcaya!  Hey! laugh at me if you wish!  I’m not a Google map lover! I’d rather read blogs than tire my eyes looking at maps.  And for me any place in the Philippines that has “Nueva” is one among the farthest (now lol at myself).

Well according to genius search sites, the actual distance of  San Mateo Isabela from Manila is 263 kilometers.  You can check more details about road trip to this province through search sites but I can share to you right now what I actually experienced.  Tag along with me as I share our exciting (and a bit scary) road trip.
  • The photos are taken on the way back to Manila.  I was not able to take photos on the way to Isabela because it was a night trip.  We left Manila by 3:00PM and we reached our destination at 2:00AM. 
  • All photos were taken while I’m aboard a speeding vehicle.  We don’t have time to wander around.  Our stop over are mostly for “nature call” and quick eats on past food and gasoline stations.
  • We were warned that it would be an eight hour drive but ours actually took eleven hours on the way to Isabela.  Maybe because we took the Bulacan route as we were instructed to do that.  The trip back is shorter by two hours because we took the Subic-Clark-Tarlac-Expressway (SCTEX).
  • the unwanted convoy
    the unwanted convoy
  • Most vehicles along the road are heavy trucks, huge vans, bus, tankers and the likes.  Since Isabela is an agricultural land, overloaded trucks carrying harvests and fertilizers are common along the highway.
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the road monsters
  • Traversing through this rough road with sharp curves along with these caterpillar-like vehicles is the real thriller.  One wrong turn and you’re off down the cliff and ravines.
  • A huge portion of the Maharlika Road is under construction. There was a point that one side of the traffic would wait alternately for the other side to pass by.  We were unfortunate to be on the waiting side both back and forth ways. The night trip was bit scary during the waiting time.  Imagine that we were inside our non-moving vehicle with all darkness around us except for the headlights of huge vehicles passing by the other side and a few construction people managing the traffic.  We are all unfamiliar with the place.
  • During the night travel also, we passed by a dead man on top of his motorcycle. We’re not sure if it was a vehicular accident or a murder incident.  The scene is very recent because the blood is still oozing from the man’s head as we passed by.  There were few people around but no one’s touching the body, they are probably waiting for the police.  I dared not take photos of the scene.
the extra challenge road
the EXTRA CHALLENGE road
  • The only consolation about this long trip are the breath taking views of nature.  Mountains ranges, streams and fields are soothing both for the eyes and soul.
  • There were times that I wondered why my mobile phone is detecting wi-fi access while passing by between mountains.  Later I realized the wi-fi signal are coming from commercial buses servicing the area. LOL.
  • the breathtaking views
    the breathtaking views
  • There are quite a lot of beautifully built houses along the highway.  Far more beautiful than these two in the photo but I failed to catch them in my camera because we're travelling in maximum speed.
  • Most houses, even the ordinary-built ones  have satellite dish installed on their roofs, marked with Cignal TV.  I guess that is how they receive TV broadcast.
  • There are quite a number of Iglesia Ni Cristo and United Methodist churches built in every few hundred yards. I surmised these two are the dominant religion in these areas.
magnificent houses

And for the reason why we had this trip? Now this is the sad part.  The mother of one of my best friend died.  We went there to pay our last respect. 

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my ever dearest BFF

And that is a far more sadder thing than me not finding a scarecrow.

Sunday Poem and Photograph: Where Have All The Scarecrows Gone

I've traveled some hundred miles tagged along with friendship bond,
from congested city roads to haven of green lands.

I passed through mountain ranges, hills and streams,
and stretch of wild forests envisioned in greenery dreams.

I let my sight bathe in nature's breathtaking beauty, 
while searching for one familiar figure in a "hoodie". 

Through hectares and acres of green lands and rice fields, 
I'm searching for that figure that my kid's mind dreaded then later giggled.

My eyes searched and searched but failed to find one,
where have all the SCARECROWS gone?

©2012 By: Balut Manila

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photo taken from a speeding SUV along Maharlika Highway in Nueva Vizcaya on a back-to-the-city road trip from Isabela

Liebster Blog

Hello October!

On with my "zero back tag" campaign I am complying to one unique award that I received for the first time!
Liebster is a German word that means “dearest” or “favorite”.  Other meaning may include sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved, lovely, kinda, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome.   
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The award recognizes new and upcoming bloggers with less than 200 followers (or friends) who deserve recognition and support for their contribution in the blogosphere.

THANK YOU Joan of 26 with 4 Kids for this award!  I really appreciate it knowing I'm one among your "dearest".  And as stated in your blog that in order to accept this prestigious award, one must abide by the list of rules which are:

  • Each person must list 11 things about themselves.
  • Answer the 11 questions that the tagger has set for you PLUS you must create 11 questions of your own for the 11 people you will nominate with this award.
  • Choose up to 11 bloggers linking them to your post.
  • Go to their page and inform them of the nomination
  • Absolutely NO tags back. Remember to ONLY tag bloggers with less than 200 followers.
Here we go!
  • The elaborated 11 things about myself can be found here.
  • My answers to Joan’s questions::
    1. What is your greatest achievement so far?
      I’m just a simple gal so I don’t have an achievement that I can consider as “greatest”, but some are just simply great.
    2. How do you spend your free time?
      Blogging. 
    3. To date, what has been your greatest disappointment in life?
      No “greatest disappointment” so far but there were disappointments.
    4. If you could start all over in life, would you change anything?
      No.
    5. What are the best five words that would describe you?
      Reliable. Sincere. Hardworking. Sensitive and Frank.
    6. Cakes or rice cakes?
      Cakes
    7. What is your most favorite thing about yourself?
      ”Favorite thing about myself” is sort of wide.  There are lots of them and it’s kinda hard to pick one.
    8. To be afraid or to be liked?
      Both doesn’t matter.
    9. What makes you smile?
      Them!
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    10. What do you want for Christmas?
      World peace! But to be more realistic, a new laptop will do : =)
    11. And what is your 2013 New Year’s Resolution
      Not to make any more New Year’s resolution.

  • Let me just especially mention that some bloggers among my list are already tagged with this award so I will understand if you will not reply to this tag.  I included you among my tag list because you are all “dearest” to me.  I could have added some more but some bloggers in my mind have more than 200 followers.
    So the award goes to!.
      1. Gracie of Gracie's Network
      2. Joy of  Joy's Notepad
      3. Mhie of Travelentz
      4. Rona of Rona's Home Blog
      5. KM of More Than Sexy
      6. Rovie The Pinoy Family Man
      7. Lea of Travel Quest
      8. Joanne of Joanne's Blog
      9. Lucky Vixen of The Lucky Vixen
      10. CheekeGirl of Sound of Life
      11. Mayet of  Missus Bounty Basket
And since this award is about blogging, my 11 questions will be all about blogging.  I will understand if you can’t make a blog entry for this but it would make me “big time happy” if you will answer these questions through the comment form below.
  1. Why do you blog?
  2. What is your most memorable blog post. Please include a link.
  3. What blog site is your most favorite aside from mine?
  4. Who is your favorite blogger aside from me?
  5. Which blog design you like most aside from mine?
  6. Blogger or Wordpress?
  7. Are you happy with your blog right now?
  8. On a scale of 1 to 10 being 10 as the highest, how will you rate your own blog? 
  9. What positive contribution your blog can share to the blogosphere?
  10. What unique feature your blog has versus other blogs?
  11. What can you say about my blog?
C’mon, make the blogosphere happier and spread this award! Good luck to y’all my dearest!

SPAMMERS NO SPAMMING!

No CLICKABLE LINKS PLEASE.
A single link is okay as long it says something about your comment or related to my posts. Apart from that I'm sorry I need to delete your links. THANKS!
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