Knock on Wood


I went mountain climbing in Batangas last week, September 20. I don’t wanna say the name of the mountain yet until after I blogged about it (which is taking forever because I still have two places to blog about before that).

I was wearing this Penshoppe shorts I always wear when I travel, and short-sleeved t-shirt, which allowed the mosquitoes to bite freely into my arms and legs.

I actually had with me a bottle of OFF! but I forgot to apply it on my exposed skin before the climb. I only got aware of mosquitoes when we made a stop and saw them biting on my legs. And these were big ones. With white stripes on them. Ack! They were the dengue-carrying ones!

I know it’s kinda late but I frantically applied the mosquito repellant during that stop, and all the while fearing I have already contacted dengue.
rapelling while being bitten by mosquitoes
When I got home that night, the first thing I did was to search the net about dengue. From, I found this:

The virus is contracted from the bite of a striped Aedes aegypti mosquito that has previously bitten an infected person. The mosquito flourishes during rainy seasons but can breed in water-filled flower pots, plastic bags, and cans year-round. One mosquito bite can inflict the disease.

The virus is not contagious and cannot be spread directly from person to person. There must be a person-to-mosquito-to-another-person pathway.


After being bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus, the incubation period ranges from three to 15 (usually five to eight) days before the signs and symptoms of dengue appear. Dengue starts with chills, headache, pain upon moving the eyes, and low backache. Painful aching in the legs and joints occurs during the first hours of illness. The temperature rises quickly as high as 104 F (40 C), with relative low heart rate (bradycardia) and low blood pressure (hypotension). The eyes become reddened. A flushing or pale pink rash comes over the face and then disappears. The glands (lymph nodes) in the neck and groin are often swollen.

Today’s the eighth day since I went to that mountain. I’m (almost) past that usually five to eight period. But I still have seven more days to wait before I can rest my worries.

I had a light headache yesterday. You know that feeling of your head and eyes being heavy. But I’m without fever. Luckily.

I’m going to another mountain this Sunday, and it’s the thirteenth day since I was bitten by those big mosquitoes. But thirteenth day, I guess I would be pretty out of it by then. Hopefully.

And I guess it should be written in my itinerary to apply OFF! before starting the climb, and on each and every stop.

I’m also gonna use leggings and arm bands this time.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1


Who isn’t a fan of Harry Potter? Raise your hand.

Part 1 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is showing November 19th. And for someone who hasn’t read the Deathly Hallows yet, I really wanna be surprised.

Can’t wait.

Kamay ni Hesus Healing Center


Posting on Facebook where you’re going proves helpful if you’re looking for a travel buddy. You don’t really have to say you need a company, they’ll ask to come with you.

In my case, I actually planned on going to Lucban alone. I just wanted to see Kamay ni Hesus Healing Center in Brgy. Tinamnan, and from what I have read, it’s a worry-free destination even if you’re alone.

But a friend named Rachel – who used to be a neighbor - saw the post and wanted to go. Why not? I love going to places alone but it’s always fun to have a friend for company.

So we met at the bus terminal in Alabang at 5:30 AM last September 12th. She had this Deuter daypack on her back and a Canon G10 slung on her neck. So posh. A far-cry from the Sandugo backpack and Kodak C813. LoL!

Anyway, our bus left Alabang at exactly 6 AM and arrived at Lucena Grand Terminal exactly 9 AM. The trip could have been shorter if not for the stops Manong Konduktor demanded to look at merchandise that fancied his eyes in the shops along the road of Sariaya, Quezon. Three times. Not to mention the slow downs everytime they’d pass a bunch of friends killing that early Sunday morning on waiting sheds. And they seemed to have as many friends as my Facebook account. (Okay, that’s exaggeration but it really felt like eternity waiting for the driver to finish talking to his friends and speed up.)

The jeepney ride to grotto (that’s Via Dolorosa grotto slash Kamay ni Hesus Healing Center) took just a little more than an hour. I was expecting more people than what we arrived to, actually, because of the internet articles that say the place is always crowded on weekends. The church was full and there were plastic chairs outside to accommodate churchgoers but it’s not really crowded as what was initially imagined. I’m kinda sure, though, that Holy Week attracts more people to this place so I think it’s not a good idea to go during Semana Santa, unless you have a vow or something.

Garden of Eden, entrance to the hill

You have to go find the Garden of Eden if you wanna go up the hill. And, of course, the garden won’t be complete if there’s no Adam and Eve:

Adam and Eve

Anyway, the hill looks high and the stairs look endless in pictures but it’s really not. I’m sure even my 70-year-old nanay would be able to climb to the top twice in a row.

Last Supper

The statues are so colorful it’s like being in a kids’ playground. They don’t have the church-ey quality of being carefully sculptured to look so holy. And perhaps it’s also the color palette that gives the playground feel. After all, it’s a favorite spot for field-trips of elementary and high school students. Oh, wait! My niece had her field trip here when she’s already in third year college in Adamson.

Statue of the Ascending Christ, third largest Jesus Christ statue in the world

The statue of the Ascending Christ at the top of the hill was impressive in its size. I’ve read somewhere that it’s the third largest statue of Christ around the world with its height of 50 feet.

Signs like “Bawal Mag-Date Dito,” “Bawal Kumain Dito,” and “No Smoking” can be seen at the little area behind the big statue. There were so many bawal signs that I thought the only thing missing was “Bawal Pumunta Dito.” (Now that would summarize all those bawal signs up.)

An hour was all it took for us to finish touring the place. And it’s not even lunch time when we found ourselves outside the gates of Kamay ni Hesus. Good thing Rachel was the kind of adventurous woman who’s always willing to go somewhere else that’s not part of the original plan. And where else we went that Sunday? Now that’s another story.

Check out my other pics of Kamay ni Hesus Healing Center here.

How to get to Kamay ni Hesus Healing Center:

* Ride a Lucena-bound bus and drop off at the Lucena Grand Terminal (fare for a non-aircon bus from Alabang is Php118.00).

* In the same terminal, ride a Lucban-bound jeepney and ask to be dropped off at the grotto (fare is Php30.00).

(transportation costs sited are as of September 12, 2010)
view from the top

Venus Raj’s Gay Fans on KFC Shakin’ Shots TVC


Ayan. Naunahan na si Venus Raj magkaroon ng TVC.

Congrats to Veejay Floresca, Martin Bautista, Lex Librea and Aleq Africa – the four Filipinos who filmed themselves while watching the Miss Universe 2010 pageant – for being featured in this KFC Shakin’ Shots TVC.

I’m sure they did the We Love Maria Venus Raj video just for fun. And after just some time, they cannot only brag about the over 2.5 million YouTube views, but also the left and right interviews plus this KFC commercial as well.


The Vampire Diaries Season 2 Has Begun!


Homaygad. Why was I not informed? LoL!

It premiered last September 9 so they’re an episode or two into the season already. Time to torrent.

Here’s the teaser:

So TVD, GG, Glee… Oh lord.

Easy A


I really hope they’re showing this here. I searched and they don’t have “Easy A” in their upcoming movies list.

How can a Gossip Girl fan miss this movie?

Penn Badgley looks great:

easy a2 easy a3 easy a

And I love the casting:
easy a4


The trailer:

How can you miss this?

Oh well, there’s always the torrents if it’s not showing here.

It’s gonna be shown in The Third World on November 10.

So Mt. Banahaw is Not Totally Closed


View of Mt. Banahaw from Taytay Falls

And I thought Mt. Banahaw is closed!

Read this with the sad news of a massacre.

Then read the advisory regarding the closure:

Mount Banahaw still closed to Lenten pilgrims–DENR exec
By Delfin Mallari Jr.
Inquirer Southern Luzon
First Posted 07:14:00 03/27/2010
Filed Under: Belief (Faith), Customs & Traditions, Religions, Environmental Issues

LUCENA CITY – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has announced that the mystical Mt. Banahaw will remain closed to religious pilgrims and mountaineers this coming Holy Week.

“It [Mount Banahaw] has been abused for decades. Let’s allow the mountain to heal,” Nilo Tamoria, DENR Region 4-A [Calabarzon] executive director, said in a statement Friday.

To many, Mt. Banahaw is inhabited by heavenly spirits. Many believers trek its slopes in hopes of experiencing something divine, particularly during the Lenten season.

“While we recognize that Mount Banahaw is widely regarded as a sacred place, the supposedly holy, sacred mountain has not been accorded due respect and has not been spared from human exploitation,” Tamoria lamented.

In the summer of 2004, several days before the Holy Week, the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB), sealed off with barbed wires several trails leading to certain areas in the bosom of Banahaw to start the five-year rehabilitation program that would resurrect the mountain's natural resources.

Aside from slash-and-burn farming that left scars on the mountain’s surface, modern pilgrims and urban-based nature trippers vandalized tis inherent beauty by littering the place with trash.

After the restriction period ended, the mountain has shown signs of restoring endemic lives as luxuriant wildlife fauna and flora species began to flourish again, including “rafflesia,” considered the world’s biggest flower.

The DENR also noted the return of cascading waters in several mountain falls and the re-growth of thick vegetation.

In March last year, the PAMB decided to seal off the mountain for three more years to sustain its rehabilitation.

Tamoria said park rangers and composite teams formed by the PAMB would ensure that entry points to Mount Banahaw would be closed and strictly monitored, particularly trails going to the “Cristalino Falls”, “Durungawan”, “Tatlong Tangke” to “Kinabuhayan”, popular spots in the mountain facing Dolores, Quezon.

He also said that entry points from Sariaya town, particularly in the villages of Bugon, Puesto ng Pagbuga, Dulong Ilaya, Concepcion Pinagbakuran and Banahaw would likewise be closed and monitored.
In Dec. 11, 2009, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed RA 9847, declaring Mt. Banahaw and adjacent Mt. San Cristobal as protected areas that would institutionalize and ensure the protection of both mountains.
Quezon Representative Proceso Alcala, who authored the law, said the measure featured a sustainable conservation and management system for the rich biodiversity found in the two mountains that would boost their eco-tourism potentials, the rich cultural and religious heritage found in its periphery.

Sally Pangan, DENR park superintendent for Mt. Banahaw, disclosed that they had been receiving reports that overzealous pilgrims and urban trekkers had been trying to reach the still unauthorized sites atop the mountain through various entry points in Dolores and Sariaya towns.

“Maybe, they [pilgrims and mountaineers] were just curious to see for themselves the glorious transformation of the mountain from its former despoiled condition. The changes are really awesome but the public still have to bear with us. This is not yet the time,” Pangan said.
Pangan said they would put up huge tarpaulins photos to show the impressive improvement of the mountain after its closure.

“We also want to show the public where the collected fund was being spent,” she said.

The government has been collecting P20 entrance fee for every mountain visitors for the past several years.

However, Pangan lamented that government warning signs and advisories in strategic areas of the mystical Mount Banahaw were being vandalized and stolen.

“We have to put up new signs again. Hopefully, it will last until the next Lenten season,” Pangan said.

Pangan suspected that irresponsible mountain trekkers and religious pilgrims were behind the lost and destruction of the DENR signs and advisories made of plywood and tarpaulins.

“Maybe they are protesting with the continuous closure of the mountain. But its continuous closure is for the benefit of Banahaw. The mountain needs some more time to fully heal the wounds caused by man’s irresponsibility’s in the past,” she explained.

She reminded the pilgrims and mountaineers that they could only go to as far as the lawfully open spots in Banahaw just like what they had been doing for the past six years.

With the devastating effects of El Niño, two recent incidents of forest fires razed an estimated 180 hectares of grassland and forest areas in Mt. San Cristobal.

The DENR will establish and install fire detection systems and look out towers to detect any tell-tale signs of forest fires, Pangan said.

Beat That


I have nothing against the Chinese, really. Even when they hanged Flor Contemplacion in mid-90s, I know it’s because their law requires death penalty for what she did. Even if OFWs in Hong Kong jump out the window to escape maltreatment, I understand that anyone in any part of the world is capable of maltreating their maids, not just the Chinese.


So really, I have nothing against the Chinese. I am even fond of them, more so when somebody gave me the link to this video. Watch and you’ll love them even more.


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