M o u n t a i n F a b r i c

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As the battered
wheels climb thousands
more feet above
the unending sea,
my mummed heart
undresses slowly.

My nakedness
embraces the
soft mountain fabric
made by murmurs of
the wind and leaves
of the giant
green guardians of
the endless Himalayas.

I am home.

02.13.2018
©2018 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via my dearest Shubhodeep Roy

In response to dVerse Quadrille #50 using the word “murmur”. This is inspired by my recent trip in India which touched my soul in a different level. 🙂 You can read more about it here.
dverse

#IndianInsights No. 1

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Hello, everyone! I’ve been out and about for some good reasons. Work. Life. Birthday. and. Travel. Before my birthday month ended, I embarked into a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. A solo trip to India, my first out-of-the-country alone! And I would like to share with you my learnings and realizations via #IndianInsights series. I hope you’ll enjoy reading this, guys!

#IndianInsights No. 1: Bring an open mind. Leave beliefs behind.

Whenever I mention my India trip, people will warn me about two things aside from rape: dirt and stink. The basis? Shared personal anecdotes and travel videos.

Dirt is fine. Manila isn’t as clean as Singapore. But stink is a different story. So I flew ready with Vicks inhaler and a little bottle of oil from my former bossy. Better be ready than sorry. 😁

The moment I got in the plane from Kuala Lumpur to Kolkata, I braced myself and started sniffing (which I’m so good at). They said the flight will be a nice introduction to India’s smell. Thankfully, there is none. Yet.

When my plane landed, when I came out of the airport, when I got in a taxi, when I entered the train which will take me from Kolkata to NJP, my sniffing was in full mode. My hand, ready to grab the oil anytime. To my surprise, a single drop wasn’t necessary.

Yes, Kolkata is not so clean, but it isn’t stinky as it is believed to be.

There is nothing wrong in coming ready. In believing stories. In researching about a new place. But I’ve learned an open mind is more than essential. You’ll never know how a country, a place, a human heart can surprise you.

Like how I thought I can only see a cherry blossom tree in Japan and in South Korea. Then I stumbled upon this lone Himalayan cherry blossom. (Some research says cherry blossoms are originally from the Himalayas. 😊)

What a beautiful surprise, isn’t it? 😊

Crossing Continents

we agreed to
dig and dig,
down under where
the worms and seeds
sleep and sleep.

for at the middle
of this continental-crossing
tunnel,
we promise to
fin’lly meet.

let’s say pardon
to the roots our
shovels will
step on.

let’s say bye
to the above earth
we’ll forget as we
move on.

for we will meet
underground,
beyond borders
of the map.

for we will live
underground
away from hate,
yes, towards love.

05.24.2017
©2017 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Unsplash

In response to Underground by paul scribbles.
Bring me a poem from your underground travels and haul it back to the surface for us all to read. Happy writing.
dverse

Finale: Exploring Ilocos Sur

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This is the last part of our joyride, so let me take you to Ilocos Sur for one last time! 🙂

NOTE: First five parts are here, here here, herehere and here!

Buckle up for our final ride!!! ❤


 

It was the warm sun who wake us up on our Ilocandia 2015’s last day! After two days of rain, God has finally give us the sun!

And sun means… swimming! 😀 (Thankfully our lovely hotel has a small pool!

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After the dip, we fin’lly went out, checked out, and explore…

The Old City called Vigan in Daylight!

FYI: Vigan City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in that it is one of the fewHispanictowns left in the Philippines where its structures remained intact, and is well known for itscobblestone streets and a unique architecture that fuses Philippine and Oriental building designs and construction, with colonial European architecture. In May 2015, Vigan City was officially recognized as one of the New7Wonders Cities together withBeirut, Doha,Durban, Havana, Kuala Lumpur, and La Paz.[4]

It was indeed beauty beyond words! ❤

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We also tasted the famous Vigan empanada!

FYI: The Vigan empanada is much in keeping with the Vigan people’s love for vegetables in their cuisine. It is similar to a thin taco that is fried to a crisp, with vegetable and meat filling. Rice flour is used for making the crust or the shell. The galapong or rice flour dough is made a day before it is used. Atchuete or orange food color, salt and oil are mixed into the rice though. The dough mixture is then kneaded as thinly as possible on a banana leaf (wax paper is a good substitute). Vigan empanada’s vegetable filling is made up of green papaya that is grated, toge or mung bean sprouts, monggo or mung bean and shredded carrots. Its meat filing consist of whole egg and skinless Vigan longganisa.

After buying souvenirs and pasalubongs, we then proceed to a place to eat called…

The Hidden Garden

There are some beautiful flowers and plants but our main concern is really… to eat. 😀 Soooo…

(L) Bagnet – Bagnet, to put it simply, is crispy fried pork belly, a cross between Chicharon and Lechon Kawali, where the lean meat is crispy but not dry and the pork skin with all the pork fat is fried to a crisp. It is usually served with a dipping sauce of Fish Paste (Bagoong Isda) with chopped red or white onion, tomatoes and green onions.

(R) Tapa Tagalog – Tapa is dried or cured beef, mutton or venison, although other meat or even fishmay be used. Filipinos prepare tapa by using thin slices of meat and curing these with salt and spices as a preservation method.

Tapa is often cooked fried or grilled. When served with fried rice and fried egg, it is known as tapsilog (a portmanteau of the Filipino words tapa, sinangag and itlog[egg]). It sometimes comes with atchara (pickled papaya strips) or sliced tomatoes as side dish. Vinegar or ketchup is usually used as a condiment.

After the late lunch, we then proceed to our penultimate stop…

The Safari

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FYI: The Baluarte or fortress is a must-see attraction for first time visitors, and even for those who have visited Vigan before. It has a mini zoo with animals from other countries and others endemic to the Philippines. It is a private collection and is therefore continuously being improved.

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There are indeed animals that we saw for the first time. 🙂 There is also a Safari Gallery with a lot of mummified animals inside. (Which for me is really creepy!)

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After Baluarte, we also went to…

The Pottery

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FYI: Pagburnayan Jar Making is one of the famous and must see attraction in Ilocos Sur. It is located in Brgy. Pagburnayan Vigan. Pagburnayan is a place where they used the old and authentic methods in pottery. The root word “burnay” is an earthenware jar crafted by potter’s hands with the aid of a potter’s wheel. It uses fine sand (anay) as a tempering material and fired at a high temperature in a huge brick-and-clay ground kiln that make it is harder and more durable than other terra cotta. The local bagoong(fish sauce), sugarcane vinegar, and basi wine would not taste as good as if not fermented in burnay jars.

We’re not able to take photos as we are actually rushing to go home already. (The travel is roughly 12 hours. :D)

Sooo… I guess that was it! ❤

Thank you for coming along with my journey! 🙂

It’s time to go home! Till my next adventure!

Lots of love,

Rosemawrites ❤

Hopeful Desires

The starting point of all achievement is desire. – Napoleon Hill


I started the year with my resolutions, and little by little I hope to change them into realizations.

ICMYI, here are some of my plans I posted last time, and more desires inspired by  Laduchessederat‘s The Great Book of Lists.

READER & WRITER PLANS

1. To (HOPEFULLY) read 50 books this year.

I am ashamed that I was not able to finish the PopSugar 2015 Reading Challenge. 😦 I am two books away from wrapping it up with flying colors… but… I failed.

2. To read more of local books proudly written by Filipinos!

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Patriotic as it may seem, I plan to give local writers a try! It’s because out of 159 reads, only 2 are locals. It’s a shame!

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3. To try new authors!

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I’ve done that last year and it proved to be exciting! I have stumbled to new found gems and I hope to discover more gems this year! Again, any recommendations?

4. To write book reviews, more book reviews!

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It is a bit of a shame that I have so few reviews here. The writer-part of A Reading Writer is in full force last year but the reader-part isn’t. So I hope to put a balance on it.

PERSONAL PLANS

1. To… lose weight.

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Hopefully!

2. To travel once more!

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Preferably in a sandbar beach like Kalanggaman Island in Leyte!

3. To remain happy and healthy with my soulmates, my dearest, and my family. 🙂

Header photo credit: Clark


The Great Book of Lists by La duchesse d’Erat

Chapter 1.3 – The List of Your Desires

Thank you for the prompt, Laduchessederat!

~

Exploring Ilocos Norte: Part 2

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Let me take you to a joyride. Let’s discover the beauty of Ilocos Norte!

Last week, I posted Part 1 of Ilocos Norte escapade!  The beginning of the more-than-one-year-in-planning adventure was also posted already!

So hop on and let’s continue the ride! 😀

The Ark

After almost 12 hours of road trip! We finally arrived to Pagudpud! 😀

FYI: Pagudpud is a fourth class municipality and a coastal resort town of Ilocos Norteprovince, in the northern Ilocos Region of the Philippines. According to the 2010 census, Pagudpud has a population of 21,877 people.[3] It is the northernmost settlement on Luzon Island and a popular tourist destination because of its resorts and beaches.

And our first stop is…

The Falls

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It was raining hard when we arrived in Kabigan Falls but we brave the rain and the one-hour trek to see the majestic Kabigan Falls!

FYI: Kabigan Falls in Barangay Baloi, Pagudpud is a 120-feet high falls with a base of natural cool pool. Tucked inside a forest of rich greens, the more-than-a-kilometre trek is surely an adventure worth trying.

Because it was raining, we rented a 20-peso-worth of raincoat!

The trek was muddy, tiring and a bit slippery, but the view is indeed breathtaking!

And then… we reached the falls! 😀

After we got back to our van, we had a yummy lunch but we fail to take photos! (Maybe the trek really made us hungry! :D)

And then… while the rain is getting really really hard, we take a quick peak to the famous…

The Viaduct

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FYI: The Patapat Viaduct is a viaduct at the municipality of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, acoastal resort town on the northernmost tip ofLuzon Island in the Philippines.

The bridge is elevated 31 meters over sea level. It is a concrete coastal bridge 1.3 km long and connects the Maharlika Highway from Laoag, Ilocos Norte to the Cagayan Valley Region. It rises along the town’s coastal mountains, which is the starting point of the Cordillera Mountain Range that snakes through Northern Luzon. It is the 4th longest bridge in the Philippines.

The viaduct is truly a beauty to behold. But we’re not able to cherish it ’cause the rains really hard. 😦

Our only photo is…

More travel stories and photos next week!

I hope you’re enjoying the ride?

~

©2015 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.

Photo credit: ALL photos are MINE except stated otherwise.

Suitcase

“Can I borrow your suitcase,” I asked my auntie.

“Yes, sure, wait. I’ll get it.”

I waited, and I was delighted to see a floral, pink luggage. I am not a lover of pink but this one’s just cute.

“I have two luggage but I have given the other one to your uncle’s sister,” auntie said.

“It’s okay.”

“If I knew you’ll be needing this, I would have given it to you.”

I just smiled, because that hit me hard.

Looking back, buying or having a suitcase is something I have not dreamed of.

Why?

It’s because travelling is like a far-flung mystical village for me, when I was young. It seems true, but it seems imaginary, too.

Looking back, as the eldest among six children, travelling is just beyond my comprehension. My parents hardly make ends meet.

Our official menu everyday are either egg, instant noodles, or hotdog. Lucky us when Tatay (father) caught big fishes.

I had two scholarships since elementary, so I can study. I have to work whenever I am free; weekends, vacations, holidays, since I was, maybe, ten.

Study, work, help parents. That is how I see life back then.

Looking back, a suitcase isn’t something I need or dreamed of.

But now, I need one.

Because I am about to embark on a journey that was before a mystery and now a reality.

©2015 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.

Photo credit: Ever So Lovely


DAY 10 of 50 Days of Gratefulness

Today I am grateful that I can now travel. 🙂

I’ve said why in this post and yes, I consider this a big blessing. An unconscious dream coming true.

I am physically not around starting today. I am technically at the tip of my beautiful country, Philippines.

Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

And I am surely seeing this, now.

Pagudpud Windmills

I will miss everyone!

Ciao!

~