29 years
of
Community Service
MUNTING NAYON
News Magazine
Operated by couple Eddie Flores and Orquidia Valenzuela
News and Views of the
Filipino Community Worldwide
HOME AWAY FROM HOME (Part 1)



By Rene Calalang
Scarborough-Ontario
September 7, 2014

 
 


Are you one of the many whom I will call lost in the shuffle, the type of person who fails to appreciate and always finding faults on what he has, only to find out later that he is wrong? He finds beauty of what others have, only to find out that he has a Rolls Royce in his backyard.

Well, if you are, you are not alone, as a great number of people especially those who come from a poor country and migrated to a progressive country, would, for some personal reasons, do not want to look back.

He too, would have nothing good to say about the country he left behind. He would also blame others for his misfortune.

Well, if you are, the time to change that attitude is now, for a person, no matter where he comes from, has a story to tell; and any country, has always a history to share.

Fortunately, I am not one of those, as this article is about me looking back and rediscovering my past.

This is about me catching up with what I ignored, because it was right there, in my backyard.

This is about me, who in the later part of my life, who, with means now available, can now rediscover the country, which, for economic reason, I left behind; but the country I still call “HOME AWAY FROM HOME.”

Travelling in many other parts of the world would make my desire even more ardent. And as I witness many historical documents and monuments, read and tried to understand their history, only did I realize that there is so much I do not know about my own native country and history.

As such, the exploration began a few years ago during my many Balikbayan visits. It would cover only the events, the people, the monuments and the sceneries that would make my subject significant and historical. I will also give my opinion on their relevance/irrelevance in today’s world.

MY starting point was the beautiful province of Palawan, an archipelago of 1780 islands, home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The Tubbataha Reef and the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, commonly known as the Puerto Princesa Underground River, and the Last Frontier of the Philippines Eco System

As this was the latest place I visited and it only happened last February 2014, hence, the memories were still very fresh in my mind. It also meant; I will do less reading to supplement my essay.

THE TRIP started from Terminal 3 in Paranaque aboard a PAL EXPRESS Airbus plane. After approximately an hour on the air we landed at the Puerto Princesa Airport.

Since it was a domestic flight, we don’t have to go through Immigration and Custom. Hence, getting out of the Palawan airport was fast.

Pulling our wheeled luggage, we exited the front gate of the airport. There, we were met by a waiting tour representative who was carrying a placard indicating the name of the travel agency where we bought our tour package.

We approached him, introduced ourselves and showed him our tour documents.

He smiled and offered his hands. We shook hands, and in a warm voice, he said, “Welcome to Palawan.”

He led us to the waiting minivan, opened its back door, and helped us load our luggage.

He then opened the side door of the van for us to enter.

We boarded the van and the driver closed the side door of the van.

“Welcome to Palawan,” he again politely welcomed us after we were all seated and the van started to move.

“Thank you,” we said, almost in unison.

“Impressive,” I said upon seeing the many huge acacia trees, whose many vines were wrapped around their trunks and whose branches, twigs and leaves overlapping each other thus providing shades on the streets.

“Nice weather,” my friend Marc commented knowing fully well that February was probably the coolest month of the year.

“Enjoy it,” the driver said in a voice as if reminding us that warmer weather is coming.

After about fifteen minute drive, we reached Aziza Paradise Hotel, our temporary home for the next four days.

The driver unloaded our luggage and we gave the driver/tour representative a generous tip.

Two porters came rushing and without hesitation said, “Allow us to carry your luggage, Sir.”

We checked in and as expected, we were warmly greeted by the always smiling employees manning the reception desk.

Soon we were inside our respective rooms.

SINCE it was hardly 9:00 a.m., first day tour was a half day city tour, which for me was enjoyable but not as exciting as I thought it would be, for despite being a city, I anticipated a town like atmosphere.

What impressed me most was the cleanliness of the city and was without exception, for me, second to none. It was amazingly clean. It was clean because people and tourists alike followed the laws, and the government had the guts to implement the ordinance, which in one of our stops the sign says:

FIRST OFFENCE ----- --- -- P100.00
SECOND OFFENCE ---- - --- P500.00
THIRD OFFENCE -- -- -- --- 30 DAYS IMPRISONMENT

“What is the penalty for the fourth offence” I jokingly asked our tour guide while we were travelling.

Perhaps sensing what I had in my mind, she replied, “Will be fed to the crocodiles.”

Laughter.

“They do deserve that,” I said kidding.

In our front were tricycles of many colors used as public transport. These were not the smoke belching tricycles I used to know, but rather with little or no smoke at all coming from its exhaust.

“How come?” I asked the driver thinking he had more knowledge about engines.

“Simple, Sir,” he answered. “Tricycles here use four stroke engine rather than the two strokes where oil is mixed on gasoline for lubrication.”

I nodded my head in approval.

Half day tour would include a trip to Mitra Ranch, a visit to a Hopia Factory, which after tasting a few, I could honestly say that those were probably the most delicious hopia I ever tasted; hence, without hesitation, we ended up buying a few packages.

We also visited Saint Joseph Church, which again, did not excite me as I had seen many churches of enormous size and amazing architecture and decorations both here and in many places in Europe and North America.

We found one.

“How much is the complete set of that one,” my wife asked while pointing to the set.

The sales lady told us how much.

My wife looked at me and our eyes made contact. I nodded my head in approval.

“Let me check if we have some in stock.”

She went through the computer to check the inventory. “We have one set left,” she told us.

We bought it right away knowing that if we don’t, the lady besides us who had been listening to our conversation with the sales lady would grab it.

“Do you know that these place mats are sold in Canada, probably five times more expensive but with the designer label on it,” my wife told me on our way to the van.

I smiled. Now we knew why others make a lot of money – by just placing their label on some good product they buy so cheaply.

What can I say? As one lady said, “Some are smarter than others.”

This was the end of our half day tour.

Dinner at the hotel was formal and classy, with uniformed waiter serving us. And of course it would be mainly sea food dinner, particularly of fish called Lapu-lapu (Groper) and shrimps. For drinks, it would be fresh coconut juice taken directly from the coconut fruit. For dessert, we had the coconut fruit cut into halves and the soft meat scooped with a spoon.

TO BE CONTINUED

    Write a Comment
    Peny Capistrano
    Fri 12th September 2014
    Union City, CA
    Nice article...I will forward this to my friends especially my friend
    from Coron. Write more please, I am excited to remember more
    of of our experiences in Puerto Princesa..
     
    MoreA LAND TOUR OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA AND NEVADA - Part 1
    Rene Calalang

    It was a no brainer for me to decide that yes, I would be joining our next high school class...
    MoreA VERY SUCCESSFUL MISA DE GALLO in SCARBOROUGH
    Journalism Part II

    After the completion of the nine days novena through Koro Pilipino sponsored Simbang Gabi (Mass of Advent), the...
    MoreHOME AWAY FROM HOME (Part 5)
    Journalism Part II

    I THINK, having mentioned the “Twenty Women of Malolos,” even at a glance only, it is worth having a glimpse...
    MoreHOME AWAY FROM HOME (Part 4)
    Journalism Part II

    ONE of the place I explored before my trip to Palawan and during my many Balikbayan visits was the historical...
     
    MoreASCON meets new Cumberland Mayor
    Richard J Ford

    The Mayor of Cumberland Council, Greg Cummings met with the Officers and members of the Auburn Small Community Organisation Network Inc (ASCON) on the 15th of February 2018 to discuss various community concerns. Led by the current Chairperson Dr Cen Amores, the multicultural group presented ASCON’s many projects and activities for the benefit of the multicultural communities of Cumberland LGA....
    MoreCanadian Medical Mission to T’boli Tribes Successful Despite Mishaps and Martial Law Fears
    Edwin Cordero Mercurio

    Giving the gift of Love on Valentines Day with flowers and sending cards to our loved ones is one thing we always do every February 14.  However, bringing the gift of Love and Selfless Service to those in need in far flung communities of Mindanao is another. More so when the day falls on Ash Wednesday.
    More
     
    MoreAtalla inducts AGAPI officers, new members
    Evelyn A. Opilas

    Edmund Atalla, MP for Mt Druitt, swore in officers of AGAPI led by Dorothy del Villar and their new members...
    MoreSamahang Pilipino sa Holland (SPH) launches it’s first smashing Valentines Party 2018 !!!!
    Angel Axinto

    The day of the heart celebration is always the first party of the year.
     
    This year,...
    More‘No speak English’ not for Pinoys
    Evelyn A. Opilas

     “Evie, you speak Tagalog, right? Can you please speak with my client?” asked a colleague at one of the job...
    MoreREUNION OF LONG TIME FRIENDS
    Romeo Ayson Zetazate

    ...
    MoreCanada to participate again at the SM NBTC Championships in the Philippines
    Emar Sy

    Crossover Sports Canada once again secured a slot for Canada to participate at the 2018 SM NBTC National Championships on...
    MoreSTICHTING FDCD’s 16TH YEAR VALENTINE’s PARTY CELEBRATION
    Fe Heinen

    Dordrecht-February 10: The 16th wonderful year of the Stichting Filipino-Dutch Community Drechtsteden (FDCD) Valentine’s party was held last Saturday, February...
     
    More`CON AMOR’ FOUNDATION B0ARD MEMBERS VISIT PROJECTS IN PHILIPPINES
    By: Orquidia. Valenzuela,  as reported by Myrla Danao

    Businessman Jaap van Dijke, chairman and two board members, Myrla Danao and Dr. John Deen of Con Amor foundation in...
    MoreTHE CHILDREN IN DON MANUEL GK VILLAGE
    Orquidia Valenzuela Flores

    Sixty-three children from age three to six years, in the very poor community of Don Manuel village in Barangay...
    MoreHistory of the Filipino Community in the Netherlands
    Orquidia Flores-Valenzuela

    Every story has a beginning and our story begins when a Cavitena accompanied her aunt to sail to another continent....
    MoreArt Creations
    Vicente Collado Jr.

    Welcome!

    Many believe formal training is a prerequisite to quality in painting. Not a few will agree with me one can...
     
    Disclaimer

    Contents posted in this site, muntingnayon.com, are the sole responsibility of the writers and do not reflect the editorial position of or the writers' affiliation with this website, the website owner, the webmaster and Munting Nayon News Magazine.

    This site, muntingnayon.com, the website owner, the webmaster and Munting Nayon News Magazine do not knowingly publish false information and may not be held liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential or punitive damages arising for any reason whatsoever from this website or from any web link used in this site.