Tongue Twister from Jose Yparaguirre

Got this from my college classmate – Jose Yparaguirre. I am posting this because most of the time having “nosebleed” moments refer to situation when we have a difficult time with a foreign language.  Check out how well you can translate the paragraphs below:

“Ang kinabuhi nato sama sa usa ka basurahan. Sulod niini ang mga nagtapun-og ug gilangaw natong mga kagahapon. Adunay mga gum-os nga gugma, lata ug gi-ulod nga mga pagmahay, mga silopin sa kasilag ug mga botelya sa kasaypanan. Kun kini dili nimo ilaba, mamahimo kining BARA sa imong mga PANGANDOY.

Mao, balik-lantaw sa nangagi aron matugkad ang kinauyukan ug lintunganay niining tanan sa kasamtangang panahon aron ugma damlag makab-ot ang gihanduraw ning atong tanlag.

Higala, kinsay nag-ingon nga english lang ang maka -nosebleed”?

Good day!

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Walingwaling: from Bud to Full Bloom

Vanda sanderiana – that is what the folks at the Philippine Orchid Society and a lot of hobbyists call this orchid. But to people from Davao, Cotabato and Zamboanga, where this orchid is, we call it waling-waling. Before scientists propagated it in nurseries under laboratory conditions, waling-waling only grows as an epiphyte attached to dipterocarp forest trees.

Waling-waling produces beautiful flowers worthy of its description as the “Queen of Philippine Orchids”.  The species bloom in the Philippines from July to October, usually after experiencing close to a month of continuous downpour brought about by the monsoon.

Having a waling-waling in our garden and watching it grew from a small seedling to a full-grown plant is one my those things I  always wanted to do. I cannot afford the hobby when I was young. And I did not have time to do it when I was engaged in full-time corporate work. So when, I took the early retirement plunge, I finally had the chance to do it!

I bought the young plant (less than 4 inches tall) in 2005. I attached it to a driftwood and watched it grew to full size until it had its first spike four years later. So, for more than two weeks sometime in July to August 2009, I was watching the orchid develop from spike to bud to full bloom to the time its last petals fall. And I took snapshots of the waling-waling orchid from bud to full bloom.

Below was the first of the series of pictures I took. The flower bud had been there for more than a week. The spike started to come out around two weeks earlier. On 27 July 2009,  I took my first snapshot using a Canon Powershot S3 1S.

July 27


Over the next few days the buds started to open. Notice in the pictures below how the shape of the buds changes, starting from the lowermost portion up to the topmost until they are all extended and ready to open (pictures July 28 to July 31).

July 28
July 29


July 30
July 31


They were on their way to bloom by August 1  with the lowermost buds opening up first and working their way into the uppermost buds.

August 1


August 2


I was on out-of-town trip in the next three days, so I failed to take photos. When I came back, the buds were already fully opened. I spent the next week enjoying the grandeur of the waling-waling flowers until its fullest bloom.  i took snapshots until the petals started to wilt, but i am not posting those pictures here.

August 6
August 7


August 9


August 10
August 11


August 12

Being an amateur photographer, I did not get the best photo composition deserving of the waling-waling.  But I am happy with the thought that I had the patience to go back to the same spot almost every day for 3 weeks to observe and to take snapshots of the Queen of Orchids as it bloomed.

Should you want to see the series of pictures again watch the slideshow below. Just click the photo for the slide to move to the next one.













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Bangkok 101 by Emmanuel Roldan

Bangkok Tourism 101

DAVAO City — Lately I visited Bangkok, the “City of Life”.  It looks like Manila where the old and new cultures collide but with a different touch and ambiance of exotic Asia where Westerners are lured to discover.  It is indeed a city busting with life because it is the center of trade and commerce and a prime tourist destination in Asia.  Despite of the heated political climate obtaining in Thailand lately, where a regime is replaced by another through both violent and non-violent uprising just like our EDSA revolt,Bangkok is still a magnet for tourists.

I think Davao and Cagayan de Oro can learn much from Bangkok because  unlike Manila and Cebu, they have immense potential for tourism, infrastructure and industrial development.  I do not claim to be an expert in urban development. But I am a keen observer of things, people and situation so that I can share my observations to others who have the “K” and power to accomplish things.  The people from the University of the Philippines, Asian Institute of Management and Development Academy of  the Philippines, etc., must have such collective expertise to turn around our sleepy economy into a robust one if they can just learn to work together as a team.  Of course they cannot move without the political will of the government to keep this team going.

I arrived at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport on an evening flight from Manila in August 22. I had to attend a week-long regional workshop on engaging the UN Human Rights Council and the Universal Periodic Review at Intercontinental Hotel Bangkok sponsored by Save the Children Sweden. I would not delve much about the workshop but on what I observe there that makes the city a prime tourism destination in Asian region.  Here are some of the features of Bangkok that are interesting:

Suvarnabhumi International Airport (photo courtesy of

First is the airport. They say that first impression lasts. Air and sea ports are the first “line of sight” of any visitor. As a rule of thumb, they must be impressive to attract visitors to discover what lies behind the gold linings of the ports. Bangkok Airport may not be grand as the Hong Kong International or the Paris International which I also visited some years ago but definitely it’s one of the best in Asia.  Our NAIA pales in comparison with Suvarnabhumi in terms of its overall design and amenities.  Our Davao International Airport looks like a tiny wing of its multi-layered and multi-faceted airport. One can literally waste his time in the mess of boutiques and stores selling souvenirs and duty-free gift items. The airport also offers luxury restaurants, gyms, games area, internet stalls, clinics, chapels and prayer rooms.

Bangkok's Sky Train (photo by nicanor gabunada)

The second point of interest is the efficient railway system. Bangkok airport is connected to the center of the city by two railway airport links aside from the usual public taxi and airport limousine which are appropriate for those with big luggage but are quite expensive.  The traffic condition of Bangkok is terrible, to say the least, so travel organizers prefer the railway system for traffic-sensitive and budget conscious visitors.  One railway is the non-stop Airport Express from the airport to Makkasan station in the East and the City Line which is heading to the Phayathai station to the West.  It took me about 40 minutes to reach Phayathai for a fare of 40 Baht (around Php 60). From these stations you can transfer to the elevated Sky Train, also called the BTS to skirt the heavy traffic below and to proceed to any places in the city at no time at all.  Our traffic congestion in Manila, Cebu and eventually Davao will surely ease with such an efficient railway system.

The third point of interest is the lodging and function amenities like hotels and convention halls. Visitors come because they want ease, peace and fun. I was booked at Room 411 of Holiday Inn Bangkok which is just a stone throw away from the ravaging BTS railway but I could not hear any roar and thunder as it passed by.  The place was cozy yet homely, a great place to rest from all the day’s work and worry. Our workshop venue was at the Presidential I and II suites of the adjacent Intercontinental Hotel.  If you take pride of Marco Polo and Insular Waterfront as the best that Davao can give, you might change your mind if you would see the Intercontinental at973 Ploenchit Road and other plush hotels in their category in Bangkok.

The Grand Palace, Bangkok (photo courtesy of 

The fourth is people and places of interest.  For those who are more culturally-inclined, they can visit many religious and cultural sites where distinct Thai arts are displayed and dances and songs performed. No wonder Bangkok is also called the “City of Temples” because of its numerous Buddhist shrines and images found even in the city’s busiest streets. There is one fronting the street from the Intercontinental complete with priests and dancers in ethnic costumes doing their thing almost 7/24. If you are lucky you can get a glimpse of the royal life of the revered King and Queen of Thailand doing their ceremonial functions in one of the state’s offices in Bangkok. Those who love outdoors can try the Koh Samui’s crystal waters of the Amari Palm Reef and other resorts to have a good tan. Shopping complexes selling hi-end i-Pods, 4G cell phones to second hand “ukay-ukay” are everywhere.  Just make it sure you get the “best” of those fake gadgets for your money and not get skin rashes from those fancy clothes sold in the “bangketa”.

Street Food in Bangkok (photo courtesy of

The fifth is food.  If I am right, Buddhism, the prominent religion of Thailand like Christianity, has no food restrictions. Authentic Thai restaurants like the Kum Poon and dumpling king Din Tai Fung located at the 7th floor of the Central World Plaza have a small stove and wok or pot on each table where customers can fry and boil their dishes as they wish.  Thai food is usually spicy but visitors can always have a choice of their usual fare of burgers, spaghetti, salad and long array of Chinese dishes.  For curiosity, I tried a pack of two sticks of ball-shaped street-made “longanisa” for 20 Baht near the Siam Train station. And lo and behold, it tastes exactly like the ‘longanisa” of the barbecue shanties at Magallanes and Claveria streets of Davao.  The only exception is that the pack of Bangkok “longanisa” is not complete without shreds of cabbage and 10 pairs of raw “siling labuyo” which you ought to eat with your meal.  What a hot experience indeed. Chow!


(This article first appeared on September 02, 2011 was published 2 at Mindanao Gold Star Daily ( Emmanuel Roldan’s column Davao’s Peak . The author can be reached via email at:


About Emmanuel Roldan:

Emi is my kababayan from Padada, Davao del Sur. We went to the same high school and were altar boys and choir members in our parish church. Today, is a news editor/columnist of the Mindanao Gold Star Daily – a member of the Sunstar Group. Aside from being a journalist, he is also a development worker and a human rights advocate having served in various organizations engaged in human rights protection and development work. At work and at play, Emi was able to nurture his childhood love for music. He still plays mean tunes on his guitar and sings very well.



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Cooking time: 15 mins
Servings: 3-4

Pasta with Tuna and Capers


  • 250 grams pasta, cooked al dente
  • ¼ cup virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsps. Butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsps. Anchovy fillets
  • 4 medium tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 cans tuna in brine or vegetable oil, drained
  • 3 tbsps. Capers plus 2 tbsps. Caper juice
  • Small handful of fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Few slices of lemons


Over medium heat, sauté garlic and anchovies together in the oil and butter. Let anchovies melt into the oil but do not allow garlic to brown. Add chopped tomatoes and capers and cook for 2 minutes. Next add your tuna and juice of capers and allow to cook for about 2-3 minutes more. Toss in your pasta and mix together. Should the mixture look too dry, you may sprinkle some water from your cooked pasta. Season with ground black pepper and lastly sprinkle with parsley. Transfer to serving plate and garnish with lemon slices.



About Myra Portillo:

Myra was a top-notch key accounts specialist at ABS-CBN Integrated Sales and Marketing until her early retirement in 2001. During our days at ABS-CBN, we look forward to lunches and small parties where we get to taste some of her recipes.  After her retirement, she re-“discovered” her love for paintings and the crafts. Her watercolor artworks are so nice that a lot of her friends have encouraged her to put a one-woman exhibit. But to date, we haven’t been able to convince her. In fact, when I encouraged her to contribute to this blogsite, I mentioned her paintings, but instead she opted to share with us one of her cooking secrets — her yummy pasta with tuna and capers.




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A question of distance

This quiz should be easy, since I provided the choices for you to choose from. If you think the correct answer is not among the choices provided, you may type-in the correct answer.

But the real challenge, is if you can tell me where in Davao del Sur is the beachfront I am referring to.

Now, here is the question:



Three months ago, I travelled from Padada to a beachfront somewhere in Davao del Sur. On the first day I travelled one half of the distance. On day two, I travelled one-third of the remaining distance. On day three, I travelled three-quarters of the remaining distance. On the fourth day, I travelled one half of the remaining distance. On the fifth day, I was left with 5 kilometers left to travel. How far is it from that beachfront to Padada in total?


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Doctor-Patient Jokes 1

Doctor And Patient

NANAY   :      Hala oi! mga pila kaha ka sako dok kay palit na ko hardware? Karon dayon aron mauga na ugma.

ANAK:     Nay oi! pakauwaw ra man ka! sagulan pa gani ug balas!

 DOCTOR: ayaw kalimti ang hollow block ha!!


Bungi Gitahi sa Doctor.  Tapos Gitistingan  pagpa-pronounce.



DOCTOR: naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! MITAMOOT….


PATIENT:  Kung doktor ka, paano mo sasabihin sa pasyente mo na hindi na magtatagal ang buhay nya?

DOCTOR: Ganito… Makulay! Makulay! Ang buhay! Ang buhay! Makulay ang buhay sa kabilang buhay!


A mental patient singing while lying in a hospital bed, after a song dumapa siya.

DOCTOR: O ngano ka nibaliktad??
PATIENT:  Ignorante ka ba??? Side B na man!!!


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