Philippine Holidays {0}

Philippine Holidays

When I was a child, holidays were pretty cool. There was always something special – fireworks, candy (Easter, Halloween), gifts, great food, etc. Even if it was a holiday for the adults, Mother’s and Father’s day, there was usually cake or a nice meal to enjoy. As I got older those things mattered less.

During my early working years holidays were a break from the monotony of work. That three-day weekend to party and recreate was looked forward to with every bit the anticipation as those childhood years. When I got later into my working career, the holidays became more about a much needed rest. I still looked forward to each and every one, but mostly so I could slow down and relax, if given the opportunity.

Undas – All Saints Day and All Souls Day {3}

Undas – All Saints Day and All Souls Day

There are a lot of holidays in the Philippines. I don’t know how many exactly as it seems to change monthly. There have been two official holidays added since I’ve been here, just under three months.

I used to like holidays when I was a working man. It meant time off with pay. Now that I’m retired I’m not as excited by all these long breaks. It just means more traffic and somehow, even though it doesn’t seem possible, even more waiting in lines. But some holidays are bigger than others.

The Exotic Philippines {1}

The Exotic Philippines

Many Americans have a distorted perception of the Philippines. Maybe it is just that they really don’t have any perception of the Philippines, other than it is a group of islands in a tropical setting. At least so it seems to me from the people I encounter.

This isn’t really surprising to me, as I had a similar view before I had visited there. I really knew almost nothing about the country, other than there had been a relationship between us, including during World War II. History and Geography were never my strong subjects. Seems that might be true for a good number of Americans as well.

Lon Wa Buddhist Temple (re)Visited {12}

Lon Wa Buddhist Temple (re)Visited

I’ve spoken before about my interest in visiting the Lon Wa Buddhist Temple (also known as Long Hua Temple). Finally I had an opportunity to do so, and I was not disappointed.

Though the structure itself was fascinating, along with the many sculptures and furnishings, the tour is not an all day event. It makes a great side trip when you are in the area (near Davao Medical Center on C.P. Cabaguio Ave.), or passing by.

Davao Top Ten To Do {7}

Davao Top Ten To Do

Okay, this may not be the ultimate Top Ten Things To Do in Davao, but it is MY list for my next trip to Davao.

I have visited Davao several times previously, and when I go this year that will be my fourth. All my trips have had commitments, and time constraints, that have kept me from getting to know the area as well as I’d like. My last trip I wanted to get to know Samal Island better, but I only had a week total for vacation. This time I’ll have two weeks, and I intend to spend time exploring Davao and the surrounding area as much as possible.

Samal Island Guidebook {5}

Samal Island Guidebook

I’m very pleased to announce the latest addition to the Journey to Samal Shop (shop closed, post left for info), the Samal Island Guidebook. This is an item that I’ve been wanting to offer for a very long time, but I was never able to arrange it until now.

Without a doubt this is the definitive guide to Samal Island. Hey, it may be the only guide that exists, as far as I know, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of the praise. This is a well done publication by Samal Publishing House, of Davao and Samal. The 116 full color pages include:

Free Bisaya Dictionary | A Dictionary of Cebuano Visayan {24}

Free Bisaya Dictionary | A Dictionary of Cebuano Visayan

In my search to find a good reference book for my Bisaya studies (currently suspended), I found only a couple of dictionaries. The most common one I came across was only intended to go from English to Cebuano, not from Cebuano to English. Not only are Cebuano dictionaries difficult to find here in the States, they are pretty expensive, too. I guess that’s they way it is with dictionaries in general, but it’s not in my budget unless it was very well done and comprehensive.

There are a number of excellent online dictionaries that provide both English to Cebuano and Cebuano to English. I find that for the most part these meet my needs. They are being updated on an ongoing basis and should eventually be as complete as any of the hard copy books that have been published, since essentially that is where the material is coming from.

Senator Noynoy Aquino Campaigns on Samal Island {0}

Senator Noynoy Aquino Campaigns on Samal Island

Samal Island got a visit from yet another famous Pilipino, this time it was the presidential political candidate Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. From my understanding Samal hasn’t received much consideration from the candidates in past elections, so this was a special event.

Some 3,000 Samaleños braved the scorching heat of summer on Saturday to show their support to Aquino, whom they believe can bring change in the country.