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What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great person is one who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. [Ralph Waldo Emerson]

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” [Steve Jobs]

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate,my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud
of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

                                          facade of  Shrine of the Nuestra Senora de Manaoag

Our Lady Of Manaoag Church is also known as the Shrine of the Nuestra Senora de Manaoag. Located in Manaoag, Pangasinan, the church was established by Captain Gaspar de Gamboa in 1720 and was donated to the Dominicans in 1722.

Perhaps the most visited religious destination north of Manila, “manaoag” is coined from the word “taoag” (tawag) or “to call” when centuries ago, a farmer on his way to his farm one daybreak heard the virgin mary calling him from the top of the tamarind tree (where the church is right now) instructing him to initiate the construction of the church. These days, thousands of devotees visit the town of Manaoag each day in response to the Virgin Mary’s “tawag” or “call”.

The image of Mary itself is said to have been brought to the Philippine Islands by way of Acapulco, Mexico by Padre Juan de San Jacinto around 400 years ago. Folk history even declares that it was the Virgin herself that designated where the church to house her image was to be built.

In the 17th century, locals had resisted Catholicism brought about by the Dominica. Even tribes from mountains close by refused to adopt Catholicism as a new religion. Hence, the friars introduced the Our Lady as a “powerful protectress.” Tales, from the vanishing church to the apparition of the Blessed Virgin atop a hill, had spread and made the conversion of the people to Catholicism much easier.

However, faith in the Nuestra Senora de Manaoag in years had to make way to highly-commercial activities such as the Galicayo Festival in December led by the local government each year.[Wikipilipinas]

                                                         inside Manaoag Church

                                                        museum cum souvenir shop

                                                        devotees praying

                                                   Statue of Our Lady (outside the church)

“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. 

Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. 

Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.” 
[St. Augustine]

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway.

[Photo: Painting by Richard Herman]

I visited Dumaguete fortnight ago. I love this quaint seaside city. The place is so laidback but never behind.  It’s calm. A hideaway for people who want peace and tranquility.

                I like to stroll along Rizal Boulevard… a great place to calm your nerves.

This City of Gentle People  is the largest city and the capital city of Negros Oriental, a province in the Philippines. It is dubbed as “City of Gentle People” because of its hospitality not only to their fellow Dumagueteños, but even to local and foreign tourists.This city is also tagged as university town due to the existence of seven colleges and universities in the city. Among the famous educational institutions found in the city is the Silliman University. The simplicity of its beauty has attracted a huge number of tourists from different corners of the world including Europe and Korea.

                                                     The old facade of Silliman University

       The Dumaguete Belfry Tower is an important landmark. It was constructed using coral stones in 1774-1776.

 St Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral. The Church was built in 1811 and beside it, its belfry.

Dumaguete Express                                                                                  Baked Oysters

                                                                        Sans Rival

If one is in search of a  unique taste should make a quick stop at Sans Rival along San Jose Street for their ever famous sans rival and other pastries. Dumaguete has its version of Bicol Express. They call it Dumaguete Express.  There is still the classic coconut milk, crunchy pork bits and red chili peppers but they added coconut meat to the original recipe. This can be found in Lab-as Seafood Rrestaurant, a resto overlooking the coastline of Dumaguete. Equally mouth-watering dish  is the Baked Oysters of nearby Hayahay Treedeck and Bar.

Dumaguete is also the gateway to many tourist destinations nearby:  Dolphin Watching and Sandbar in Bais; the serene Lake Balinsasayao in San Jose; Sumilon Island Marine Sanctuary; the world-renowned Apo Island divespot; the Mystique Island known as Siquijor and many more!

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbour.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
[Mark Twain]

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.