“Soy la voz de Dios”

Translation: I am the Voice of God.

These words are carved into a massive bell in a church in the Philippine province of Iloilo (just across a narrow strait from Dear Departed Dad’s home province, Negros, in the central Philippines) The bell weighs 10.4 tons, don’t even ask self how workers managed to get it up into the bell tower. Can you imagine that ringing for every mass? The sound is very deep.

Self decided to write a new chapter for Camarote de Marinero today.

It begins:

When he first met Ta-hum, who was his cook, his factotum, who cared for him the way a mother cares for a child, even though she was 10 years younger, he himself had been a young man, with all the imperfections of youth.


Soy la voz de Dios, he intoned.

Tahum is a Hiligaynon word meaning “beautiful.”

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Masterpiece

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Masterpiece.

What a great prompt! Self is hugely enjoying the process of looking over all her travel photos and selecting the ones that fit the week’s current theme.

A masterpiece is, according to the The Daily Post Photo Challenge Prompt, “something extraordinary; a place that blows your mind; a work of art or object that speaks to you . . . ”

So here is self’s first post on the prompt Masterpiece:  The first two photos are from the early 2012  Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park.  Self took son and Jennie to see the exhibit in February 2012. (They allowed photos, but no flash — the reason self chose these two is that she would never have thought grey knit could be so elegant!)

The last photo shows the ceiling of the cathedral at Jaro, a suburb of Iloilo.  Self’s maternal grandmother came from Jaro.

The utter fabulousness of Jean Paul Gaultier, now through August 19 at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park

The utter fabulousness of Jean Paul Gaultier, now through August 19, 2012 at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park


The Cathedral in Jaro, Iloilo City (Nuestra Señora de Candelaria)

The Cathedral in Jaro, Iloilo City (Nuestra Señora de Candelaria)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour 2

Dusk as seen from the ferry plying the narrow strait between the central Philippine cities of Iloilo and Bacolod (Nothing is more beautiful than a Philippine sea)

More Beauty

On the Ferry (between Iloilo and Bacolod)

It’s only an hour’s ferry ride between the two cities.  Iloilo is older.  People migrated from the more densely populated Iloilo to the howling hinterlands on the sister island of Negros (Bacolod is only one of many cities on Negros)

On one of her recent Bacolod sojourns, self decided to catch the ferry to Iloilo and spend a day poking around in her maternal grandmother’s hometown of Jaro.  She caught a late ferry back to Bacolod.  The sea viewed from the ferry was unbelievably beautiful.

More Beauty

More Beauty

Every summer of self’s childhood, she and her siblings were put on a boat, to spend the summer in her Dear Departed Dad’s hometown of Bacolod.  It was thrilling:  sometimes we couldn’t get a cabin and had to sleep on canvas cots set out on the deck.  Late at night, self would listen to the murmurings of the other passengers, and fall asleep to the scent of seaspray and foam.

Self realizes the light in this pair of photographs isn’t golden.  But it was not yet night.  The sky was the most translucent blue.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

The Biz According to Ida

During one of self’s visits last year, when she was still able to sit in proximity to the Infamous Ida without puking, Ida mentioned that she had tried to interest one of self’s Dear Bros (Jun, the mildest —  also the richest — one) in investing in funeral parlors.

At that very moment, we were just passing one of those aforementioned places, this one called Alisbo, and it looked like a cement bunker, gray walls with long streaks of green — mold or something.  Anyhoo, it was quite an unprepossessing building.  Self remembers Ida gazing at her in utter solemnity and saying, “Funeral parlors are a very good business, Ma’am.”  No wonder, because people in Bacolod are always dying, and funerals are a BIG THING, as self has had ample opportunity to observe during her last seven visits to this Isle of Enchantment (Official Guidebook Name:  Negros).

This evening, self was seriously engaged in reading The Daily Guardian (The masthead says:  “Western Visayas’ Most Read and Respected”) because the restaurant had no copies of the Visayan Daily Star.  On the front page was a picture of a man with no arms being very industrious.  Inside were ads for one funeral parlor after another.  Since this was an Iloilo paper, the funeral parlors were (naturally) in Iloilo (Oh, self can hardly wait to get home so that she can return to the boredom of blogging about movies!).

Here’s an ad for Garden of the Ascension Memorial Park:

“A well-secured 17-hectare complex that contains features to pay tribute to a departed loved one.  A tranquil haven that offers a variety of choices ranging from lawn lots, memorial courts and specious (sic) family estates.” (And self does know the difference between specious and spacious, dear blog readers.  She isn’t a Stanford Creative Writing and English grad for nothing!)

And here’s another, for St. Therese Chapels (“Because your loved ones deserve only the best!”):

“Open 24 hours WI-FI Hot Spot (One can e-mail while attending a funeral service!  How absolutely fab!).  Quality imported and local caskets.  Original Lincoln and Mercedes Benz hearses.  Licensed female and male embalmers (What other kind are there?  Self means:  aside from female and male?).  24-hour stand-by generator (NO BROWN-OUT, so corpse will not putrefy before its time).  Superior facilities with hotel-like amenities.  Burning tray for the traditional Chinese funeral rites.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Peregrinations: July, 2011

Restaurant, Murcia, Negros Occidental

Tina, L'Fisher Chalet, Bacolod, Negros Occidental

The Mother of All Coconuts: Archie, Self's New Driver, Bought This for Self From a Beach Restaurant in Sum-ag

RORO (Roll On, Roll Off) Pier in the Reclamation Area, Bacolod, Negros Occidental

The Cathedral in Jaro, Iloilo City (built 1864)

The Cathedral in Jaro, Iloilo City (Dearest Mum's Mother, Gertrudis Hautea, Otherwise Known as "Tuding," Was Born in Jaro)

Pews, the Cathedral in Jaro, Iloilo City

View From Inside a RORO Ferry: Self's Rental Car Was Squeezed In On All Sides by Huge Trucks

Nothing Is As Beautiful as a Philippine Sea

More Beauty

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