Reblogged is a series of blog posts on my life in India coming from the weblogs I set-up. It’s an attempt to put the stories all in one place! The post Bodh Gaya: the journey to Nirvana was originally posted on October 15, 2012, two weeks after the experience. Another post preceded this one, which has more text to tell the story of a full day’s trip to Bodh Gaya with VSO co-volunteers Julie and Amanda. This was part of the vacation I called “The Pilgrimage” as we visited the holy cities of Bodh Gaya and Varanasi.
As I’ve mentioned before, it takes a lot of willpower and natural beauty for me to be dragged out of bed at sunrise. Luckily, the scenery in Bolinao is one such wonder that I was able to force myself to step out of my room (I had to anyway coz it’s early work day for farmers’ training) at El Pescador Resort and watch the fishermen go about their business. The water was calm, except for the ripples from a fisherman’s small boat and nets being cast in the sea. It was said that before becoming a hotel and resort by the sea, El Pescador used to be a small fishing village, benefiting from the rich marine life of Bolinao in Pangasinan. It’s not exactly a swimming beach, especially with some kind of seawall separating the waters from the resort area. It is, however, still a nice sight to behold in the morning. I wonder how El Pescador sunset looks like, since Bolinao and Pangasinan generally belong to the sunset magic hour area. (Photo taken 08/31/2010)
Reblogged is a series of blog posts on my life in India coming from the weblogs I set-up. It’s an attempt to put the stories all in one place! The post Weekend in the Village (Part 1 – A Day in the Life…) was originally posted on May 9, 2013 via the Project365: Volunteers for Change weblog I set-up with my VSO volunteer batch. I spent a weekend with the family of my colleague and friend Charu at her mother’s hometown in Taloshi, Mahad, Maharashtra. This is a two-part story for the events and scenes from May 4-8.
Many volunteers here in India are based in rural areas, if not in State capitals that would seem laid back if compared to the fast-paced life in mega cities. I am among the few who are based in mega cities like Delhi and, in my case, Mumbai. Well, technically, I am based in Navi Mumbai, more or less 30 minutes outside Mumbai. In any case, what I am driving at is I live in the city where everything is available–running hot and cold water, air conditioner, cold filtered water, English-style T&B (a necessity for most volunteers), internet, cable TV, restaurants, supermarkets, cinemas, etc. In short, one may say that I have no right to complain about my placement in terms of location. Continue reading Reblogged: Weekend in the Village (Part 1 – A day in the Life)
I like sunsets a lot and while I find sunrises equally magnificent, there were just a few times when I was able to summon willpower to wake up that early, and the chance to see the dolphins of Bohol Sea was one. Twas back in early 2011 when, with a group of friends, we woke up before dawn and set sail to cruise the Bohol Sea and search for one of nature’s darling creatures in their natural habitat. From Alona Beach in Panglao island, it took a while before we reached the dolphins but it was a rather smooth sailing journey (perhaps coz weather in that time of year was [used to be] quite cooperative. The breaking dawn (sans vampires) and watching the dolphins (though they weren’t all jumping/flying up and down) of Bohol Sea followed by a Balicasag Island snorkeling was indeed worth the early morning wake up call!
A Portuguese aristocrat girl falling madly in love with a local Goa fisherman (a love story), then choosing to take her own life by jumping from a cliff when their relationship was forbidden (a tragedy), and centuries after mesmerizing, or haunting, tourists or locals as she emerges from the sea amidst the moonlit waves, wearing nothing but a pearl necklace (a myth) — this is the story of Dona Paula. Well, at least the version that adds a romantic flair to its namesake scenic tourist destination in the suburban district of the capital city Panaji (or Panjim) in Goa, West India. I never really saw the statue of Dona Paula when I arrived at Ashwin and Aki’s place along the Dona Paula Bay with my VSO co-vol/CS buddy Rajie and our Goan CS host Warren, nor did I hear the tale about the statues watching over the Mandori and Zuari Rivers as they unite with the Arabian Sea. However, even when there is already a proven historical account of the life and existence of Dona Paula Amaral Antonio de Souto Maior, I don’t fault the townsfolk or the tour guides if they choose to tell the romantic story instead. While the Dona Paula Bay and its natural beauty can’t be denied, a love story and a little mystery add to its charm, right? 🙂