This week’s theme is “Waiting.” Even before I read Amy’s post I knew I would post pictures related to flying — which I do every month.
Most of the waiting I do now happens at an airport. I often go on red-eye flights because they are cheaper, though the layovers are always longer than the flights themselves. But then again they are cheaper.
So what do you do when there’s air traffic and your plane can’t land because the airport has only one runway! Take pictures of those things that are so commonplace you forget they are there!
I used to look forward to flying, but now I just try not to think about it and simply look forward to arriving. I hope one day teleportation will become real!
Taken just before a 10-minute long turbulence
Waiting for a flight may be exhausting, but at least you know eventually you will get to your destination.
It is less stressful than waiting for something whose arrival is forever uncertain.
“For this week’s photo challenge, explore what it means to find your place in the world. Where’s your safe space? Where do you go when you need to feel inspired or cheered up? Do you prefer to feel cozy and comforted in a smaller town or do you thrive on the buzz of a big city?”
One thing my husband, my son and I have in common is we find comfort in sitting on the beach, hearing the waves roll onto the shore. It’s mesmerizing, relaxing, comforting.
At 7 years, my son still cannot verbalize what he feels, but seeing him so calm — not stimming — is enough to make me realize that, just as it is for his parents, this too, is his place in the world.
My husband and I were walking from the restaurant to the post office when he spotted this caterpillar. I wouldn’t have seen it because it was high up on a vine on a fence, and I’m short. Luckily phone cameras have a zoom function.
While I never and will never think of myself as “sweet,” the fact that my husband likes to take photos of me even when my back is turned makes me think I’m blessed to marry a man who thinks I am. Lol.
He likes taking pictures of me, especially candid ones. I know he finds my facial expressions funny, and I’m like a comedian to him, but I especially like the ones he takes of me when I’m not aware of what he’s doing, like the ones above.
These two were taken just this weekend while we’re on holiday in the Philippines.
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
I saw this tree trunk from a distance and thought it looked interesting. You might say there’s nothing interesting about this trunk, that it’s even ugly. And you might be right.
I wish I had taken a photo of the whole tree — its leaves were quite green. This tree survived a super typhoon in 2016. The tree itself looked ordinary, but it’s the trunk that captured my attention. This weathered trunk to me stands for strength — something that I feel I have and should not lose in these very busy and stressful time in my life.
The first time I came across the word “pedestrian” as an adjective was in an article by a literary critic describing a writer’s use of language as such. “Pedestrian” — ordinary, uninteresting, lacking imagination.
Pedestrian, as an adjective, is subjective. What is ordinary isn’t necessarily uninteresting to some.
Just look at this lotus leaf …
An old decaying leaf.
While people were eager to take photos of the flowers nearby, hardly anybody noticed this leaf except for some (perhaps equally pedestrian beings) like me who see something interesting in this old leaf, with droplets of rain on it. (My husband who saw this photo just now said it’s nice. “It’s dirty but nice.” Hmmm. OK.)
Walking around a park or any place where I can appreciate the beauty of nature gives me satisfaction. These past couple of days I’ve seen so much beauty in Canada. So much beauty gives one so much satisfaction. 😊
For this week’s photo challenge, I made a collage of all the purple/purplish flowers I used on this blog. Why flowers? Because I love flowers. Why purple? Because…why not purple? Lol. I realized I have several purple flowers in my folder.
Yesterday I went out for a walk at about 5:15 in the morning. These days sunrise is usually around 5:30. As most of the students have already left for the summer, the campus was blissfully quiet when I walked around.
Jimei at 6:30 P.M.
In the evening, I went out again after spending the whole day working on the computer. This time I went out of the campus. I took a picture of this new bridge that will replace the rickety temporary one that they put up after closing the old underpass, which I kind of miss because of the memory I have of the people who were always there during my first year here: the friendly fruit lady, and the old man who played the erhu, the melody of which echoed around the walls of the underpass and even above ground.
Jimei at 7:15 P.M.
Getting back to the campus, I walked towards the west side. I took a photo of these new apartment buildings situated in what I used to think was a swamp. A taxi driver whom I’ve known for as long as I’ve been here once told us that they used to take a boat from their home on the southern part of the district to this place where these buildings are now.
For me, Jimei has changed so much in just over a decade. For the quinquagenarians and older, even more so.
This photo was taken last month as our plane was landing at Gaoqi Airport, Xiamen.
For the last two years, I’ve been flying home every month, which means at least four flights a month. So I feel something like a transient in the two cities I call home. They are both home, yet when I am in either place, it seems I’m only there as a guest.
I am hopeful that this year, I will cease feeling like a transient and have more stability in my life. I hope my whole family can be together in one safe place. 🙏🏻
There’s chaos in some parts of Mindanao, but in some areas like Misamis Oriental where the airport is, there’s peace and calm and order.
I had asked the driver to stop at this spot. The farmer agreed with a smile when I asked if I could take a picture. My family and I were on our way to an airport hotel where we could spend the night before my flight back the next day. I didn’t want to miss my flight because of the curfew and numerous checkpoints (at least 6 during a one-hour drive, but the soldiers were all courteous and friendly!)
Being home and seeing how people were scared but were fighting their fear by trying as best they could to live as normally as possible, I was greatly encouraged, and I’m very proud of my fellow Mindanaoans.
Lohas Hotel, Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental
With or without Martial Law, life goes on in Mindanao. There’s still some kind of order.
Nothing symbolizes the evanescence of life more than a beautiful flower. Life has its beauty and its fragility, reasons we value what little time we have. The beauty of a flower is as ephemeral as its short life.
The only way to deal with the evanescence of life is to enjoy every minute of it.
I’ve been taking this same early morning flight every month for over a year now. Each time, the beauty of the sunrise amazes me like I’m seeing it for the first time.
This time though, before heading home from the airport, I decided to stop at the beach just 15 minutes away from the airport, so my son can enjoy the early morning breeze and play with the white sand in the cool, clear water.
It was truly a beautiful Saturday morning with the family, especially with my son, on our beautiful island of Mindanao.
This week’s theme for the Weekly Photo Challenge is “Wish,” which is quite apt for my situation at this moment when I’m at the airport, again, to go home and see my son and be with my sisters as we remember our mom’s passing a year ago this month. I was informed a couple of hours ago that my connecting flight has been cancelled due to maintenance work on one of the air traffic radars.
This is just a 5-day trip, and I have to be back at work on Wednesday, but now I might have to spend a day in Manila and waste time not being with my son.
I’ve used this photograph before, but he is all I can think of right now.
I’m back on WordPress after over a month of silence!
The reason for the silence was I spent all my time and energy making sure my son had a fun birthday and a memorable holiday with us, his parents, in China — his home for 5 years.
E. is on the spectrum and less than six months ago, his OT reported he has low muscle tone. Although the biggest problem is on his fine motor skills, he still can’t throw a ball that far nor kick a ball hard. My husband bought him two bikes, one in the Philippines where E. goes to school now, and one for here when he is on vacation. He had not really learned to pedal before coming here in January, and when my husband saw him ride his bike for the first time, he thought it would take E. at least six months to really learn.
But I took E. biking everyday while my husband was at work. And when weekend came and he saw E. riding his bike effortlessly, there was such a proud and happy look on my husband’s face that made me wish I had taken a photo of it. It was just priceless.
My husband has always been pessimistic and believes it will take our son forever to learn anything. In a way it is good because he works hard and always thinks of ways to help E. I am the exact opposite. I always believe E. is capable of learning, and I get frustrated easily when he doesn’t learn things quickly. But whether slowly or quickly, what he does learn always makes us as happy as if we’ve won lottery. Lol. Yeah. We are that easy to please.
A super typhoon struck the city three months ago, knocking down many of the trees and uprooting a few others. On my way to the apartment from the airport, I noticed a huge change in the city from what it was before I left and the typhoon hit (yes, I missed one of the biggest events in the city’s history!) It was so dark and fellled trees were everywhere one week after the typhoon. And later, I learned that in some areas people had no water nor electricity for over a week.
Thankfully, the local government did a great job of organizing the clean up and restoration of electric and water services, and the citizens themselves went out of their way to help others and clean up their respective areas.
For several weeks after that, I did not hear chirping birds from my balcony. But now they are back. The trees that had remained standing after the typhoon have grown new leaves — a beautiful green.
This city and its people have bounced back from the ravages of Meranti. They are as resilient as its trees.
I wish you and your loved ones a peaceful and happy 2017. And should the storms of life come you way this year, I hope you will be resilient enough to bounce back and be stronger.
This week’s photo challenge theme is “Paths.” And these photos of a runway symbolize my hope for a straighter, smoother 2017.
It is quite apt for me to summarize my year with photos of a plane (part of it) and a runway, as this is the first year I found myself on a plane at least four times a month for 11 months (May was the only month I didn’t travel).
The first quarter of this year, the reasons for flying was my son’s visa and my mother’s deteriorating health (and passing). The rest of the year, I flew home every month to see my son just for the weekend.
My 2016 path was full of bumps and potholes. I hope (and pray to whoever can hear up there!) 2017 will be straighter and smoother, like a runway!
This week’s theme for the weekly photo challenge is anticipation.
Part of my ritual upon waking up in the morning is to go to the balcony and look at the sky. Since we moved to our new apartment in September, I haven’t stopped looking forward to having my son come and see what I liked about this new apartment. I know he doesn’t like change, but I also know he would enjoy looking up at the sky as much as I do, and watching the sunrise and in the evening, looking at the moon and the planes flying to and from and the airport at a distance. He will enjoy walking and running and riding his bike around wide, open spaces.
I look forward to having him join me and his father again, being together as a family again.
Nothing relaxes me more than being alone and quiet on a quiet beach– feeling the ripples touching my feet, seeing the waves at a distance and hearing their rhythmic sound like a mantra, smelling the briny scent of the sea and feeling the breeze on my skin.
I had lots of quiet moments at quiet beaches back in the Philippines. I have one precious memory of being in a stilt-hut a few meters from the shore. It was part of the property owned by the Carmelite Sisters at whose monastery I was having a one-week retreat. One week of quiet except for a one-hour visit three times that week from the retreat directress.
Whenever I get overwhelmed with tasks and life, and I cannot go away to have some quiet time on the beach, all I do is recall that time of solitude — quiet, and peace, and self-awareness. And that’s enough to relax me.
Christmas decorations start getting put up around September in the Philippines. For my family the excitement starts to build up after the feast day of St. Michael ( the patron saint of our city) on September 29th, and All Souls’ Day on November 2nd. And Christmas doesn’t end until after January 6th, the Feast of the Three Kings.
Since living in China, I have not been really excited about Christmas. When I first came here, there were hardly any Christmas decorations. Now, they are everywhere and young people “celebrate” almost every Western festival, including Thanksgiving. But it’s not the same. It does not feel the same. Even at church, they see the whole thing as a performance , like a curious opera. It only makes me sad.
This year Christmas will feel even stranger, especially for my sisters and nephew who will feel my mother’s absence more than I will or do. My husband and I will miss our son who will be celebrating Christmas in the Philippines for the first time, though I am excited for him.
It’s not Christmas without family and church and happy people buying presents for loved ones and greeting strangers, “Merry Christmas” (and not the fake “Happy Holidays!”)
I know science can explain this, but it was the first time I saw the sky like this and I thought it was magical. I took these photos a few weeks ago from my balcony. It was a little after 6 in the morning. (I sent a copy to a friend right away, and he asked if it was photoshopped. This has not been photoshopped. )
My husband said the Chinese call it 火烧云 which literally means “fire burn cloud” or burning clouds. It surely looks like that.
This is a picture of my mind in chaos. Sort of. I made this watercolor sometime in May 2014. I was going through a difficult time — delayed culture shock and my relationships with my (now) two best friends were not as clearly defined then as they are now.
A couple of months ago while we were packing our stuff to move to this new apartment we live in now, I saw the sketch pad where I made this watercolor. Serendipity. I can use this one today.
Have a lovely weekend. May you find peace, beauty and design in our chaotic world today.
I took this photo a few months ago when I was in the Philippines. I have taken several photos of this place and posted some of them here on my blog.
Beautiful sunsets almost always make me wistful, and this one truly did as I was on my way home from a neighboring city working on one of the many, many things that needed my attention during the first quarter of this year. I was exhausted and looked out the car window. I just had to ask the driver to stop so I could get out of the car and snap photos of this sunset.
And for a few minutes, I forgot how tired I was as I looked at the photos I took.
I have been living away from the small city I was born and raised in, Iligan, for about 14 years now. But it will always be home for me, even though my parents are no longer around and so many friends have left for other countries.
It is a coastal city of about 300,000 people, which is a much bigger number from 30 or 40 years ago. Back then, on Sundays, when we walked to church my parents would be saying “Hi!” or “Good morning” to people we met on the road. Now, I can walk around the city for an hour and not see anybody I recognize.
But it’s a different feeling when I look out to the sea. Watching the sea in Iligan gives me the feeling of being home.
Like I’ve mentioned many times in my previous posts, I like morning walks when it’s quiet and there’s a cool breeze blowing. It was on such a morning that I took this picture of the campus lake. I like how the old administration building and the trees in its foreground are mirrored on the lake.
I look forward to starting my early morning walks again.