An Anomaly . . .

As is our wont, with the current Earth changes, we take pictures of the Sun. Our sun capture of 7:39 a.m., August 23, 2012 over Brooklyn, NY, shows a very stark anomaly. (No, we did not make use of any filtering aid.)

Here are the pictures and judge for yourself.

What could this anomaly be?

Meanwhile, here is the sky capture on the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope of August 24, 2012.

San Pascual: A Revisit

With the current calamitous floods in the Philippines, a revisit to the drawing by San Pascual Baylon on August 29, 2010 is in order.

There are three salient elements in the drawing.

  • A pair of white hands.
  • A beast pulling something.
  • A ship or ark, with arching smoke.

San Pascual Baylon did the drawing in August 2010, when we were seeking answers to the saint’s icon’s disappearance in the same year.

We subscribe to the view that man is a spiritual being having a human experience. So that, much to the protestation of the so-called “learned”, we are on the lookout for omens and signs. Because, pray tell, how is it that the more we study, the more we realize that we are ignorant, that we just cannot fathom things? Put another way, how is it that the more we know, the more we don’t know?

Does the pair of hands signify prayer? Is the beast equivalent to Nibiru or a rogue planet? What does the ark with arching smoke signify?

A Guinarona Story (5)

. . .And They Called Her Iday. . .

She was 14 when our Poppa married her–well, sort of, because Poppa, 18, eloped with her on a horse. A baby still, for all intents and purposes, just like the African girls you read about, who are too frail to carry an offspring, thereby suffering fistulas. In Momma’s case she had two stillborns, our eldest, Presentacion and the second, Eligio.

Momma was an only child, was the darling of the neighborhood, if only for her singing and dancing talents. And they called her Iday (Baby Girl) for that. In today’s parlance, she was spoiled and had that temperament. Spoiled in the sense that she knew nothing about cooking, her mother doing all the work. We guess it was instinct that made her cook good–at least for us. Like, our tummies were always full of puto, which she steamed religiously for our merienda. Her pinulahan and pancit miki were to die for.

Many a time would Poppa hit her, because of jealousy, and we would fill the house with our screams and wails for them to stop the fighting. Poppa mellowed with time and the fact that hypertension afflicted him throughout his life. Still and all, Momma harbored resentment towards Poppa for the past beatings she suffered.

Holding grudges was not beyond her, obviously–but oh, how diligent she was at catering to our needs. In appreciation, we boned up in school, consistently garnering honors. Even under a lampara, we would study deep into the night–and the special food she cooked was always awaiting us. Oh, how we loved getting sick because a super special food Momma would concoct was always there plus the Royal Tru Orange.

Momma was so-so as far as religion goes. She was not as devout as say, Generosa Alejandro-Yu, her bosom friend, whose priest-son Momma was a godmother to. But she did host the feast day for the Lady of the Rosary in 1953, when we were yet a baby–nonetheless we remember the glorious scent of the Azucena flowers adorning the Virgin’s carroza, and Grandpa’s ministering to us in a hammock, the better for us not to pester Momma and her fiesta guests.

Having had 9 children was no picnic for Momma. She suffered from beri-beri in her younger years; hypertension and arthritis in her twilight years.

It was meant to be that Momma would not recover from a massive stroke and heart attack on August 27, 1997. Seven days later, on September 3, 1997, she sailed to the other side of the veil.

Hopefully, Benita Balatar-Maray took with her our undying love. She was 79.

Travel: On Corn and Mushrooms

The best education you can have is through travel. The sights and sounds of a place, its culture, its food–they have a deep impact on your ethos, on your view of things. Then when you return to your home base, you are very eager to share and implement the salient things that you have learned. Except when you get bogged down by laziness or contaminated by the mindset of your peers. Therefore, utmost focus and diligence are a must.

For too many good ideas are left to rot because of indifference.

In the 21st Century setting, one can have a virtual travel using the World Wide Web, but it lacks the hands-on feel of being physically present. Although we rate it second best.

A backyard mushroom growing operation in Zimbabwe.


When we were in Zimbabwe, we ate what the locals did. We especially liked their zadsa or corn meal–very filling and it goes well with beef stew, which they cooked in lots of fresh tomatoes, water and sunflower oil.

In Guinarona and all over the Philippines, however, our staple is rice, the energy from which doesn’t last as long as corn does. Now, now, shifting to corn once in a while wouldn’t hurt, would it? We would prefer, however, a 90 percent to 100 percent shift to corn, for nutrition considerations. Not to mention agile and smart generation of Guinaronanhons.

Another thing, in Zimbabwe, when it rains intermittently or continuously for three days, especially with thunderstorms, expect myriads of wild mushrooms to sprout all over. A brisk business for the locals–and you would have a field day choosing the best and cheapest stuff along the roadways. Darn delicious them Zimbabwe wild mushrooms.

In Guinarona, we do have wild mushrooms, but not as abundant as in Harare, Zimbabwe. In which case we could implement a growing scheme, which we could build up into a major industry. Consider that we have ample growing substrate such as rice straw and banana leaves.

But let us not forget the corn meal!