Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Giving thanks

I'm so tired tonight. But relieved, satisfied, and very thankful. Our little municipality is a coastal town. Much of our natural resources are being used up without much notice. Some of the marine turtles who come around here get eaten, while others who are more fortunate to get to lay their eggs- have their eggs stolen by most poachers.

Today, we had a very nice discussion withe some of the town's stakeholders- the municipal agricultural office, fishery department, barangay captains, and councilors. We all agreed that we need to move forward and act- prevent problems from happening to our little town. We need to work to do what we can for the future generations and for the planet. We are responsible for our world. Our initial meetings on topics like the marine turtles etc., were met with some apprehension or doubt that what we were doing made sense. But now that things are clearer, I do believe we are all thankful.

I offer my thanks again to those who've helped us get here. We're all in this together. We all do what we can to move forward together. And of course, I offer my thanks to the Supreme Father, who in unseen ways, pave a way for us which at times seem so treacherous and difficult it seems it's the totally wrong way to be walking through until later, when a turn in the road reveals a smoother path. Whatever road I may get to, let me walk it with You.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

On relationships

I was talking to my good friend, Richard a few days ago about relationships. As a teenager I went through a lot of time wondering why we bothered with relationships. I mean, sooner or later - they end. Sooner or later they leave, move on or die. What was the point? I was thinking a sense of Buddhism was the answer- less relationships, less pain. It took me a while to realize some things (I can be really slow!).

The first thing is, real relationships or lasting relationships - be they one of friendship or more intimate - e.g. boyfriend/girlfriend or marriage- really can't be based on, "I love you IF". It's really just a, "I love you for who you are no matter what." And the best relationships go deeper than that, "I love you in your uniqueness and our relationship is based in the common knowledge that God is the center of this relationship." I don't mean that in a corny or preachy kind of way either. It's a real, straightforward thing.

Second thing is- as you get older, and the less you see certain people who you called "friends" before, you realize who your real friends are. After years of not seeing each other, even without communicating, you're still friends. It's like starting off just where you left off, as if no time had passed. And oh, what a beautiful feeling it is. :)

Third, which is especially true for marriage is- we're all in this world for a certain period of time. We don't know how long. We don't know when we're suddenly going to get pulled out. So we live our lives in a way where we do what we can and learn what we need to and help others and ourselves while developing our relationship with the Supreme Person. We are all totally unique and know all others to be equally unique with their own quirks, skills, and talents. We respect each other. So in whatever short or long time we're in this world, married or in a similar relationship, it's really quite nice to live knowing that, "Just as I'm living my life and walking my own path and developing my relationship with the Supreme Person, my spouse/partner is living his/her life in the same way." In other words, marriage or similar relationships really shouldn't be one of sucking each other dry and trying to see what and how that other person can satisfy my own desires, but one of being there for each other while knowing we're both on our way back to the Supreme Person. We both have faults and what not- but that's not what we focus on. It's not always easy to not see the faults of the other person, but relationships are just so much nicer when you're both not looking at each others faults but instead look at each other's good qualities. It's definitely not going to come instantly either, but all things take time and work. It's all a learning experience.

And yes- belated Happy Thanksgiving. Thank you Lord, for everything.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Learning Process

What a busy month it's been and it's not even over!

I've learned a lot about marine protected areas, coastal resource management, and other similarly related topics in the past few months since we started trying to formulate a program for protecting the marine turtles (pawikan) who lay here, and there's so much more to learn.

Today marks the end of the event - "Water for Life, Tubig At Buhay". It was a pleasure to meet the Chris and Julie from the French Embassy, the staff and life of the Marine Science Institute , and the other people who attended the first symposium and round table event of the "Water for Life, Tubig at Buhay". I wonder how the rest of it went. I'm sure it was educational and interesting, as was the first day.

Ever since I started looking at what can be done to protect, rehabilitate, and conserve the coastal environment (in particular), I've been faced with almost unbelievable resistance. Generally speaking I find that people who have either received enough education or who are just simple folk who wish others no harm are much easier to deal with. They easily grasp the importance of caring for the environment and endangered animals without much explanation or downright arguing to get a point across. For those people who did not receive much education, they find the idea of having to pick up other people's trash - or stop throwing their own trash anywhere they please, what more, do something to protect the environment or an endangered species simply too much. I don't mean to put these people down. I am just stating the truth. It is the sad reality, but almost expected in a place where most people don't even finish high school.

I am a nobody but I believe I can bring about changes to this world- whether good or bad. I choose to do what I can for the betterment of society. Why? Because I know I can, and I am fueled by knowing that I can do something, however small.

Ever since I started trying to save the pawikan and doing other things for the Coastal Underwater Resource Management program, I've been faced with so much adversity. Why stop and go against the flow when it's so much easier to just go along with everyone else? Well sometimes it's good to stop and think about where everyone else is headed. Look at the problems as they are and look for solutions rather than turn a blind eye to them.

Life is a continuous learning process. Keep your eyes, ears, and heart open and listen well. Sometimes the softest whispers are the most important ones in life.

All the best from

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Quick update

It's been incredibly busy here. My day's been starting at 4 or 4:30 am when we go out and walk 6 km or so (and it's not even the whole cove!) looking for any signs of sea turtles, and ends around 9:30 or 10- and the list of things to do never seems to lessen. Not that I'm complaining.

We have had a horrific infestation of itchy, hairy, black caterpillars. We've found about 5 nests of about 400-500 caterpillars, and a few other ones with tiny ones. Horrible! No wonder we've all been so itchy. Their itchy hairs are in the air. We're in the process of exterminating them. Sorry, I can't live with this itchiness. Anyone who knows me well knows how much I hate all worms except earth worms. A strange fact considering I love gardens and gardening so much. Oh well.

Here are some random notes:

I took a walk the other day and saw 5 little pot bellied pigs not much bigger than full grown chihuahuas running across the dirt road. I've always wanted to have a pot-bellied pig and nearly grabbed one for myself if the mother didn't show her face over the bush. The sow looked very intelligent, and looked us straight in the eye with obvious curiosity.
Then there was thischicken whose feathers all curled up towards her head. She was very pleasant. You could almost feel her smiling at you. Yet another reminder not to judge by looks.

In the meantime, so much to study, so much work to do- and it's all good fun.

Have a nice week!