Mother Ignacia Healing Ministry12 Jul 2016 06:54 am

maynilad’s laguna lake – an environmental time bomb

BREAKING NEWS. Duterte asks FVR to go to China for bilateral talks.
 
Fingers crossed if this will work. Bilateral deals are dangerous. China prefers one-on-one deals with ASEAN nations, because one-sided deals are easier. China avoids multilateral deals because ASEAN has more clout as a united group. Duterte should consult ASEAN before any bilateral moves and consider a multilateral united front. The positive – the prospect for bilateral talks has gained Duterte China’s respect, in preparation for a fair deal. It has also eased the military stance of China somewhat, and sees Chinese investment in Mindanao and joint oil projects in the Spratlys. The negative – China may want the Philippines to concede its territorial rights, nullifying The Hague, make way for Chinese oil projects, allow Chinese warships to roam Philippine waters, and permit continued militarization. Let’s see what happens. China recently sunk a Vietnamese fishing vessel. Will a bilateral deal insure this will not happen? We are in tight rope walk, the US and China pulling the rope. With US military presence in the Philippines, in a US-China confrontation, the Philippines is the biggest collateral damage. Economic deals with China are nullified by military deals with the US. We are sandwiched by two giants. Damn if we do and damn if we don’t.
 
************************
 
LAGUNA LAKE – AN ENVIRONMENTAL TIME BOMB
Why did MAYNILAD fail to see this?
 
eastwind journals 186
 
By Bernie V. Lopez, eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com

 

http://www.sisterraquel.com/2016/07/maynilads-laguna
 
yet a little while the light is among you
walk steadfast as you have the light
so that darkness may not overtake you
for he who walks in darkness
cannot see where he goes
while you have the light, believe in the light
that you may become children of the light

 

john 12:35-36
 
 
In 2007, the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) reported that Laguna Lake was in danger of dying in five years if no steps were taken to clean it up (Greenpeace). The five years elapsed in 2012, and no substantial steps have been taken to this day.

 

In April, 2016, a ‘manganese surge’ reached the homes of 1.2 million consumers due to the El Nino drought which lowered lake water level dramatically. Manganism or manganese poisoning, a heavy metal, involves permanent neurological disorder with symptons of tremors, facial muscle spasms, irritability, aggressiveness, and hallucinations.

 

CONTINUED

 

Water sampling done too late weeks after the surge revealed manganese dissolved in water was within safe limits. But how about future droughts and surges? No tests were done on manganese silt or solid particles. Consumer advocate Pete Ilagan of NASECORE sent a letter to Maynilad to answer critical questions. There was no reply.

 

From the start, Maynilad failed to consider that Laguna Lake is an environmental time bomb, in sourcing household water from it. Perhaps it was too eager about the fantastic idea of an easy cheap source of voluminous water so close to Metro-Manila. Or perhaps it was so confident that its P1.4 billion high-tech water treatment plant at Putatan, which Noynoy inaugurated so proudly in 2011, could handle any kind of pollution.

 

Its sophisticated microfiltration failed to filter manganese on a massive scale. A water sampling expert said it could have been a management failure to change clogged filters during the surge. Today, Maynilad gets big profits supplying a staggering 100 million liters of water a day to 1.2 million consumers.

 

LLDA conferred on Maynilad a Blue Award for its Putatan Water Treatment Plant in May 2014. In April 2016, the plant failed to stop the ‘manganese surge’.
 

President Aquino undrapes the marker of the 100 million liters of water per day Putatan Water Treatment plant in February 2011, one year before the LLDA prophecied the lake would die by 2012.
 
The LLDA prophecy of Laguna Lake dying soon is ominous. Massive rehabilitation is impossible. As population increases, both household and industrial pollution seem unstoppable. Without mitigating measures, Maynilad, perhaps should find alternative sources this early to avoid future inevitable mass poisoning, for which it may face class action suits. Manganese poisoning is nothing compared to mercury or lead poisoning.

 

Laguna Lake Statistics

 

Laguna Lake is a ticking environmental time bomb because the 220-km. lakeshore population is a staggering 15 million in 2010 (NSO). Household waste accounted for 77% of total pollution load, and industrial waste 11%. Greenpeace said LLDA reported dumpsites of Paete, Binan, Angono, and Taytay were too near the lakeshore area in December 2007. The Angono dumpsite was being used in spite of closure orders by the Mayor, Greenpeace added.

 

Laguna Lake has only one outlet – Manila Bay via the Pasig River, which is often clogged with water lilies that grow abundantly in the lake. Yet, it is fed by 22 major tributaries in a 45,000 sq. km. catchment area. It is a buffer for flood waters, especially from Marikina River. Not including the lake, the pollution from households and firms in this vast catchment area ending up in the lake is massive.

 

Within the catchment area are many export processing zones, which have semiconductor firms, a major source of pollutants. A Greenpeace report in 2007 revealed water samples from community handpumps in Guandong, China near electronic and semiconductor facilities showed “elevated levels of toxic zinc and vanadium”, and trihalomethanes, a carcinogenic. Greenpeace filed a similar report on Laguna Lake (see ‘sources’ below). Heavy metals have settled on the lake bed cumulatively through the decades, which is hard to clean up. There is little rehabilitation being done. DENR and LLDA mainly do monitoring.

 

The lake is only 1 meter above sea level, making gravitational outflow weak. Add the water-lily factor and the lake is relatively stagnant and flood-prone. Water levels rise quickly during rainy season and recedes quickly during droughts. Laguna Lake is oddly the largest but shallowest lake nationwide. Its average depth is a mere 2.8 meters, yet it is 911 to 949 sq. km. in area. Water quickly dries up in such a large area, exposing large areas of the shore. This is perhaps why there was a ‘manganese surge’, which Maynilad attributed to the lowering of water level due to the El Nino.
 
Maynilad admitted the manganese surge when they issued a warning to consumers to put a cloth filter on their tap to catch manganese silt. Silt can settle in home water tanks, and sip into the underground water table when you water your garden. If there are 100 million liters a day for 1.2 million consumers, this is quite a big impact.

 

On top of the silt problem is manganese dissolved in water, which goes into food if used to wash rice or vegetables or for coffee or soup. So consumers, be warned. The yellowish tint of cloth filter persisted for a few more weeks. Deadly solid particulates should never enter the household water system.

 

The DENR needs to conduct an investigation, gather past historical sampling tests, and recommend whether Maynilad should continue to tap Laguna Lake water. A massive LGU campaign against dumpsites and household wastes is also urgent. LLDA should start using the environment fees it exacts from firms for the environment. If we stop sourcing Laguna Lake, we may have a water crisis. If we continue, we may have a poison crisis. Without any action, we may be headed for an environmental tsunami. (Sources – greenpeace.org1 / greenpeace.org2 / waterworld.com / philstar / llda.gov.ph.)

 

(The author is a Filipino senior columnist in the last 20 years, presently with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, a former radio-TV broadcaster at Radio Veritas, a former documentary producer-director at ABS-CBN, GMA7, TVS Tokyo, and a former Ateneo University professor.)

 

***************
Four Meditation Verses

 

trust in the Lord
when He shuts a door
He opens a window
 
************
oh that You would hide me in the underworld
and shelter me until Your wrath has past
set a time for it to pass, then remember me

 

job 14:13

 

***************
return to Me
all you who have left Me
in stealth and silence
you are all My children
 
in the farthest nook where you go
I am there seeking you
in the longest time you are gone
I await your return with eagerness
 
know that in Me you are full
and without Me you are null

 

eastwind

 

***************
at the center of the milky way is a super-black hole
that controls the billions of stars in the galaxy
every planet, every grain of sand
 
a teaspoon of black-hole matter weighs like a million suns
yet its awesome power is a mere shadow of the Lord’s
Who made billions of galaxies
 
yet the black-hole is nothing compared to you
because in you is the Lord
Creator of the universe

 

eastwind

 

amdg
eastwind journals05 Jul 2016 06:19 pm

WHAT HAPPENS IF CHINA IGNORES THE HAGUE?

WHAT HAPPENS IF CHINA IGNORES THE HAGUE?
Deep Economic Ramifications
 
eastwind journals 185
 
By Bernie V. Lopez, eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com

 

http://www.sisterraquel.com/2016/07/what-happens

 

if you think bread, you and your family shall be nourished
if you think bullets, you and your family shall perish
if you think peace, you shall inherit the earth
if you think war, it shall come to you

 

eastwind

 

The root problem actually is within China. There is a clear contradiction between the ruling Communist Party, which is behind the continued militarization of the Spartly-Paracel islands, and Corporate China, which is behind the effort to forge economic partnerships with Southeast Asian nations. One offers bullets, the other bread, which confuses the recipient, who instinctively may back away and turn to the West. Militarization will pre-empt economic partnerships. Coercion will pre-empt cooperation.

 

If The Hague decides in favor of the Philippines (due on July 12), and China ignores the decision, we are entering a new unprecedented situation. If China defies international law, its image will suffer in the eyes of neighbors whom it urgently seeks as development partners to get out of its current economic downturn. What are the deep economic ramifications of China defying the international communities?

 

China recently setup an investment bank to rival World Bank and ADB. Half the size of ADB and a quarter size of World Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was forged in June 2015 when 50 nations signed as founding members. AIIB’s goal is the development of infrastructure in Asia, including energy, power, transportation, telecommunications, agriculture, etc.

 

To understand the clout of AIIB, we enumerate here the founding members – Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

 

The first set of AIIB loans to global borrowers are due for approval this July, coinciding ironically with the The Hague decision. If China defies the The Hague decision, this may have a ripple effect on these loans. Borrowers, realizing China as a rogue nation defying international law, may become rogue themselves in retaliation, reneging on approved AIIB loans, or boycotting future ones. After all, there is the World Bank-IMF-ADB Consortium. Some observers say that is a far-fetched possibility. Borrowers would not dare renege on loans. But what if a Chinese warship sinks a Filipino boat in the Spratlys or a Vietnamese boat in the Paracels with a lot of casualties, would borrowers begin to dare? Historically, China has fired on numerous ships of ASEAN members. The radicalized moves of protagonists in a situation of heightened hostilities are unpredictable. An eye for an eye.

 

One example of a possible massive effect of The Hague on China is the proposed $40-billion 3,900-km. Kunming–Singapore bullet train railway, which will connect Singapore to deep within the China mainland. The impact on China’s international trade is vast. The rail will pass through Malaysia, Laos, Thailand, and possibly Vietnam, which, in a heightened conflict in the Paracel-Spratly area, may end up in the closure of the railway, and the boycott AIIB.

 

Indeed, AIIB has the potential to bring harmony in the Asian region if the economists preaching cooperation prevails over the Party preaching coercion. We are calling on the Communist Party to please understand Corporate China’s point that the key to peace and progress is cooperation, not coercion. (Sources – kunming-singapore / aiib-analysis / grenatec / aiib.org) Bernie V. Lopez, eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com

 

(The author is a Filipino senior columnist in the last 20 years, presently with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, a former radio-TV broadcaster at Radio Veritas and GNN, a former documentary producer-director for ABS-CBN, GMA7, TVS of Tokyo, and a former Ateneo University professor.)

 

******************
MEDITATION MUSIC
In your inner garden, in the morning mist when you wake up
In the chapel or church by earphones
 
GREGORIAN CHANTS 
female voices, 45 min.
Inviolate intergra et casta es Maria, by Chant Group Psallentes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vx-EuKM8I6Q&list=PL27A1F0E610C21303
 
male female voices, 47 min.
Sacred Gregorian Chants
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6V8CoyzBc4E
 
male voices
Pentecost, by Choralschola Der Wiener Hofburgerkapelle
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLNrsQcpD00
 
Prayer of St Francis, by Ryan Cayabyab
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9-FlrMTLn8
 
amdg 
eastwind journals05 Jun 2016 12:26 am

OUR LADY OF POONBATO – a pilgrim center risis

OUR LADY OF POONBATO
A Pilgrim Center Rises
 
http://www.sisterraquel.com/2016/06/our-lady-of-poonbato
 
eastwind journals 184

 

By Bernie Lopez
eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com

 

 
Our Lady of Poonbato has its genesis in the community of semi-nomadic Aetas, living since pre-history in the rainforests of the once-angry volcano of Mt. Pinatubo in Zambales, Philippines. Today, the devotion to Ina Poonbato (Our Lady of the Stone Tree) has grown rapidly from an ancient tribal legend into a resilient national pilgrim center, adopted by both Catholics and Aglipays coexisiting in this once-sleepy village of Poonbato. Noted as a healing center, it is now slowly evolving into a global pilgrim center after Saint John Paul II blest a statue of Ina in 1985.

 

The Miracle of the Helicopter

 

When Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991, Sister Raquel Reodica, RVM (Religious of the Virgin Mary), a Catholic nun noted as the “cancer healer of the Lord”, visited their mission house in Poonbato, Botolan, Zambales, Philippines. As the RVM sisters were helping to rescue the Aetas, they found the five-foot statue of Ina Poonbato buried in lahar up to the shoulders (see photos). They tried to extricate it, digging around the lahar, but it would not budge.

 

The statue of Ina imbedded in lahar at the bank of Botolan river after the Mt. Pinatubo eruption.

 

Sister Raquel asked a colonel if his helicopter could possibly extricate the statue. The colonel said it was impossible for the helicopter to lift a heavy cement statue. Sister Raquel insisted, “Just try, colonel. Nothing to lose.” Finally, he gave in, instructing the pilot to abandon the job if it was too heavy. The helicopter extricated the image with ease. The colonel ran up excitedly to Sr. Raquel, “Sister, it’s a miracle. The pilot says the helicopter weighing scale recorded ‘zero weight’.”

 

The Mustard Seed

 

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” Matthew 13:31.

 

Like the parable of the mustard seed, symbolic of God’s kingdom, growing into a giant tree (Matthew 13:31), the devotion to Ina Poonbato had humble ethnic beginnings back in the late 17th century, but slowly grew into a national pilgrim center. Sisters Babie Hilario and Joyce Fablos at the Catholic shrine report that in the past few years, pilgrims have soared, coming from as far as Bataan, Ilocos, Metro-Manila, Bulacan, San Pedro in Laguna, Dasmarinas in Cavite, San Isidro in Laguna. Sister Babie estimates that in last feast day on January 23-24, 2016, about 12,000 to 14,000 pilgrims converged in Poonbato, based on an overflowing attendance in 14 masses in a single day.

 

Last March 4, the Mayor of Gumaca in Quezon led dozens of pilgrims to Poonbato. He vowed that, if his son would pass the board exam, he would return as a pilgrim in gratitude. On March 11, he indeed came back. His son passed the board. He brought many replicas of Ina (mother) to Gumaca, spreading the good news to the town. There are many reports from both Catholics and Aglipays of prayers granted – the sick being healed, the childless having children.

Evening procession at Botolan, Holy Week 2016.

 

The mustard seed promises to go global. Many Filipino devotees in the US and EU have replicas of Ina. There are devotees today in Filipino communities in the US and EU, having replicas of Ina. Perhaps it is because, back in October 1985, Pope John Paul II blest an image brought to the Vatican by the late Rosellyn Magsaysay, wife of Zambales ex-Gov. Jun Magsaysay. Rosellyn was Ina’s instrument in spreading the devotion towards a Global Marian Pilgrim Center by promoting the devotion to Filipino communities in her many trips to the US and EU.

Saint John Paul II blesses the statue of Ina brought to the Vatican by Roselynn Magsaysay in 1985.
 
Oral History
 
Franklin Narciso, an Aglipay, is a reported direct descendant of the Aeta chieftain Apang (Chieftain) Djadig, who ‘discovered’ the image of Ina back in the 17 century. This is precious oral history of the birth of Ina. Except for small details, Sisters Babie and Flor confirm the story. Franklin is the caretaker of the Aglipay church as of this writing. A small group of local families manage the Aglipay church.
 
Franklin relates that there was a drought then, and Djadig, a noted hunter, went out to hunt to feed his hungry family. Finding no prey, he rested and slept under a tree with huge rocks (hence Poonbato, meaning ‘tree stone’). He was awakened by the voice of a lady who said, “Do not to be afraid. Go to the side of a mountain. If you catch a deer, come back to me.” (According to a Catholic document, the lady simply said, “Take me home with you.”)
 
Franklin Narciso, surviving kin of Apang Djadig who discovered the statue of Our Lady in the 17th century, is the source of oral history of Ina.
 
Ina Poonbato has an extensive wardrobe. Her dress is changed weekly.

 

Djadig obeyed. When he came back to the tree, there was an elegant wooden statue of the lady, which he brought home, forgetting about the deer in his excitement. His wife was angry because he failed to bring home food. She threw the statue into a fire, and the house was burnt to the ground, but the statue was not damaged. Instantly, the wife had a lingering skin disease, and when she caressed the image of Ina, she was healed. Apang Djadig built a grotto for Ina and announced to his tribe that she had healing powers. True enough, many were healed. They held an annual feast for Ina, their healer.

 

When the Spanish Augustinian Recoletos arrived in 1736, they took the statue and named it Nuestra Senora de la Paz y Buenviaje, (Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage). The Aetas killed the priests and retrieved the statue. The Recoletos made a replica of cement, reportedly the one Sr. Raquel retrieved from the lahar, and which reportedly stands today in a grotto behind the Catholic church (see photo). Then the story gets blurred how the devotion proliferated through the centuries.
 
The original statue as it stands today at the Poonbato Catholic Church, rescued from lahar by Sr. Raquel Reodica, RVM.

 

Interestingly, at the onset, there was no competition between Aglipays and Catholics. They shared the same church and took turns in their rituals. The Catholics later built its own present-day shrine. Today, pilgrims visit both Aglipay and Catholic churches, symbol of Marian ecumenism. Today, Ina is the mother of Aglipays and Catholics, of Aetas and non-Aetas.

 

The devotion to Ina now revolves around a pilgrim center that promises to be global, reaching out to Filipino communities in the US and EU. Like Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico, Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage is of ethnic origin. eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com

 

 

amdg
eastwind memoirs21 May 2016 02:33 am

THE ART OF DRIFTING eastwind wings and wanderlust

The Art of Drifting
 
eastwind memoirs 13
version 2
 
by Bernie V. Lopez
eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com

http://www.sisterraquel.com/2016/05/the-art-of-drifting

This is the 13th excerpt from the book Wings and Wanderlust. I discovered the art of drifting back in the 70s. I was lucky to escape New York City, a spiritual desert that left me empty. I embarked on an adventure of a lifetime that I called eastwind, hitchhiking 25,000 kilometers for 3 years, drifting through 18 countries in Europe and North Africa.

It was a mind-boggling heart-rending storm-chasing experience that changed me dramatically, every fiber of my soul. It was a violent hurricane and gentle breeze all at once.
 

Drifting is addictive. I have met people who have been on the road for 20 years. I did only 36 months and it was so filling and intense, I needed to stop. For me, drifting was only a ‘pro­cess’, a spiritual phase, a preparation for a vocation or a career, a key to self-discovery. But there were a few rare ‘extremists’, the ‘hard core’, the ‘professional drifters’ who made it a way of life.

The art of drifting and self-discovery is based on things which are many times against everything we learned in school. The Brain Matrix below explains. The right brain is the poet in you. The left brain is the engineer in you.

Click photo to blow up.

Cover of the book Wings and Wanderlust,
with critiques from Ateneo philosophy students.

Order the book – email eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com.
 
when you enter the dark forest
good and bad things lurk
to make and break your soul
take the chance, you will not regret it
darkness and light will encompass you
make the Lord your beacon
gather strength in His grace
and everything will fall into place
 
THE BRAIN MATRIX
 
right brain
left brain
frame
overall
spiritual
imagination
conscience
philosophical
random
role
creativity
intuitive
play piano by ear
compose
pictures, vision, ideas
inspiration
whole
final goal
synthesize
strategy
integrate
discern
fluid
holistic
monolithic
surrealism
abstract
improvised
spontaneous
unpredictable
risk
estimated
qualitative
controller
architect
pianist
poet
no rules
freedom
flesh
detail
spatial
memory
knowledge
technical
sequential
tasks
accuracy
logical
schooled piano
read notes
words, grammar, vocabulary
perspiration
parts
steps
analyze
tactic
break up
compute
rigid
one at a time
granular
realism
concrete
programmed
studied
predictable
assurance
precise
quantitative
accountant
engineer
carpenter
mathematician
rules
discipline
 
the pendulum swung from structured to unstructured
order to chaos, completeness to vacuum
sequential to random, steps to non-steps
programs to non-programs
right brain to left brain
in all the absurdity there was meaning
in all the meaning there was absurdity
 
Every­one has a left and right brain. The art of wings and self-discovery belongs to the right brain. It is therefore important to make the right brain dominate your actions and decisions while on the road. Other­wise, you will not attract magical experiences by chance, you will find yourself more elusive, and you may remain in a whirlpool or vicious circle of caution and disci­pline.
 

But there must be balance, like Yin and Yang, like light and darkness. You cannot survive the whirl­wind if you are totally right-brained. Complete abandon to the whirlwind is not practical. There are limits to ‘un-planning’.

The right brain mysteriously senses danger but when it is there, the left brain must plan a course of action to avoid that danger. Left and right brains complement each other. We know the meaning of dark­ness only because we know the meaning of light and dark­ness is the absence of light. Light and darkness are bound together and is manifested in the lights and shadows on a face. We do not see anything if it is white on white or black on black. We see everything if it is white on black or black on white.

to be idle is not evil
you must be empty so you can be filled
nothingness complements fullness
they are cosmic partners like yin and yang
like light and darkness yielding shadows and figures
 
when no thoughts enter your mind
that is the time you discern your being
you become aware of your fullness
be the undisturbed water in a pool
as smooth as a mirror
that you may see yourself clearly
 
Finally, wings and self-discovery are a form of education beyond one’s wildest dream. I compare it to a doctorate but only much more. A doctorate degree can be an arm chair affair, vicari­ous, book-bound. Its wisdom is theoretical and of the mind. Drifting is sensual. Its wisdom is experiential and of the heart. I can still smell the fried fish in Tetouan, Morocco. I can hear the distant peal of sheep bells in the Portuguese countryside near Fatima. I can still feel the sting of fine grain of Sahara sand on my face.
 

Scattered excerpts

Fellow drifters from Mauritius at Pisa, Italy. Note the author’s eastwind sweater.

 

***************
all is darkness, all is silence
suddenly, a nova blinds the eyes
thunder rapes the ears
all is darkness, all is silence once again
 
My general plan was to head south for winter where it was warmer. I was on a general direction towards southern Spain, that was all. Nothing speci­fic. My right brain was functioning. That was good. But my left brain kept bobbing up. It was a product of my programmer’s time frame, quick, short and with no orienta­tion to linger, overly conscious of efficiency. I was still a green­horn as an adventurer. Order was pullng me down. I needed chaos. As soon as I saw a place, I moved.
 

Drifting does not hurry. It lingers so one can absorb people and places more deeply. Drifting is precisely defying the regularity of nine to five schedule and programmed city life. Tourists who have no time have to hurry and cover a lot of ground in a short time. Time frame is a product of lifestyle. But you can change your time frame by changing your lifestyle.

**********
I was starting to avoid the big cities because they posed more effort to get in, seek complex tourist informa­tion, then get out. It was more complex, more maps and streets to study, more for the left brain. The people in the cities were also more busy and colder. The thing was to simplify. The countryside and villages of Europe were more edible to me. The people were also more warm and had more time to talk. Quiet, no hustle and bustle, the Old World in its rural splen­dour was nice, more for the right brain.
 
**************
From Faro, I headed  for Vila  Franca de Xira  to see  the bulls.  They gave me a good tip. This time, I had to make it on a specific date. It was a time to be prompt. I couldn’t miss it. My left brain took over. I made sure I made it on time even though I was hitch­ing. I arrived at Xira after noon, just in time for the bulls. In the evening, the right brain was in charge. All the houses offered grilled sardinas frescas and agua pe (cheap red wine ) to passers-by.  I was drunk with joy. Alone, I slept in the woods, thanking the Lord for the gift of serendipity.
 

Robert Frost wrote –
the woods are lovely dark and deep
but I have promises to keep
and miles to go before I sleep
 
eastwind writes
the woods are lovely dark and deep
and i have promises to skip
and on the roadside until dawn i sleep
 
****************
The best medicine for loneliness or boredom on the road was the road itself, I was starting to learn. Pain and loneli­ness vanished instantly when the excitement of the road emerged, when I looked towards the horizon. This would happen many times, Madrid, Canary Islands, Zurich. Whenever I felt lonely, I ran away from it by achieving the speed of light. Motion was the best friend of the drifter. That was the advan­tage of wings. You can run anytime and to anywhere. You can run away from pain, at least for now, not forever.
 
****************
I lived in a seashore cave for a month in Lanzarote, Canary Islands. No electricity. I gathered a ton of discarded  candle drips from the garbage, re-melted it in 25 sardine cans. At night, one could see my cave glow from the outside. Every other night, I invited 8 other backpackers living in tents and other caves to my ‘party’. I served gofio, crude hot chocolate. My cave was the biggest and the brightest and the center of the Universe.

*************

hitchhiking requires both left and right brains
left brain for the physical
right brain for the spiritual
miss one and you miss the other
it’s all or nothing
 

**************

By the time I reached Barcelona from Andorra, I was completely trans­formed from my New York self. I was ready for the world, ready for Spain which colonized my country for three hundred years. Now, I was bold and daring. I was begin­ning to realize the importance of not planning and of walking aimlessly as the best form of drift. My nascent right brain was swell­ing and constricting my programmer’s left brain.

*************
Getting lost in crowded cities became a habit… Athens, Rotterdam, Copenhagen. Once you got the hang of it, it was great, a powerful tool to absorb new places and new people. I drifted aimlessly, not knowing where to go but having the gut feel where to go. Discovering new places this way was better than a planned cerebral organized map-based or book-based tour. You have no expectations. You are not looking for a place a book mentions. Your left brain is recedes. Your right brain swells. You are thus surprised at seeing things. Later on, after another six months, I would expand unplanned city travel to unplanned country travel. I would hitch without knowing where to go. The essence of drift is the right brain. And I discovered that – better than discovering magical places is discovering magical people.
 
for the new adventurer danger is its own end
for danger is a deeply moving experience
but danger is a double-edged sword
one blade is the razor’s edge of excitement
the other blade is the razor’s edge of disaster
one has to make a choice
whether to take the tight-rope walk
whether to take the one giant leap
into the abyss leading to nowhere and everywhere
 
**************  
The economics of drifting is your left brain function­ing. No money no honey. It is a good complement to your right brain which takes care of beautiful sunsets, exhilarating roller coaster rides and the magic of the road.
 
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20 long years after eastwind, I wrote from sheer memory the book Wings and Wanderlust (The Art of Discovering Your Inner Self). It took me two weeks of frenzied ‘stream of consciousness’ to finish the book, sleeping an average of 2 hours every night. I feared that if I stopped, I would lose momentum. It took me one year to refine and edit it. The book is a mix of adventure anecdotes mixed with philosophical verses.
 

ORDER THE BOOK – email eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com

READ OTHER eastwind MEMOIRS

12 – EASTWIND VERSES
http://www.sisterraquel.com/2015/02/eastwind-verse
11 – HITCHHIKING WITH A GUITAR
http://www.sisterraquel.com/2014/12/hitchhiking
09 – THE COLORFUL FILIPINO SEAMEN Piraeus, Greece
http://www.sisterraquel.com/2014/06/the-colorful-filipino-seamen
08 – FILIPINOS AS GLOBAL MUSICIANS Leidseplein, Amsterdam
http://www.sisterraquel.com/2014/08/filipino-as
07 – A SWEDISH DAMSEL CALLED OLGA Canary Islands, North Africa
http://www.sisterraquel.com/2014/04/eastwind-memoirs-07
06 – THE 25,000-KM 3-YEAR TREK eastwind overview
http://www.sisterraquel.com/2013/11/eastwind-memoirs-06
05 – JACK DANIELS AND THE CANADIAN BELLES Algarve, Portugal
http://www.sisterraquel.com/2013/10/eastwind-memoirs-05
04 – THE BEDOUIN GIRL Tetouan, Morocco
http://www.sisterraquel.com/2013/10/eastwind-memoirs-04
03 – PILGRIMAGE TO FATIMA the 7-day 80-km hike, Portugal
http://www.sisterraquel.com/2013/10/eastwind-memoirs-03
02 – BRAWL IN A PORTUGUESE BAR Vila Franca de Santo Antonio, Portugal
http://www.sisterraquel.com/2013/10/eastwind-memoirs-02
01 – TWO FILIPINOS IN ATHENS Greece
http://www.sisterraquel.com/2013/10/eastwind-memoirs-01
 
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5 MEDITATION POSTERS

Click photos to blow up

 

amdg

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