Tag Archives: ethan

Peace pond and a ferris wheel for Ethanation (Christmas 2013).

Ethan played holins (marbles in English), learned a new game called taxi’ (no English translation), witness a budol eating fight and headed the pitching of the tents for all the kids to sleep in.  He also bought another wooden slingshot from the market and practiced his slingshot. He never gets to do this in the States.  Peace Pond is Ethan’s 3rd home.

This trip, Ethan stayed in Peacepond for 3 days, then went to my uncle’s punong which is also a fish pond farm and we were there two days. Christmas day in Silay. And we stayed in in Manila because he caught a virus. On our last day, we went up Skyranch in Tagaytay and he rode his first zipline.  The Skyranch has the tallest ferris wheel in the country.


Sagada is high enough.

For many many years, I’ve been haunted by this elusive trip to Sagada. I’ve organized 3 trips already and they all never happened. Once, I was packed and in the bus station with 2 friends. It was a Holy Wednesday and there were no tickets to any bus out of Manila already.  My two friends who had just met then thru me decided to go with a group of foreigners who were looking for extra bodies to fill up a jeep they’ve rented to go up to Sagada from Manila because they too weren’t able to get bus tickets.  I was the only one who did not join them because of my severe case of claustrophobia, I couldn’t put myself in a jeep for over 12 hours, I just knew I wouldn’t survive that trip.

So I’ve had these lists, notes and research about Sagada all ready for a trip up but every year ended up with a broken promise to climb up.  A dear friend, a best friend of one of my best friend and couple has a house up in Sagada and a standing invitation to visit them and feel at home– a perk that is as valuable as gold.  To be hosted by someone who actually lives there or of someone who actually grew up around the area is like being hosted by a friend who is a Native American indian in the great outdoors of the Grand Canyon.  You can’t have a better tour guide than that.

2013, it only took my son Ethan to say yes to a kind of trip like this and we went, no hesitation, nothing would stop it, not even what ended up to be a 17-hr bus trip to Bicol the week before and a super tough film shoot under the rain, sun, rain, mud and forrest conditions that left me over-fatigued– Sagada, here we come.

It’s one of those things– when it is meant to happen, it is meant to happen.  Ethan and I have been to so many places. We’ve driven thru the countryside of California together–with friends and just us two for hours on end, slept in a tent, fished, went boating, stopped at gasoline stations, visited thrift shops but nothing like this trip– a bus ride of 12 hours, just us two, bringing only our backpacks and headed out to the great wilderness of North Luzon, this was a very very special trip, one father and son ought to have at least once in their life.  I can’t wait for our next one actually.

I don’t have the skills to even write how nice Sagada was and is. So I’ll just leave a few photos here and encourage everyone to go up if you haven’t yet.  In our Ilonggo dialect, there is a reaction to a skillful person that literally means “that was great or you were good or you were great!” and it is “sagad ah!”  That’s what I think of when I see and hear the word Sagada. photo-14 photo-15 photo-16 photo-18 photo-19 photo-20 photo-21 photo-22 photo-23 photo-25 photo-26 photo-27 photo-28

Try fishing…

You know that saying–

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

This is not about that saying.

...at Big Bear, September of 2012.

…at Big Bear, September of 2012.

Ethan just loves fishing. I have no idea where he got it from but ever since he was a kid, he just loved to go fishing. And this was fishing in the province—in Peace Pond with one of his best friends Miles. Miles would make a fishing rod out of a long piece of stick and a hook and off they went.

So on one of my visits to the States, we looked for a fishing lake and there, Ethan learned how to properly fish. They had professional fishing people and they taught him everything, we got him a whole set of gears—the real stuff. He had his own tackle box and fishing rod with all the gadgets, it was great.

Then we went fishing on a Saturday. We were there at 6am because the professionals would go around and teach between 6-8am. So we were there and we learned a lot. This was at Irvine Lake, just 10 minutes from Tustin Ranch.

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That day, Ethan caught 8 fishes, that averaged 8 inches, they were not small fishes. Don’t ask what kind if fish they were coz I have no idea. See, Ethan fishes, I watch and learn alongside the kid.  Anyways, so there he was, catching one after the other and his tito Richard, a good friend of mine who is a camping expert would take out the fish and put it in our cooler. In the meantime, there were these two kids running back and forth from their campsite and they were astounded.  One of the kids was so astounded at Ethan’s catch, I didn’t know if his eyes would pop out, he was just freaking out. Ethan and I couldn’t stop ourselves from laughing at this kid.  So he ran back and forth and on the 8th catch, he tells us this really sad story—it was his birthday and they’d been there since this morning and haven’t caught anything and it was already mid-afternoon.

Ethan offered to give him a fish but he didn’t accept. We wanted him to catch something because it was his birthday but what could we do. What started out as a funny kid story became a sad one.

Our next trip was to Big Bear. We pitched a tent and fished. Richard wasn’t with us anymore, it was just Ethan and me.  We fished the whole afternoon till sundown. We didn’t catch any. The following morning, we rented a small boat and went out the lake. Nada. No fish.  But we were happy campers. I have to say the bonding experience is priceless.