Thursday, January 31, 2013

A day in the life of fishermen

The poor fishermen couldn't find a catch.  Perhaps it was too late in the day and the fish went back to sleep.  Or maybe there no were fish left in the pond.

Juan: "Got any catch?"

Esteban: "Only some useless pearls which I threw back in the water.  Couldn't eat 'em."

Juan: "Aye... same here.  I found an old gold Rolex.  Who could eat that?"

Hope your day is going well.

Happy Thursday.

© 2013 Rob Castro

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Preparing for Sumaguing Cave

That is me with the chicken legs. Rose loves to call them chicken legs because she is jealous of my skinny legs. Right next to me is of course Kamilah. She's got "wow" legs. Rose took this picture one early morning before we entered the Sumaguing Cave, a must place to see while in the mountain village of Sagada. According to, "... as the Big Cave, it is perhaps the most popular and frequently visited place here. Sumaguing Cave has the largest chamber of all connecting caves in town (there are more than 60 known caves underneath Sagada). One needs to trek down a slippery trail from its mouth to see the magnificent formations of stalactites and stalagmites that took thousands of years to shape."

30 years ago I entered this cave. Not a lot people knew about it. Back then it was not easy to get a guide to go with you. I heard some foreigners died going at it by themselves. The trek is physically demanding and difficult and a bit dangerous. I thank God that Rose and I were still able to revisit this place. It'll probably be the last time. I'm glad we were able to share with Kamilah this experience.

More to come.

Farming at the end of the day

Farmers can be peculiar.  They have more faith than anyone else.  Whenever they farm, they are pretty much going by with the idea that the rain would come to irrigate their crop, there would be no pestilence and hopefully the local bad characters would not steal any of their produce.  I’m not sure I could be a farmer.

The person in picture supervised the reapers working on the rice field at San Antonio, Culasi.  When I look at this person, I see contentment.  Seems to be a virtue that is getting more difficult to find by nowadays.     

Hope your day is going well.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hope for the flowers

The weather in the Philippines was erratic when we were there.  One day it stormed and we almost got stranded on the beach because of flooding.  The next day it was clear as though nothing happened.  A few days before, several thousands of people in another island south of us were badly hit by land slide.  This picture I took right after the storm reminded me how ephemeral life can be.

This trip has been humbling.  I've got into an accident, dislocated my shoulder, realized I'm too old to do much trekking and caving (so I'm glad I was still able to do it), lost some petty stuff along the way, realized they were petty when before I would have thrown fits, got upset when I discovered somebody removed Mommy's bones from Loyola, conceded there was nothing I could do to find where they are now located, and a bunch of surprises and nuisances too trivial to even mention -- yet I concluded that these were all God's will --  to humble me.

I hope your day is going well.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bukas Na Kami

Between December 16, 2012 and January 3, 2013, I met some of the most beautiful people in the Philippines. This book documents their stories. The title "Bukas Na Kami" is a play on words in the Pilipino language. It could either mean "We are open" or "Tomorrow it's us." I'll let the viewers decide which translation they like.

The book is available at and through private orders. Message me if you are interested. Thanks.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

From the beginning

The Adidas Kid is the best tribal drummer in the mountain village of Sagada.  What is amazing about his skill is he uses cheese sticks to beat the drums.  By the time he is done, he is ready to pour the cheese on his pasta aka Pansit.  The person on the left is one of his roadies who carries a big stick for back up.  The one on the middle watches the lantern to ensure that he gets lighted sufficiently during his performance.

© 2013 Rob Castro

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The absence of necessity

Unfazed by the surrounding air.  Isolated yet free.  The absence of necessity.

© 2013 Rob Castro