Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Washington DC memories

The first time I went to Washington DC in the US was in May 2004. I was one of several International Fellows of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, then based in Fairfax, Virginia (now based in DC), and I attended several conferences in the US. First was the Mackinac Leadership Conference in Michigan, then the Heartland conference + Atlas Liberty Forum in Chicago, then meetings in DC and Virgina area. I stayed in the US for one month.

The second time I went to DC was in November 2009, also for another Atlas event and I was one of several panel speakers. Below, with Cindy Cirquitella of Atlas as panel moderator, Paulo Uebel from Brazil, and about three other speakers from Croatia, Nigeria, and Argentina I think. Thanks again to former Atlas VP, Jo Kwong, who would find funding for my travel scholarship.

I also attended a one-day discussion on several literatures about liberty. Below, Jo Kwong, in red dress, standing and introducing the activity.

Then I visited again the Americans for Tax Reforms (ATR) office. First time I saw their office was in 2004 and it was my first time to meet ATR President, Grover Norquist. Very articulate and intelligent free market leader. Below, with Grover's deputy, Chris Butler and a Russian lady scholar, Victoria Strokova, who authored the International Property Rights Index (IPRI) 2010 Report.

I also visited some buildings and structures, also the Smithsonian center.

I think this is the US Department of Agriculture.

I don't remember what  this building is, but it looked beautiful to me.

It was a freezing November for me; the locals would wear some not-so-thick jackets while I covered myself with a thick jacket even at daytime.

This coming early November, I will visit DC again for another conference and some meetings.

See also:

Mayflower Renaissance Hotel, Washington DC -- I stayed there, Nov. 9-12, 2009;

Ronald Reagan National Airport, Arlington, Virginia -- I exited the US from this airport twice, in 2004 and 2009.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Mango tree for sale; rice planting season

Huge, old mango tree for sale

We are selling this huge mango tree in the farm in Bugallon, Pangasinan. It should be at least 100 years old. It has been producing less and less fruits (if the fruits survive the annual pest, "kurikong manga"), some branches are dying or dead, they just break and fall down. Before other diseases will cause more internal rot inside this huge tree, we are selling it to furniture-makers.

How big in terms of diameter at breast height (dbh), I don't know, I did not bring a measurement device, but it would require about three men to hug the tree. Below, our farm caretakers, Nong Endring Paragas and his son, Danny.

There are many huge branches at the top, but some of them are already dead/rotting and some are dying, can no longer sustain even few leaves.

About 11 or 12 years ago, we also cut a huge, old and decaying mango tree in the farm. This is our dinning table in the house made from that mango tree. About 2 inches thick.

The wooden desk made from some big branches of that tree. If there are buyers interested for that lone mango tree, please email me at Thanks.

Rice planting season

I visited the farm last Sunday, July 12. Here is the rice field in front of my treehouse, being tilled by our long time caretaker, Nong Endring Paragas. To save money, he and some rice farmers just spread the rice seeds randomly.

Advantage is that they save on the cost of labor planting. Disadvantages are (a) this requires more seeds, (b) grasses and weeds can grow simultaneously with the young rice plants, and (c) more difficult to remove weeds later that compete for soil nutrients and sunlight for the crops.

Below, this is outside the farm. Another rice field in front of the house of Nong Endring's son, Danny, who also helps in the farm. The women in the photo (with umbrellas) are uprooting the young rice, bundle them, to be transported to nearby rice fields for planting with equal spaces in between them.

Another side, just beside Danny's house. The south west monsoon (aka "Habagat") has resulted in nine days and nights of almost continuous rains in western Pangasinan-Zambales and nearby provinces.

Another set of rice fields, near our farm. Lots of water.

A mama carabao and her few months old kid. A few farmers still use farm animals to till the soil. This is non-costly of course but work is slow. One hand tractor can do work of perhaps 5 carabaos.

Above are among the sights that I enjoy whenever I visit the farm.

See also:
Vietnam rice terraces, April 03, 2013
Around My Treehouse, May 02, 2013 
Maya Bird as Rice Pest, May 05, 2014

Fields of gold, harvested, March 02, 2015

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Elle and Bien at Museo Iloilo, Oton Beach

Raiding my wife's photos as posted in her facebook wall,with the two girls in Iloilo, The other day they went to Museo Iloilo. I  myself  have not been there although  I  have been to the city many times.

The various art works look interesting.

Not at the Museo, but nice statues,showing the fishery livelihood of a municipality. Notice the giant crabs.

Yesterday, they went to a beach resort in Oton, Iloilo.

At Fort San Pedro, Iloilo, with a good view of Guimaras island-province at the  other side of the sea. Lower photo, Bien's bright face, with cousin Distiny.


See also:

Elle Marie and Bien Mary in Christmas 2014, January 04, 2015

Tamarind Springs Restaurant, Kuala Lumpur

On my last day in Kuala Lumpur, April 23, flying back to  Manila the next day, IDEAS CEO and friend Wan Saiful Wan Jan, brought me and fellow panel speaker Prof. Cris Lingle, to this very beautiful restaurant in a suburb of KL, the Tamarind Springs. IDEAS hard working staff Yogi and Amir joined us. It was after our panel workshop at the ASEAN People's Forum (APF) 2015, then a visit at IDEAS office.

It is wide , rolling and spacious, surrounded by  many big trees. The place is in a high-end suburban residential area of KL. From the carpark area, one must walk about 60 meters to the resto proper. Nice water fountain.

With many freshwater turtles, cool.

A golf course below the resto.

Some of the big trees on one side of the  restaurant.

From where we  sat on the  2nd floor, this swimming pool  is visible.

But it seems no one is using or  swimming in this  pool, moss and small fishes inhabit  the pool. This view is opposite where I  took the photo above.

No need for air-con, just a silent ceiling fan.

The bar. Buddha in red lights.

I forgot to take photos of our food, but it was sooooo delicious. I was not feeling well that afternoon actually. After slurping the soup, it was like magic, I immediately felt better. So I took more soup and the yummy fish.

This pathway from the carpark to the resto is lighted by those small scented candles at dawn until evening. Here the candles were already laid. Really nice and cool place.

Thanks again Wan, Yogi and Amir, for that great and memorable panel discussion then dinner.

See also:

Yummy Korean Food, July 12, 2013

Food of Penang, Malaysia, September 14, 2012

Elle and Bien in Iloilo Santa cruzan

The two girls left for Iloilo last Saturday night with their Mama, to participate in the local fiesta, Santa Cruzan in Lapaz, Iloilo City, the next day. Here they are, last Sunday morning, May 24. Elle was wearing  a new gown while Bien was wearing a gown that her Ate Elle used a few years ago.

 Colorful, right? Although Elle complained of the long walk :-)

After the walk, with their Mama Ella.

At home with their Lola Moyette or Lola Music, and their cousin Distiny. At my in laws' house in Lapaz, Iloilo City.

With Lolo Leo, cousins Distiny and Yoshi.

Have changed dress, photo with Mama Ella.

Elle got long legs, nice. And she likes to bring a book anywhere she goes. She likes Thea Stilton and Geronimo Stilton books.

Bien and Mama.

At a beach in Iloilo.

Part 2 of their Iloilo visit soon...

See also:

Elle Marie's 8th Birthday Party, October 10, 2014

Bien Mary's 4th Birthday Party, October 10, 2014

Elle Marie and Bien Mary in Christmas 2014, January 04, 2015

Elle and Bien have Moved Up, March 27, 2015