A Plantito with Black Thumb

I have always recognized that I do not have a green thumb.  Though I love plants and have taken cared quite a number of them in the past, plants don’t love me back.  My relatives can attest that I have purchased countless number of plants in the past, but all chose to breathe their last breath and declined to settle with me in my condo unit.  I sometimes correlate my relations to plants as a form of unrequited love! 

When I and my family would go out of town, I would often suggest to stop at a garden store by a roadside before heading back to Manila for I want to acquire new greens.  “Are you looking for a new victim?” or “You’re just wasting some bucks” are the usual remarks of my relatives when I would suggest my buying new plants.

the recent garden shop where i purchased my succulents… i can hear these greens saying… “no! not me!!!” LOL!

I have always thought that I would make a good gardener because I had an A+ grade in my Botany subjects during my old school days and would even had the time and fortitude of talking to these plants.  But all these photosynthetic members of the Kingdom Plantae refuse to live with me.  My relatives has even tagged me as having the black thumb or even worse the black-kiss-of-death thumb!

Owning and taking care of plants here in Manila is the new craze.  Like me, this has been some of people’s emotional outlet or thing to do and be busy of indoors during this time of quarantining and pandemic. 

This has been evidenced by the steady increase in the number of social media posts of people posing behind, in front or beside their happy and healthy plants!  People call these plant-fanatics and shrub-obsessed folks as Plantitas (for female) and Plantitos (for male) of Manila.

In my recent out of town adventure, I again purchased a new batch of plants to enjoy and take care of.  I hope these creatures are as glad as I am.  I am really hoping that this new batch will live a long life and would finally erase my being a black thumb.

if those trees can run, i’m pretty sure they’ve moved way way farther! hahaha!

my not-so-happy green companions! please don’t die…(my recent purchases)

But if these plants chose to reject me and die instead, I will still care for one and would just have to melodramatically remind myself that old warriors may have to fight a long battle more than once to win it.  And if one zany plant would finally decide to settle it out with me, I will call myself a Plantito who would be smiling while sharing social media pictures with it.

Looking forward to having photos with these new plants!

Haler Baler…

One measure to prove that a traveler is so fascinated by a holiday destination is when he experienced the wanderlust to come back.  It is the strong desire and the itching feeling of wanting to return and re-experience the stunning sights and striking sounds of such captivating destination.

I have done a lot of returning and re-experiencing of various spellbinding tourist destinations myself both locally and internationally.  And one destination that has recently been added up to this beautiful list is Baler.  In less than a year I am back visiting this countrified town of Aurora Province here in the Philippines.

What I particularly loved about Baler is that there are so much to see, do and explore.  And that every spot is so overwhelmingly beautiful.  Add to that are the surprisingly affordable restaurants and food establishments  that offers fresh, delicious and hearty meals.

To further substantiate that I am truly captivated by this place, I returned back with Nengkoy and my family for them to see and experience for themselves how much fun I had the first time I visited.  And true enough, Baler for the second time around did not fail to amaze the traveler in me.

A very long rickety yet enjoyable Hanging Bridge

A very long rickety yet enjoyable Hanging Bridge

enjoying the sea breeze at the baywalk

enjoying the sea breeze at the baywalk

me & nengkoy posing at lukso-lukso beach & islets

me & nengkoy posing at lukso-lukso beach & islets

the millenium tree! one of the largest trees in asia..

the millenium tree! one of the largest trees in asia..

the surf is up at Sabang Beach!

the surf is up at Sabang Beach!

magnificent Mother Falls!

magnificent Mother Falls!

the view up the lighthouse hill...

the view up the lighthouse hill…

And what is even further amazing about this return is that members of family were equally amazed by the beauty, warmth and hospitality of this gorgeous province.  I wont be surprised if I will again be back in this province and say “Haler… Baler…”

Babalik-babalik pa mor…

Old Majestic Tree in Aurora

Trees are considered one of life-sources.  Aside from being the great oxygen supplier, trees also makes the world a beautiful place to live in.

After seeing the majestic trees that grew from the ruins of Ta Prohm temple in Siem Reap Cambodia, I thought I will never be again fascinated by any living tree on the planet.

But after being enchanted by the massive 600+ year old tree in the town of Maria Aurora in Aurora Province here in the Philippines, I knew I am mistaken.  Hailed as the Millennium Tree, this breathtaking Balete type of a tree is considered to be the largest of its kind in the whole of Asia.

nature's gigantic masterpiece

nature’s gigantic masterpiece; i’m like meters away standing from the tree…

Unlike the massive roots of the trees in Siem Reap, people can actually enter through the hoards of root shafts of this 200 feet tall tree.

super UGAT! "inside" the massive tree

super UGAT!
“inside” the massive tree

I’m pretty sure there are higher, older and more massive trees in some tucked away and untouched forest or mountainside on the planet.  But what makes the Millennium Tree more meaningful and delightful is that people are actually allowed to climb up to a certain point so as to feel and further appreciate it firsthand.

Seeing thrilled tourists climbing up or passing through the narrow crevices of its roots were like little boys and girls being cradled by no less than the enchanting Mother Nature.

Bonggang puno…