Carolyn and her Rough Guide to Ilocos

The Rough Guide to The Philippines

On a bus going to Ilocos, a foreigner calls up the hubby’s office to inquire about sandboarding. She comes to Laoag only to experience the sandbooarding adventure attraction explicitly endorsed in “The Rough Guide to The Philippines”, a 464-page paperback published by the Rough Guides Ltd and distributed worldwide through the Penguin Group. With travel titles covering more than 200 destinations,  the Rough Guides’ slogan is “Make the Most of Your Time on Earth.” And indeed Carolyn Kiefer, a senior manager space systems engineer of Boeing-IDS (a rocket scientist, she says) is spending 5 weeks touring the Philippines with a backpack and her Rough Guide.

To the La Paz Sand Dunes

While she was in La Paz bringing to life a wish, I dissect her Rough Guide. Just how would you react when 2 foreign authors put your adventure group’s name and contact details on a travel guide to make travel easier for fellow foreigners? My eyes almost popped out of its sockets.

Ilocos Norte Sand Dunes detailsThe LEAD Movement contact details on The Rough Guide to The Philippines

Sandboarding was first introduced by the LEAD Movement in the LEAD Movement blog and here in BlauEarth, and we’ve earned the bragging rights of being the innovators of sandboarding in the Philippines, but to discover LEAD’s sandboarding on a travel guide that is being compared to Lonely Planet is something we never saw coming. We are just a small group with no funds for big league marketing, but then again, there is a saying that you have to believe in yourself so others will believe you — I mean offering an alternative travel option, setting in motion Ilocos Norte’s unique sandy characteristic.

Authors of The Rough Guide to The Philippines

In behalf of the LEAD Movement, I am extending special thanks to the authors and contributors of the book for the blurb. Check out the other Rough Guides destinations and books at their website.

A tourist eating utong in our humble abode

The rocket specialist goes back to the house and while she waits for her bus to Pagudpud, we offer her dinner, and then she notices my blog on the computer screen and says she’s been there, yay, a real small world! We talk about life, Saturn V and Atlas V.

Her next wish after the Laoag Sand Dunes was to be in Blue Lagoon, and she got it. At this moment, she must be somewhere in Aurora. In the bus, she texted — til our paths cross again. Carolyn, the moon, in the moon… hahaha, believe!

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013

Eugene’s Origami Crane

Origami Crane

My eldest son, Eugene, loves the outdoors like all of us, swims better than the rest of us, and he skates, surfs, sandboards as well as collects fingerboards. He is my more creative boy. He went to the Ilocos Norte National High School Special Program in the Arts and majored in Media Arts in high school. Right now, he is in the third year of his Computer Science bachelor course at the Mariano Marcos State University.  So uniquely him — he  is not scared to wear pink shirts and pastel trousers, he eats only certain foods, and since childhood, he has nurtured a flair for the Japanese art of paper folding called origami. It must be my old collection of DIY books neatly tucked in a book storage beside the kids’ room door that helped rear his creative side.

OrigamistOrigami Paper

I unwittingly discovered his talent while at an Asian gathering at the Los Angeles City Hall gardens during an LA trip. All the time he was nowhere to be found,  he was at a Japaneses booth showing off to the Japanese ladies his folding techniques. We got complimented for his little origami show of wildlife and UFOs. A proud mom moment:)

Origami 8 Books In One

Found the Everything Origami book at National Bookstore. I bought it as a present for a godchild in hopes she will like the fascinating Japanese art from the 17th century.

Uber Origami: Every Origami Project Ever!

Likewise available at National Bookstore, Über Origami: Every Origami Project Ever!, an instructional origami book that lives up to its title, with new never been seen designs.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013

OMG! Julia Roberts as Elizabeth Gilbert in ‘Eat Pray Love’

Coming soon!

USA – August 13, 2010 Philippines – September 29, 2010

I’m too excited to watch Elizabeth Gilbert’s spiritual journey on film. I read the book at a time I was trying to find what I really wanted in life. I wrote in an old postEverytime I read the book, I cry, I laugh, I crave for pasta and gelato, I hate the author, I learn, I fall in love (again and again) with the 3 I’s — Italy, India, Indonesia… and ‘attraversiamo’ got added to my vocabulary.

An excerpt from the book —

[My guru] says that people universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you are fortunate enough. But that’s not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it…