They call this place Punta Fuego, a Spanish name.
“Punta” in English means a tip or point (in this particular case, of land), and “fuego” means fire. “Punta Fuego” is hard to translate, but “Fire Point” is probably a close literal translation.
Historical references cite the Battle of San Diego, which was fought on these waters between Spanish and Dutch forces in 1600, as the origin of the name.
But I’m not a historian, my interpretation is simpler.
The setting sun turns into a ball of fire, and the land and sea and sky become punta fuego.
(In the province of Batangas in the Philippines.)
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
– Dylan Thomas
Specially in summer.
(On the island of Bohol in the Philippines.)
It was a rainy day at this village where fishing is still done the traditional way – with hook and line.
The boats were safely on shore, but I noticed someone working in his boat and he was gracious enough to share some of his time. Here are some of the things I learned.
1. Even when it’s stormy, you still have to work and prepare for when the sun comes out. Preparation is part of catching the fish and takes as long as the time at sea.
2. Chicken feathers make good bait. Never underestimate the hidden treasure in ordinary things – they can be the secret to a livelihood.
3. If you don’t get out and catch some fish, you don’t eat. The world doesn’t owe you a living. But it isn’t always stormy and the sun does come out.
4. Don’t be afraid of the waves when you go out to sea, you will get used to them. But watch out for the clouds and rain that hide the stars and mountains that guide your way home.
5. There is always reason to smile.
I thank Mr. Fisherman for the lessons I picked up that day.
(On the island of Mindanao in the Philippines.)
In an imaginary life, everyday is like this.
Escapism? One can hardly fault anyone for indulging in some escapism. Check out the recent popularity of superheroes in movies where they somehow save the day, or fantasies such as Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter where the good eventually triumphs over evil, or science fiction where the future gets secured in galaxies far away.
Maybe there’s a lot of reasons for wanting to escape reality in today’s world, but I won’t get into that All I know is that some dose of “mindful escapism” — including hobbies, sports, photography and (cough, for some) blogging — is good for our mental health.
And when we “escape” with friends and create happy memories with them then it’s one way to bring the good from the imaginary into reality. And maybe that can make this world a little better and there would be fewer reasons to escape from it.
(Photo taken at the foot of Mt. Makiling, an extinct volcano on the island of Luzon in the Philippines.)
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date
– William Shakespeare, Sonnet XVIII
Taking a breather from the daily rigors, even if only to appreciate the darling buds of May.
If our life was only for a day, then we would see the sunset only once.
(Sunset at Manila Bay)
I saw the sun rising, an orb hovering above the lake, failing to push the mist away from the mountain. I took a detour.
Why do I wander? I sat there, wondering.
“Not all those who wander are lost.”
-JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings
But they were on a quest, mine was a detour.
I pushed my thoughts aside. I just wanted to enjoy my detour.
(Sunrise over Laguna Lake near Mt Makiling in Laguna province in the Philippines.)