Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mail Call

It has been some time since I posted on this blog and for that lapse I must apologize. I have been having trouble with my internet connection for some time now and trying desperately to remain regularly online while your network connectivity is constantly giving up on you can wreck havoc on one's appetite for blogging.

Smart Bro, the wireless broadband service affiliated with Smart Communications, has been the only ISP in Lianga since it introduced the brand some 5 years ago. As expected, this virtual monopoly and the lack of any competition has led to such a deterioration in the quality of its online service that it has earned it the unflattering moniker of "Smart Broken" among frustrated local customers and subscribers.

It had come to the point when I was practically on the phone talking to their customer service representatives almost on a daily basis complaining about intermittent connectivity, cripplingly slow connections and network disruptions. Yet for all the company CSR's profuse apologies and promises of "network upgrades" and faster service, nothing really changed.

In the end, I had the service disconnected for a while and only recently have I decided to try using it again. Hope does spring eternal in the human breast and I am hoping against hope that, by a miracle of miracles, Smart Bro does finally manage to do justice to my newly restored optimism, misguided and naive though it may be.


Charles while commenting on the blog post, "Revisiting Paradise", is asking about tourist accommodations for visitors who may be interested to visit not only the Bretania Islands in San Agustin but also the Cabgan and Turtle islands in Barobo. I have been to all three destinations and they are simply fantastic places to visit for those in love with white sand beaches, crystal-blue waters and tropical island hopping. Unlike in the past, there are readily available resort accommodations in Barobo and San Agustin towns. Lianga which is between these two towns also has good tourist and visitor facilities. I suggest the Kansilad Beach Resort which conveniently has a website for those interested to inquire about room rates and available amenities.


In a comment to the blog post, "Palay On The Road", Bomalabs is asking about the peculiar practice of many local farmers who dry their palay on the concrete surfaces of roads and highways to the consternation of drivers and motorists. Dr. Flavier is right. The drying of the play under the heat of the sun helps separate the husk from the grain and aids the milling process where the rice grain is finally freed of the surrounding husk and made ready for comsumption. No farmer who has invested so much of his time, labor and money in palay will certainly be, in any way, pleased at a motorist running over his precious, drying produce. Discretion is, as they say, the better part of valor so a quick getaway would be advisable.


I have great empathy for Andrea whose comments on two blog posts I have written about toog trees and magkono wood reflect the concern of many Filipinos about the rapid exploitation of the few remaining virgin forests in the country. I always had a thing about toog trees, those often solitary giants that still tower over ricefields and plains here. They remind me of sentinels, towering guardians of the once dense forests that used to cover this part of the country that are now almost all gone. My late maternal grandmother used tell me that a toog tree standing tall in the middle of rice paddies was a sign that the soil was fertile and suited for rice planting. I have never been able to verify if this observation was actually true but if it was not accurate, I would be sorely disappointed indeed.


I will try to answer more e-mails and questions from comments regularly. And I will be posting again very soon. Please feel free to write me for suggestions on topics to write about and do keep those comments on the blog posts coming.

1 comment:

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