Monday, June 11, 2007

Perfect Moments

Seldom do we see perfection ... or the approximation of it.

We had a holiday the other weekend -- my family and I. We didn't expect much-- just a break from the humdrum.

The two days and one night we spent at Pahiyas Resort in San Juan Batangas were fun . We had a fill of the sun and the ocean. We enjoyed soaking (for me), swimming (for the rest), boating, snorkeling and feasting on the fresh catch that enterprising fishermen sold, cottage to cottage.

I also enjoyed the long walk (and talk) by the beach with an often distant son, never mind if this was prompted by the mundane need to push a heavy dinner down.

But perfect? Hmmm -- nowhere near, and anyway, there was no expectation of it -- from no one of us.

But I have always thought I'd recognize perfection when it stared me in the face.

And it did -- on our way home.

We just had lunch at Kusina ni Salud and were traversing this tiny bridge off Maharlika Highway in Barangay Sta. Cruz, San Pablo City. Looking steadily to my right (as I always do during a ride), I espied a scene down by the river that made me gasp. "Stop, stop," I told the driver (translation: oldest son). After a moment's hesitation, he did, then backed down. "Hey, hey, take a picture, take a picture," I yelled to my aspiring filmmaker-daughter. But she was too sleepy to comply.

I yanked her camera, went down, and clicked away at what I thought were perfectly happy folks in a perfect little place enjoying a perfect moment.

Above is the first stealthy shot, hurriedly and nervously taken.

Uh oh ... here they have begun to notice me!

Finally, a tacit permission to go ahead, click some more ("and publish in your blog").

For the rest of the way home, I lectured my daughter why she shouldn't sleep on a perfect photo opportunity -- until her ears bled.


snglguy said...

They seem to be having fun... I just hope they didn't mess up the river with their leftovers.

BTW, is that in Laguna? The mini waterfall I mean.

Leah said...

I guess perfection comes thru at the very least likely moments. So glad to see you caught some moments like that.

It looks like those fellas are having a grand time. I would be too ..imagine picnicking under the water falls on a nice warm day. How would you describe such? Perfect!

Annamanila said...


Yup, I hope so too.

We just had lunch at a place in Barangay Sta. Cruz (Putol), San Pablo City, Laguna when I espied the scene. It shouldn't be too far from there.

Annamanila said...


Thank you for previewing this post! And for agreeing I titled it aptly. :)

evi said...

they seem to enjoy their own 'villa escudero'. oftentimes we forget that we can find happiness in simple pleasures.

i hopped here after reading the questions you gave to verns and leah. i'm impressed by the way you threw your Qs. You targeted what they do and who they are. I think it shows that you value what they write and the stories they tell about themselves.

Annamanila said...


Thanks ... I actually read your comment at Verna's and I was tickled, being very ticklish hehe.

All I did was to follow the cue from the one who asked me -- Noemi Dado. She asked "very me" questions and I thought I should pass it forward.

Btw, do you wanna be asked? haha joke.

Gypsy said...

In this sweletering heat, I soo envy them! I think more than giving you tacit permission to take their photo, they probably were acting in true pinoy fashion and asking you guys to join them!! :)

Thanks for the to let them brew for awhile in my mind...(does that answer you coffee question? :))

zeroimpact said...

That must have been a really fun outing
Everyone must have been so happy

Abaniko said...

Hey, nice.

This reminds me of our Laguna river outings with UPLB friends. Come chow time, we'd lay down banana leaves on the ground and put all the rice in the middle. Then we'd place our viands on the sides like tuyo, sardines, tomatoes, corned beef and fried galunggong. Ang sarap!!! I miss those 'gimmicks'. Ayan, nostalgic na naman ako. :)

Annamanila said...


How I wish I could revise that caption into: "Finally, a tacit permission to go ahead and click somore more ... and then join their perfect moment." Galing mo talaga.

Yes, I have a simmering idea how you would answer the coffee question. hahah

Annamanila said...


We had a fun time, my family and I, in a commercial beach resort. But those guys had a blast of a time (near perfect I'd say) in their spot of rent-free paradise. So happy for them.

TY for popping up again.

Annamanila said...


Wow, gg and tomatoes ... dapat may itlog na maalat din ha. Tsalap.

But you forgot to mention the flowing beer that must have gone well with the gurgling river. :)

Major Tom said...

This picture by the river---or within the river---reminds me of a poster that I have seen before so many years ago where it showed little boys and girls gleefully showering from a small waterfalls---and they were all smiling. Above the poster was stated in bold letters that "LIFE IS GOOD". To these people in the water, life is that good, with simple joys and pleasures...

SexyMom said...

you had a number of perfect moments that perfect weekend! the chat with your son, the fine restful weekend, and those people who were enjoying themselves, picnicking by the waterfalls. ang ganda and serene talaga!

do you know where i found same perfect peaceful moments in huge numbers? i was in bhutan in one auspicious moment--a holiday, and i climbed up a mountain with a few friends (we wee to go to a monastery). during the 2-hour climb, we found families having a picnic, in simple peace and quiet. we even had to opportunity to mingle with them. bhutan is the royal kingdom which uses GNH (gross national happiness) as their economic index, not GNP.

Annamanila said...

Yes, i think you're right -- WITHIN the river. Thats how it looks like kaya i really got awed.

Life is good naman talaga di ba? I used to be very negative but growing old has changed my perspective. :) TY for sharing that poster description.

Annamanila said...

GNH! Just lovely. I think the Philippines would rate high too, don't you think Dine? At least you and I would be up there. :)

Aha, that was a delightful weekend. This blogging thingie helps ... you really look for the hidden delights and ... you almost always find them.

TY Dine for sharing your Bhutanese experience.

dimaks said...

in these places, i really enjoy just listening to the noise of the splashing waters :) that looked very relaxing.

Annamanila said...


Water sounds -- including raindrops -- are among the coolest sounds in the world. Kahit na nga may palakang kokak. hehe

I have a tape of falling rain which can put me to sleep at the end of a stressful day.

Nice to see Dimaks pop up every now and then. We all know how busy you are.

Jerry said...

Anna, some of the better things in life are free. I bet you went to an expensive resort. Those in the picture enjoyed a patch of heaven, courtesy of Mother Nature.

niceheart said...

Soaking in the water - that's what I also do, can't swim. :)

Spying at first on the family and good thing they obliged on having their pictures taken. A very simple activity and yet perfect. That's wonderful. :)

diogenes said...

Lucky are those folks who can find such perfect moments in this imperfect life. BTW, you have an eye for the details and ability to observe.

Jigs said...

Hello! Came from Abaniko's Blog!

I had fun reading this post! It was light and easy to read so I found myself imagining everything that had happened to you and your family! The pictures look cool! What camera do you use?

P.S. Would it be okay if I link you up?

annamanila said...


That was my original title to this piece -- the better things in life are (almost) free.

annamanila said...

Nice heart!

Awww. Nice heart, hindi pala ako nagiisa. Nice to know. LOL

I felt it was an implicit permission to go on taking pictures although Gypsy has a different take. LOL

annamanila said...


Thanks. Blogging made me more observant of what is happening both inside and out ... and yes, of details too.

annamanila said...


The pictures were taken with a Canon Powershot A460. I hardly handle a camera so I am delighted you liked the shots.

Ok, lets link up!! ty ty

pining said...

Hi Anna :-)
lovely pictures, so raw! they found a good spot to have a picnic there...

lady cess said...

ay oo nga, thats a kodak moment.

buti hindi nagalit yung son mo na bigla mo na lang siyang pinahinto, o sanay na sila sa iyo kasi that was not the first :)

Annamanila said...


Coming from the consummate photographer, that's high praise. Thank you.

Have just begun blogvisiting again ... after having been consigned to interviewing haha. I miss na your blogs. Will go there in a jiffy.

Annamanila said...

Lady Cess!

Canon eh. ay corny.

Thank you ... see what blogging has made me try. Photography has never been my line.

Hmmm. My son(s) -- siguro sanay na sa kanyang momma na diktadora. Well, I didnt really think that request (command?) to stop was unreasonable. And he saw the scene too as we went by and must have realized its preciousness.

U.T.O.Y said...

i am from sta rosa laguna but i haven't been in kusina ni salud, i think it's in san pablo right? my friends and i are planning to have a coffee table book of the "NOT SO VISITED PHILIPPINE HIP ATTRACTIONS". I might wanna go here hehehe...

exskindiver said...

Hi Annamanila,
That picture reminds me of a place my family and I used to picnic in--Nagcarlan, Laguna. It was clean, beautiful and free--I have such fond memories despite the fact that I recall the water to be freezing!
Thanks again for giving me such great interview questions.
So prompt too! Ang galing.
And the PPP was actually a good question because it allowed me to ask myself the question:
Why do I blog?

SASSY MOM said...

hi, anna!

Looks like they're enjoying themselves. Superb photo!

A typical scene in the provinces of the Philippines.

I enjoy your blog!

Richmond said...

I was about to comment on this entry when I came across your.... TAADDAH!! your sidebar. Your sidebar is the best sidebar ever.

Annamanila said...


Wow ... amazing idea for a coffeetable book. But it would take a lot of looking and asking around ha. Goodluck. Suggestion: don't publish complete locations so these spots would remain pristine, but give enough clues so that the real 'adventurers' who persevere can reach them.

I am curious what U.T.O.Y. means so if only for that I am going to drop by your site. :)

Annamanila said...


Swerte ng mga taga Laguna. You have a bounty of such patches of paradise.

Ay, Cheska, I should thank you. I felt chosen. hahaha

I can't tell you how much I admire your writing and your thoughts. My inability to tell you how much -- does it give you a clue?

Annamanila said...

Sassy Mom!

I enjoy yours too. Oooh, such near perfection are typical in the province?! I am not surpised. :)

Thanks, I am beginning to think I may have a future as photographer. hahaha.

Annamanila said...


Nobody has really commented on my sidebar before! You made my day. And you also reminded me to update those side stuff. Thanks very mucho.

Annamanila said...


You don't have a blogsite? I clicked on your name and it didn't open to anywhere. Let me know ur url address .. okay? ty

sheilamarie said...

Anna.. such is the simple pleasures in life. it's like from the story "the hidden garden". =D

parang ang sarap naman maki-join and to eat there with them! it's like being in Escodero Garden, but this time it's a real waterfall, not just man made.

A perfect shot of the perfect moment indeed

Annamanila said...


I only said it was a perfect photo op. But if you insist it was a perfect shot of the perfect moment -- who am I to disagree?! Ty ty you're very kind.

kathy said...

I love family outings! Buti pa kayo nakakapagresort. Dito sa Japan hindi pa open ang mga beaches, hehe.

The pics remind me of our lunch at the artificial waterfalls in Villa Escudero. But I bet having a private lunch party at a real waterfall is wayyy better.

Toe said...

Perfect indeed! And they don't have to pay horrendous prices for those resorts either. :) Hahaha... poor daughter... you're like my Mom Annamanila... pareho kayong makulit. :)

Annamanila said...


Talaga, sarado and beaches sa Japan. Maybe they are recharging them, making them rest ... in a manner of speaking.

You must be the third or fourth to be reminded of Villa Escudero by te photos I posted. I haven't been there -- mahal daw kasi. But maybe next year -- ambisyunin namin.

Annamanila said...


Exactly, I think they only had to spend for what they drank and ate. I wonder how to mak a reservation for that spot. I should have gone down and talked with them, no?

Makulit? Nope. Superkulit.

auee said...

hey nice shots... You're becoming a blog-addict ha, you see one scene worth blogging about & you wish for a camera.

This scene reminds me of my high school days, sooo loong ago.

Annamanila said...

Oh, Auee, I only take the cue from you and other sooo creative and talented blog buddies. Malay mo, someday, we can post podcasts too. ooooh

Gina said...

Besides being a blogger, nagiging shutterbug ka na rin ha. Well, nowadays, I think they go hand in hand. It's nice to have visuals every now and then di ba? What a lovely image. The pictures captured beauty and simplicity. The beauty of togetherness and making the most of what's available. Now you really did it Anna, you made me miss my family and friends back home! :-(
Yeah,this reminded me of Villa Escudero too. We stayed there for a night or 2 back in '93 for a friends'wedding.

Gina said...

I have the answers to the interview na. Check it out!

Annamanila said...


I made you homesick again. Awww ... eh hamo na nandyan naman ang darling mo. Yung ibang OFWs .. talagang trabaho lang. Count na lang our blessings, di ba?

Hey, I went na and read your answers. Wow! For more wows, please read what I posted. TY ty

basilisk said...

bago lang po ako dito sa blog mo... ganda nung pic tama si gina... you captured the beauty of togetherness.. galing talaga... pero kawawa naman si daughter naging kasalanan ang pagiging antukin he he he..

Belle said...

Anna, these pictures are awesome. you should take pictures more often. these people would love to have copies, if only they know how to get in touch with you.

niceheart said...

Hi Miss Anna.

You got tagged. Please check my latest post. Thanks. :)

Annamanila said...


Tickled that my first attempt at photoblogging seemed to fly.

Ay ... kawawa ba si daughter? I exaggerated naman. I lectured her only half of the way.

Annamanila said...


Did you really really like the shots? Awww, if Belle says so then they must really be good. haha. Sige .. I think I should begin to save for my very own digicam.

Sana man lang makita nila yung pictures online ano. That's a sweet thuoght, Belle.

Annamanila said...


I will do the tag ... as soon as i get two earlier memes out of the way. Be patient with me, ok. But I guess I will comply in my own peculiar way ... meaning I will violate a few rules. haha

Abaniko said...

That time, wholesome pa ako kaya tubig lang at di beer ang iniinom namin noon. Hehe.

annamanila said...


Hi. Nice naman -- there's internet access at your hotel.

Well, hanggang ngayon naman you still look so wholesome. But looks deceive of course. haha Joke, hwag pikon ha.

julie said...

You are not just a blogger now, Annamanila. You are also turning into a photoblogger. When would you start you problogging?

Simple pleasures, things a lot miss, they have it. Just hope they didn't leave their trash when it was time to go.

P.S. Try the shops in Quiapo if you want to get a digicam. These are 2-4k cheaper than those sold in the malls. Suggestion lang po.

Annamanila said...


You mean I can now join your photohunt?! haha

I dunno why ... but somehow, by the way those guys look, they give me the impression they take good care of their precious little spot.

Thanks for the tip on the digicam. I have a friend, a Muslim who owns a shop in Quiapo. I will certainly ask his help when I am ready with the moolah. :)

vernaloo said...

love this entry Anna :) short but definitely a blog material!

Annamanila said...

Thanks Verns! :)

A photo of someone wearing her 9-inch, 9-west heels should be blog material too.

chateau said...

Hi anna! I'm still tired, got a migraine now hay..
Very nice photos! You definitely captured the moment there...
Summer came and went, but I was not even able to bring my kids to the beach... hay again... haha, do I sound too tired? Anyway, see you golden girls, este primetime women pala, tomorrow! :)
I miss you on ISC na :(

coffeefreak said...

love the shots. they do spell perfection. i live 12 hours away from manila but i rarely see scenes like these anymore. hayyy...

i love your blog, by the way...

Annamanila said...


I am sorry you're tired and have migraine, Chats. Perhaps the boss could go easy on those research assignments. Well, maybe you can now blog about acoustics -- if you can find a metaphysical or philosophical angle to it. haha

We will see you tonight. If you're not your usual sparkling self, we will understand. :)

Annamanila said...


Thank you ... now I am really convinced photography is what i was born to do. joke!

How's the coffee going? Coffee purist or coffee liberal? :)

Heart of Rachel said...

Hi Anna. I'm so happy that you and my commenting service seemed to have come to a nice truce. Crossing my fingers for more problem-free clicks. :)

Glad you had a wonderful time with the family. We went to Pahiyas Resort last year and had a lovely time too.

I think it's great that you didn't let the opportunity pass. Those are great photos. It's nice to see people enjoying simple things in life. It's great that they were all happy to pose for you after realizing that they were on the spot. I wish I could be more spontaneous like you when taking photos. I still feel shy taking out my camera in public places.

tutubi said...

photojournalistic eye you have

i miss those days when my life's like that. eating by the river or just plain outing

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