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Philippines: A Visit to one of the Seven New Wonders of Nature

From Cebu, we flew to Palawan, where outrigger hopping to nearby unspoiled  beaches on other islands is easy. But when it comes to Eden, the island of Palawan is no slouch.           Here in Palawan, in 2012 the Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park was ranked one of “The Seven New Wonders […]

Philippines: A visit to a haunted war site

In the town of Carcar in the province of Cebu in the Philippines, we visited The Carcar City Museum, formerly, “The Philippine Health Service Dispensary,” where horrific tortures took place on Filipinos by the Japanese during World War II. That’s not what the two-storied site suggests at first glance. The building is painted white and […]

Weeds, like difficult people, serve a purpose

Weeds, labor-generating and vexing as they are, serve a purpose. Eventually, they break up unworkable soil. Then they are removed or replaced, just like troublesome folks in our lives. Yet we grow from conflict. Twenty years ago, there was a garden patch of dry, clay-like soil when we bought our home.  Only weeds sprouted there, […]

Mothers Day: She’s giggling in a Heavenly Somewhere

I miss my mom, and out in a Heavenly Somewhere she’s giggling because I’ve circled back to faith.  It’s been years on the threshing floor separating the chaff from grain. Years ago, my parents Esteban and Josepha emigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines and Americanized themselves as Steve and Josie.  My mom practiced her […]

April celebrates Columnists Day: separating the good from the bad and the ugly

Being a columnist is all about relationships. April 18 celebrates Columnists Day, and its patron saint is Ernie Pyle, the famous World War II reporter whose front line stories made vivid and vulnerable the sacrifices of service men and women.  At its heart, memorable opinion writing humanizes events and struggles. Whether a writer is liberal, […]