Monthly Archives: September 2010

Zentraveler arrives in Sabang, Palawan!

Sabang Marina

Sabang is centrally located in the province of Palawan and just a great place to hang out. It is easy walking distance to everything… including good restaurants and has every type of resort to fit your budget. After arriving from Port Barton in a pumpboat we walked to Dab Dab’s resort which was like living in a eco-jungle… complete with birds chirping in the morning to jungle sounds off in the distant. I could not believe you could have such an excellent high quality experience for 700 pesos per night. This same type of accommodations catering to the eco-traveler would cost upwards of one hundred us dollars per night in many parts of the world and not as authentic.

Dab Dab Resort

Dab Dab Cottage

Dab Dab’s Cottages and Restaurant are compete with flowery landscaping and natural wood floors throughout the restaurant with great stylish furniture made from the local native woods. We ordered the lapu-lapu for dinner and the fish literally covered the plate and must have weighed about two pounds. There are hammocks on the front porch of our native cottage and mosquito netting above the beds…. and only minutes from the main harbor of Sabang where all the activity takes place.

Dab Dab's Cottage Room

Relaxing in sabang

There is a waterfall nearby named Sabang Falls. To go there simply follow the signs and walk over the beach rocks which will take approximately one hour. Pack a lunch and just enjoy the outdoor experience.

Local Street Scene

The town of Sabang sizzles of being a upscale tourist town with a brand new Sheridan Beach Resort, other new hotels on the drawing board, and all kinds of water sports and activities… yet still retains its charm and you can still find nipa huts along the beach for the budget minded.

Resort Water Sports

Sabang is the jumping off point for Puerto Princesca’s famous Underground River National Park, one of the Philippines’ Unesco World Heritage sites. The underwater cavern trip, which is one of the best tours in the world is not to be missed and a must for any traveler from the young to the old and of course bring your camera.

As we walked around Sabang we saw water buffalos on the beach being used to transport supplies and spirited native horses moving at a good clip along the beach… looking for some touristy riders or just enjoying the fresh air and a swift run. You can hire one of these horses from the natives and test your equestrian skills as you ride along the scenic beach taking in the local flavor and sights.

Horsing around Sabang

Anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit would be greatly rewarded if they offered a good photo shop, a trendy health food restaurant and spa, a sports store selling and renting snorkeling and beach equipment, and a travel outfitter that set up trips by land or sea for onward travel services… and what about a huge ice-cream store selling Italian ice creams and a coffee shop thrown in!

Sabangs' Natural Coast

So there you have it! I feel very fortunate to have experienced this wonderful part of the Philippines and look forward to a return visit. Palawan understands that to preserve and showcase their natural attractions will insure that future generations will also be able to enjoy a park like experience throughout the province in its wild and wonderful, natural state.

QUOTE:A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. ~Lao Tzu

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: The Philippine islands are an archipelago of over 7,000 islands lying about 500 mi (805 km) off the southeast coast of Asia. The overall land area is comparable to that of Arizona. Only about 7% of the islands are larger than one square mile, and only one-third have names. The largest are Luzon in the north (40,420 sq mi; 104,687 sq km), Mindanao in the south (36,537 sq mi; 94,631 sq km), and Samar (5,124 sq mi; 13,271 sq km). The islands are of volcanic origin, with the larger ones crossed by mountain ranges. The highest peak is Mount Apo (9,690 ft; 2,954 m) on Mindanao. —Infopleasecom

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Saving the Coral Triangle! The 2.3 million square miles of the Coral Triangle, which includes the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste, is home to more than 75% of the world’s known species of coral, 3,000 species of fish, six of the world’s seven species of sea turtle, as well as whales, dolphins and coelacanths, a fish believed to predate dinosaurs. But the vanishing reefs could face peril if we fail to sustain them.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS:Do your part to save the coral triangle … How about taking a National Geographic field trip and see for yourself what needs to be done? Then do it!

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone!

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?


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Zentraveler on breadfruit and jackfruit!

Bantayan Island breadfruit

When I was backpacking around in Central America I first discovered the breadfruit along the coast of Belize and learned if prepared right… it is delicious to eat. The trees are extremely large and can have a few hundred pounds of fruit hanging from its branches. My Rastafarian friend invited me to his house for lunch where we sipped home-made palm wine as his mother did her magic in the outdoor kitchen. I love the smells and offerings that come from the mystery pots and cherish every time I am invited to eat anywhere in the world with the local cuisine. Many times you can offer to purchase the raw ingredients and beverages and enjoy a home cooked meal like you never had before…candied yams, fried bananas, and breadfruit or jackfruit severed as a delicacy.

Now that I am living in the Philippines I see the trees at various places spread around Bantayan Island and see the large fruit turning up at the local vegetable and fruit market in Bantayan. Upon several communications with the locals the fruit here is jackfruit and although related to breadfruit is somewhat different.

Large breadfruit Tree

I just returned from Davao, which is the Durian capital of the Philippines, and had the opportunity to eat jackfruit on several occasions and found it very tasty. At one of the local restaurants they had bowls of fresh fruit with unlimited offerings and I can say I certainly enjoyed trying the different fruits and learning how to open and enjoy these wild-looking exotics that are grown readily in the Davao area. It certainly helps to be with a local Philippino… so you can get the skinny on what you are eating and experiencing. Jackfruits, breadfruit, and durian are large green fruits sometimes larger than a volleyball and can complement any meal or be eaten on their own. There are many fruit markets and street vendors situated throughout the Philippines, so you will never be too far away from some great fresh fruits.

After the tasting experience in Davao area I will now add jackfruit as an alternative meal choice, since sometimes because of the eating habits of a lot of the Philippines, who love pork, it is rather difficult to stick to a veggie type diet. I am not a strict vegetarian, however I eat almost no red meat and try to eat a mediterranean diet… which includes:tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy salads, seafood, and chicken. The rich growing areas in the Philippines produce some of the best tasting fruits and veggies in the world… so it’s completly up to you to seek out the fresh fruit markets and experiment with these wild exotics. Yum! Yum!

Definition: Enormous and prickly on the outside, jackfruit looks somewhat like durian (though jackfruit is usually even larger). Once a jackfruit is cracked open, what you will find inside are pods or “bulbs”. Often referred to as the seeds, these bulbs are actually a kind of fleshy covering for the true seeds or pits, which are round and dark like chesnuts. The fleshy part (the “bulb”) can be eaten as is, or cut up and cooked. When unripe (green), it is remarkably similar in texture to chicken, making jackfruit an excellent vegetarian substitute for meat. In fact, canned jackfruit (in brine) is sometimes referred to as “vegetable meat”.

So there you have it ! Discovering new food and tastes is part of the overall travel experience. Many of my x-pat friends still rely on red meat and French fries and I keep telling them man you are really missing out on some wonderful eating experiences… and then they reply but I just got five kilos of frozen Hungarian sausage. To each their own— but why not try new foods and discover for yourself… what some of these locally grown fruits and veggies have to offer.

Local breadfruit

Disclaimer: This website is simply the writers views and is not an attempt to practice medicine or provide specific medical or health advice and should not be used to make a diagnosis or to replace or overrule a qualified health care provider’s judgment. None of the statements on zentraveler are to be understood as a recommendation on how to treat any disease or health related condition. If you require medical or other assistance Zentraveler strongly encourages users to consult with a qualified health care professional.

QUOTE:A Zen blessing at mealtime: “In this plate of food, I see the entire universe supporting my existence.”

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) also known as jakfruit, jaca, and nangka, is a tropical tree originally from western India. It is a member of the mulberry family, and a relative of the bread fruit.

The jack fruit is a melon shaped starchy vegetable that can reach a length of 3 feet, and weigh up to 100 pounds, making it the largest tree-borne fruit in the world. The fruits grow both from the tree trunk and from branches in the tree. They have a rough spiny skin and the uncut ripe fruit has a strong unpleasant smell, resembling rotting onions – but the cut fruit has a strong aroma similar to papaya or pineapple.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE:Breadfruit and jackfruit seedlings! Then plant them and help make our planet greener and more self-sustaining.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Eat more breadfruit and jackfruit to spice up your life!

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone!

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Zentraveler takes on the persona of Chinese Monkey-King!

Chinese Monkey King

We are all actors just playing out our roles. We were told since we were young we can be anything we want to be …that’s why I decided to try out for the role of Chinese Monkey King. I knew I wouldn’t have much competition and maybe I have finally found my niche after all these years. A brilliant poet, and businessman once said: “keep em guessing.” So with no further adieu I shall begin my transformation into the Chinese Monkey-King!.

Being human can really be a drag. I slowly shed my human suit as a snake sheds his skin and I begin to see unlimited possibilities. So what if they call me an animal …that’s what I am and I really like it! I have senses that are 1000 times more powerful than a mere human and I can walk around, run, lie down, and go for a swim anytime I want. I never pay taxes, I eat anytime I want, and my house costs nothing! I do not tie myself down with silly looking electronics… since I am universerally connected on a much higher level than earthings will ever be.

I especially like the part of surprise… where I run swiftly along the river banks and scare the hell out of anyone who gets in my way! I like the part where I can enter into as many dimensions as I want simply by using my pure natural instinct of carnal knowledge. I do not need a map, a compass, gps, loran, or high tech military laser beams. I have highly developed expert navigational skills… which are connected to a much higher level than a humanoid could ever imagine.

I dream in Technicolor and easily spiral through and beyond the black hole into mathamatical rolling universes that make earth look like a mudpie at best. I am glad that I am the animal that I am and invite anyone who would like to join my endeavors to log in from time to time just to see what Zentravelers up to.

After reviewing the literature of The Chinese Monkey King it soon became evident that some of the very things the classic Chinese Monkey King was into were catapulting in warp speed in my nightly dream patterns

One of the most famous characters in classical Chinese literature is the Monkey King, the main character of the epic novel Journey to the West. In China, the Monkey King is known as Sun Wukong and is famed for his great strength.

What makes the Monkey King interesting, though, is that he’s not a one-sided hero. What makes him one of the most remarkable characters in the Chinese cultural tradition is that he struggled against his own trickster nature before finding salvation, perfectly reflecting the human condition.

The Monkey King’s mischievous nature could perhaps be traced from the fact that he was born from a mythical stone formed from the the primal forces of chaos. With chaos as a parent, who can blame him for displaying a stubborn streak?

The stone was located on Huaguo Shan – mountain of flowers and fruit – where a lot of demons and monkeys lived. The Monkey King joined a clan of monkeys and became their king after he found them a new home behind a large waterfall. In a gesture totally in line with his character, the Monkey King called himself Mei Houwang, or the “handsome monkey king.”

Soon, though, reigning over his clan proved insufficient for our adventurous hero. He decided that he wanted to become immortal and left his home to travel to civilized lands. In his travels, he learned human speech and manners. Eventually, he became the disciple of the Buddhist Patriarch Bodhi.

Bodhi was reluctant to take the Monkey King as a disciple at first because, well, he was a monkey after all. But the Monkey King impressed him with his determination. It was actually Bodhi who gave him the name Sun Wukong, which refers to his origins as a monkey (Sun); Wukong means “aware of emptiness.”

”The Monkey King soon became one of Bodhi’s favorite disciples. Bodhi’s teachings helped the Monkey King learn powerful magic such as shapeshifting – which enabled him to transform into people and objects – and cloud-traveling – which allowed him to cover as much as 54,000 km in a single somersault. Even the hair on his body possessed magic powers, allowing him to transform each of the 84,000 strands into an inanimate object or weapon. He could even turn them into his clones!

His magical skills led him to start boasting to the other disciples, which in turn caused Bodhi to cast him out as a disciple.

Undeterred, the Monkey King went back to his mountain home where he established himself as one of the most powerful demons. Deciding that a demon of his might and influence needed a weapon, the Monkey King traveled to the undersea palace of Dragon King of the East Sea. There, he acquired the Ruyi Jingu Bang, an iron rod that weighs over 7.5 metric tons.

The rod, legend says, was first used by Yu the Great, the legendary founder of the Xia dynasty, to measure the oceans. Yu, one of the Three Sovereigns and Five Deities, later used it as the “Pillar that pacified the oceans.” Not surprisingly, he is the mythological ruler credited with teaching the Chinese about flood control.

The Ruyi Jingu Bang was such a powerful weapon that it could change size, multiply itself and fight however its master wanted. When the Monkey King first approached it, the pillar started to glow, signifying that its rightful master had arrived.

The Monkey King had found his weapon and with it tucked in his ear – he shrinks the rod to the size of a sewing needle when he’s not using it – he had the whole of creation to conquer.

The Chinese Monkey King is an indeed rebellious extraordinary being, born out of a rock, fertilized by the grace of Heaven, Being extremely smart and capable, he learned all the magic tricks and gongfu from a master Taoist,being able to transform himself into seventy-two different images such as a tree, a bird, a beast of prey or a bug as small as a mosquito so as to sneak into an enemy’s belly to fight him inside or out. Using clouds as a vehicle he can travel 180,000 miles a single somersault and a huge iron bar that supposedly serves as ballast of the seas and can expand or shrink at its owner’s command as his favorite weapon in his later feats. He claims to be the king in defiance of the only authority over heaven, the seas, the earth and the subterranean world.—china-on-sitecom

So there you have it..if you want a new persona simply do some research and begin to transform yourself and watch the magic unfold before your eyes,

QUOTE:”Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” Einstein

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: Chinese Monkey King is a god in Chinese Mythology!

THINGS YOU MAY NOT WANT TO SAVE: Poverty! Get involved with solar energy and eradicate poverty!

ZENTRAVELER:Solar Energy is the key to our earthy future—you can take that info to the bank! Helping relieve poverty through the provision of solar energy. Why not join the fight by logging onto Solar Energy Charity and dont forget to bring your checkbook or your brain…we need to get serious about this very important issue the time clock is running!

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone!

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

Leave a comment

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