Monthly Archives: February 2013

Zentraveler Kaleidoscope of Bantayan Island, Philippines.

Primitive Beauty

Primitive Beauty

We all have visions of paradise. Bantayan Island is one those places that could certainly fit the bill.

Bantayan Island

Bantayan Island


Located in the Visayas, approximately five hours from Cebu. Bantayan Island is a native island loaded with history and early exploration. The island has three main municipalities which include: Santa Fe, Bantayan, and Madridejos. Each of these towns have their own unique personality and would be worthy of a visit to the island. One of the best ways to explore the island is to rent a motorcycle in Santa Fe and traverse around the entire island.

Coming from Hagnaya by ferry-boat (approximately one hour) you arrive at the port of Santa Fe.It’s a short distance from the port to the main town and resorts by local trycycle. Santa Fe is known for its sugary white beaches, nice resorts, and a town with a central market, churches, schools and has a main street with many restaurants and bars, appealing to the tourists who visit the island. There is a mix of x-pats and seasonal tourists with a very strong x-pat community. Many of the x-pat residents agree this is one of the main reasons to live on the island.

St. Bernard Beach Resort

St. Bernard Beach Resort


On any given day you will meet Swedish (the most represented) Norwegians, English, Irish, Australian, Canadian, American and many other nationalities. If you are the type who likes to feel like you belong to a community…Santa Fe just might be the place for you. Rental houses are cheap and be had for as little as $100.00 per month, even though you can’t own land, you can still build a great house for under $35,000 US dollars. Labor is cheap, approximately five dollars per day for carpenters and maid service.

Beer is the favorite beverage of most foreigners and costs from 50 cents to a dollar depending on where you elect to drink. Restaurant meals vary and you can choose to eat like a native with rice and veggies from the markets plus local fish or pork for a few dollars a day. Or you can go to a fancy restaurant and spend eight dollars or more depending upon your meal selection. Overall the cost of living is very affordable compared to modern countries, however since many things are imported from the United States, you might get sticker shock on things like cheese, butter, milk, and imported items.

Bantayan Holy Week

Bantayan Holy Week


Bantayan is twenty-five minutes from Santa Fe and is the largest of the three municipalities. It is known for its Holy Week Celebration, fruit and vegetable market, a wet market for fresh fish and also has a large display of dried fish which most Filipino tourists take back home.

When you approach Bantayan you pass by the cemetery, schools, and businesses… arriving at the central park where they hold the annual Holy Week Celebration which draws 50,000 tourists onto the island. Directly across from the park is the historic Sts. Peter and Paul Parish Church 1580 A.D. which is a must see. They also have a port where you can travel to Negroes Island and Iloilo Island by native pumpboat. And if you are hungry visit Kermits Restaurant where you can get the best cheeseburgers, burritos, and baked goods on the island.

Kota Park

Kota Park


Madredijos is another 25 minutes from Bantayan and is famous for its excellent fish. It was once named “Little Alaska” because of the fishing and crab industry. While there a visit to Kota Park with its own museum and pier extending a large distance onto the sea makes a great photo opportunity.
Fresh Fish

Fresh Fish

As you travel around Bantayan Island you will see rich farm land, miles and miles of native palm trees swaying in the breeze and many small chicken farms. Bantayan Island is named “The Egg Basket” of the Philippines.The rural areas of Bantayan Island operate nearly the same as it has for hundreds of years. Natives gather firewood, raise a few chickens and pigs and fish from the sea for their staples. With the exception of the cell phone and motorcycles… nothing has changed since the days of Magellan.

Natural Beauties

Natural Beauties


However, growth is coming and our only hope is there is planned growth so this community doesn’t turn into another Boracay. We have a small airport and many of the communities are fixing up their towns. Quite a few new houses are being built…it’s still pristine, but don’t be late grasshopper or you will miss the boat.

Fun things to do while on the island would include: a snorkeling trip to Virgin Island, a visit to Ogtong Cave, a visit to the new Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort, with it new Olympic sized swimming pool and cave adventures, swimming in pristine waters of Santa Fe, renting a bicycle, kayak, wind surfing or just hanging out along the beach.

Virgin Island

Virgin Island


There are too many nice resorts, but to name a few would be: Kota Beach Resort, which has a brand new billiards semi-outdoor bar with a Brunswick table, Youneek Inn, great beach bar for sunset watching, St. Bernard Beach Resort for the person who wants that off the beaten path feeling,Marlin Beach Resort, great location, Tickety Boo Beach Resort with a swimming pool and restaurant, Santa Fe Beach Club, plus Maia’s Beach Resort that is a memorable experience, where you are treated like special guests.
Mias Beach Resort

Maia’s Beach Resort

A few restaurants worth noting are: Blue Ice, CouCou Bar Hotel and Restaurant, H and R Bar and Restaurant, Balikbayan, La Esquina, Portuguese, Italian-Cafee Del Mar, Tristans and so many more local choices.

So there you have it! An island that is quite remote and unspoiled that has a little of everything. So why not book your next trip to Bantayan Island and see why all of the permanent x-pat residents walk around saying: “mum is the word.”

Nostalgia

Nostalgia

QUOTE: “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”—Susan Sontag

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:Bantayan Island got its name during the Spanish regime, when watchtowers (“bantayan” in Tagalog) were built around it to serve as lookouts for the invading Moros from Mindanao.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Islands…where else would you run off to?

ZENTRAVELER SAYS:Visit Bantayan Island… it could become habit-forming.

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! …and on and on and on.

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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Filed under adventure travel, Bantayan, Bantayan Island, Madridejos, Santa Fe, travel, Uncategorized

Zentraveler on Joshu’s Dog!

Buddha-Nature

Buddha-Nature

A monk asked Joshu, a Chinese Zen master: `Has a dog Buddha-nature or not?’
Joshu answered: `Mu.’ [Mu is the negative symbol in Chinese, meaning `No-thing’ or `Nay’.]

Mumon’s comment:s To realize Zen one has to pass through the barrier of the patriachs. Enlightenment always comes after the road of thinking is blocked. If you do not pass the barrier of the patriachs or if your thinking road is not blocked, whatever you think, whatever you do, is like a tangling ghost. You may ask: What is a barrier of a patriach? This one word, Mu, is it.

This is the barrier of Zen. If you pass through it you will see Joshu face to face. Then you can work hand in hand with the whole line of patriachs. Is this not a pleasant thing to do?

If you want to pass this barrier, you must work through every bone in your body, through ever pore in your skin, filled with this question: What is Mu? and carry it day and night. Do not believe it is the common negative symbol meaning nothing. It is not nothingness, the opposite of existence. If you really want to pass this barrier, you should feel like drinking a hot iron ball that you can neither swallor nor spit out.

Then your previous lesser knowledge disappears. As a fruit ripening in season, your subjectivity and objectivity naturally become one. It is like a dumb man who has had a dream. He knows about it but cannot tell it.

When he enters this condition his ego-shell is crushed and he can shake the heaven and move the earth. He is like a great warrior with a sharp sword. If a Buddha stands in his way, he will cut him down; if a patriach offers him any obstacle, he will kill him; and he will be free in this way of birth and death. He can enter any world as if it were his own playground. I will tell you how to do this with this koan:

Just concentrate your whole energy into this Mu, and do not allow any discontinuation. When you enter this Mu and there is no discontinuation, your attainment will be as a candle burning and illuminating the whole universe.

Has a dog Buddha-nature? This is the most serious question of all. If you say yes or no, You lose your own Buddha-nature. Research Credits: http://www.ibiblio.org

So there you have it, you must be very careful how you answer a koan or you could end up as the neighborhood dog.

QUOTE: “Life is to be experienced in totality. Try not to blame others like spouse, parents, friends, fellow beings or situations for any suffering. .. Never allow your vibe to go to a lower level. This way you will attract more and more positive circumstances in your life.” ― Sakshi Chetana, Laughing Buddha

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:What is Buddha-Nature? “I would define Buddha nature as the awareness which all sentient beings have access to. It is the background, if you will, of all things that arise out of the unmanifest world. If one were to think of it as a painting, it would be the canvas. You can’t NOT have Buddha nature. It is simply consciousness, awareness. It is not a thought, not a thing, but rather the witness to all these things. It is what gave rise to the manifest world. You can think of it as the vast intrinsic open space, or freedom, which all things rise out of. It is without even my awareness of it. It is pure consciousness, the true Self.” This quote is from Ronin/ 12stepbuddhist.com

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE:Grasshoppers: Develop a Buddha-Nature Grasshopper and maybe you won’t spend your next life as an insect.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS:Why not learn and develop Buddha-Nature. The only thing you have to lose is yourself… and if you are really good at this, why not lose your ego along the path somewhere.

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! …and on and on and on.

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 making the perfect Ginger Tea!

Ginger Tea

Ginger Tea

If you really want to be healthy during cold and flu season you simply need to drink one or two cups of Ginger Tea each day. Not only is the tea good for any respiratory problems, flus and colds, but can drive away the winter blues without taking expensive tranquilizers with many harmful side effects.

Ginger Tea is also cost-effective saving you many dollars trying to discover the perfect health tea. You need to look no farther. Simply go to any market and purchase fresh ginger root and begin to make your own Ginger Tea. My partner Perla washes the ginger root, slices it into small pieces, and then boils the ginger in mineral water for fifteen minutes. She then pours the ginger tea with some of the Ginger slices into a large thermos… which makes about four cups and can stay hot for at least one day.

You start each morning with a hot cup of ginger tea and can sweeten to taste with pure natural honey and add a bit of lemon for zest. Ginger Tea has many health benefits and can be enjoyed anytime throughout the day.You end your day by taking a hot cup of ginger tea just before going to bed and you sleep like a baby all night long or if that doesn’t conjure up sleep… how about sleep like a hibernating bear.

Ginger root is known for its medicinal properties and it is used in many traditional medicines. The healing benefits of ginger are mainly due to its volatile oils and the high oleoresin content. A lot of research has been going on to find out the herbal benefits of this herb and so far, the researchers have found many health benefits of ginger roots. Ginger is native to Asia, especially India and it’s been used in the traditional Indian medicines (Ayurveda) and Chinese medicines for more than three thousand years.

The health benefits of Ginger Tea includes: Helps boost the immune system and promote cardiovascular health. Treating Nausea: The brew has been used in traditional Asian medicine to treat nausea. Pregnant women report relief from morning sickness after consuming small amounts of ginger root, ginger tea, and ginger ale. When given in large doses, ginger also relieves chemotherapy-related nausea.

Relieving Joint Pain: Ginger has been used to treat joint pain by stimulating blood circulation and has been used to relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and Raynaud’s syndrome.

Digestive Disorders: The herb can be used to address flatulence, indigestion, and diarrhea. It does this by mimicking some digestive enzymes used to process protein in the body.

Treating Colds: Drinking ginger herbal tea is sometimes recommended for relief of cold symptoms because it is said to loosen phlegm and fight chills by spreading a warm feeling throughout the body.

Promoting Heart Health: As little as 5 grams of dried ginger a day has shown to slow the production of triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol in the liver.

So, as we can see ginger tea is excellent for the health as it can offer you so many health benefits. But you should be aware of some the side effects of it as well.

Caution: Do not take ginger or ginger tea during pregnancy without consulting your doctor. If you have a medical history of gallstones you should consult your doctor before taking ginger tea. Ginger tea should not be taken before any kind of surgery and should be stopped at least a week prior to the day of surgery. The high amount of ginger intake can cause stomach problems as well.

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:Money can’t buy you love, but it can get you some really good chocolate ginger biscuits.

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: Ginger was widely used by the ancient Romans and it was a very expensive spice, one pound of ginger was equivalent to the price of a whole sheep. Ginger almost became lost in history after the fall of the Roman empire but became popular again when Europe re-discovered it. Ginger has influenced the history of man since ancient China, wars were waged and entire dynasties rose and fell with the objective of seizing it. The trade of such spices were the root of the world’s economy for centuries.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE:Ginger!Ginger is good for your health and has been said by some to be a plant directly from the Garden of Eden. It is also said that consuming Ginger before taking a plane flight can prevent motion sickness. It can make good tea, or you can use it as a spicy addition to almost any recipe.

Drink a Cup of Ginger Tea

Drink a Cup of Ginger Tea

ZENTRAVELER SAYS:Drink several cups of Ginger Tea daily and live to be as old as Moses!

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! …and on and on and on.

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

Filed under Blogging, ginger root, ginger tea, health, health benefits of ginger tea, Uncategorized