Self-Sufficient and Determined

Self-Sufficient and Determined
A few days ago I was traveling to Naga City from Caramoan by bus. Between the towns of Ocampo and Pili we hit a little traffic. We were going slow enough that I could better observe the surroundings and see a bit of the local life in action.
In a yard on the left side I seen an old man sitting on a stool with one leg stretched out, a set of crutches leaning on a bush, and a pile of plant starts on his side. No one was there helping him. He had a small house made of hollow blocks and nipper roof. A simple life. I assume maybe his kids are in school or grown up and gone. Maybe he was alone.
I can see in his yard other vegetable plants like corn, okra’s and chili’s; possibly more. So I assume he grows his own to live on. For the most part, the Philippines is a poor country. Many people grow their own food. This guy was self-sufficient as much as he could be. He was old and still would not let a handicap slow him down or set him up for failure. He is determined to do with what he can, I could grasp that much in a 15 second time period while passing.
The people here in the area where I live are generally very proud. They are determined to survive the simplest way possible. Small communities will raise their own chickens, grow rice and vegetables, go fishing, raise pigs, and look after one another. It is a better system of community than I have witnessed in America. In the United States it seems like everyone is just out for them-selves. I am happy to be here to be part of and witness a better system of community cohesion.
For my readers, Sorry for not having a photo for this one. What are your communities like? Are your communities tight knit or divided? Is everyone out for them-selves or help one another? What have you captured from just a brief moment?
David Lee Martin
Functional US Army Veteran

H2O photo Challenge

This week’s Daily Post Challenge for Photography is H2O. Water. Simple Enough. I am surrounded by it. I think I will submit more than one this week. Enjoy.

This is a shot I took of the Pacific Ocean from Paniman Beach, part of the Caramoan municipality in Camarines Sur, Bicol, Philippines. Shot taken with a Canon 1200D, also known as a Canon Rebel T5 in the US. I use the 18-55mm kit lens, a UV filter to take the glare off the water and bring out the color, and a Hoya PRO1 Circular PL Digital filter to bring out the texture in the clouds and the blue in the sky. Let me know what you think.

David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran

Pride, Honor, and Sacrifice

My last year of service was 2013. Since leaving the military I have been working in defense contracting in Germany and the Middle East. I have not had a real home to settle down to in many years. So now, married for the third and hopefully the last time, I have finally settled down here in the Philippines. 

For many years I wanted a display case of all my medals. Finally, I had it made. I also had a duplicate made for my mother’s wall in the USA.

In the case are my medals, unit patches, authorized combat patches, unit crests, my final rank, and insignia’s.  

It took many years of conflicts, blood, sweat, and tears to accomplish this much. It’s a great sense of pride to now have this mounted on my wall. 

If you are a veteran I recommend, they will mount everything you need in the display case of your choice. Some medals and patches available go back to world war one incase you are making it for an old veteran family member.

I served with many great soldiers and would do it all over again. God Bless our Veterans, our Active Military, and those who put on a Uniform every day to keep Americans safe. 

David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran

Dy Viajero Transient Hotel

This is my opinion/review on the a new hotel That just opened In Naga City, Bicol. It is called the Dy Viajero Transient Hotel. The owners of this hotel built it above the regional bus terminal directly across from the CBD Plaza Hotel. The hotel I normally use quite regularly for the last 4 years is CBD Plaza Hotel across from the Bus Terminal. This time they were fully booked. So I took the alternative near by.


I was not pleased much. The prices of the rooms range from 1,000 Peso to 2,500 Peso. I chose the Superior with Terrace at the cost of 1,500 Peso. I recommend skipping the room with a terrace if you can. It is not worth it. You only have a view of power poles and lines, and the CBD Plaza Hotel. Also there is no chair in the room or terrace, The Air Conditioner leaks its condensation all over the terrace any ways. God forbid anyone slips, loses balance, and falls over the edge.


The Bathroom is quite small and narrow. I am 6ft 4in tall. When sitting on the toilet my knees nearly touch the wall opposite. The room was suppose to have a hot water shower. However it did not. I turned the shower control lever to the left and no water came at all. I rotated both water flow control valves under the sink and only cold water was supplied. Also the bathroom had no mirror for shaving in. It was very inconvenient.

Another thing, This hotel is full of Ants. Normally I don’t mind. After all this is the Philippines and they out number humans nearly a billion to one. These are the biting kind, not like fire ants, but still unpleasant. A few had wandered onto the bed and bitten me a few times.


I thought the bed was really firm and the pillows were too soft. Most people like a pillow that can prop a head up. My head sunk right through the pillows provided like they were not even there. No blanket was provided, just a bed sheet. Being a new facility, the Air Conditioning works extremely well in such a small room. img_0141  What can I say positive…. The Desk and Lobby Staff was very kind and courteous. The location is convenient for Bus travelers. The Naga City SM Mall is in walking distance, about 150 meters away. There are plenty of food outlets near by. 7-Eleven is across the street and open 24-7.


As for me, I will not stay here again. It does not seem worth the money to me that is costs for the lack of comfort in this small accommodation. On my future endeavors in Naga City I will get an Apartment or Stay at CBD Plaza Hotel which is a little more comfortable with reasonable rates.


David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran