Noticing Poverty

I had just spent a week in Naga City. A city in the province of Camarines Sur, Philippines. Sadly poverty can bee seen here just about everywhere here in the Philippines. There are relief groups scattered throughout the Islands but I don’t think that their efforts are very impacting. 

While shopping at the SM supermarket I noticed a young boy asking his mom to buy a small drink in the cooler section near produce. It was a fruit drink and didn’t cost much. I took a look a while after they left. It was about 20 pesos or so. Anyways she kept saying no and he was very disappointed with his mom. 

As they were walking away I was looking at his young mother. She looked about 20-22ish in age. He may have been 4 or 5. I had taken a look at her clothing and quickly felt bad for them as most foreigners do when they haven’t experience that level of poverty. Her shirt was worn thin with holes wearing through in different parts and near sewing seams. Her bra was only half clasped in the back, maybe the catch had finally wore out. Her shorts were cut off blue jean pants which had additional holes and not the stylish kind. On her rough feet she had an old pair of cheap flipflop’s that her heals have almost worn through. I felt bad for her and her little boy. 

In her buggy she had only a few items. I really couldn’t make out what it was. I can only imagine that she was spending what little they had available. Hopefully she has the help of the father. But in many cases here, probably not. 

This can be seen just about everywhere around here. One just needs to open their eyes. It’s sad. Hopefully one day their luck will change. I would like to see the Philippines come out of being a 3rd world country burdened with poverty and such sad cases. If I could help them all I would but I am not rich, the government, or an NGO. If this place would ever take common wealth status from the United States their luck might change for the better.

I think the government could do more to help their citizens, but I think they like the division of social casts. Like India, the poor stay poor and the rich get richer. 

All around I see second hand clothing shops with clothes in almost new condition and often wonder if some local politician took donated goods for the poor from abroad and decided to profit on them. I really don’t see how there can be so much second hand goods to sell when there are so many people without and in need.

Thanks for taking the time to read. It’s been a while since I posted anything. I kinda been chilling at home in Caramoan or my apartment in Naga City. I have been lacking motivation lately. Email me if you want my thoughts on any issue’s.
David Lee Martin

davemartindsshop8@gmail.com

Functional US Army Veteran

Equality Between Men and Women

After much thought I decided to write my thoughts about it. Don’t be upset, its just my opinion. This must really be looked at with an open mind. Men are usually shafted and women want and expect too much. Men are usually on the short end of the stick when it comes to gender rights. Women expect to get their way because of their gender and they usually do.

The first issue is the pay gap women claim is unfair. In such jobs as Fast food and casual dining restaurants I can understand equal pay. However more laborious fields like warehouse work and construction no. How about equal pay for equal effort. Women don’t tend to be able to do all the things physically that a man can do. Sounds sexist I know. But unless the women is a transgender or on steroids; the typical woman is not as strong.

I have no problem working for women. If they have the job knowledge to manage and direct then fine, good for them. I can respect the position if they know what they are doing and successful at it. However I don’t believe women should be promoted or given a raise based on preferential treatment. I seen it many times in the military.

Another issue is Parental rights and custody. Most men I know did not get custody of their kids in their divorces. Even when the wife was not working she still managed to get the kids and the man must pay ridiculous amounts in child support. She is a burden on the welfare system and the ex-husbands wallet. Sympathy is generally reserved for women. The old fashioned attitude that children belong with their mothers is out dated and harmful in some situations. My daughter Emily would agree.

Men are abused by Child Support agencies and courts. Most men not being left with enough of their salaries to be able to live normally. Many men are homeless and living with a friend or relative just to survive and make ends meat. Its a burdening issue for men. They can’t afford to better their education or take time off of work to go to school.

Women can pick and choose when and if they want to be a responsible parent or not with as much as a appointment at an abortion clinic. Men don’t get the option; they are forced. Then if they are unable to pay they get passports, licenses and certifications revoked. Really, how in the hell does that help? It’s wrong to revoke items required to find work. Especially a passport where higher paying employment may be overseas. The gender role system is rigged against men.

I am pro-life. I am against abortion. Now here is something to think about. Women say abortion is a right and a health issue. But if a man doesn’t want a baby he has no choice. He is left liable and responsible for a child he may not want. However the only real issue a woman generally has is the fear of her hips spreading, a fatter ass, a few stretch marks, and responsibility. I think for as long as abortion is an available option for women then Child support for men should also be abolished and only an optional. If a woman can choose if she wants to be responsible or not then men should have that same right as well. Equality right? What about a mans health psychologically or physically?

The only time I would agree with abortion is if it truly is a medical emergency resulting in death, a handy cap birth, or a case of child molestation and endangerment. My mother had me when she was 15 and my brother when she was 20. She never received a dime from either fathers. I know the world will not stop turning.

When will there really be fair and equal treatment for men? I can imagine that there is someone who will read this and think I am wrong as can be. Most likely women will think the worst of me. Most women don’t care about men when they are at the advantage. I know I will catch hell for this. But ask men who are on the suffering end.

Please watch the video.

https://youtu.be/Tcng4ccVlVI 
Thanks for reading if you made it this far.

David Lee Martin
Functional US army Veteran

Harvesting The Rice

This morning when I woke up and started moving about the house I took a look out the window as usual. I just love seeing nature and this peaceful country side. The province life of the Philippines is so much better and healthier than being in the polluted concrete jungle called Manila. 

I noticed my neighbors were working the rice pad’s.  They are cutting it, stacking for drying, and separating the rice from the plant. It’s not easy work as light as rice seems. It’s a lot of bending over, swinging a blade, stacking, and being under direct sun. For me, if I was doing it, I am sure my back would be killing me.

Rice stacked for drying
Neighbours in the rice paddy

From an upper view the stack of rice looks similar to the shape of a doughnut. The rice that isn’t quite ready remains uncut as seen near the stack. 

Breaking for a moment
Burnt straw

Later they will burn the straw from the rice to return some of the nutrients back into the soil. 

When all the rice is gathered they will separate it under improvised shade made of palm leaves.

Separating the rice under improvised shade

Later they will lay it out again on tarpaulins for the rice to continue hardening in the husk. Some will be saved for seed and the rest will go to the mill and the rice grains will be separated from the husk. This is the Provincial farmers life.

Photos were taken with a Canon EOS 1200D with a Sigma 70-300mm f4-5.6 APO DG MACRO zoom lens with hood. No editing or filters were used other than name and data stamp.

Thanks for reading my blog and viewing my photos. Please follow me here and on Instagram @david_lee_martin. 
David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran

What is Wildlife Photography?

This is a bit of a rant I guess. I follow photographers on Instagram and on Twitter. I enjoy seeing the work’s of other photographers; the places they go and what they get to experience. I am jealous sometimes, I admit it. 

Eurasian Tree Sparrow, free as a bird šŸ˜‰

When I observe the post I also look at locations and tags. I have a pet peeve. That is how people tag their images. A bird in an aviary or cage is NOT wildlife. An animal in a zoo is NOT wildlife. It is in captivity. It is imprisoned by walls, screens, netting, and glass. Most are bred into this and have never known the freedom’s of wide open spaces. 
So what is wildlife photography to me? To me wildlife photography is the ability to capture a photo of an animal in its natural habitat. No barriers or restrictions. Where they can run, fly, or swim as far as they want. Doing what they do best without the influence or restrictions of man. 

I don’t have a problem with those who bait birds with seeds and such as long as they aren’t trapping them. You are actually helping the birds sometimes with feeders and baths. 

What set this off was a tweet. A man posted a photo of a couple beautiful parrots a while ago perched on a “T” post with meshing in the background; obviously an aviary. One of the tags he used was #wildlifephotography. I was very annoyed by that. At one time maybe. But in this case no longer. Just because the animal can be found in the wild does not mean that a photo in a zoo or aviary is wildlife. In most cases it is domesticated and lost its fear of humans and natural instincts. 

Rant over. What do you define as wildlife photography? Are you using hash tags? 

Follow me on Instagram. david_lee_martin

As always, thanks for following, reading, and viewing. Yesterday was my one year anniversary here on WordPress. Thanks to all those who read and those who give me feedback. God Bless all.


David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran.

The Penetential Walk

Today is Good Friday and here in my area of Caramoan the locals have traditional penetential walk. It’s done barefoot from the driveway entrance of my village, Barangay Agaas, to the church in Barangay Tabgon. Just a little over 2 kilometers I think. We started with an opening prayer, a reading, and a blessing at 8:30 am and soon started walking. 

Penetential walk starting point

There were many loyal catholics of all ages who attended. There were easily over a hundred attendees. 

Waiting to start
Jesus will lead the way

The concrete’s texture along the road varied. At times it was smooth, rough, jagged, and almost like loose gravel. It was nearly unforgiving. I kept in my mind that through Christ I can accomplish anything if I put my mind to it. My feet started hurting, small stones stuck into my feet. I developed blisters on the ball on my feet, the heels, and the toes. The last couple hundred yards was quite dreadful to me. Sucks having soft feet now.

Front view
Back view

Because I am tall and long legged the pace for me was super slow but I understand why. We had a lot of elderly and very young with us. It was cool in the shade and the further we went the hotter it had become. I really appreciated the shaded areas. 

Passion of Christ being played out in the streets

At the end the Church had a play of the “Passion of the Christ” going on. Mostly younger church members performing. 

First look at the blisters

It was a good lesson in suffering. It gives us a little glimpse of what Christ went through enroute to be crucified on the Mountain. Of course we will never know the extent of his suffering unless we are too crucified. His sacrifice is understood and I am Thankful. 

Photos were taken with a Samsung Note 4. 

As always, Thank You for viewing and reading. Have a Good Friday!

Instagram: david_lee_martin
David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran

Drop The Mexico Border Wall

This is an opinion piece.

What if we could drop the wall completely and absorb Mexico to Join the United States? Its a thought. Don’t think of me as a Liberal. I am an Idealist. I am also very conservative. It would be a hell of a process, but unity can be achieved. This would actually save money and reduce deficit if done right. Here are some of my thoughts on this issue.

The wall is Estimated to cost between 12 to 15 billion US Dollars. In my opinion It would be cheaper to absorb Mexico, let them adopt the dollar. The US government can open multiple social security offices there so they can get a tax payer ID or Social Security number and start paying into the US tax system. Understandably it can’t happen all at once. I would put a 18 month transition period on it.

This would also save money from being wasted on deportations, Immigration departments, border patrols, and prison spaces. With this there will also be less immigration if they have what they need at home.

This would open up many markets. Current Americans will be able to move to Mexican territories and buy property and invest there, and they could in turn do the same in US. Students can also access more schools.

The market on textiles, agricultural, and automotive goods will be eased. There would no longer be an import and export tax. Goods can flow both ways with ease.

I would keep Current border check points in place only to stop the flow of illegal drugs. Vehicles will be inspected by dogs and x-ray occasionally when needed.

For Illegal Mexicans already in the US, they will have to go back to Mexican territories to get their citizenship and tax ID sorted before returning to US. This also ensures there will be less people making US Dollars without contributing to the system. Employers who are caught employing citizens without the tax ID or Social security number sorted will be penalized.

Families that have been divided by the wall will be able to reunite. Their Military and Law enforcement will be overhauled and better supported and assimilated into our forces.

For Mexicans living below the poverty level, after processing into their new citizen status with Tax ID or Social Security number, they will be able to apply for Social Services assistance and medicare. This will improve their health and quality of life.

Here are some facts about Mexico:

Spanish is national language

Religion: 83% Roman Catholic, 10% protestant christian, 0.2 other religion, 5% atheist, 3% unspecified

Mexico has a congress and a senate.

It is the 13th largest independent nation.

There are 31 states in Mexico.

Population 2015 Census: 119,530, 753

Mexico ranks first in the Americas and seventh in the world by number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Mexico’s Geography consists of desert, mountains, rain forest, and sub-tropical regions.

Economy: 15th Largest nominal GDP and 11th largest by purchasing power.

Average income per household is equal to about 14,400 US Dollars.
As always, thanks for reading and viewing.

David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran

My Greatest Phobia

Spiders Scare the hell out of me. Always have. I can tolerate the small wolf spiders and daddy long legs; but some…. help me lord if I see them. Rather help them because they are about to die. But today out of interest I pulled the Camera out, photographed one, and researched it. 

This spider is a, “Giant Huntsman Spider.” I found it this morning just after waking. I went to the restroom on the backside of the house and while standing there I just took a look up into the corner and there it was just staring at me.

I am surprised myself that I did not panic. Usually I freak out. I was not sure if it was alive or dead. So after I finished my morning business I stood up and I took a deep breath and blew really hard at it. It moved a little so I knew it was alive. Off I went to get the Camera.

I took a few shots of it. For that privilege I let him live. Today the Huntsman did not have to die.

What I learned from the wonderful search engine called Google is that they are mildly venomous towards humans. Not deadly. Diet mainly consists of insects and small lizards when bigger. When full sized they can have a spread up to 12 inches. This one was maybe 8 inches, not yet full grown. 

Camera used today is my Canon EOS 1200D with a Sigma Lens 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro with hood to avoid glare from ceiling light. No filters were used. Photos taken in manual focus.

If you like my writing and photography you would like to assist me in improving my hobby. Please see the link I provide. As always, Thanks for viewing and reading. 

www.patreon.com/davidleemartin
David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran.